Merli-Sarnoski Comments- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Merli-Sarnoski Comments

    Hey guys! I rode Merli last weekend and will be doing so again next weekend. It was my first time and I have to say that as fun as it was, I was really confused about the trails. I had a GPS as well as an updated map, and I still found it quite difficult to figure out just where the trails went.

    There are a number of trails that are flagged but not blazed, and it's also quite frustrating that the blue trails do not have signs to indicate what they are. I don't live in PA but have friends that I go down to see, and I really hope that MSP continues to be supported by MTBers.

    Hopefully somebody sees this that can get involved and maybe work on updating/marking trails. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    im in the same boat as you with getting confused up there. the trails need to have better marking on them.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, for newcomers it can get confusing. Plus they have added at least three new trails since the original map was made.


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  4. #4
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Wink

    Merli is really ol'school you'll have to explore or hook up with a local

    Zipline is new and not on the map, and getting to it from the top was even tough for me and I helped build it and rode Merli since the 1980s... LOL

    I must be getting old..........er!

  5. #5
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    Reputation: jonz's Avatar
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    Merli is awesome, one of my favorite places in PA, but it can be very confusing and the map hasn't been updated since Merli was part of the MASS. Saddly, in less than 10 years it's fallen from a MASS course to "you have to hook up with a local" status. Since it's been logged, the entire south-western half of the map is pretty much useless. I really wish someone would take the initiative of creating a new map of the park. I think Merli could blow up again.

  6. #6
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    Good job!

    Remember Zipline isn't finished...

    ...and will have to be added later!

    Anyway, pretty hard to get lost at Merli... Just think of it as 3 sections: Behind the upper parking lot, below the lake, and above the lake!

  7. #7
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    The problem is when you're from out of town, and you're using the map, and some of the blazes, which for most of the ride were accurate, start to not really jive in real life with what you see on the map, and then you get to the section below the lake where the logging was, and all the sudden you're on your own because the map doesn't work anymore, and you've found that you've just gone in a circle which caused you to go an extra 4 miles when your legs already gave out on you and are cramping miserably and it's raining, and normally coolheaded friend is getting angry because he doesn't like being lost at the end of the ride with little daylight and water and strength left. And your battery on your smartphone which is your GPS is dying

    I will say though, after Merli, he went out and bought a Garmin Montana, books on mapping, trial mapping software, and decided that next time we go back, that we should make an updated map, so something good came of that

    Awesome place though. I wish it was closer. I don't think we'd get lost again, it's just that first time that was rough towards the end. Being lost when you're out of energy suuuuucks, haha

  8. #8
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    Good job!

    I hear ya, pretty easy for locals who have ridden there for years...

    ...Merli has always been a great place to ride, years back there was more traffic, and more involvement.

    I don't want to over step my bounds as locals might already have a plan as they do a fantastic job keeping trails open and maintained.

    I drive 25 miles to help out with local Merli friends, so it's a bit far to get to alot, but I still try to make it a few times a year, and I'm open to helping align the trail marking system. Merli locals have my email also...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    The problem is when you're from out of town, and you're using the map, and some of the blazes, which for most of the ride were accurate, start to not really jive in real life with what you see on the map, and then you get to the section below the lake where the logging was, and all the sudden you're on your own because the map doesn't work anymore, and you've found that you've just gone in a circle which caused you to go an extra 4 miles when your legs already gave out on you and are cramping miserably and it's raining, and normally coolheaded friend is getting angry because he doesn't like being lost at the end of the ride with little daylight and water and strength left. And your battery on your smartphone which is your GPS is dying
    Ohhh how familiar this all sounds!! Thankfully my friend is super-patient and was just as confused as I was. I drank out of the stream at the rocks when I was really thirsty. I don't recommend it based on the aftereffects hahaha

    So maybe you guys can help...in the southwest corner I got lost. I came on a four way intersection, with a blue trail showing left, a sort of logging road on the right with red trail straight ahead. I took the red trail and suddenly it was marked as a blue trail. I turned around and ended up going about a quarter mile up the logging road instead until I found some old red blazes. Took the red blazes and ended up coming up on Porcupine cliffs from the north end...somehow we got turned around. Went back toward the logging road and found a red/orange flagged trail that weaved down the hillside to the bottom, dumping out at a road leading back up to the parking lot.

    Again, really wish the maps were updated

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