No singletrack in Jim Thorpe?!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    No singletrack in Jim Thorpe?!

    My last venture in the Jim Thorpe direction was almost 10 years ago. I don't remember much, except awesome views of the town from above, and long rocky singletrack. It was a good time.

    This past weekend, I went back up to JT for an afternoon ride (It's only about 2 hours from my home), hoping to find some sweet trail.

    I stopped by BMS, bought a guide, and asked the only guy that had a clue, WHERE I could go for a 5 - 10 mile singletrack ride. He pointed me to the guidebook, specifically the Mauch Chunk loop. I asked, how is it for hardtails, and he said "I have friends that do it all the time."

    What a waste of f$%king time that was. This 9.5 mile loop included almost 4 miles of road or railtrail-type riding to get to an actual trail, and then 2 miles of the same when you're done riding. Which left only 3.5 miles of real trail.

    And the trail, was not really a trail, as much as a rocky mess. Out of the remaining trail total, maybe a mile of it was singletrack. And some of that was nearly unridable without full suspension. My riding partner on her hardtail, who's ridden with me from Killington to Mountain Creek to Fruita, couldn't believe that someone could recommend this trail to someone on a hardtail looking for singletrack. She said this is the worst-riding ever. And I agreed, for someone in her situation. But I also explained that the rocky-craziness wouldn't be a problem at all for someone on a trailbike (it wasn't a problem for me, and I've only got 4 inches of rear suspension).

    Anyway, my point is: if this bike-shop guy is supposed to have all the answers, are there no fun singletrack trails left in Jim Thorpe? Fun meaning you don't have to worry about risking your life, or at least meaning you don't have 4 miles of pavement to get there? Thanks for any info, because I'd hate to think the trails just went to total sh!t in the past decade.

  2. #2
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    Jeezus,

    Where to start? Ok, first...

    If you haven't heard, many of JT's best trails were closed to MTBs a few years ago, thanks to the Pennsylvania Game Comission. Search the site for more info on that front. There's been no shortage of debate here about it, so there's no point spelling it all out again.

    The effect of this closure is that, basically, the people at BMS cannot (or at least should not) point you toward the trails you remember because riding them is something less than legal (for now).

    That said, there are still trails in the area that you can ride. As for your experience re: hardtail, all I can say is this: All hardtails are not created equally. My steel Cove with wide rims, 2.4" tires @ 20 psi, disc brakes and Marzocchi 4" fork will cover ground up there far better than a stiff aluminum XC bike with 2", 50 psi tires, v-brakes, etc.

    I ride my hardtail exclusively, and I love it. American Standard is about as rocky as it gets in JT, and I've never had a problem on my hardtail. Your mileage may vary....

    Quote Originally Posted by EtE
    What a waste of f$%king time that was. This 9.5 mile loop included almost 4 miles of road or railtrail-type riding to get to an actual trail, and then 2 miles of the same when you're done riding. Which left only 3.5 miles of real trail.

    And the trail, was not really a trail, as much as a rocky mess. Out of the remaining trail total, maybe a mile of it was singletrack. And some of that was nearly unridable without full suspension. My riding partner on her hardtail, who's ridden with me from Killington to Mountain Creek to Fruita, couldn't believe that someone could recommend this trail to someone on a hardtail looking for singletrack. She said this is the worst-riding ever. And I agreed, for someone in her situation. But I also explained that the rocky-craziness wouldn't be a problem at all for someone on a trailbike (it wasn't a problem for me, and I've only got 4 inches of rear suspension).

    Anyway, my point is: if this bike-shop guy is supposed to have all the answers, are there no fun singletrack trails left in Jim Thorpe? Fun meaning you don't have to worry about risking your life, or at least meaning you don't have 4 miles of pavement to get there? Thanks for any info, because I'd hate to think the trails just went to total sh!t in the past decade.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  3. #3
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    Nope not much single track in JT.

    Quote Originally Posted by EtE
    My last venture in the Jim Thorpe direction was almost 10 years ago. I don't remember much, except awesome views of the town from above, and long rocky singletrack. It was a good time.
    I think you're talking about the Switch Back trail? It gives you the nice views of the town. It's closed due to storm damage.


    I stopped by BMS, bought a guide, and asked the only guy that had a clue, WHERE I could go for a 5 - 10 mile singletrack ride. He pointed me to the guidebook, specifically the Mauch Chunk loop. I asked, how is it for hardtails, and he said "I have friends that do it all the time."
    He should have done a better job of explaining what was available.

    And the trail, was not really a trail, as much as a rocky mess. Out of the remaining trail total, maybe a mile of it was singletrack. And some of that was nearly unridable without full suspension.
    I ride it on a hardtail w/ V brakes. I agree though, most of the loop is rather lame. The rocky part is the only good part.

    Anyway, my point is: if this bike-shop guy is supposed to have all the answers, are there no fun singletrack trails left in Jim Thorpe? Fun meaning you don't have to worry about risking your life, or at least meaning you don't have 4 miles of pavement to get there? Thanks for any info, because I'd hate to think the trails just went to total sh!t in the past decade.
    I would have suggested the Broad Mountain Loop. It's double track/fire road, not singletrack. It's semi rocky but not insane rocky. My wife likes riding it on her hardtail. Broad Mountain is where the good singletrack was. Deer Path 1 & 2 and Pine Tar, but they've been closed.

    https://www.bikejimthorpe.com/trails.php3

  4. #4
    No Gansta Lean here.
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    Where is, "Two hours from Jim Thorpe?"

    Maybe we here on the forum could turn you on to some better riding. I'm in South Eastern PA.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoaster
    Maybe we here on the forum could turn you on to some better riding. I'm in South Eastern PA.
    Bro, if you've got some recommendations for some sweet riding, I'm all ears. I don't care if it's 4 hours away!

  6. #6
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    Well, you didn't mention where you'd be driving from but...

    Here goes. Blue Marsh in/near Reading, PA. Group rides out of Shirk's Bike shop at 717-445-5731. French Creek State Park near Elverson, PA. Very good. Rocky. Rooty tooty. Some "under the hat stuff" in Downingtown, PA. (Check with Downingtown Bike Shop...in the book for group rides that people have been riding for years but just have to keep quiet about. Fair Hill Park near the PA/MD state line (swoopy, smooth, in the woods and out across fields type of riding) Brandywine Park. (Check with Alan's Bicycles...sorry, don't know the # or the trails but know a lot of guys that ride them. And, finally, Wissahickon Park in/near Philly. Check with Wissahickon Cycles.
    Oops. I have heard...but check with this shop first, that JAMA Bikes says that there's BETTER riding than at JT nearer to their shop. (about 20 min. away from JT)
    Oh, and then there's South Mountain near Emmaus/Allentown/Bethlehem, PA. Group rides out of South Mountain Cycyles in Emmaus, PA on Wed. nights. Call and ask for Mark or Mark (2nd Mark goes by "Taylor") and they'll set you up.
    Good luck!

  7. #7
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    Jama is no more, but check out bikevmb.com for trail conditions on the Tamaqua trails....and yes, they are like the glory days of JT trails out there (especially the mud) but there is also plenty of riding in the LV region with Jordan, Jacobsburg, Salisbury, etc....S. Mtn is a bit tenuous right now so I cant recommend it (bordering property owners have been a bit upset lately)

  8. #8
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    Yeah, just heard from a buddy in Mahanoy City that...

    Heard that Artie moved out of state? Something about the wife landing a promotion. Well, good luck to him. Wish him well.
    Oh, and uh, I forgot to mention the Pagoda trails near Shillington/Reading. Call JB's Mountain Bikes in Shillington, PA for more info. or... www.jbmountainbikes.com and drop him an e-mail.

    I'd love to check out the trails around Tamaqua sometime though. Always looking for something new.

  9. #9
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    It all still there if you know where to look...sort of

    First off, I am sorry about the information typically given out at the local shops, most cater to novice riders. As has been pointed out they run into issues due to the questionable legal status of most of the best trails. There is more singletrack in the JT area then ever before but some is restricted like Broad Mt. and others are on questionable lands once owned by the mining company. My favorites are on Mt. Pisgah, and yes there are rocks, but not like on Flagstaff. A lot of the trails also are tricky to navigate and local knowledge is recommended. I will be leading some great expert level singletrack rides on Mountain Bike Weekend on the 17th at 9:00 and the 18th at 1:00. Feel free to email me and I'll take you on a redemption ride.

    BTW, the more members our organization gets the more leverage we have in opening singletrack to legal use.
    Jim Thorpe Trail Coalition
    http://jttrails.wordpress.com/

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Thorpe Trails
    First off, I am sorry about the information typically given out at the local shops, most cater to novice riders. As has been pointed out they run into issues due to the questionable legal status of most of the best trails. There is more singletrack in the JT area then ever before but some is restricted like Broad Mt. and others are on questionable lands once owned by the mining company. My favorites are on Mt. Pisgah, and yes there are rocks, but not like on Flagstaff. A lot of the trails also are tricky to navigate and local knowledge is recommended. I will be leading some great expert level singletrack rides on Mountain Bike Weekend on the 17th at 9:00 and the 18th at 1:00. Feel free to email me and I'll take you on a redemption ride.

    BTW, the more members our organization gets the more leverage we have in opening singletrack to legal use.
    I might be down for a ride on the 17th,

  11. #11
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    JT Single Track

    EtE,

    Its just like everywhere else, ya have to know where to look and who to ask. Kinda like Allamuchy back here in NJ. I will get a pdf out to you tonight.

    See ya,

    Bob W.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob W
    EtE,

    Its just like everywhere else, ya have to know where to look and who to ask. Kinda like Allamuchy back here in NJ. I will get a pdf out to you tonight.

    See ya,

    Bob W.

    Can you get one to me?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob W
    EtE,

    Its just like everywhere else, ya have to know where to look and who to ask. Kinda like Allamuchy back here in NJ. I will get a pdf out to you tonight.

    See ya,

    Bob W.

    Can you get one to me?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob W
    EtE,

    Its just like everywhere else, ya have to know where to look and who to ask. Kinda like Allamuchy back here in NJ. I will get a pdf out to you tonight.

    See ya,

    Bob W.
    Thanks Bob, I look forward to it. And thanks to everyone else too, I'm going to give another shot in a couple weeks.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by stosh
    Can you get one to me?
    me too please
    Chimay: nectar of the gods
    Macallan: sweet ambrosia

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob W
    EtE,

    Its just like everywhere else, ya have to know where to look and who to ask. Kinda like Allamuchy back here in NJ. I will get a pdf out to you tonight.

    See ya,

    Bob W.
    Hey Bob what are you giving away? Can I have one?

  17. #17
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    Good job! Try Lehigh Canal

    I was just up in the area of Jim Thorpe this past weekend. I had never been there and like others I stopped at the local bike shop to grab some maps and seek out all the "great" trails the area and to offer. I tried several that were mentioned and was disapointed but still got in some decent miles.

    I did find some great single track off of the Lehigh Canal trail. I rode all the way down the trail and caught a few single track trails. I then caught up with a local rider who showed me several more loops. The trail were nice and fast and moderately technical in some places. I got a good 14 miles in and a great workout.

    The trail is worth a try if your in the area.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTDIRT
    I was just up in the area of Jim Thorpe this past weekend. I had never been there and like others I stopped at the local bike shop to grab some maps and seek out all the "great" trails the area and to offer. I tried several that were mentioned and was disapointed but still got in some decent miles.

    I did find some great single track off of the Lehigh Canal trail. I rode all the way down the trail and caught a few single track trails. I then caught up with a local rider who showed me several more loops. The trail were nice and fast and moderately technical in some places. I got a good 14 miles in and a great workout.

    The trail is worth a try if your in the area.

    That sounds exactly what I'm looking for!!! Now I'll have to try and find it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob W
    EtE,

    Its just like everywhere else, ya have to know where to look and who to ask. Kinda like Allamuchy back here in NJ. I will get a pdf out to you tonight.

    See ya,

    Bob W.
    can i also get one?

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