Recommend a place 3-4 hours from Philly with camping for noobs?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Recommend a place 3-4 hours from Philly with camping for noobs?

    I'm looking to make a weekend out of camping/biking. The group is all brand new to the sport, and for the most part, out of shape as well. So far we've done the blazed trails at Fair Hills in MD, and had a blast. My wife will not do anything super technical. She is afraid of falling and getting hurt badly. I can't completly blame her, she's a PT and needs to be on her feet and needs her hands to work.

    So, that said, I'm looking for a place that has some good singletrack, in the beginner/intermediate frame. Also, I'm looking for a place that isn't all that populated/busy. We have a 4 year old Lab that I'd like to take and start to train to ride with a bike. So I don't want to go someplace that will be super busy and have him get in their way. He's not the best off leash to start, but once he settles into a pace he's ok. Again, I know it's not desierable, and that's why I'm trying to find a place that isn't frequented all that much. Any suggestions are greatly apprecaited.

  2. #2
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    Promised Land State Park?

    You can't ride in the Park but from the campgrounds you can access something like 20 miles of trails in the Delaware State Forest which completely surrounds the park.

    The trails there are pretty easy overall. Much easier and less technical than Michaux, Rothrock, French Creek and other places that you would camp and ride at around here.

  3. #3
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    French Creek's a good one. Fast fun singletrack, not terribly technical. You can start your ride from your campsite. I took my girlfriend who is a beginner there a few yrs ago and despite the fact that we're vastly different in technical ability, we both had a great time. Not sure how successful you would be there with your dog.

    I've never rode Delaware St Forest. Can't think of anything else in NEPA that would work.

  4. #4
    ganginwood
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    to start mountain biking in pa is pretty hard. if you're looking to make a great weekend out of it...and are willing to drive, check out tsali in western nc.
    the drive is 2wice what your asking about but so is the atmosphere and so are the trails. take what you rode at fair hill....and stretch each loop out to 20+ miles. i think there are 3-4 loops. smooth fast and very little climbing. a beginners dream, if i recall i think i took my wife there within 2 weeks of her getting a bike. the trails are covered with unlimmited amounts of high speed berms.

    and after your rides you can paddle the nantahala from the noc and score big pookie points. noc is on a scheduled release so there is always water.

    again...not the op but a little flavor for you. if your wife is anything like mine....rocks and gnar at 4 mph aren't exactly a lot of fun for them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Aswell
    the 5th poster, ganginwoods, is correct

  5. #5
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    My wife is the same way. She actually has the skills to ride the technical stuff, but is afraid she'll get hurt. A perfect place comes to mind -- Jacobsburg Environmental Center in Bath PA. It's just north of Allentown, not too crowded, has about 17 mile of trails, well marked, and there’s plenty of camping nearby.
    Jacobsburg SP.pdf

    Other beginner friendly areas within an hour of Philly are:
    Core Creek Park -- Flat single-track with a few log ramps... but they all have turn-outs.
    Pennypack Park -- almost no technical -- but a little hilly to challenge the lungs.
    Greenlane -- Red or Orange trails -- nice single track -- Beware of Horse $h!t
    Mercer County park -- NJ -- Very beginner friendly
    Clayton Park -- Near Great Adventure -- Nice well marked trail system and nearby camping.

    clayton_park_map.pdf

  6. #6
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    Jim Thorpe,excellent trails,great camping,something usually going on in town.

  7. #7
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    Ok, thanks guys. Sorry, should have posted that I live in the philly burbs. I understand there is some good riding around here (hell I live a mile from the wiss trail head). I am looking to go away for the weekend, and am looking in a 3-4 mile radius outwards i guess. I'll check out the jacobsburg and jim thorpe areas. Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Suggestions...

    Do not even think about going to French Creek with your wife if she doesn't like technical challenges. The place is loaded with rock gardens. My wife is a lot like yours (probably more advanced though) and I wouldn't take her there.

    I'm not sure about places with camping, but in terms of riding, the place to go is White Clay/Middle Run/Judge Morris Estate just outside of Newark, DE. Coming from the Philly area, it's a bit closer than Fairhill. In my opinion it's much more fun also. Fairhill has a few more technical challenges, but White Clay has miles and miles of well marked, super well maintained rolling singletrack. Unless you know Fairhill, the trails there can be confusing. Not so with White Clay. My wife loves White Clay. She's not intimidated by it and just has fun. We ride with our dog there quite often. Be sure to cross over to the Judge Morris Estate trail also.

    I've ridden at just about every major place within two hours of Philly (Hartshorne, Huber Woods, Allaire, Clayton, Mercer, 6 Mile, Washington Crossing, Pennypack, Core Creek, French Creek, Tohickon/High Rocks, Wiss, Fairhill, etc.). In my opinion White Clay is flat out the most fun just for cruising fast and long.

  9. #9
    Prez NMBA
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    You could check out the new trails at Raystown Lake. things will be crowded for the opening weekend of may 9/10 but then im sure will settle down alot. 30 miles of buff trail, on the wide side right now as they were just cut in the past year or so by machine and nary a rock to be found. No long climbs and everything within IMBA spec of about a 5% grade. that being said they have great flow and everybody can really enjoy themselves by taking at whatever speed they are comfortable with. Plenty of camping at the Seven Points campground, the trails run within a mile of it. There is also plenty of stuff to do at the beach when you are not riding.

  10. #10
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    Thorpe

    I live about a mile from Jacobsburg and ride it frequently and although it is a nice place ride it is not worth a trip from philly. It definetly does not offer enough to make it worth a weekend trip your best bet is Jim Thorpe it offers a great atomosphere. and enough riding in the area that you could put together two nice rides without getting into to much technical terrain Ie, switchback trail and broad mountain loop.. I have also ridden Promised Land the riding is decent but it does not see much traffic and can be overgrown in spots.

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