Wissahickon Trail Conditions 2019- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Wissahickon Trail Conditions 2019

    New year, new thread!

    How are the conditions in the Wissahickon? It's classic winter right now: cold at night, warm during the day--is it a mud pit? Will I be OK if I make it out by noon (forecast: drop down to 25 overnight, cross above 32 about noon)?

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    I cut through on my cross bike on Sunday. Forbidden drive had a lot of ice in the morning (around 9) that melted by about noon. I did pop into the trails for a short bit between Pachella Fields to Wises Mill road and the trails were pretty much perfect. I don't know what mix of rain/snow the city got today, but Wiss usually drains well, so after a day or two it should be fine as long as you get there early and it's still frozen. If you go late morning or early afternoon you can probably expect some muddy spots. I'm hoping to get down there early Saturday before things warm up too much.

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    classic freeze thaw conditions.

    if you can get it while it is frozen it's great. if you wait until it gets really soft and ride your an a-hole. find time to ride when the trails are frozen! sunny spots get soft even in freezing temps so the only way to assure a good ride on a sunny day is to get out before the sun has a chance to soften things up.


    next couple days will be so cold (perfect conditions)... i might try tonight; but man is it gonna be hard to get out the door...

  4. #4
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    Was at Wiss this weekend and it was great...fully frozen and only a few patches of ice. With the upcoming warm weather and rain in the forecast, it's going to be soft for a while. Get used to riding on the trainer or stick to the road

  5. #5
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    west laurel hill cemetery is a good place i have started going to do some climbing without all the ahole distracted drivers the roads seem to offer these days. you can access it from manayunk across the Pencoyd bridge. between that and following the gravel along the wiss out to fort washington you can get some decent miles. of course you can always SRT till you die of boredom for many more miles. use these times to go explore the non trail options until the trails firm up or freeze up again.

  6. #6
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    Trail conditions: bad, muddy, with a frozen layer below. Don't be a jerk, let the trails dry out or freeze again before riding!

  7. #7
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    There are plenty of non single track options with good climbing at the wiss. I'll sometimes do a ride that climbs out of Forbidden Drive up Livezey Lane (Roxy side) or Kitchens Lane (Germantown side). Theres also that climb up to Henry on the Roxy side, just south of R-Town just after the long bridge. Another a good climb up to Walnut Lane on the Roxy side. These can all be linked with a little road in between.

  8. #8
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    Trails looked nice today while I was out for a hike. A few tracks out there too.
    But if the forecast is correct, I can't imagine it'll be rideable for a while now.

    Wissahickon Trail Conditions 2019-wiss.jpg

  9. #9
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    New MTB specific segments coming to Wiss. Yeah buddy!
    Wissahickon Trail Conditions 2019-51833974_10157106406506202_2418005706486579200_o.jpg
    https://www.fow.org/saylorsgrove/?bb...26WVoCDddDeCnw

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by roma258 View Post
    New MTB specific segments coming to Wiss. Yeah buddy!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://www.fow.org/saylorsgrove/?bb...26WVoCDddDeCnw
    i know the dudes who are working on this project. stay tuned; it is gonna be SWEET! gonna be a great spot to get some air under the tires without pissing off the off the hikers and horsers.

    if anyone wants to help; there will be plenty to do when the digging starts! i am happy to put you in touch with these folks if you'd like but if you just watch the FOW page i am sure they will be updating the work days.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    i know the dudes who are working on this project. stay tuned; it is gonna be SWEET! gonna be a great spot to get some air under the tires without pissing off the off the hikers and horsers.

    if anyone wants to help; there will be plenty to do when the digging starts! i am happy to put you in touch with these folks if you'd like but if you just watch the FOW page i am sure they will be updating the work days.
    Yeah I've done a couple trail building days with them. We're lucky to have such an awesome crew in the region. Just keeps getting better and better!

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    Looks pretty cool. I was at a Cresheim Trail work project yesterday and we started work on a short trail that bypasses the short, rocky up (the one with the treaded log) by the grotto bench when going away from Germantwon Ave. Looks like it will be fun in both directions.

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    If I want to try riding Wissahickon this summer, which lots are the best to park at for mountain biking. I would be coming from the Nockamixon area.

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    Unless you're looking for something specific, Green Valley Inn is probably the best location. Central spot with access to a variety of trails in any which direction, depending on what you're looking for. Gets busy though, arrive early if you can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post
    If I want to try riding Wissahickon this summer, which lots are the best to park at for mountain biking. I would be coming from the Nockamixon area.
    If you're coming on a weekend (which I don't recommend on a nice day because you'll be constantly running over off leash dogs and toddlers), park on Henry ave near the intersection of Wise's mill rd. Ride about 100 yards down Wise's mill road and you'll see the trail crossing the road. If you go on any weekday you can drive down wise's mill to get to the lot at Valley Green restaurant and be able to get a space.

  16. #16
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    Bells Mill road also has a trail-head if you like starting at one end rather than the middle.
    Eppur si muove ...

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    Fat bike!!
    Eppur si muove ...

  18. #18
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    anyone know current trail conditions at Wiss? i'm 45 min north and our trails are still covered in snow

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    I usually park at Northwestern Ave at the North end. Seems a bit safer regarding car break-ins which seem to happen at Bells Mills occasionally.
    Conditions right now are probably kind of sloppy given recent snow and freeze thaw. That said, you never know unless you get some first hand reports from someone who has been there recently.

  20. #20
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    i would say 3/12 might be a good day to start getting back out there!! holy crap has it been wet...

  21. #21
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    Just got done a hike with the wife. Lots of spots still pools of mud. The short climb heading south off Wise mill is probably un-climbable. We had to walk in the brush to get up the incline. So, nobody should be riding it right now or tomorrow IMO. But that's not stopping anyone. Saw 5 or 6 riders, several of which should know better based on the very expensive rides they were on and team kit they were wearing.

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    Anyone ride last night? How were the conditions?

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    I have not been all the way up to the cresheim trails all year but went up there sunday and it seemed like the one trail toward germantown ave that goes onto the ridge and then back down and has a couple drops was all overgrown and not used any more. Was that trail closed up for good?
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony110672 View Post
    I have not been all the way up to the cresheim trails all year but went up there sunday and it seemed like the one trail toward germantown ave that goes onto the ridge and then back down and has a couple drops was all overgrown and not used any more. Was that trail closed up for good?
    It's not closed up, but it's always been a relatively lightly used trail and we've had a ton of rain which resulted in some serious overgrowth. I expect there will be a work day soon where the brush will be cleared up. Have faith, it's a great trail (I helped a bit during its build) and it won't go away.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by roma258 View Post
    It's not closed up, but it's always been a relatively lightly used trail and we've had a ton of rain which resulted in some serious overgrowth. I expect there will be a work day soon where the brush will be cleared up. Have faith, it's a great trail (I helped a bit during its build) and it won't go away.
    great. I rode it but my arms and legs got torn up from thorn bushes. There are not many good jump/drop trails in the wiss other then up there and the new stuff being built across Lincoln drive. The best trail was just after gorgas that turned off left and went down to forbidden (I think it was called devils double drop on strava) but it must have been an unauthorized trail because it looks to have been covered up now.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony110672 View Post
    great. I rode it but my arms and legs got torn up from thorn bushes. There are not many good jump/drop trails in the wiss other then up there and the new stuff being built across Lincoln drive. The best trail was just after gorgas that turned off left and went down to forbidden (I think it was called devils double drop on strava) but it must have been an unauthorized trail because it looks to have been covered up now.
    Yeah, I got scratched up there recently. There is a super sweet, techy trail on the south side of cresheim creek that's semi-legal but has a couple big drops, massive log and a super tricky climb. If you can clear that, you can clear anything.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by roma258 View Post
    Yeah, I got scratched up there recently. There is a super sweet, techy trail on the south side of cresheim creek that's semi-legal but has a couple big drops, massive log and a super tricky climb. If you can clear that, you can clear anything.
    yeah I get in to cresheim on those and usually just go up to the bridge and back down and thats why I haven't continued to the cresheim trails all year. I can nail everything both sides of the creek going both directions except the concrete drainage under the bridge with the little wooden fence. Not sure why i get hung up on that every time but I always do.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony110672 View Post
    I have not been all the way up to the cresheim trails all year but went up there sunday and it seemed like the one trail toward germantown ave that goes onto the ridge and then back down and has a couple drops was all overgrown and not used any more. Was that trail closed up for good?
    There will be a work day to clear that trail in the near future, we'll also finish another short trail section that was started in February. We tried to reroute the loop into a shadier area but PECO cut down a bunch of trees and part of the rerouted section is no longer in the shade. We've been busy with the Lincoln Drive trails all spring and summer and haven't been able to get over to the Cresheim Trail.

  29. #29
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    I found a flat repair kit on the Wiss trails early AM Saturday. Pm me a description if you think it's yours and I'll tell you where I stashed it.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony110672 View Post
    yeah I get in to cresheim on those and usually just go up to the bridge and back down and thats why I haven't continued to the cresheim trails all year. I can nail everything both sides of the creek going both directions except the concrete drainage under the bridge with the little wooden fence. Not sure why i get hung up on that every time but I always do.
    you get hung up there BECAUSE IT IS ****IN SCARY!!!! nice job on the other side! i love that trail as well but there are 2 or 3 things over there i still can't get. fun trying tho!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    you get hung up there BECAUSE IT IS ****IN SCARY!!!! nice job on the other side! i love that trail as well but there are 2 or 3 things over there i still can't get. fun trying tho!
    yeah that small out and back is one of my favorite trails. I love the variety it has. The rock ledge on the other side I am 50/50 on going up it but can get all the logs and other obstacles 99% of the time. Love that it is untouched and left to its natural state for the most part.
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  32. #32
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    The overgrown loop on the Cresheim Trail has been cleared. This section may be rerouted this fall to shorten the length of trail in the sun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dannmer View Post
    The overgrown loop on the Cresheim Trail has been cleared. This section may be rerouted this fall to shorten the length of trail in the sun.
    awesome. Thanks guys. Will be riding there tomorrow and try and get up to cresheim
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    I am in the Philadelphia area over Thanksgiving every year. I usually do a day down at White Clay, but am thinking about doing Wissahickon instead. Any suggestions on where to park, route, etc? I haven't ridden there since the early 90s, so any suggestions would be appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by offpiste.reese View Post
    I am in the Philadelphia area over Thanksgiving every year. I usually do a day down at White Clay, but am thinking about doing Wissahickon instead. Any suggestions on where to park, route, etc? I haven't ridden there since the early 90s, so any suggestions would be appreciated.
    The two best parking options are either Valley Green or lot at the start of forbidden drive, off of Lincoln drive going east.

    As far as routes- there are so many variations, it depends on what you're looking for. Are you looking for flow, tech, jumps, rocks, etc....Wiss has a little bit of everything. My suggestion, if you're doing a big day is to incorporate Creishem Creek trail loop and East Falls side of Lincoln Drive into your loop. They'll have a lot more MTB specific features that have been built over the last 2-3 years and see much less foot traffic.

  36. #36
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    I like to park on Northwestern as I'm coming from Ambler and its closer for me. I also feel like security in terms of break-ins is better there. As far as trails go, I prefer a counter clockwise route from Bells Mills (Andorra Side): Up the Monster, across Houston Meadows, Summit Bypass and continue all the way to Forbidden Drive along Lincoln Drive. Back up on Germantown side near Rittenhouse Town to Creshiem Loop (just after Livesey Lane). After Creshiem, continue on to Indian climb and all the tech on G-town side then back to Northwestern. Also, don't forget about Belmont; great twisty turny tech.

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    I am coming from Delaware, so I guess something on the southern end of the park would be best. My wife lived on Rochelle Avenue and I used to get into the trail network from there. As for terrain, I'll probably have my fat bike, so a little bit of everything would be nice. Do I need a permit? Looking at the site it says a permit for non Philadelphia resident is $35 but the fine for not having one is $25.

    ETA: There are several Strava segments that seem to circumnavigate the whole park, but don't seem to have any results since 2012 or 13. Are they a viable option?

    https://www.strava.com/segments/1247335
    https://www.strava.com/segments/1167049

  38. #38
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    You can still use these, the clockwise one is basically the full loop, though the summit road section is no longer necessary as there's a sweet, flowy bypass now. The way I see it, Wiss clockwise gets you chunky descends and smoother climbs, where counter-clockwise the downs are much flowier, but the climbs are more technical (general rule of thumb, obviously there are exceptions).

    Here is a loop I did last weekend, which incorporates the Creishem loop which I highly recommend if you like tech. There are some really gnarly ledges/drops involved if you're into that. Otherwise just skip it and stay on the main trail. Good luck and report back!
    https://www.strava.com/activities/2839559554

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    Thanks. I prefer flowy descents, so maybe I'll go with counterclockwise. Appreciate all the input.

  40. #40
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    I'm from CA and did a solo blind CC loop from Fairmount up to Bells (lots of the white and orange trail) Creisham Creek out and back, then back down the "blue" trails to the west of Forbidden drive. Pretty much the exact loop that roma258 linked to above. I would ride there again in a heart beat, it was a great mix of everything!
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  41. #41
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    Here's another good route. It includes the recently constructed skills line and part of the Cresheim Trail. https://www.strava.com/activities/25...FOEwEPMYFSnwpE

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