2 days of riding...Frederick Watershed? Advanced like gambrill- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2 days of riding...Frederick Watershed? Advanced like gambrill

    hey friends. Looking for advice. Coming from Philadelphia and looking to do a "local" overnight trip to somewhere we have never ridden. Looking for 2 really strong rides. Expert terrain...

    was looking at a route a friend did near Cunningham falls state park? is that gambrill?? That looks good. What about day 2. My buddy says Patapsco is like fair hill and that's fine but not really what we are looking for.

    Anything within a hour drive from Frederick that would help us with ride #2? Should we head north to michaux for the day or is there something closer???

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    I didn't live there long, but I wouldn't call most of Patapsco expert terrain.
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    Michaux is perfect and really not that far. Definitely more than 2 days of "really strong rides" between fredshed and michaux. I haven't been to Emmitsburg watershed but I hear good things, only open on sundays.

  4. #4
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    Gambrill and the Watershed are adjacent to each other and the trails tie together. Gambrill is small, not a full day of expert riding by itself. The watershed, you can get 2 big days of expert riding out there, especially if you loop in Gambrill.

    Michaux is much the same, but harder to navigate without local knowledge.

    Camp at Gambrill, roll right to the trails from your tent. Spend 2 days in Gambrill/Watershed or drive 30-40 or so min. to southern Michaux. Emmitsburg is fun, but not a full day of expert riding on it's own. It's between the Watershed and Michaux, so you can add it in if you want to make multiple stops.

    Frederick has a fair amount of breweries these days, so you can get your post ride beer fix on as well.
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    You could do a warm up with the yellow loop in gambrill.

    I'd download the app called trail fork on your phone and use that to navigate the fred watershed. the trails there are unmarked. Tons of technical trails, expect to do some climbing as well unless you can shuttle. Look up some of the trail names in the shed on youtube as well so you can get an idea of what there is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx View Post
    Gambrill and the Watershed are adjacent to each other and the trails tie together. Gambrill is small, not a full day of expert riding by itself. The watershed, you can get 2 big days of expert riding out there, especially if you loop in Gambrill.

    Michaux is much the same, but harder to navigate without local knowledge.

    Camp at Gambrill, roll right to the trails from your tent. Spend 2 days in Gambrill/Watershed or drive 30-40 or so min. to southern Michaux. Emmitsburg is fun, but not a full day of expert riding on it's own. It's between the Watershed and Michaux, so you can add it in if you want to make multiple stops.

    Frederick has a fair amount of breweries these days, so you can get your post ride beer fix on as well.
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    so now it looks like we are staying in harpers ferry. any changes in the above advice? willing to drive up to an hour to hit the trails and will still do the gambrill option one day as described.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jomissa View Post
    so now it looks like we are staying in harpers ferry. any changes in the above advice? willing to drive up to an hour to hit the trails and will still do the gambrill option one day as described.
    If you are staying in Harpers Ferry, Gambrill and the Frederick Watershed will be the best, closest riding. Don't be tempted by Greenbrier SP which is slightly closer, it ranks far below the other 2 places.

    BTW, you mentioned Cunningham Falls SP in your first post, just FYI that trails there are not open to bikes due to being state wildlands.

    Dan's Taphouse in Boonsboro has good food and beer Dan's Restaurant and Tap House in Boonsboro Maryland

    Smoketown Brewing in Brunswick usually has decent beers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx View Post
    If you are staying in Harpers Ferry, Gambrill and the Frederick Watershed will be the best, closest riding. Don't be tempted by Greenbrier SP which is slightly closer, it ranks far below the other 2 places.

    BTW, you mentioned Cunningham Falls SP in your first post, just FYI that trails there are not open to bikes due to being state wildlands.

    Dan's Taphouse in Boonsboro has good food and beer Dan's Restaurant and Tap House in Boonsboro Maryland

    Smoketown Brewing in Brunswick usually has decent beers.
    Yeah, what he said.

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    thanks guys. housing i wanted up north is not available and the others where were inbetween michaux and the watershed area is crazy expensive per night! this is good. appreciate the advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jomissa View Post
    thanks guys. housing i wanted up north is not available and the others where were inbetween michaux and the watershed area is crazy expensive per night! this is good. appreciate the advice.
    Harper's Ferry is super cool. There are some decent restaurants in town and lots of historical stuff to see. If you're into hiking you can walk across the footbridge and you're a short walk from the trailhead for the Maryland Heights hike, which has a pretty awesome rock outcropping looking back down into town.

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    Depending on when your trip is, Harpers Ferry is a good tubing spot and as Dwayyo said, good hike across the river. Unfortunately no MTB nearby.

    FYI, cabin at Catoctin Mt. Park between the Watershed and Michaux
    https://www.patc.net/PATC/Cabins/Ind...w%20Lodge.aspx

    Cunningham Falls and Gambrill SP both have camper cabins
    Cunningham Falls State Park
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx View Post
    Depending on when your trip is, Harpers Ferry is a good tubing spot and as Dwayyo said, good hike across the river. Unfortunately no MTB nearby.

    FYI, cabin at Catoctin Mt. Park between the Watershed and Michaux
    https://www.patc.net/PATC/Cabins/Ind...w%20Lodge.aspx

    Cunningham Falls and Gambrill SP both have camper cabins
    Cunningham Falls State Park
    Oh ya, tubing is super fun... Just make sure to do the one that does white horse rapids, the others are pretty dull.

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    we moved north back into PA. well do michaux one day and gambrill the other. thanks everyone. really appreciate the advice!

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    wanted to say thanks for all of the comments. We rode rattling creek day 1, gambrill/Frederick day 2, michaux day 3.

    Gambrill/Frederick was our favorite of the three days- just amazing out there. we will be back. I think its one of the BEST places to ride on the east coast up there with Ringwood/Ramapo in NJ on the tech scale. we ended up with 80 miles across the three days and it was worth it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jomissa View Post
    wanted to say thanks for all of the comments. We rode rattling creek day 1, gambrill/Frederick day 2, michaux day 3.

    Gambrill/Frederick was our favorite of the three days- just amazing out there. we will be back. I think its one of the BEST places to ride on the east coast up there with Ringwood/Ramapo in NJ on the tech scale. we ended up with 80 miles across the three days and it was worth it!
    Nice! Gambrill is still one of my favorite rides. There used to be a great race there, the Gambrill Ramble. How did you like the rock garden? When in Philly, you ever ride south mountain or Sals?
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    loved the entire ride. rocks are good! challenging but all ridable except for 1-2 spots. tough as hell!

    don't ride south mountain and never heard of sals. South mountain is a bit of a hike and if we drive its somewhere else like French creek, Thorpe, white clay for some speed, or north jersey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jomissa View Post
    Gambrill/Frederick was our favorite of the three days- just amazing out there. we will be back. I think its one of the BEST places to ride on the east coast
    Yep! Glad you liked it!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jomissa View Post
    loved the entire ride. rocks are good! challenging but all ridable except for 1-2 spots. tough as hell!

    don't ride south mountain and never heard of sals. South mountain is a bit of a hike and if we drive its somewhere else like French creek, Thorpe, white clay for some speed, or north jersey.
    Nice! South mountain is in Emmaus and Sals, also known as Walking Purchase park, is right up Rt. 309. Both are fantastic places if you like rocks. Much rockier than Gambrill. Well worth the trip.
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