Beta Noob's Tale

Paul H

Fearless OOS Poster
#1
Read a few threads on High Mountain and thought... how difficult can it be? You get on the saddle and start paddling right?

WOW... how wrong could one be.
Past Saturday, I rode about 2.3 miles on my Walgoose to High Mountain. I was really excited when I saw the sign for the Red Trail. As soon as I entered, I was welcomed by a prancing white tail. How cool is this?! This excitement soon turned to.... "I'm going to get hurt" fear. There were so much rock and broken branches and to make things worse, they were pretty much all covered up by fallen leaves. I had no idea what I would be riding on despite having a beautiful clear morning. I had a very difficult time staying on the saddle with all the bumps and the uphill climbs.

Hoping for a better trail, I soldiered along for about half a mile to a mile. I probably walked more than I rode my Walgoose. Trail conditions did not change so I decided to take a break. After the break I decided to head back. Then, I saw 2 guys trucking along and as they passed me, they looked larger than life to this newbie. These 2 guys were my heroes and I thought to myself when will I be able to ride like them. I pretty much stared at them in awe until they were no longer in my sight.

Despite it all, it was a great experience and I have been deeply humblized. High Mountain beat me to a pulp but mark my words...... I WILL BE BACK!
 

JimN

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#3
what's the full trail mileage like here? I might try this out.
There's about six miles or so of singletrack, mostly rocky goodness. All the good stuff is unmarked. The marked red/yellow trails are pretty beat up old fireroads that aren't much fun.

Despite it all, it was a great experience and I have been deeply humblized. High Mountain beat me to a pulp but mark my words...... I WILL BE BACK!
High Mountain is a tough place to start out at, but at least you gave it a shot. Keep riding on the road to start getting fit and keep going back to High Mountain occasionally. If you want to try some easier mountain bike rides, look at six mile or lewis morris.
 

Paul H

Fearless OOS Poster
#5
what's the full trail mileage like here? I might try this out.
This is what I found
The park preserve has five trails ranging from 0.2 to 4.9 miles. The Red Trail [red blaze; 2.0 miles] begins at a trailhead next to the hikers' parking lot [to the west of Parking Lot #6] at the top of College Road; it is also accessible from Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve where an 0.3-mile segment along Reservoir Road connects the two parks [curbside parking is available here]. Other trails branch off the Red Trail, including the Yellow Trail [yellow blaze; 4.9 miles] which features views from High Mountain.

A trail map can be viewed using the Web Map link above. It has not been recently updated and the Red Trail extension into Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve [identified as Haledon Reservoir on the map] is not displayed.

After descending the west slope of High Mountain, the Yellow Trail intersects and crosses the Red Trail and continues to Reservoir Drive circle. It re-enters the park about 75 yards west along Reservoir Drive circle. The Yellow Trail then goes up and over another ridge past a wetlands and then up again to another ridge line moving south until a westerly turn as it descends. There is a basalt outcropping/knob on the west-side of the trail yielding a beautiful view of Point View Reservoir and the distant hills to the West before descending to the valley and passing some commercial buildings. Eventually the Yellow Trail continues to Indian Trail Drive and Dakota Trail in Franklin Lakes.
Just before the Yellow's terminus at Indian Trail Drive is a side connection to the very short Orange Trail to Buttermilk Falls at the Scioto Drive gate.

http://www.nynjtc.org/park/high-mountain-park-preserve


High Mountain is a tough place to start out at, but at least you gave it a shot. Keep riding on the road to start getting fit and keep going back to High Mountain occasionally. If you want to try some easier mountain bike rides, look at six mile or lewis morris.
Well... it looks like I found myself a goal to try to reach... conquer High Mountain! :getsome:
Hopefully, I will be there in the spring and until that time, will keep riding to build up strength and endurance. There are some nasty hills in my neighborhood that I can "train" on.

There is a meetup group that rides there occasionally. They know the good trails and it should be beginner friendly.
I hope they are on on this forum and hope they would share :D
 
#7
Any clues where to find the unmarked stuff???.
i have pedaled here a few times and always enjoyed it (except for the miserable hike a bike up yellow by the North End of White) - but would love to find the unmarked singletrack
i have heard about it but have never found it.
 

JimN

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#8
If you have a garmin, you can download the gpx from my latest ride here:
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/629034345

Ignore the two random out and back exploring spots on the left side. The out and back on the bottom right is fun if you have extra legs/time after the main loops. For the smaller loop, you can go down white and up the singletrack, or down the singletrack and up white. Bring your climbing legs.

The leaves were blown a few days ago, so you might be mostly ok with just the gpx depending on how fast they are falling. A tour would be better regardless. I can be there by 4:30pm most weekdays if you have lights. I could most likely do the weekend too if not. Let me know if/when you want a tour.
 
#10
Thanks so much - i will try to get out there within the next week.

i hope i can pull that file into my GPS.

Jim N - thanks for the offer for a tour - i have been looking for some night rides - I will PM you within the next few weeks to see if we can meet one evening as long as my pace does not hold you back. I love anything technical - but have gotten a little slower on the hills.
 
#13
Just got back from HM. The combination of unmarked trails, leaf cover and me not having a file to go off of made for a tricky day. Rode for an hour... next time I go its gonna be with Willy and his crew for a proper tour
 
#14
I can show you every piece of trail, marked and unmarked,, all the singletrack goodness and explain exactly where you are at every intersection in the mountain. Its in my backyard and I ride there at least 3 times a week, nights Mon-Fri and daytime weekends.. Wed night is a usual group ride. Let me know who is interested for a meet up spot.. 6:30 PM
 

Paul H

Fearless OOS Poster
#17
Man... I would love to join but I know I am going to slow you guys down BIG TIME.
Let me get into better shape and I definitely hope to join you guys in the Spring.
 
#18
Just so anyone considering coming hear is aware.. I have taken a decent amount of riders here and many many never come back.. Its NOT BEGINNER friendly under any circumstances ( so I am told,, but ya gotta start somewhere ) In anycase,, 10 mile loop we have,, over 2000 feet of elevation.. Very rocky and techy terrain. ALL SINGLETRACK ( mostly hidden ) There are no drop offs or jumps,, nothing like that.. Its XC racing training material.. Lotta climbing and and rock gardens suitable to XC race bikes and the like. Trail bikes are great BUT remember,, 2000 feet elevation.
 

Paul H

Fearless OOS Poster
#19
^ Yep... this newbie can tell you that IT IS VERY ROCKY.
IDK but it seems to me that going slow is not the answer either. I tend to think if too slow, more chances of you loosing balance and falling off your bike. These are not pebbles we are talking about here. Lot of the embedded rocks were about half the size of my head if not bigger and they will make your bike shift right underneath you. But hey... what do I know... I am just a newb.