Agreed. Seeing alot of the trails up north are fast and flowy. Limited tech. We rode Kindom Trails last year. Aside from some berms, no other features at all to be found. We also didn’t get a chance though to explore a lot of the trails there.
There are places in NC, GA, TN, KY, VA, WC, MD that have rocks similar to NJ. But the difference is that in NJ you have Ringwood, Wildcat, Waway, Blue Mtn, Stokes, etc that are all within 1 hour of each other and mostly built specifically for mountain bike tech challenge without being overly hike-a-bikey. You could argue that they were hiking trails that morphed into fully ridable trails over time. And you have miles and miles and miles of it. You don’t get that anywhere else. You might have a few parks here and there that have its moments but pound for pound it’s not the same.
A lot of the new trail building techniques I find try to go around the rocks for some reason. So while some of these other states can totally have similar trails as NJ, and there’s more mtb trail building going on more than ever in history of the USA, they’re just not focused on building challenging rock garden’ish trails. And since they are so focused in cutting new trails, the challenging hiking trails that could become more mtb ridable don’t get any love.
The rocks out West can be challenging but it’s a different kind of challenge. Think big rocks, drops, step ups, steep as hell, exposure, sandy rocks, etc.
I’ve ridden in almost every state now. Only ones remaining are NE, IN, IL, KS, SD, IO and HI.
If you head up North, check out Daniels Rd in Saratoga Springs.