First time as Round Valley

When I first pulled into to parking area I was greeted with a clean, groomed and pleasant grounds that puts a smile in your face to start with. No dingy dirty filthy slum of a parking zone here. (You hear me Joe?) I was blessed to have friendly guide with an unrivaled depth of knowledge about the place. (Sorry about holding you up Joe.)

We started with a warm up loop of phenominal single track thru some pines and along the lake. This single track was awesome and unlike any place else in NNJ. More proof that incredible things generally come in small portions.

Once starting the main ride some generally downhill rolling wide track kept the smiles huge. A super speed big ring delight... Back into a long and fantastic down hill single track switch back trail that flushed you out into an open grassed area below one of the dams and you're wondering why you haven't been here sooner. The climbing started and we went around the lake on an upper trail throught the mountains. Rolling climbs and descents on an old trail with lots of square softball inbedded in the earth. Significant climbs up things like one called "The Grinder" trail surface is choppy and not for the faint of heart or light of wheel. The far end of the lake offers us a trail called the wall trail as it is a basically a path along the side of a mtn with a rock wall on the downhill side, very different and again unique.

We skipped a section in the "back" of the park as it has a climb of death and beyond my legs at this part of the season. So we took a break at the last camp site #79 I think. A lakeside site looking out a probably the clearest water in NNJ. Heading back we had an option of riding the lower dirt road which can bring you back if you're not up to the task of the upper trail. We said nay and went up. In the reverse direction you would hardly know you were on the same trail. A whole new set of challenges and downhills. Going up the single track switchback was a crusher and sure to benefit me after a few days recovery.

Cooling down on the warmup loop was utterly mandatory, no matter how shot you think you feel skipping it is only a thought for the insane as it puts a massive smile on the face and erases the days pain. Next time I will probably double up on the warmup and cooldown loops. Oh.. 16.6 miles.
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entirely thrilled
it really is an awesome park. can't wait to get back and see about the trails that run over to the other side of the mountain to make a loop out of it.
Yesterday 4-14

I wanted to go to the Hartshorne or something different but my buddy wanted RV so under the concept of something different I couldn't say no. And off I went.
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