How about a virtual tour?

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
I did a reconnaissance ride at Wharton SF on Saturday. Since this place is a bit far for many NJ riders, I brought the helmet-cam so others could get a peak at what the park has to offer.

Here is a video I put together:
http://www.vimeo.com/2463075

Enjoy!
 

sj_john

Member
Lack of Bridge

Ben,
Nice video.
We are getting the funds together to build the bridge. Glad you like the ride.

John
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
Ben,
Nice video.
We are getting the funds together to build the bridge. Glad you like the ride.

John

Good to hear. I was surprised to see that water crossing. It was the only water I saw all day. Thankfully, I found a way to cross without getting wet. I was way to far around the loop to turn around.

Thanks for scoutin it out B. Would it be more fun if frozen?

I doubt anything would change if it were frozen. There was absolutely no mud. The only time I saw sand is when I crossed dirt roads. The very top surface of the trail was soft because it was covered in needles and leaves.
 

sj_john

Member
No need to turn around on Penn Branch trail

Hitting the creek has been a problem and the RR tie was found and dropped by some riders. There is a road bridge nearby on Goodwater Rd. You have to backtrack to the jeep road before the creek, turn left and contiue down to Goodwater, traveling in the counter clockwise start direction as you did, turn left cross the bridge turn left onto another jeep road and look for the Orange disks on your right. Running clockwise reverse directions.
There is about 4.5 miles left of trail from the creek and it is maybe 4-5 feet deep.
Riding the trail counter-clockwise, remember that everything is on your left shoulder. I mean keep turning left to get back. Clockwise it is on the right.
The softness or spongyness of the trail is related to parts of it just getting cleared and not enough riders on it. The Fire Tower trail was the same in sections last year before riders starting putting some miles on it.

Nice job on clearing the logs.

John
 

743power

Shop: Bicycle Pro
Shop Keep
ben - what was your opinion of these trails? Could you compare them to anything else in the central nj area?
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
Ben - what was your opinion of these trails? Could you compare them to anything else in the central NJ area?

It is very similar to Allaire. The place is almost totally flat. The vegetation is pine trees and low-growing shrubbery. The orange trail is nearly entirely single-track. It was marked just enough that you could follow it. Basically, you just followed the trail. When it came to a dirt road or other type of intersection, there were markers to guide you across. In a few cases I had to look around but managed to find the trail marker within a moment.

The surface of the trail is dead leaves and pine needles. There is nothing technical other than a few downed trees that you could ride around in some cases. I did not see one rock (literally). The trail is beginner, hard-tail, and single-speed friendly. For more advanced riders, just go faster.

By the end, I was really looking for some variation. It was just endless turning and twisting through the trees. Some areas were more densely wooded than others which made the trail more challenging if riding fast. There was one area, about 3/4 through the loop, where I found myself going up a gentle switch-back rise. It was about 1.5-2 minutes of climbing and maybe 50' in elev. change. In other words, the park is crazy flat.

While it is easy enough for beginners, it may be too big of a loop. Beginner riders may not be up for the entire 17-18 miles. Once you are out there, your choices are to keep going ahead or turn around and go back.
 

frickster

New Member
Agreed that even with it being truly as flat as everyone describes, 18miles is a long haul on single track. I would absolutely leave lots of time to ride this trail all the way through since my underestimation of my time to complete was my downfall. :cry:

Btw, I think I finally stopped just before I would have hit the creek (right at the jeep trail crossover) when it got too dark -- never saw it. Good thing because I probably would have rode right into it and drowned in the dark!;)

If you are looking for that 'out in the middle of nowhere' feeling, this is the ride for you.
 

Wobbegong

Well-Known Member
How do these trails fair after rain... I know its sandy down there, is it like Allaire when it comes to draining water?
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
How do these trails fair after rain... I know its sandy down there, is it like Allaire when it comes to draining water?

Strangely, this place is not sandy at all. At least you can't see the sand. The surface of the trail is covered with inches of dead-fall. It's natures erosion control device. :rolleyes: The only time I saw sand is when I crossed a dirt road. I guess you could call it a packed sand road.

While riding through Wharton, I often got the impression that I was riding at Allaire when it's trails were first created. The older trails in Allaire are so eroded that they resemble bob-sled runs. IMO, this is due to users constantly loosening the sandy soil and then rain washing it downhill.

I think Wharton will fair better due to reduced users, little elevation change, and no horses. Yes, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw no horse signs on the orange trail.
 

ChrisG

Unapologetic Lifer for Rock and Roll
Interesting. I'd imagine it would be a pretty fun place for a winter ride if we got a good gang together. It would be cool to get down there fairly soon and check it out.
 

Wobbegong

Well-Known Member
Interesting. I'd imagine it would be a pretty fun place for a winter ride if we got a good gang together. It would be cool to get down there fairly soon and check it out.

Thinking the same thing.

Would be great for a cold frozen ride with a group.
 

frickster

New Member
I did a reconnaissance ride at Wharton SF on Saturday. Since this place is a bit far for many NJ riders, I brought the helmet-cam so others could get a peak at what the park has to offer.

Here is a video I put together:
http://www.vimeo.com/2463075

Enjoy!

Finally got to watch the video -- great job Ben. I think what you can see on the video is absolutely a fair depiction of all 18miles of the ride (also same for green trail ~6-7mile ride). It's just great for zoning out at a good pace. That creek looks much smaller than I imagined it -- thought it was going to be a huge body of water.

Was that the Hero Camera you were using? Did it capture the entire ride or did you just turn it on at selected points? How'd you do the side shot clearing the log and did you use the software that came with the camera for editing or something else?
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
Was that the Hero Camera you were using? Did it capture the entire ride or did you just turn it on at selected points? How'd you do the side shot clearing the log and did you use the software that came with the camera for editing or something else?

It is a VholdR helmet cam. It does not have the memory or battery to capture the entire ride. I recorded sections that I thought provided examples of what the park had to offer. I also had a small digi-cam that recorded that side shot on the log. I rode the log once and then set up the digi-cam and did it again. ;)

I did the editing with Windows Movie Maker.
 

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