Route Suggestions

goldsbar

Well-Known Member
I know there's some good stuff here and a lot of you love this place but it just never ranks at the top for me. Here's an example:

Part 1 - Started from the Saffin Pond lot on the yellow trail to the left. First minute was great technical riding. Then turned into a gravel trail snoozefest. Passed the teal Highlands trail (so tempting but not legal AFAIK). Turned onto a great singletrack white trail shortly thereafter - probably went the "wrong way" as I was climbing up most of the semi-drops but the trail was still great even with all the wet leaves. Turned right onto yellow by a trail sign. Found black in yellow which was good fun. Then more snoozefest yellow back to the other side of Saffin Pond.

Part 2 - Gravel rail bed on other side of road to first right after the very short singletrack diversion parallel to the rail bed. Some ok ups and downs but lots of boring gravel crap. Saw the highest pt of Morris County. Finally, at the top of some hill with a sign for some trailer area I noticed some singletrack. This turned out to be the Cascade trail. Best of the ride - great descent.

Sorry for going on so long, but my point is that despite riding some truly great singletrack, my main memory for some reason is of climbing boring gravel roads and wishing I'd spent my time at Allumuchy North. Is there a good way of putting this stuff together?
 

Fogerson

Former Resident Nerd
Sure ya' can...

Though, putting every "gotta do" trail together in a loop will result in some snoring, but I've found that they're a good break.

Probably the best way is to ride "The Outer Loop". There are some variations on it, the jist of it is captured here.

http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/2811654

Basically you start off with a snoozer, uh, I mean warm up heading south on the rail bed from Saffin (yellow). Keep following yellow past Rock-rill, around the south end of the pond Weldon Brook runs into, over the asphalt bridge, back onto yellow. At this point the trail is double track, no gravel, some rocks, but not a lot. It will then get very rocky; this is the base of the Devil's Staircase (also yellow).

1/8 mile or so up the staircase you'll get to the base of Stones Gate (aka Yellow w/Black Diamond). Riding up Stones Gate this directions is a bruiser on a SS, but my gearie friends seem to enjoy watching me hurt. Anyway, you know this trail.

When you get to the end of Stones Gate, hang a right staying on yellow. Brief snooze here until you get to Beaver Brook (aka white). You will soon find yourself in technical heaven. I don't ride this much, so it is hard for me to tell you accurately how to get back to yellow (I just stay on yellow from Stones Gate)--I think if you stay to the right at the forks you'll get there. Maybe Brett or Brad can chime in here.

Anyway, after bouncing off rocks for awhile (hopefully) you'll find yourself back on yellow...still in pretty rocky terrain. At this point you are close to the base of the wall. Take a deep breath and enjoy the trail work on the wall reroute as you climb it.

When you get to the top of the reroute, there will be three trails: the middle one is the yellow, the left one is ???, and the right one takes you up to Headly overlook. Take the middle one. It'll be rocky double track for a little ways.

You'll get to an intersection where left it is the gawd awful gravel, go right. Some rocks, some gravel, but after the wall climb a cruise might be nice.

Eventually you'll get to Weldon road. Cross it and continue on the single track. You'll pop out in the picnic area.

Leave the picnic area up the sidewalk and stay left onto Pine Swamp trail. Rocky double track, pretty mild but not rail bed either. Keep to the right at intersections, but keep an eye out for a chunk of grassy double track heading left. You'll see some single track just off this intersection; this is the top of Cascade.

Run Cascade. When you get to the bottom, take a right. You'll see a creek and a bridge...take a left BEFORE you get to the creek bridge onto green. Again, this will go double to single to rocky-ville.

Once you get into this area there are a lot of little trails (check the Mahlon map, you'll see). Tough to explain, but ya' wanna' eventually make your way to the northern part of the park to the pine swamp/white trail again.

Head west on pine swamp/white. Fast, rocky double track, w/rollers. At a point you'll make a climb, past a ledge/rock in the middle of the trail. About 1/2 way up the climb there is a trail that goes right. If you continue the climb you'll go up to highpoint. Take the right, instead. I think there is a little yellow circle marker w/a picture of a mountain bike on it...I think.

More rocky double track/rollers. You'll then cross the rail bed. At this point if you've had enough take a leisurely ride down the rail bed back to Saffin. If not, keep going as in the link above and enter the WMA.

I hope you have a gps to download the route above. I'm not sure I could tell you all of the turns to get you through the WMA from memory--so you're on your own...but I'll try. You'll start out with some mild/rocky rollers. You'll come to a small clearing near the power lines with a trail left, right, and double track straight. Go straight. It'll be pretty flat for a ways, then the double track will turn right (left takes you back the power lines).

There is one turn, I can't remember if it is before or after the clearing mentioned above. There will be a big berm going left. Go up over the berm and continue straight.

I think once you clear the berm and have passed the flat stuff after the clearing mentioned above, I *think* every turn from that point is to the left. All double track, but enough rocky climbs and other obstacles to keep you interested.

If you're not lost at this point, you'll get to a loose climb by the power lines again and will see a radio transmitter station when you get to the top of the climb. Take a left down the dirt road. After not-too-far, you'll see a trail head. Take that and keep to the right spur.

Rocky/single track fun ensues again. You'll even find a few short "damn, I dunno' if I wanna' ride down that" sections. Follow the single track until you get to the end at some double track.

At this point you can go right, looking for a little piece of single track to the left that will take you back to Saffin completing the "outer loop", OR you can take a left which will dump you on to the rail bed (like in the link above).

Take a nap up the rail bed until you see single/double track to your left. Plenty of rocks, climbs, etc. to keep you interested. Eventually, you'll see a trail to your right. About 10-20 feet after taking the right, there will be a 1-2 ft drop off a log--that is how you know you're on the right, uh, right. Watch for single track to the right (might be tough to see with the leaves). Follow that. This is the 3 stone section. You'll get to a single track "T", stay right. You'll then come to a "Y". Keep right. Follow the single track...there will be some nice tight stuff; slow speed handling skill stuff. Eventually you'll pop out in a meadow.

Follow the single track around the chain link fence. You'll see an exit on to Weldon road. Cross Weldon and you'll see a trail head to the right.

Rocky double track until you get back to yellow. Follow yellow back to Saffin; I think you mostly miss the gravel on yellow this way.

Whew!

It is actually a pretty easy loop to follow...after you've done it once...

I'm thinking that I might have to organize a "outer loop" ride or something before the snow flies...
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
You know, I'd like to get one of Sean's 3-4 hour tracks. Can you manage to dig that up from the archive?
 

walter

Fourth Party
I read that whole thing off my Blackberry, I think my eyeballs are about to bleed.:drooling:

Awesome description Tim!
 

idbrian

Crotch Rot
That is the route i usually take with some exceptions. I like to take the Headley Overlook Trail at the top of the wall re-route (a decent section of somewhat techy trail), then head across the road to Cascade.

It is funny you run it that way because most people i thought hit that whole loop in the opposite direction (clockwise). I guess it all depends on whether you prefer to hit the newer singletrack switchbacks going uphill or downhill. With the clockwise you get to go down them, and the way you described you climb both.

I'm pretty impartial because downhills are always fun, but i am also a big fan of my climbs to be entertaining with some tough terrain.

That section of white (beaver brook) is one of my favorite sections of trail in NJ.

There is awesome riding in MD, just understand that you will be taking a few miles rail trail at the beginning and end of you ride.

That loop you decribe adds quite a few more miles onto what i usually do. I usually head back up the rail to Saffin where you kept going into WMA, and back into MD. That's a good idea.
 
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Fogerson

Former Resident Nerd
You know, I'd like to get one of Sean's 3-4 hour tracks. Can you manage to dig that up from the archive?

Of just MD? I don't recall Sean posting a MD ride that long. Hell, the ride of his I posted in this thread could take us mortals the better part of 2 1/2 hours to ride (non-stop).
 

Fogerson

Former Resident Nerd
It is funny you run it that way because most people i thought hit that whole loop in the opposite direction (clockwise). I guess it all depends on whether you prefer to hit the newer singletrack switchbacks going uphill or downhill. With the clockwise you get to go down them, and the way you described you climb both.

*Usually* when I hit the WMA, Cascade, The Wall, and Stones Gate I run stuff north of Weldon CCW from the picnic area, once at Saffin I go up yellow and cut across back to the north side of Weldon (reverse of the approach into Saffin on the yellow that in the link) to avoid the gravel climbs behind the tent camping area, make my way back to the picnic area, then go south of Weldon and run the wall and Stones Gate CW. It is like a figure 8.

You could do something similar with the route posted by starting at the picnic area, run the route CCW, and when you make it back to the three stone area (after the wma), head back to the picnic area instead, get to the south side of Weldon, down the wall, yellow to Stones Gate CW, around to Saffin, up the yellow and ride the "avoid the gravel" route in the previous paragraph back to the picnic area. I think this is the most "SS friendly" way to hit all these trails in one outing. BTW, Beaver Brook from the wall to Stones Gate is a real bitch in that direction...so that is why I stick to yellow.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Looks like the route I posted earlier in the thread, except it looks like he rode the re-route at the wall instead.

Yeah, it does look the same. I'm looking for one of his 4 hour epic rides. Well say 3 hours for him, longer for me. I've done that loop as posted and it's a standard 2 hour jobbie.

Maybe I can go out today and explore :rolleyes:
 

idbrian

Crotch Rot
The one part of Beaver Brook that gets me is that deep rock garden that has the diagonal log right before it, or after depending on direction.
 

idbrian

Crotch Rot
I just highlighted a MD map, the best i could, with the route Fogerson described onto a PDF. If the mods are interested and want to tell me how i could upload it.
 

idbrian

Crotch Rot
Ok, it requires a few notes and i could change it too. There are few parts i'm not to sure of on the map. Let me know.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
We appear to have some arbitrary attachment limit so I can't upload it. Let me get back to ya'll with this. I like the map.
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
in size or number of attachments? i can't imagine a PDF that's big enough to flip the "too big" switch.
 
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