Blue Marsh Trail - Trail, Reading, Pennsylvania

Blue Marsh Trail - Trail, Reading, Pennsylvania

DESCRIPTION

The Blue Marsh Trail surrounds the Blue Marsh lake. It was voted one of the top 10 trails in the US some time back. It is not very technical but fun to ride nontheless.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 50  
[Oct 30, 2012]
jhuthpd
Cross Country Rider

Just started riding again. This trail is a mile from my house. It is a tight single track. Have been running about five or six miles in and then doubling back. Most of the trial drains preety well. There are sections where the water sits. You are able to ride around it on the raod if you know where you are at.

will update the trail stauts after SANDY passes.

Customer Service

Riding from the Church road south

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jul 05, 2011]
Klabick
Cross Country Rider

I just rode this trail for the fourth time in about as many years. It is still extremely fun and it is still pretty darn tough -- especially in 90 degree weather. This was the first time we parked NOT at the Stilling Basin. Instead we parked at mike marker 10 - at spring creek parking lot. This turned out to be a great move for exactly the reason mentioned in earlier reviews -- we were able to fill our camel baks at the visitor station ten miles before the end of the ride. It was clutch as we were all almost out of water and all feeling pretty worn down. The other benefit to this parking spot was we found our car very easily on the return (something you start to worry about after hours in the saddle). One mystery was that our gps and odometer both read 34+ miles -- and not the 29.1 the guide books and trail signs state. I highly recommend this ride. Give your plenty of time. And oh yeah -- there are at least 5 serious hills on this loop. 2 were deadly. That's my fair warning. Good luck.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 30, 2010]
SusanSabo
Cross Country Rider

I did lots of reading here before riding Blue Marsh yesterday. I'll let the stats speak first... go to http://connect.garmin.com/activity/46702240 for the elevation over the duration graph. On the 29.3 mile loop, there was 2,700 feet of climbing. On the 21 mile abbreviated loop, around 2050 feet of climbing. If that's hilly to you, it's hilly. [my experienced companions felt it was hilly - and so did my legs] The good news, since you end where you start you get every foot of climbing back!

Beginners, this is tough for you because there is no 'bail out' point. Once you get started you have to keep going unless you park a second car somewhere around the lake. That's a lot of fuss in my book.

I'm an intermediate rider - love flying downhill and can climb pretty well. I stepped over a few logs that are across the trail - they look newly fallen and probably will be removed because the trail is well maintained and overall, obstacle free. An impressive number of bridges are built over streams and soft areas.

The temps started at 68 and ended in the low 80s - that was hot. I think autumn would be better although the trail was dryer than ever according to the guys who have rode this a dozen times.

Water: I drank about 85 oz. in that time (3hrs 15 min. for the 21 mile loop with 3x10 minute stops) and was fine.

The tough spots on this route are loose rock climbs & descents.
Martin told me this is a field ride - no way! There is some, maybe 20% field riding. People here wrote it's flat - no way. Was it enjoyable... all the way!

There were probably 6 maps stations with 'you are here' arrows. That's great as are the mile markers right along the trail as you ride.

Final note: Todd rode with the Garmin - that's his heart rate you see there!

Customer Service

Advised by Scott, our host for the day who rode it both directions in one day last year, to go counter-clockwise because it's easier to follow. Worked well for us. While he scampered off on the long route, with 3 others, Neil & I found our way on the 'short' loop following the arrow signs without a glitch (but 4 eyes are better than 2 finding some of the arrow posts).

Similar Products Used:

French Creek (much more technical)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Aug 30, 2010]
Suzy Sabo
Cross Country Rider

I did lots of reading here before riding Blue Marsh yesterday. I'll let the stats speak first... go to http://connect.garmin.com/activity/46702240 for the elevation over the duration graph. On the 29.3 mile loop, there was 2,700 feet of climbing. On the 21 mile abbreviated loop, around 2050 feet of climbing. If that's hilly to you, it's hilly. [my experienced companions felt it was hilly - and so did my legs] The good news, since you end where you start you get every foot of climbing back!

Beginners, this is tough for you because there is no 'bail out' point. Once you get started you have to keep going unless you park a second car somewhere around the lake. That's a lot of fuss in my book.

I'm an intermediate rider - love flying downhill and can climb pretty well. I stepped over a few logs that are across the trail - they look newly fallen and probably will be removed because the trail is well maintained and overall, obstacle free. An impressive number of bridges are built over streams and soft areas.

The temps started at 68 and ended in the low 80s - that was hot. I think autumn would be better although the trail was dryer than ever according to the guys who have rode this a dozen times.

Water: I drank about 85 oz. in that time (3hrs 15 min. for the 21 mile loop with 3x10 minute stops) and was fine.

The tough spots on this route are loose rock climbs & descents.
Martin told me this is a field ride - no way! There is some, maybe 20% field riding. People here wrote it's flat - no way. Was it enjoyable... all the way!

There were probably 6 maps stations with 'you are here' arrows. That's great as are the mile markers right along the trail as you ride.

Final note: Todd rode with the Garmin - that's his heart rate you see there!



Customer Service

Advised by Scott, our host for the day who rode it both directions in one day last year, to go counter-clockwise because it's easier to follow. Worked well for us. While he scampered off on the long route, with 3 others, Neil & I found our way on the 'short' loop following the arrow signs without a glitch (but 4 eyes are better than 2 finding some of the arrow posts).

Similar Products Used:

French Creek (much more technical)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Nov 09, 2009]
justinbe
Cross Country Rider

Most of the time, hardpacked & fast - BUT, does not drain too well, so can stay muddy for awhile! Great XC riding!

To see some trail footage, check out -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNu1k76Q2yI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7KH2HsTQl4

Customer Service

Lots of good spots to start/stop.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 30, 2007]
dtchmn
Weekend Warrior

A lot of it has been discribed yet.
We ride the 22.6 mile loop, starting/ending at stilling basin.
Fun ride, steep -long-climbs around 8 miles and 20 miles and a lot smaller ones in between.

Customer Service

Stiling basin ->clockwise
Don't let the first few miles fool you..

Similar Products Used:

French creek and all the ones near Cornwall (Pumping station, Mt Gredna etc)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 04, 2007]
cdrush
Cross Country Rider

Dont let the red blazed trails confuse you. All they are for is horseback riders to bypass section that go over bridges or short steep areas that horses would have trouble with. These short bypasses come right back onto the regular hiking/biking trails. You should not get lost at Blue Marsh.

Someone mentioned water only at the Vistors Center...There is also water at the Dry Brooks Boat Launch Area next to the bathrooms. This is very close to the Visitors Center which is the earlier mentioned water source. The Visitors Center does close (I think hours are 8-8) while the Dry Brooks water fountain is outside just a few hundred yards off the trail. There may be water at the pay Swimming Beach...not sure.

Customer Service

Any

Similar Products Used:

French Creek

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 18, 2007]
mtmiller
Cross Country Rider

There are plenty of reviews on this trail which paint a good picture of what to expect. Having done it once, let me underscore some important points...

First, and most important in summer, if you're doing the whole 30 mile loop like I did, DO NOT start at the Stilling Basin or anywhere near the eastern end of the lake. Play it smart and start somewhere near the upper end of the lake or, preferably, somewhere near the middle of the western section of this trail. This way you can get water at the Visitor Center. If you start near Dry Brook, the VC, or the Stilling Basin, you will not have access to water for the entire loop - not good. I went thru almost 4L of water and could've used more.

Second, eat well before the 30 mile ride and plan a food break to refuel your body. Bring more food than you think. I'm not an Olympian but I'm in half decent shape for a 44yo old fart and I could've used more than the apple and granola bar. I will bring some brand of power bars or gels next time as well. I was bonking after my ride.

Third, unless you are a lucky guesser, you will get off trail. There are points in the trail where you come to junctions or maybe an old path and there is no clear indication which way to go. GPS, map, and decent sense of directions helps, but you're twisting and turning your way around a mostly-wooded lake and it can be difficult to guess which way to go. Some say the route is well marked, and it is in spots, but is noticeably lacking in others. When in doubt, follow the most-worn path. Still, count on an extra mile or so of backtracking. It's no big deal until you're at Mile 29 just aching for food, water, and an end to it all.

I would rate this trail a 5 except you have to take your time and watch for horses and hikers. This is normal, but with limited sight distances you need to be extra careful. Also, for you Poison Ivy haters out there, be aware that certain parts of the trail are loaded with the stuff.

Customer Service

Start at Lake Road or somewhere near Mile 10 - 15 on the western side of the lake. Go CW, refilling hydration packs at the Visitor Center (Mile 29ish). Don't forget to snicker at all the recreational boaters waiting in long lines to get in the park.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 16, 2007]
PETER BELVISO
Cross Country Rider

Looking very forward to riding Blue Marsh as soon as fitness level allows, always a great workout and a lot of fun to ride.Take a trip to ride utah in the fall every year and Blue Marsh is always part of the training regimen. It is a ride that covers all the bases, lots of milage,about 30 miles from the day use area, lots of vertical, almost 4000 feet of climbing, some technical, fast downhills, and an awesome payoff at the end of the ride, a jump in the lake, or a shower at the day use area.Usually takes between 4 to 5 hours with a group, got to go through once by myself in 2:53, was not fun at all, just a total push.No matter how many times you ride this place it is always just plain exhausting. At about mile 18, you come to a 3 level climb that will suck all the air out of your lungs.This place just plain kicks ass!!!

Customer Service

Park in day use area off Palisades dr., get on your bike, ride towards road, left into parking area after ranger booth, enter trail on right thru gate

Similar Products Used:

The Wissahicon valley

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Mar 11, 2007]
happy haro, Fleetwood, Pa
Cross Country Rider

My friend rode quite often about eight yrs. ago. He hasn't ridden since. I wanted to get into shape so he suggested we go riding. I bought my first real bike ( a hardtail) boy was i stupid. my first ride we went to the state hill boat ramp and rode about 2.5 miles. for the next three weeks we went further and further up to about 10 miles on the easy trails. about three weeks into riding my friend told me we were riding the whole lower loop (22 miles) i was excited. My body later told me i was not ready for endurance. i am still amazed how hard i pushed myself that day. after 10 miles i thought i would die. after 15 i ran out of 100 oz. of water. after 19 miles we took a wrong turn. after 27 miles we finally found the car via some road riding. since then we have been over just about every part of blue marsh there is. That day was the worst and still the best. I have gained a love for the sport and would not give it up for anything. this yr. i am building a dual suspension and can't wait to get back out there.
The trail has some flat areas but is known for the tiring ascents which reward you with some great downhills. bring plenty of water you will need it. overall it is a great ride.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 50  

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