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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I'm JUST getting a mountainbike, and am really pumped about getting started on the trails. I have one person to ride with, but neither of us are familiar with the trails around here (he primarily rode down by Philadelphia), and currently we're in North Jersey. I was looking at threads about the Ringwood trails, but for a beginner I keep seeing that it's really easy to get lost. I'm wondering if anyone can recommend some beginner trails that are easy to navigate in this area...
 

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You're right, it's really easy to get lost there. Ringwood, Wawayanda and Allamuchy are are fairly vast and intersections start looking the same. I still get turned around the wrong way at RW and WSP, , and I've been riding there for years. and I still feel lost at the Mooch.

If you want to DIY, then I would start with some of the smaller parks that are easier to figure out. For example the Tourne is close to you and its a lot of fun, suitable for a beginner and not hard to find trails, and return to the car in a reasonable time! ;) Lewis Morris is another one that is really great for an adventurous beginner. Deer Park (south Allumuchy) and Kittatinny are others if you feel like traveling a little farther.

You can ride the cannonball trail at Ramapo and that is basically an out an back (you can even ride across 287 footbridge) so its not too hard to find your way back to the car.

If you want to link up with groups, the you might want to ring up a local bike shop that has regular group rides. For example I do know that Marty's does haveweekly rides for beginners. I am sure there are other shops. That's where I would start anyway.

Maybe some others know of shop rides going on in No NJ? I don't know of any offhand, but there must be others.
 

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mbgirl said:
I'm wondering if anyone can recommend some beginner trails that are easy to navigate in this area...
It's a little tougher in Bergen County, but if you're up for driving a half hour, there's plenty of great trails that are easier to navigate.

1. As said, Tourne is great. It has a nice loop around a lake that you don't need to follow any trailer markers for. Just enter the park, stay straight, up the rocky trail, and around the lake. Then go and try to make it up the big hill. Lots of fun and nearly impossible to get lost. Right at the intersection of 80 and 287.

2. Tallman State Park in Piermont NY has a long fireroad that branches off into lots of fun trails. Many are for hiking only, but respect the hikers and give them their space and you'll never have a problem. Most are intrigued by the bike. Head up Rt 9 or the palisades Parkway and it's right at the NJ/NY border.

3. For practice of if you have to be back home with the hour, hit the PSE&G right-of-way trail that goes from Waldwick to Glen Rock. It's not exactly "mountian-"biking, but it's good practice and a fun path through suburbia.

Check out this site for more trails and directions:
http://www.mtbnj.com/directory.php

Have fun and drop me a PM if you want to head out on a weekend (when it's not raining).

Justin
 

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There's a few beginners clinics tomorrow. One in Allaire State Park and one at the Croton Aqueduct.

There's a thread about the Allaire one in this forum.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=197417

I've been learning/getting back into shape at some of the local Rail Trails.

I hit the one from Cedar Grove to Verona a few times. Lately, I've been going to the one in Randolph.

I also took a trip over to Patriots Path. Patriots Path is a great place to learn because it's not too technical, but still a challenge because of the hills. Well... a challenge for me. LOL!

Anyways... have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It looks like I'm probably gonna be checking out Tourne first... that backroad trail to Glen Rock soudned pretty awesome too... a great way to get used to my new bike :D.. I'm really happy there seems to be so many bikers around here.. I'm really into hiking and I never really saw that many mbers', probably cause I mostly hiked Harrmian, Ramapo Reservation, only Wawayanda a time or two (didn't see bikers though..).. but I was thinkin there might not be that many around here... PLEASANTLY surprised to find there are. Those group rides sound like lots of fun too.. I'm gonna have to check those out.
 

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Chimney rock is pretty small.You might get confused here or there but small enough that you will never get to seriously lost.There are enough people on the trail to steer you in the right direction as well.Its a fun place to ride.
 

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I just started in April

Since I started in April, I've gone to Mercer, Lewis Morris, Chimney Rock, Garrett Mtn, and Mahlon Dickerson. There all so different and have lots to offer in the way of learning. I am totally into the sport. I can't believe I never started sooner.

Best of luck and maybe we'll run into eachother on the trails...:cornut:
 

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NJ-XC-Justin said:
It's a little tougher in Bergen County, but if you're up for driving a half hour, there's plenty of great trails that are easier to navigate.

3. For practice of if you have to be back home with the hour, hit the PSE&G right-of-way trail that goes from Waldwick to Glen Rock. It's not exactly "mountian-"biking, but it's good practice and a fun path through suburbia.

Justin
dont make fun of my right-of-way! As of lately thats the only action my Marin's been seeing. The Cannondale is seeing alot more! LOL.
The Right-of-Way can be linked up to alot of other hidden gems of trails in the Ridgewood/Glen Rock/Hawtorne/Midland Park area.
We got to get out soon, i know i keep saying it.
 

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I don't know, i'm a little confused. I haven't been riding too long but i found Allaire and Clayton to be the easiest, as did my GF who has even less experience. Then I'd say Kittatiny as a third. Mahlon Dickerson is a mix of hard rocky trails and easier rooty trails. I followed many suggestions and went to Tourne for an easier ride after work so i could learn clipless. I thought Tourne was hard as hell. Maybe i started in the wrong spot (the forbidden lot was all i could find) because that monster rocky climb was right at the beginning of my run and wiped me out. Tourne may be shorter but seemed tougher to me than Allaire, Hartshorne, Mahlon Dickerson, Clayton, and Kittatiny. I've avoided Ringwood, Allamuchy, CR, and Waywayanda for now as i've heard they are more difficult. It is pretty difficult getting a feel for what is easy/hard based on suggestions here.
 

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lawndart said:
dont make fun of my right-of-way! As of lately thats the only action my Marin's been seeing. The Cannondale is seeing alot more! LOL.
The Right-of-Way can be linked up to alot of other hidden gems of trails in the Ridgewood/Glen Rock/Hawtorne/Midland Park area.
We got to get out soon, i know i keep saying it.
It's a crime to be riding that beautiful bike only on that "trail." And to hell with the roads as well -- let's hit Mahlon Sunday morning!
 

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I lead some rides for new riders with the Hoboken Ski Club. We just did Stewart this past weekend. We had one first time rider and some people that only ride occationally. Our next ride is Chimney Rock in August.


Aug 12th: Chimney Rock Preservation
Time: 11:00 am
Level: Intermediate with some beginner. These trails are a little rocky but very fun. Some short climbs and descents with a few obstacles to jump over.
Meeting Place: Parking area off of Neuman’s Lane
Directions: Take exit 33 off of I-78 and go south on Rt. 525. Approx 2 miles make a right on Washington Valley Road at the traffic light. Go ¼ mile and make a left on to Neuman’s Lane. The parking area is on the left after a small bridge.

It's an easy pace for about 2 hours and nobody gets dropped. I'll post more rides in Sept.
 

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idbrian said:
What/where is Stewart?
Stewart State Forest is up near Newberg NY and is a large area with some nice single track. Short steep climbs and a ton of single track. The only issue is that the trails are not marked and one can find themselves going in circles for hours. There is a main fire road loop but even this can be confusing. Best to ride with someone who has the lay of the land.

Directions: From I-87 (NY State Thruway)
Take Exit 17 and follow signs to 17K. Once on 17K make a left onto Route 300 South and proceed onto Route 300 South for approximately three miles; Turn right onto Route 207 West. Travel for about 4.7 miles on Route 207 (After you pass the airport, the parking lot is about 3.7 more miles on the right hand side). The sign is not real big and set back from the road. It's right past Scullys Pub.

From North Jersey it's about an hour.
 

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idbrian said:
I don't know, i'm a little confused. I haven't been riding too long but i found Allaire and Clayton to be the easiest, as did my GF who has even less experience. Then I'd say Kittatiny as a third. Mahlon Dickerson is a mix of hard rocky trails and easier rooty trails. I followed many suggestions and went to Tourne for an easier ride after work so i could learn clipless. I thought Tourne was hard as hell. Maybe i started in the wrong spot (the forbidden lot was all i could find) because that monster rocky climb was right at the beginning of my run and wiped me out. Tourne may be shorter but seemed tougher to me than Allaire, Hartshorne, Mahlon Dickerson, Clayton, and Kittatiny. I've avoided Ringwood, Allamuchy, CR, and Waywayanda for now as i've heard they are more difficult. It is pretty difficult getting a feel for what is easy/hard based on suggestions here.
Understandable. Take Round Valley for instance. It's not real technical. But when you add in the climbs it makes the ride a lot more difficult than if you looked at it specifically as technical or non-technical. If you flattened out that ride, it would be a slightly rocky version of Patriot's Path. But the climbs make it brutal if you're not expecting it or if you're not in shape.

Chimney Rock is much more technical in terms of logs and rocks, and it does have some climbs. But in all the climbs are generally shorter even if they do hurt. Personally I would call it advanced-intermediate, not intermediate-beginner. We all look at things our own way. Or we all know a certain subset of trails.

Really you just have to get out and ride. If it hurts, it should hurt less the next time you go. Just as long as you're having fun.
 

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I'n not a huge fan of consistant rock gardens on my hardtail, maybe i'll like them more when i upgrade to a full suspension. i prefer the logs and roots.
 

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I used to think the same thing, but then I rode with a friend who just plowed through them as aggressively as he could. I took the same approach and they got a little easier. You still pick a line and need to navigate carefully and they still hurt sometimes. But a lot of it is mental.

I bought a FS bike this year, and I find the philosophy the same. The more aggressive I hit the rock gardens, the better off I do with them. But there really aren't any endless rock gardens in NJ so far as I can remember.
 
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