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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just moved to Sparta recently and for the most part have always ridden ringwood, allamuchy and skyline. I'm looking for some suggestions on closer places to ride like mahlon dickerson, sparta mtn, etc. I've ridden mahlon once about 5 years ago and don't remember it very well. Could anybody recommend a good starting place and some decent trails/loops. I know there has to be something good to ride up here. I hope some other locals can point me in the right direction. I'm looking for some good, fun singletrack like ringwood or allamuchy. It would be nice to have a closer option on weekdays that I don't have the time and want to go out for a quickie ride.
Thanks.

tK
 

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Here is a suggestion for M/D

Take Rt. 15 to Waldon Road and follow the road until you come to the Saffin Pond parking lot. Make sure it is Saffin Pond, not the lot before that that also has Saffin in the name. If you do not see the lot from the road, it is not the correct one.

Ride across Waldon Road and take the rail trail. You will pass two ponds on the right as you go along. After the second pond there is a trail to the right. Pass it and take the second trail to the right and follow the climb. When the trail connects to another one, take it to the right and continue to climb until you pass a small sign that says "Highest Point in Morris County." If you miss it, no big deal.

When the trail turns downhill, look for a trail to the right. It comes up fairly fast. Follow that and stay on it. At one point you will have an option to go left but don't take it (not that it is bad, only not in the loop I'm describing). Stay on this trail and you will eventually come out to the rail trail again. Make a left and head back to the parking lot.

This loop should take about an hour and is a pretty good introduction to Mahlon Dickerson.

There are lots of other trails and you can easily spend a weekend exploring everything with even more riding outside the park boundries. I never find the park maps very useful but have ridden there so often that I've pretty much discovered everything that there is to ride.

Enjoy.
REV
 

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it's just baby phat..
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tommy! welcome to the neighborhood. i can show you around. i actually rode there on monday while i tried out a single speed bike and conditions were pretty good. i think you'll like this place. send me a pm and we can hook up.

phattie
 

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Be careful Tommy, I'm still in pain from that ride on Monday!!!! ;) :D


Awww, I'm only kidding!! Phat is a GREAT teacher and knows Mahlon like nobody's business! I've ridden there for a few years - don't know where any of the trails go, I'm usually in too much oxygen debt to be coherent. But suffice it to say, there's lots of good terrain in there. And even after all the rain, it's not too muddy - just a few sections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks!!!

phatbiker said:
tommy! welcome to the neighborhood. i can show you around. i actually rode there on monday while i tried out a single speed bike and conditions were pretty good. i think you'll like this place. send me a pm and we can hook up.

phattie
Thanks Rev, Phat, DTMM.

SS??? I've toyed with the idea of converting my klein over, but still out of shape and too early in the season. Still trying to completely bounce back from the knee surgery and a long winter off the bike. Oh yeah and I've gained a few lbs too.
 

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Sparta HERE TOO!

Welcome!

Depending on where in Sparta you are you may be able to ride to Mahlon or Kittatiny. There are some great trails to Mahlon from the Rt 15 park and ride. Kittatiny is close and great for the quick afternoon rip. Allamuchy is close and less inhabited. Very good place to ride but very easy to get lost. Mahlon can be tricky too. Kittatiny is very easy to get around and you can't really get lost.

Where in Sparta are you? I like over by Pope John/Sussex Mills Road area.

Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Krunk said:
Welcome!

Depending on where in Sparta you are you may be able to ride to Mahlon or Kittatiny. There are some great trails to Mahlon from the Rt 15 park and ride. Kittatiny is close and great for the quick afternoon rip. Allamuchy is close and less inhabited. Very good place to ride but very easy to get lost. Mahlon can be tricky too. Kittatiny is very easy to get around and you can't really get lost.

Where in Sparta are you? I like over by Pope John/Sussex Mills Road area.

Enjoy!
Thanks. I'm not far off of route 15. Opposite side of lake mohawk from where you are. Actually right near the center of town and the 7/11. I could probably ride the back roads to mahlon on E. Mtn Rd., glen Rd to milton.

I'm usually on a klein hardtail or santa cruz sl.

See ya around
 

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Tommy, Rumor is that your also spending alot of time in High Mountain. Thought I saw you in there with your wifes pink and purple bike chasing a "roadie" who was wearing a spandex bib. Not a pretty sight. Thanks for the help today.
 

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broncoboy said:
Tommy, Rumor is that your also spending alot of time in High Mountain. Thought I saw you in there with your wifes pink and purple bike chasing a "roadie" who was wearing a spandex bib. Not a pretty sight. Thanks for the help today.
Didn't that "Roadie" blow by both of you like you were standing still? Good thing that "Roadie" has a parts department in his basement or you would have been standing still, literally. ;) And I don't own spandex tuff guy!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
broncoboy said:
Tommy, Rumor is that your also spending alot of time in High Mountain. Thought I saw you in there with your wifes pink and purple bike chasing a "roadie" who was wearing a spandex bib. Not a pretty sight. Thanks for the help today.
BBOY&RM27 Anytime I can help out.
And for the record, the wife's bike is black. The pink and purple bike belongs to me.
 

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Tommy, way to come clean!

Even if you should be more embarassed about a pink and purple ride than RM22's spandex!

Sounds like you've got a few fellow riders up there. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the loop Rev

Rev Bubba said:
Take Rt. 15 to Waldon Road and follow the road until you come to the Saffin Pond parking lot. Make sure it is Saffin Pond, not the lot before that that also has Saffin in the name. If you do not see the lot from the road, it is not the correct one.

Ride across Waldon Road and take the rail trail. You will pass two ponds on the right as you go along. After the second pond there is a trail to the right. Pass it and take the second trail to the right and follow the climb. When the trail connects to another one, take it to the right and continue to climb until you pass a small sign that says "Highest Point in Morris County." If you miss it, no big deal.

When the trail turns downhill, look for a trail to the right. It comes up fairly fast. Follow that and stay on it. At one point you will have an option to go left but don't take it (not that it is bad, only not in the loop I'm describing). Stay on this trail and you will eventually come out to the rail trail again. Make a left and head back to the parking lot.

This loop should take about an hour and is a pretty good introduction to Mahlon Dickerson.

There are lots of other trails and you can easily spend a weekend exploring everything with even more riding outside the park boundries. I never find the park maps very useful but have ridden there so often that I've pretty much discovered everything that there is to ride.

Enjoy.
REV
Well I checked out MD today by myself after work. Nice park! Some really fun trails with some nice little rock gardens. I tried following your loop and I think I messed it up, but no big deal. I still got to the highest point sign twice and back. I explored some other trails on the other side also. My only complaint about the park is that stupid blue stone that's covering all the fireroads. I almost washed out at high speed on a turn. Other than that the place is all I can ask for just a short drive from my house. Now if I could only figure a way to get there on trails instead of driving. Anybody have suggestions on how I could get into MD from the back of lake saginaw in sparta?

tK
 

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TommyKlein said:
Well I checked out MD today by myself after work. Nice park! Some really fun trails with some nice little rock gardens. I tried following your loop and I think I messed it up, but no big deal. I still got to the highest point sign twice and back. I explored some other trails on the other side also. My only complaint about the park is that stupid blue stone that's covering all the fireroads. I almost washed out at high speed on a turn. Other than that the place is all I can ask for just a short drive from my house. Now if I could only figure a way to get there on trails instead of driving. Anybody have suggestions on how I could get into MD from the back of lake saginaw in sparta?

tK
That rock they have over the fire roads ruins MD. It was nice before they had some serious erosion during a freak rain storm a few years ago. I lived in Sparta 2 blocks behind the 7/11 up until 2 years ago and now I'm at the base of Skyline. Kittitiny is a fast place with some roller coaster type hills (quick ups and downs) on nice hard pack. I try to ride there a few evenings during the week. Here's how I would rank the 3 spots by you:

1. Kittitiny
2. MD - would be #1 if it weren't for the rock
3. Allamuchy - lots of mosquitoes

I'm always up for a ride around 6pm at either MD or Kittitiny, PM me if you like.

P.S. Did I meet you the one time at 7-11? I had a red ford probe at the time and a red Intense Tracer on a roof rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
milhouse said:
That rock they have over the fire roads ruins MD. It was nice before they had some serious erosion during a freak rain storm a few years ago. I lived in Sparta 2 blocks behind the 7/11 up until 2 years ago and now I'm at the base of Skyline. Kittitiny is a fast place with some roller coaster type hills (quick ups and downs) on nice hard pack. I try to ride there a few evenings during the week. Here's how I would rank the 3 spots by you:

1. Kittitiny
2. MD - would be #1 if it weren't for the rock
3. Allamuchy - lots of mosquitoes

I'm always up for a ride around 6pm at either MD or Kittitiny, PM me if you like.

P.S. Did I meet you the one time at 7-11? I had a red ford probe at the time and a red Intense Tracer on a roof rack.
No not me. I just moved to sparta recently. I also live right down the road from 7/11.

I usually ride skyline and ringwood so most of the riding in this area is new to me.
 

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TommyKlein said:
No not me. I just moved to sparta recently. I also live right down the road from 7/11.

I usually ride skyline and ringwood so most of the riding in this area is new to me.
I miss NJ, ... somewhat. (I grew up in Branchville.)

Mahlon is a nice place to ride, and Kittatinny was a pleasant surprise, too.

I used to ride in Stokes State Forest, up rt 206, just past Culver Lake. There are quite a few trails, but it's rocky enought to scare away most riders. Expect a lot of grass and bears and ticks. There is riding on both sides of 206, a bunch of old, old doubletrack that you'll like if you enjoy exploring the old settlements. Lots of interesting engineering work left over by the early farmers.

There are railtrails that run from branchville through andover( kittatinny SP) all the way to waterloo and allamuchy (?) with side trails worth exploring. And another that splits in Lafayette and runs through Blairstown all the way to the Delaware. In Hainsburg (I think) you could jump on th old Lackawanna cut-off and ride across into Pa, too, although that would technically be trespassing. Anyway, the railtrails around there are a great resource and shouldn't be dismissed. Many of them lead to good riding.

You may also want to explore the old Edison Mine complex. If you drive out 517 to Ogdensburg and take Edison ave on your right, you'll go up a twisty road and will see a parking area on your right about 1.5 - 2 miles in, past the lake. I don't know what's there, but there's serious potential, because it's fantastic terrain. One interesting thing is that the same rail bed that you ride in Mahlon once led to this site. Unfortunately, it no longer connects.

Let us know what you find.

Steve
 

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Local yokel here...

TommyKlein said:
Well I checked out MD today by myself after work. Nice park! Some really fun trails with some nice little rock gardens. I tried following your loop and I think I messed it up, but no big deal. I still got to the highest point sign twice and back. I explored some other trails on the other side also. My only complaint about the park is that stupid blue stone that's covering all the fireroads. I almost washed out at high speed on a turn. Other than that the place is all I can ask for just a short drive from my house. Now if I could only figure a way to get there on trails instead of driving. Anybody have suggestions on how I could get into MD from the back of lake saginaw in sparta?

tK
Go left out of Glen Rd. onto 181 towards Rt. 15. Cross over 15 and park in the commuter lot. Where 181 ends, there is a trailhead for the Weldon Brook WMA. From here you can ride right into Mahlon and enjoy the trails of the WMA on the way.
 

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keep exploring

Keep exploring, there's way more trail than gravel, and once you know the park the gravel is easy to bypass. Get the map at Saffins Pond, take notes and fill in the blanks. Allamuchy is not that far from Sparta if you use the Cranberry Lake park and ride as a starting point.

See you at Mahlon....
 
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