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South Mountain reservation

Discussion in 'Northeast' started by hooples3, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. hooples3

    hooples3 Fuggetaboutit!

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    Has anyone ever been there??? Has anyone ever rode there????
    I went hiking with my wife there this weekend. At the begining of the trail <the yellow blazes> there were signs ...No bikes. after hiking through most of the yellow trail then onto the white one .. I noticed the white trail looked pretty damn awesome <so did the yellow> to ride on. after another hr on the white i saw a few Mountain bikers... they were far away so i couldnt ask them if the white trail was legal singletrack. anyways we finished the white trail whick left us by my jeep. there wasnt any sign by the white trailhead saying no bikes. here are my questions...
    If anyone is familiar with South Mountain... is the white trail legal???
    and if not if you though it was killer singletrack would you consider riding it.. Honestly i am all for legal trials but if i went midweek.. i know nobody would be there.
    it looked like way to much fun to ignore. Thoughts??
     

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  2. bubbrubb

    bubbrubb Chimp

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    I've beed riding SoMo since 1992-3 when I first started mt biking...
    I would get our of school in the afternoon and ride there (about 5-6 miles of road) to rip off a killer loop.
    It became illegal to ride there soon after i started when Essex County passed a law banning the use of bikes in their parks. This includes Mills and Eagle Rock reservations as well, my 2 "local" riding haunts.

    I still ride all 3 despite the no riding policy the county maintains. I do my fair share of covert trail maintinence, and so I figure it is adequate pennance for poaching.

    The park runs north-south with high points running along the east & west edges, with a valley in the center where water flows and a resivoir is located. My favorite loop starts at the north-west corner of the park, and heads south along the western ridge of the park. The trail flows so well on this section. I take it all the way to the south-west corner of the park, and cross the street. From there you can catch trails up to the east ridge (best done following the gravel fire roads as the climb is steep and rocky). Heading north from here there is some technical riding, and some extended stretches of rock gardens.

    Maps are hard to come by, but I have a vintage 1938 map and a more modern version... so I know they are out there. Perhaps even on the web? Your best bet is to hook up with a local who can show you the trails.

    Do take note though. Riding there is illegal. Back int he day the parks dept. did a crack down and confiscated bikes... as far as I know the dept. is pretty much bankrupt as no trail major maintinance has been done in 10 years. I saw heavy machinery and gravel being laid on some fire roads at the south end of the park around Thanksgiving, so perhaps they are trying to reverse some of the errosion and aging.