Black Friday McDade Trail

Every now and then, you ride just because you can. This morning presented itself with just that opportunity. With Thanksgiving over and scores of people out shopping the Black Friday sales, myself, Eric, and TC decided to squeeze in a morning ride on the McDade Trail. The trail starts at the Hialeah Trailhead, near the Delaware Water Gap, and ends at Milford Beach in Milford, PA, roughly 32 miles of hard packed gravel and dirt, running through the Delaware Water Gap National Park. Although the trail is mostly flat, there are some climbs between Raymonskill Road and Dingmans Falls that will challenge the strongest of riders.

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Today, we started out at Dingmans Falls, and rode south towards the Bushkill Access (boat launch). It was just below 40F at the start, and as the trail runs right along side the Delaware River, there was plenty of fog coming off the river onto the trail. As we hit the trail, we immediately ran into a hunter, who did not seem happy that we were riding through. Dressed in as much Hi Viz cycling gear as we could find, and with blinking red tail lights hanging off our bikes, we continued down the trail.

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There are numerous bridges scattered throughout the trail, constructed of some sort of composite material that is extremely slippery in the mornings before the dew has dried off. I completely slow down when approaching each bridge as I learned the hard way on a previous ride (road rash or “gravel rash” on my left hip, knee, and elbow.)

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The 2016 Kona Rove TI (More on that in another post)

With time being a factor, we turned around just short of the Bushkill Access, and headed back. Passing a few more hunters, we came to a beautiful strectch of pine trees that made for a great photo opportunity.

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At the parking lot, we loaded up, and each of us hurried off to work as it is still Friday, knowing that we squeezed that one extra ride in this week. Total distance was 21 miles. Longer rides on the trail are planned for the early spring. Here is a Strava screen shot of the trail.

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High Point

As autumn slowly winds down and winter approaches, the weather is getting colder and the days shorter. This leaves way too much time for yard work and holiday decorating, and not enough for riding. As anyone who knows me knows that I generally become full of excuses when it comes to riding in the cold weather (although, I usually do ride sporadically throughout the winter), the long winter certainly gives me plenty of time to reminisce about all the epic rides of the spring, summer and fall.

Milford’s benchmark road ride is from the center of town up to High Point, New Jersey. The ride is simply refered to by the local cycling culture as High Point. IMG_1525Nestled atop High Point State Park in the Kittatinny Mountains, it is the highest point of elevation (1804′) in the state of New Jersey. The beautiful 220 foot high monument was built in 1928 as a war memorial. The base of the monument offers views of the Pocono Mountains to the west and the Catskill Mountains to the north. New York, New Jersey, and Pennsyvainia are all seen in what appears to be a panaramic view.

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Starting from town, there are a number of different routes to take you up to the monument. First, the most common is Rt. 209 from Milford to the Port Jervis, New York bridge and under the overpass, and up Pike St. After turning right on Rt. 6 and taking it through Port Jervis and into Montague, New Jersey, you turn right on Rt. 23 and follow all the way up to the entrance to High Point State Park.

Another popular route is from town to the Milford bridge and take Deckertown Turnpike up and over to Sawmill Rd. Follow Sawmill to Rt. 23, and make a right and climb the last 1/2 mile to the park entrance. 11348216_399866180215174_1728510025_n

The toughest route, at least for a rider of my size, is up the Mashipacongs. From town to the Milford Bridge, make a left on River Rd. and follow to New Mashipacong Rd. Climb for a little over 3/4 of a mile, and descend to Clove Rd. Turn right and a quick left onto Old Mashipacong Rd. Climb for just about 2 miles. At the top, go through the gate and left into the park.

Once inside the park, follow for 1 1/2 miles, make a right, and go up the steep grade to the top of the parking area. Then, go left up another steep hill to the monument where you get rewarded with the aforementioned views.

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Five Mile/Flat Ridge Gravel

On Sunday, I took the Van Dessel Whiskey Tango Foxtrot for a cruise along Five Mile Meadow Road and Flat Ridge Road with Kyle who was riding his Van Dessel Country Bob. The tempature hit a surprising 50 degrees as we started out in Lords Valley, PA at Rt. 739 and winded down a gravel jeep trail to Rt. 84 and back. The road goes over a wooden bridge and funky looking beaver dam. After heading back and crossing over Rt. 739, we climbed over and past the old Boy Scout Camp into the Pennsyvania State Forest.cropped-img_19077.jpgFive Mile Meadow Road winds along on hard packed gravel for around 6.4 miles(shouldn’t it be Six Mile Meadow Road), climbing and descending all the way to Silver Lake Road in Dingmans Ferry. Along the way are tiny hunting cabins, situated just off the road. The road is never plowed in the winter but is still pretty accessible on a fat bike or snow shoes. cropped-cropped-img_190922.jpgAfter making a right onto the pavement on Silver Lake Road, you climb a steep hill for about a half a mile then turn left onto Flat Ridge Road. Flat Ridge is more hard packed gravel, with the climbs not being as steep as Five Mile, but longer. Flat Ridge ends at about the 6 mile mark and becomes a trail that winds around Minisink Lake in Bushkill.IMG_1912

We opted to turn around and explore some of the off shoot gravel roads that surround the area. The entire region is littered with gravel emergency access roads throughout the Pennsylvania State Forest.IMG_1911Heading back, my legs were shot. Kyle, a stronger rider, pulled back a little so I could keep him in sight. When we hit the last incline on Five Mile Meadow, it started to get cold. We sped down the road and across Rt. 739 to the parking area. The entire ride amounted to 25.5 miles and a little over 2,000 feet of elevation, but adding some of the emergency access roads could yield a nice 50 mile gravel ride.

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Here is the link for the Strava map – https://www.strava.com/activities/433431978.

 

 

Riding Milford, PA

This blog came to be when I realized there was simply not enough information available about cycling in the Milford, Pennsylvania area. With many miles of pavement, gravel roads, and lots of trails, Milford is an ideal cycling spot and a great place for the outdoor enthusiast.

Milford is a historic town that sits in the Delaware Valley in Pike County, along the Delaware River, bordering both New York and New Jersey. Milford has lots of cafes, restaurants, and quaint shops that make it a great place to start or finish a ride.

Stay tuned for lots of articles and photos on gravel rides, road rides, and even some mountain bike rides, all in the Milford area!