Today, I headed over to South Jersey's Wharton Forest near Batsto Village for the first time. I've been meaning to get over there to ride for a long time now, but it just never worked out. From what I'd heard, it was supposed to be a super fast and flowing trail network, so I was pretty psyched to finally get out there.
The trail was certainly as-advertised. But there was definitely one more thing I would add to the description - Wharton is probably the easiest trail network I've ever ridden. Seriously, I don't think there is a single rock or a inch of elevation gain on the entire network. The only thing that makes it feel like mountainbiking as opposed to a flat road crit course is a constant (what I can only call) "bumpiness" to the terrain. I'm not even sure what causes that feeling (decomposing pine cones? dry-land sandbars?) There are some roots, to be sure, and some downed trees right now, but aside from that and some sand, it's a well-packed rip-fest start to finish. It's tight and twisty but that does nothing to slow you down -- even with the sand, you can accelerate in and out of turns.
So ... was it fun? Yeah, it was. It was a totally different place than what I am used to, and that was a nice change. I was able to keep a really quick pace, and I felt like I could have kept riding all day. I'd love to go back and ride everything in the entire park (I only did about 25 miles today.)
I'd definitely recommend it for a nice fast, non-technical ride (and it's ideal for new riders!) for anyone within two hours of the park. A nice change of pace -- I think Wharton would be a prime candidate for the next Tour de Easy.
|After the ride, my bike looked cleaner than when it started!|
So not such a bad way to spend such a perfect early fall day!