July 5, 2018

New York State of Mind: Port Jervis

I was way overdue for a trip to my hometown of Allentown, PA. I hadn't realized it had been 4 years since I was last there. I wanted to see family & friends and of course mix in a couple of rides if the weather permitted.

It was a bit of an adventure arriving into Philly. I had to sleep in Chicago's O'Hare airport after the last flight of the night filled up!! The consolation was a bump to first class on the 5a flight the following morning. I'll take it.
A 20 mile beautiful scenic drive through the Delaware Water Gap brought me near Port Jervis.
The next day I was up early and pointed my rental car towards Port Jervis, NY. It's just over the PA border across the Delaware River. New Jersey is also a stone's throw away. I heard about these trails a few years ago from a Tucson buddy, Dejay. He was instrumental in getting these trails on the map, even has one named after him!! I loaded up my rental bike from Action Bikes & Outdoors ready to sample some new dirt.
If you need a bike for the day, stop by and see CJ.
It was around 11a when I got rolling, already hot & muggy, I knew I'd be in for a sweat fest.
Trek Marlin with a 3x8 drivetrain!!

The trail system was well signed. Couple that with the Trailforks app & paper map and I was set.

Trail difficulty marked on the trees.

A rare long distance view thanks to a powerline clearing. Thankfully, I'd be under the canopy of trees most of the day.

There were a few manmade features: bridges, logrolls, a skinny & rock armoring along the way.

For the most part, these trails were loaded with embedded rocks, plenty rideable, but sure was a bumpy ride!!

There were some stretches of smooth flowing singletrack.

Not sure what the story is here, but this barrier seemed to stretch along for miles.

Walt's Keep trail skirts along Reservoir Number Three.

I should mention that all this greenery and water can only mean one thing: bugs. Lots of swarming gnats hovering in front of my eyes the entire time. They really didn't bother me a lot other than being a visual deterrent.

Sketchy looking skinny, I rode the gap to the right.

Well done Port Jervis.

Watershed Park trailmap

I made it around the north end of the park and found Dejay Downs trail.

Rated expert too.

Nice benchcut in sections.

The trail meandered around and over this creek.

A couple long chunky downhills kept things entertaining.
I have to say, Dejay Downs trail was my favorite of the day. From north to south it trended downhill, had good flow but also some solid challenges.

This reminded me of Nebraska singletrack.

It's fern season in the northeast. Following Reservoir Number One.

I guess that's why this trail is called 'Out & Back'.

Everything I wore may have been drenched in sweat, but at least it was shady most of the day.

Creepy looking structure tucked in the woods.

A quick peek above Port Jervis.

Point Peter sits at 865' above Sea Level.

Elks - Charles Brox Memorial Park.

The Delaware River makes an appearance.

Not much topography looking NE, but I-84 cuts through the far hillside.

Some local history.
Thanks for the tip Dejay, really fun trails. It was quite the change in scenery from what I'm used to, so much green!! I wish I would've been able to rent a full squish bike for these trails, so many embedded rocks. Maybe next time I ride here it'll be less humid!! It was in the low 90's with 60-70% humidity, that's a far cry from the <10% I'm used to in the desert southwest. There are plenty of hiking options in the nearby Delaware Water Gap to keep the outdoor stoke high. It's nice that it's only two hours away from Allentown, an easy getaway.


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