The trail system here does not drain well. It's best to avoid these trails when raining. It's even better to allow at least two-three days of sunshine post rain. However, when the trails are dry Blue Marsh flows fast!
A great place for beginners and experts alike. Blue Marsh is easy to navigate and enjoyable in either direction. The trails here will test your fitness and skill as it's covered with punchy climbs and quick descents.
Need To Know
There is a parking fee for some of the parking lots. There may not be an attendant when you drive in but use the honor box and register. The Park Office does patrol their lots year round and will ticket non payers.
Free parking at the Stilling Basin and Old Church Road lots. These are the two common mountain bike and runner lots.
I recommend beginners to park in the lot on Old Church Road. The trails on the northern border are a little more flat
Blue Marsh is a multi-use trail system so IMBA rules of the trail are in affect.
Parking at the Stilling Basin or on Old Church Road is free year round. Other areas have a seasonal car fee.
The Stilling Basin is the most common mountain bike parking area. There is a lower lot and an upper lot. The lower lot has a portajohn. The mileage/trail markers start and finish w/ at the Stilling Basin.
Riding the loop counter-clockwise is the most common direction. Early sections of the trail cross several park access roads. Be mindful and check for vehicles prior to crossing.
The north side of the loop is some of the easiest and flattest singletrack Blue Marsh has to offer. This can be a great place for a beginner out and back. However, once you cross over to the south side you'll encounter three difficult climbs and descents in short succession.
The descents are expert level in steepness and obstacles. Most of this route is singletrack but like the rest of Blue Marsh there is some farm field and abandoned pavement. The trail is well marked with mileage markers and hiking trail placards.
The largest climb on the south side is in close proximity to the now closed Blue Marsh Ski area.
Stick to following the trail markers and you can't really go wrong. The trail markers even have a mileage count for you.
Be wary of the descents as heavy rains can create washouts, loose rock, and exposed roots.
Follow the white arrows when encountering any paved road (abandoned or active).
History & Background
64 Farm Families were displaced and their homes flooded to create Blue Marsh. The story is here: www2.readingeagle.com/artic...