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Black Rock Perimeter

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.3 (14)

A challenging perimeter ride around the trails in this area.


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Map Key

4.8

Miles

7.7

KM

Singletrack

248' 76 m

High

88' 27 m

Low

409' 125 m

Up

399' 122 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

15%

Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Unknown

Features Views

Description

The elevation change dropping into Phoenixville makes for a challenging little ride you'd never expect to be there. It's almost like a micro rain forest with several nice streams flowing through.

There is a decent amount of elevation change and the trail is often on steep hills with many off camber sections. You can come back to your parking point on a flat rail trail to balance out the ride.

Starting at the west end, the entrance to the woods off the main rail grade can be quite overgrown with hip high greenery in the summer months, making it difficult to find. The west end of the rail grade portion is usually muddy after rain. Much of the ride in the woods is spent on off-camber slopes. The final descent has three or four challenging rocky stream crossings.

As you get near the top of the second ascent it can be easy to miss the right turn necessary to prevent going into the housing area on top of the hill. After a stream crossing you'll be going up a shale rock bed that is nearly impossible to ride (ok - impossible for me) when you need to take the right. The top of the second hill has a 200 foot loop that traverses a wide ditch and has a fun jump followed by a nice 180 degree berm to bring you back.

Right before you start to descend, you come to a four way intersection which is a small circle in the woods. Going straight takes you down a very steep, loose hill - the fast way down. Taking a left leads you to a more gradual and fun descent. Be careful as you exit the woods onto the rail grade - this end of the park has the potential for a lot of walkers as it is a popular area to fish and hang out.

This end of the trail can be accessed from Phoenixville's Lock 60 area as an alternate starting point. You can take the rail grade back home if you are whipped, or back track to stay in the woods. The rail grade has one stream channel cut through at 3 feet deep. On the rail trail there is another medium crossing and two smaller ones.

The west parking lot "closes" at sunset or 8pm (even though sunset can be later in this area). If you know you'll be past closing time it is OK with the park if you park outside the gate. Also, if there are cars in the lot at closing time they set the gate to look locked but don't actually snap the lock shut. If you're last out, please do the courtesy of locking up :)

Shared By:

Darren Sansay with improvements by Richard Rotondo

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 14 votes

#14286

Overall
  3.3 from 14 votes
5 Star
14%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
36%
2 Star
14%
1 Star
7%
Trail Rankings

#599

in Pennsylvania

#14,286

Overall
79 Views Last Month
2,821 Since Jul 24, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
25%
8%
67%
0%

Photos

This is a very fast section of the trail just before the center of the trail where it meets up with the Neal Thorpe trail. Careful here because it's after a long and steep decline and the trail is close to a drop-off against the edge of the creek.
Oct 4, 2019 near Phoenix…, PA
This is a fast portion of decline on the trail just before it meets up with the Neal Thorpe trail. You have a lot of speed coming through here and the trail runs close to a drop-off against the creek (on the left of the photo).
Oct 4, 2019 near Phoenix…, PA
Here the trail takes a 90 degree turn uphill, this is looking at the turn halfway through. The trail continues uphill at 10 o'clock from the creek crossing at 2 o'clock.
Oct 2, 2019 near Phoenix…, PA
View of Black Rock Dam from the top of the trail on the ridgeline. Not the prettiest view because of the tree coverage, but at least it's something.
Oct 2, 2019 near Phoenix…, PA
One of the funner sections of trail. Ride along the ridge, just don't fall off the trail.
Oct 1, 2017 near Phoenix…, PA
The beginning of the singletrack trail. You can see the trail continuing at 1 o'clock in the picture.
Oct 2, 2019 near Phoenix…, PA

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Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Bad / Closed 24 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jun 6, 2019
Chalooch D
Very narrow 2.3mi — 0h 33m
Sep 24, 2018
Rob Hunt
The Fire road by the river was all mud, the rest of the trail was fine. 6mi — 1h 30m
Mar 17, 2018
Eric Lane
Sep 22, 2017
Bob Lee
5.2mi
Aug 6, 2017
Kevin P
Fast downhills with lots of roots and rocks 4.1mi
Jan 28, 2017
Kory Knaster
4.8mi
Jan 25, 2017
Kevin Lu
Muddy. Some difficult spots near the streams and gorges - steep, rocky, and slick. A fun ride. 4.8mi
Sep 13, 2016
Bryan Sheffield