Saturday, May 31, 2008


Today I took a ride at Marsh Creek State Park. It started as a good day for a ride . The temperature was about 70 degrees and it was sunny. I only needed about 12.5 miles to get the Fantom 29 to the 100 mile mark. Surely this would be no problem.

Well the Fantom 29 performed flawlessly but I came about 2 miles short of the 100 mile mark. I was only able to get in about 10 miles as there was a tremendous thunder storm and downpour that seemed to come out of no where. I did like the bar ends as it gave me a number of different hand positions and was very comfortable.

I was able to get some pictures at Marsh Creek which I will describe below.
This is the dam marker at Marsh Creek. It says it was dedicated October 11, 1975. From Wilkipedia:

The commonwealth of Pennsylvania acquired the land that became Marsh Creek State Park between 1964 and 1978, with work on the dam done from 1970 to 1973 (the lake took three years to fill). Construction of the dam on Marsh Creek and formation of Marsh Creek Lake at Marsh Creek State Park solved several problems. First, the lake is now a reservoir which provides drinking water for the Chester County Water Resources Authority, alleviating a previous drinking water shortage. Second, the dam limits the possible damage caused by seasonal flooding in the area. Finally, the lake provided new outdoor recreational opportunities for the people of western Chester County. All this was not without costs: the area the lake now covers was once the farm community of Milford Mills, which now lies at the bottom of the lake.

Milford Mills was one of a cluster of small farming villages in Upper Uwchlan Township settled by Welsh, Scots-Irish and English in the first quarter of the 18th century. Like nearby Lyndell and Dorlan, Milford Mills grew during the 19th century as paper, grain and textile manufacturing flourished. Bypassed by large-scale industry in the late 19th century, the region remained agricultural until after World War II when the Pennsylvania Turnpike brought suburban development.

Upon completion of the reservoir the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania bought the land surrounding Marsh Creek Lake, constructed recreational facilities, and opened the land to the public. New facilities built from 1971 to 1979 included administrative and picnic areas, a playground, pool, and wells. The park opened in two stages: in 1974 the park was opened for boating, fishing, hiking, hunting, ice sports and sailing, while the pool and day use area opened in July 1979.

Notice the description does not say mountain biking. The official park website and printed material also does not mention mountain biking. It also does not prohibit mountain biking. Today I saw about 8 other mountain bikers on the trails.

This is Marsh Creek Lake that is held back by an earthen dam.

This is the top of the dam.

This is the bottom of the dam.

Some kayakers enjoying the lake.

This is a typical trail at Marsh Creek. Generally single track and shady. This trail leads to the Cornog Quarry. The quarry is actually not part of the park but is owned by Aqua America.

It is fenced off and you can not see the quarry at all. You can see the warning sign on the fence. The odd part of the warning is "Swimming, diving or ice skating can result in serious injury, death or drowning". I thought if you drowned you also died. Seems kind of redundant huh?

There is a good trail around the fence.

This is a picture of the old railroad tracks. It will eventually be part of the Struble Trail that will run from Downingtown to Hibernia Park, about 16 miles. Today I rode this trail as far as I could. It exists the park and I found myself on Lydell Road. I took it back into the park to continue my ride.

This is that drop off on the trail that I flipped over on my bike a few weeks ago. It looks deceptively small but it is not.


jon said...

Hey Mike--

Love the blog. great reports & photos. I was hoping you could drop me a line at We publish a monthly e-magazine for outdoor sports in the mid-Atlantic region and we can always use great mountain biking content such as yours.

Keep up the great work!


Mike said...

Thanks for the offer. You are welcome to link to my blog at your e-magazine. You could also use any of my stories. Just give me the credit.