Blue Marsh

4.10 out of 5
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↑ 4,000 ft
↓ 3,400 ft
elevation (ft)

Trail Description
About this trail
This trail circles the entirety of the lake and is approximately 30 miles (not including side trails) in length. The trail is comprised of several different types of track: singletrack, doubletrack, dirt roads, and the occasional section of abandoned blacktop roads.The trail is not very technical, most sections can be ridden by beginner mountain bikers. Miles 18-22 in particular are well suited for novices as it hugs the shoreline which makes it virtually flat. This is not to say the trail is without its challenges. The length alone can be taxing to most cyclists and there are many climbs which are short in duration but steep in slope. Scenically the trail winds along the lake hugging the shore at times and veering into the woodlands at others. The trails also skirts several fields which are farmed during the warm months. The trail is multi-user and is frequented by hikers, birdwatchers and equestrians as well as bicyclists. Please keep your bike under control as there are lots of other users and many blind turns.Be sure to bring enough water, there is only one place to refill and that is inside the visitors center at a water fountain. It takes between 2-5 hours to complete the trail depending on ability and desire.
added by TrailAPIEpic
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Trail Q&A
Rider Questions


Q: Complete Newbie question: I'm new to bike riding (i know, I must have lived under a rock - I'm a city girl used to public transportation) and want to try something other then the small flat/paved trail in my neighborhood. I look at the map and don't even know where to begin or where the easy trail is. Can someone tell me where to park and what portion of the trail would be good for my first unpaved bike trail? Something that's easy for a beginner, but not strictly a paved road like I've already been on? Thanks! -Elli Tical

A: Hey Elli. The best place to start the trail is at the boat landings on the eastern side of the lake. Check it out on google maps, but you can take State Hill Rd to Brownsville Rd and go down the steep road to the landings. If you are a newbie I'd advise riding from the landing NE to the dam and back. That.'' be a little hilly and rutty in areas but its a nice ride. When you get a feel for it go west by the bathroom area and start the trail from there. Its a lot more fun going west but also may take some endurance because you will be going a much longer distance. Its a great ride. 25 years ago I started mountain biking on Blue Marsh and it was a huge inspiration for me. I now work in the bicycle industry and live in Minneapolis. Enjoy and let us know how it goes!!!

Will Donovan III answered on March 6, 2019. Did you find this helpful? Yes | No


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Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
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Recent Trail Check-ins     (119 total check-ins)
  Bryan Musser   1 week ago
  Lenny R   on Sep 11, 2019
  Lenny R   on Sep 7, 2019
  Bryan Musser   on Aug 31, 2019
  Steve Heintzelman   on Jun 27, 2019
Photo & Video Gallery (17)
Trail Photos & Videos (17)
Reviews (21)

Granny Gear

July 28, 2019
cruz1n Granny Gear  
Review: Not as good as it used to be... I would like to give an honest review for those of you who are contemplating riding this trail. I used to ride the main loop about 15 years ago to add cardio work into my cycling routine. It was fast flowing and hard packed single track which was a beautiful experience for that type of ride. It was my go to ride for fast paced cardio with flow. Just rode it last night into the dark and erosion has taken its toll on the once great trail. At some points, the trail is heavily grown in on the sides, and you have nothing but a 6 inch deep rut to ride in so it wasn't much fun anymore. At one point, I was up to my elbows in weeds and could hardly even see the rut I was riding in. Add to that, all the missed turns due to the poor marking at 3 and 4 way intersections on back side of the lake and I was traveling through farm fields looking for the next trail marker to no avail. Turn around and try another road. This added about 5 extra miles to my ride which ended up being almost 4 hours (I used to be able to run this loop in under 3 hours easily.) Though not technical, this is no beginners trail. I say that because a beginner is unlikely to ride up a couple of the steep hills which are loose and rutted and walking is inevitable in at least 3 or 4 places that I could remember. I could be completely wrong, but it seems to me that this trail is not getting nearly as much bike traffic as it used to (decline in interest, or maybe the trail isn't as much fun as it used to be.) I doubt I'll ride this loop anymore.

Bunny Hop

June 28, 2019
Review: First time there and had a good time despite taking a gravel bike with less than ideal tire choice. Still got around the entire 25 mile lakeshore loop without much issue. A couple hike-a-bikes due to some trees down and a couple of the climbs were just too much for mostly slick tires and higher than 1:1 low gear, but if 98% of the loop was rideable on a gravel bike, it would be a real blast on a proper mountain bike. A little overgrown at some spots, but understandable as 25-30 miles of trail is a lot to maintain in summer. I think I'll love returning in the fall with a more appropriate set of tires (my gravel bike can fit 2.25"), when most of the foliage and weeds and briars are down and not crowding the trails... not to mention when its not 92F like it was today.

Granny Gear

July 14, 2018
MarkEaston Granny Gear  
Review: Did this a couple years ago and didn't love it. Gave it another go today and huge difference. Going counter clockwise made for a much nicer ride. Trails are in much better shape and we'll marked. Thanks local riders! Still a killer workout and we only did the southern loop. But it was also in the low 90's with lots of exposure. Can't wait to ride this in the fall and tie in the northern loop. Not the most flowy or technical, but this is a 25 mile endurance ride. Also, parking lot at Old Chuch Rd had by far the nicest, cleanest port-a-potties I've ever seen.


August 21, 2017
mhowey Gramcounter  
Review: Quite a mix here. Not purpose-built for mountain bikes so a lot of the ascents are on the steep side. Singletrack and doubletrack

Granny Gear

September 5, 2016
jje949 Granny Gear  
Review: Did the whole loop this morning ( counterclockwise) starting at state hill boat ramp. The trails were perfect today . Just finished up a night ride ( which this place is perfect for ) once again started at state hill boat ramp rode to and around beach and back to boat ramps. Totally fun & enjoyable. LOVE THESE TRAILS !!!!!!

Granny Gear

July 11, 2016
jje949 Granny Gear  
Review: This is a awesome all round place to ride with many loops and various ways to get around other than on trail map . Map is spot on with mile markers every mile . Two major loops on map 26 mile loop ( which was the original loop ) the they added the top loop to make it 32 miles . Place has a lot of traditional XC trails single & double track farm trails / short steep climbs and long grinders . This is my home trail . When I want a good XC ride with good cardio this is the place to go ...... ENJOY


July 4, 2016
Review: As this long distance trail wraps around the lake, it offers some great views of the water and the surrounding land. While this is not my style of riding, I had fun experiencing this long distance style ride. A good mix of single track with field crossings, gravel double track, and fire roads. There isn't a whole lot in the way of technical features and the trail is definitely better suited to hiking with some significant and almost impassible climbs and drops. The mile markers were helpful, however the trail could have been marked better at some places. If you're an endurance/long distance die hard, this trail is for you. If not you might want to try somewhere else better suited to more technical single track oriented riding.

March 26, 2016
Review: great conditions

October 12, 2015
Review: Absolutely worst trail map ever not helpful at all i did 5 miles on a rail trail then had to go all the way back to the beginning of the trail head because there are no signs wont be coming back and deffinitally dont reccomend it


April 9, 2015
djf500 Gnarly  
Review: Epic in length! 30 miles if you do the whole thing (which you don't need to do). Takes me just over 3 hours but plan for longer if you're new to the park since there could be some backtracking. It's marked but still confusing in certain spots. Some of the climbs are incredibly steep and long. Need some more switchbacks but it wasn't designed for mtb's! One section was apparently an old ski slope... so you'll ride up that. Makes for good descents too. Sections of flow are also mixed in with beautiful vistas of the lake. It's a really fun ride. Bring extra water as there's no place to refill your bottles. I start at the Stilling Basin & ride CW but there's lots of parking lots & options for smaller loops or out & backs.

Similar Trail: Wissahickon but steeper.

Blue Marsh MTB Trail 4.10 out of 5 based on 21 ratings. 21 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed