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Gambrill State Park

Average Rating:    (4.37 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 41

Area is very technical, rocky and on a mountain top Red Trail, Short lots of speed bumps Yellow Trail, Great single track Black Trail, Harder then the yellow White Trail, walking only, but cool ride to go quick Blue trail Most difficult, can go to Cunningham falls 25 miles away
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Latitude
39.465503506379356
Longitude
-77.49569177627563
Trail Directions
Off Rt 270 and Rt 70 to Rt 40 west about two miles follow signs to the state park.
Trail Length
miles
Trail Level
Extreme
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
Frederick
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (41 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
May 1, 2016

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: donow ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Rocky, technical and beautiful. If you are in shape to ride hard for a few hours this place has a lot to offer. I have ridden this on a full rigid and on full suspension - definitely better on a squishy bike. Even with full suspension you will get a great workout from the pounding over the rocks. This area is not for beginners unwilling to fall. I went out for a 20 mile/3000 foot vertical climb day yesterday in the fog and rain and it was quite slippery and sometimes a little dangerous - I loved it. That said there is probably something wrong with me.

But seriously if you are in decent shape with the ability to flow with lines through long rock gardens you will love the trails and especially the beautiful woods and streams. Bring lots of water and some energy bars/goo its easy to get far away from the parking lot. Depending on the trail you will end up with some hike-a-bike but not a lot if you have a GrannyGear. Reminds me - always wear a helmet ( I fell and hit mine on a rock yesterday - time to buy a new one).



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Review Date
October 12, 2009

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: struggleT ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Lost in paradise - that's what we were after losing the yellow trail up at the top, somehow finding the blue trail after a nice power line descent, then taking it out into the 'shed by accident. One of the best days of my life, until, that is, coming back into Gambrill on the blue trail and hoofing up the "no return" hill. Next day, went out with someone who knew the area a bit and explored the shed some more. Riding here with a hardtail is an all-day a$$ pounding, but still heaven if you ask me. The kind of trail that is hard, but makes you better because there's always a line. Lots of great obstacles, a real mountain biker's trail system. And beautiful to boot.

Recommended Route:
Getting lost is actually pretty good. Next time I might try cutting over to the yellow instead of going up the "no return" blue hill, although it didn't kill us to walk it up.



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Review Date
February 24, 2009

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: psuambassador ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
I went to Gambrill for my first ride on a mountain bike. It is incredibly technical and hilly, but I'm not sure I agree with what the ifirst poster said about walking the whole thing. On my first trip there ever, I only walked my bike on about 20 ft of the trail. I went uup some very steep inclines over steps, over boulders, through some serious rock gardens and down some pretty tight trails. Yeah, I fell a couple of times, but who doesn't when the riding is good and the course challenges you. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm not familiar enough to comment on the different trails. I just basically ride until I find myself back at my car. Gambrill is a blast and highly recommended if you don't scare easily.



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Review Date
August 24, 2007

Overall Rating
 1 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: slowoldguy ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
super rocky and technical on all 5 trails with huge slick boulders everywhere. senic. this trail is terrible. ride here only if you like carrying (literally) your bike up miles (literally) of straight-up mountanous terrain as steep as the stairs on you house. there aren't any switch backs here. basically, you park your car, gear up for a ride, and then walk the entire time. what a waste of time. i would say about 40 percent of this trail is un-ridable. wear your hiking boots b/c you'll be walking more than riding.

Recommended Route:
none.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
for a REAL ride, try fountain head. its fast and rolling terrain makes for a perfect blend of up-hills and down. its got the teeter-totters to play on and the shock-a-billy speaks for itself.



Comments
punga (10/19/2007)
Thanks for directing people away from one of my favorite trails. I'll take the Gambrill yellow loop any day (and do) over FH. FH is for people who think MTBing is riding in and out of stream beds.
namezk (08/11/2008)
Gambril does have a few areas where non experts will have to hike-a-bike, but otherwise it's a fun, challenging trail, not prohibitive by any means.
junkyard_44 (11/10/2008)
This is a trail to test your skills on and slowoldguy failed. The yellow loop is very ride able for a experinced rider.
eugalc (03/06/2009)
It's not as tough at Gambrill as described above. Yes, it can be technical and yes you will have to get off of your bike a couple times, but overall it's a great ride for all skill levels. It's a mix of the aforementioned techy stuff, but there's also flowing single track, good climbs and drops, which all equals a pretty good ride for most.
MightySchmoePong (03/30/2010)
Geez. I disagree completely. I can ride there all day and not have to walk anything. It's hard, but unless you're a complete beginner or in absolutely horrible shape you won't be walking that much.
dpugh5 (03/26/2011)
I just went there today , we parked at the bottom and went on blue all the way up , blue is insane prob only for experts we walked some of it it was just crazy walls and rocks with water barriers and then when you got to what you thought was the top there were crazy rock gardens boulder gardens... great challenge the yellow/ black trail is easily ride-able and so is green
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Review Date
May 25, 2007

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: srwings ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Srwings' Gambrill Report

Audience: Beginner XC riders hoping to move up to Sport.

Rider: 45 y/o beginner class XC racer w/better than average endurance and average technical ability.
Bike: Gary Fisher Supercaliber 29" full suspension.

Bottom line up front- Gambrill kicked my butt. I was warned it was going to be rocky and hilly but I figured that since I had been training hard, placing well in my XC races, and had experience in riding the hilly, rough courses of Fountain Head, VA and French Creek, PA that I would do nicely at Gambrill. It was not to be although it didn't help that I came to Gambrill still depleted from an XC time trial 36 hours previous.

The nice thing about Gambrill is that the different trails intersect each other and can be accessed from a common trailhead. You can do a loop, come back to your car and refresh yourself, and then hit the next trail. I only had the energy to ride the Red and Green trails and part of the Yellow trail.

Red trail: This is listed as a 1 mile easy (for hikers) loop. From the parking lot I proceeded down the trail in a counterclockwise manner. The trail is uneventful and not too taxing. The only hard parts were shortly after beginning the trail. There are two steep rocky sections separated by about 50'. I had a small crash caused by riding too slow and picking a bad line on the first section but resolved to come back and clean it. Proceeding to the second section I bailed on this completely. I was just too intimidated by the closely spaced steep water bar steps. In retrospect, the line was obvious and straight forward. We're probably only talking a 10 foot section here but it's committing and you can't easily bail. After finishing the red loop I came back to the first steep section where I had crashed, dropped my seat and loosened the tension on my pedals. It took about a dozen attempts to where I could navigate it smoothly. Reversing course, I tried riding uphill on this section of the red loop and found it beyond my abilities.

Green trail: I rode this trail counterclockwise. From the parking lot there's a long moderate descent on a trail of loose rocks broken up by water bar logs. Nothing hard there. Then I hit the first ascent where I totally got spanked. The steepness of the hill, the rocks and the log water bars all combine to make for slow going and the eventual hike-a-bike. Subsequent sections on the climb to the top varied between strenuous to unridable. After cleaning one steep section I couldn't recall a time in recent years where my heart was pounding so wildly. Once you reach the top there are two overlooks on each side of the hill. Be sure to ride the stone stairs. The west facing overlook stairs are a little trickier but still fun. The descent down the green trail back to the car was nice but uneventful. Pay attention to the sharp left turn where the trail intersects with the Black and Yellow trails.

Yellow trail: After the epic hill climb I had on the Green loop I decided to ride the paved road back up to the top and descend the Yellow trail. I also rode this trail counterclockwise. The descent was rocky and somewhat steep but still within my abilities. There was one section early one that I dabbed which forced me to repeat it cleanly. The lower part of the descent turned into some nice fast singletrack interspersed with the occasional rock. Since I only rode a section of the trail I can't report on the other part of Yellow or its climbs.

Summary: Gambrill is a great place for the aspiring beginner XC racer to come work on their technical and climbing skills. Don't be too disappointed if you have to hike your bike.

Recommended Route:
They are all good.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
N/A



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Reviews 1 - 5 (41 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5