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Merli-Sarnoski

Average Rating:    (4.8 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 10

16 miles of ungroomed, wooded trails, 90% single track located at Lackawanna County owned Merli-Sarnoski Park, an 840 mostly wooded park with a 35 acre lake. The main trail is a seven mile continuous loop trail with 4 access points. Connecting and side trails are blazed blue or yellow and total eight miles. The trails were all newly blazed with composite tiles in 2004. There is a maximum elevation change of 650 feet on a side trail called HR 280. Most other trails have a change of less than 200 feet. A contour map of the park and trails are available at the park office. The trails are all open to bikes, hikers horse back riding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The park also contains a supervised swimming area, picnic areas and ample parking. The park is open from 8:00 AM till 8:00 PM from the first day of trout season (the lake is stocked) through October. Hours are from 8:00 to 4:00 the rest of the year.
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Latitude
41.590283303594205
Longitude
-75.53289413452148
Trail Directions
www.lackawannacounty.org or use search for Lawcawanna County by Netvoice.
Trail Length
16 Miles
Trail Level
Trails for all skill levels
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
Carbondale, PA
Zip/Postal Code
18407
Country
USA
Web Address
Information Added By
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
May 25, 2013

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: centaur11 ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
I see that Merli has not been reviewed for a number of years. So I will try to update now.
Recently a number of folks from our bike club spent a long weekend in the area to ride Lackawanna, Merli and Moosic. Overall our impressions were big thumbs up. Merli was as advertised in past reviews, lots of techy rocks, squeezes, drops and a whole lot of fun. It seems there has been a lot of work recently to try to make the red trail more user friendly which is a good thing. Some of the older single track was looking a little unsustainable with step climbs and long fall line drops creating unnecessary erosion. We liked the general layout with the red trail as the main loop and the blue trails (more difficult) which were spurs off of the red.
Unfortunately we had an outdated map which caused a little bit of confusion. Merli is mostly rideable with anyone with a good skill set. It was a little tougher on the SS but still mostly rideable thanks to the trail builders.
We had one beef, because of the new trail work many areas had little or no markings which got 2 of us lost for about 1-1/2 hours. Without the gps we would probably still be wandering around. Trail builders take note: please do some temporary markings to keep us visitors from getting lost. We know how tough it is to keep people from getting lost because we are a trailbuilding club ourselves. In our opinion the Red trail should be clearly marked so a first timer can navigate with out a map. Otherwise thank you for a great trail system.

Recommended Route:
Started out going clockwise but got lost soon after. I recommend a gps until things are marked better.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Moosic(Eales Preserve),



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Review Date
August 28, 2009

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: indyjones16 ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
so i went camping with family at nearby Promised Land State Park and was looking for a place to ride. after hitting the PA forums for some ideas we settled on Merli.

this is the first trail that I've ridden off Long Island and if this trail is any indication of how real trails are, I've got some work to do. all i can say is Long Island trails are nothing compared to this trail. the worst of Rocky Point and East Setauket is still easier than the orange of Merli.

we started the trail using the starting loop. apparently, not many people use the start loop since it was overgrown. just head over to the stables and pick up the trail there. getting up the first hill was no biggie, there were some rocks and roots. as we progressed through the trail, the rocks became more prevalent. just so you all know where I'm coming from on this, on LI we do not have rocks. at least not like PA has. LI rocks are less than 3" in diameter. we made it to the Boneyard and I got half-way down before taking a spill. we ended up walking the bikes the rest of the way down and then turned the corner just to have to walk them up the hill again. the view of the field was nice. BTW, hats off to PA for having windmills. from there we started riding again only to have to get off the bikes and walk around the mud and up a few more hills. i have to admit that we did not finish the trail. we got to the lake and wimped out. it took us nearly 3 hours just to get to the lake.

let this serve as a warning to LI riders; if you are a weekend warrior and still find LI trails to be a challenge, wait to ride Merli. however, I'm glad we tried and i wouldn't trade the experience.

Recommended Route:
i can't really recommend a route considering we never finished the trail. however, i would love to come back and try it again.



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Review Date
July 4, 2009

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Tim.Limer ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
I've been to the park a few times but this is the first time I brought my bike. I am pretty much a beginner. There were no maps available to take with me so I studied the one posted as best I could. So I had a hard time finding the red trail head. Once I found the (an) entrance I had a lot of fun. I walked my bike in a few places and stopped in many to negotiate tricky turns, but had a lot of fun. I don't have much to compare it to. It was not a great aerobic work out for me (compared to when I run) because I had to keep slowing down, stopping and walking. With some practice it could be though.

Recommended Route:
There is a pink ribbon on the left as you go down hill after the pull off for the correctional facility (whatever that is) but before you get to the parking lots. It takes you up the hill and you get into some good stuff quickly. I rode for an hour and only scratched the surface of the trails.



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Review Date
August 19, 2008

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: zenboz ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Merli/Fell Mountain is really fun and challenging. Because it is on a mountain, it is my favorite summertime trail to avoid the humidity and overgrown briars that plague many lakeside trails. It offers a few good climbs, alot of nice drops and bedrock trail, and of course tons of rocky singletrack. There is good diversity of features (except for long stretches of smoothness) that will test your abiltiy to balance, lift, twist and drop the bike. This is a trail you may find yourself doing a lot of grinding and using your entire body to navigate, but not so much that it's impossible, excessively tiresome or dangerous (unless you're a beginner). If you like to ride at a nice steady pace, but not race, you can probably just use a hardtail here, as there are very few spots you will be speeding over anything bumpy.

Recommended Route:
Drive up the hill from the entrance and park in the first lot on the left. I normally go clockwise from the parking lot on the small blue loop to the red trail right next to the horse fence and then take the first turns I come across onto blue trails, and that seems to allow for a non stop ride. Going in reverse direction on the blues seems to be a little more challenging in spots. I personally would avoid HR-280 on your first few visits to Merli, unless you have ridden the other trails and still have energy.

Squeezeplay, My Brothers, Fox Rocks, and Twister all have some nice bedrock trails. Porcupine cliffs is just below some cliffs and it is off camber atop a steep slope. Blade has a challenging rock garden section towards the end of a clockwise loop. There is a new trail currently marked with pink ribbon. It is on the right just before you get to squeezeplay, and it is a fun rocky 5 minute see sawing loop that comes out on the paved trail below the horse stables.

This is a good map, though some logging in recent years has changed the red trail in the lower left part of the map.
http://www.elkmtnarea.com/fell_mtn_2003/merli_2003_map.html

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Lackawanna State Park is not as technical, but has really nice flow for faster riding and a good network of trails. Prompton Dam is closer to Merli in distance, not as all around technical, but has some trails that area really challenging, scenic and varied.



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Review Date
July 24, 2007

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: Jawafrau ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
A +7 mile loop of mostly single track; fun, intermediate level stuff.
+12 miles total if you ride all the side trails, which are the main attraction. There you'll find lots of advanced level rock gardens with winding, narrow single track. Some of the side trails very technical...tons of fun.
Overall a fair amount of climbing.
Very well marked and maintained trails, some very scenic views.
The lake has a swimming and picnic areas, which are great for cooling off and getting together after the ride.
Overall one of the best rides ever.

Recommended Route:
The map on the link is not complete:www.cycle-cny.com/phpbb/Coppermine/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=6&pos=1

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Pompano lake trail is a good follow up ride.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5
 


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