Did you show up at Batsto, super stoked to ride your e-mtb, only to find them banned? Never fear! Wharton is crisscrossed by a system of sandy/gravelly doubletrack fire roads that are frequently used for motorized off-roading, which means your evil pedal-assist bicycle is allowed.
Properly navigated, you can do a loop that starts at Batsto and is comparable in mileage to the Penn Branch Trail (Orange)
but, in my opinion, is much more fun to navigate.
While the designated bicycle-only trails in this park are super-twisty, super-slow singletrack that trudges on and on, this route allows you to go fast. Rip through the sandy roads in the Pines, navigating around large puddles in the road (depending on the season and weather, of course) and sections of loose sand that can get squirrelly. Although it is flat, it is not level. Little pitch changes are no match for your e-bike (or anyone, really... it's pretty flat), so push on through the maze of roads and trails.
Navigating this deep into the Pines while not following one single marked trail can be confusing and unnerving. GPS is recommended. A wrong turn can easily send you off in the wrong direction or even (gasp!) onto trails where e-bikes are banned.
At about 15.5 miles, it is a moderate challenge that takes you on a whirlwind tour through the heart of the Pines. Did I just map out a great e-mtb route that allows you to enjoy Wharton just like our non-assisted brethren on bikes? Yes, I did. You're welcome.
This route starts at the back corner of the parking lot at Batsto where the other bike trails begin. Start on the short connector trail and hang a right very early on onto the first sandy doubletrack road you encounter, Washington Turnpike. Follow it straight out past the fire tower and onto the blacktop for a short bit. When the road bends, stay straight onto the hard-packed dirt and gravel, which is still Washington Turnpike.
Warm up the legs a bit as you cruise through the easiest section, turning left onto Penn Swamp Rd and heading into the woods. Follow that road until it merges into Washington Quaker Bridge Rd
. Not far after the merger, turn right onto Hay Rd. Stay on Hay Rd straight across Quaker Bridge Sandy Ridge Rd, turning left further on onto Bulldozed Rd. That will bring you around and start you following the river back on Lower Forge Rd.
When you get to Quaker Bridge Sandy Ridge, head straight across following the pink blaze for a bit along Goodwater Rd. (Do not go over Quaker Bridge. If you hit the bridge, pause for a few moments to take in the scene then turn around and hang your first right onto Goodwater Rd.)
Stay right after the second, smaller bridge you'll encounter. Follow that all the way back to Washington Turnpike, where you make a quick right onto the connector trail back to the parking lot at Batsto.