December 5, 2016
This review is for people coming from outside of PA. I believe that the trail system is over rated because it is nothing more than ~30 miles of small rollers. Maybe its not over-rated because its a novelty in and of itself. However, each roller has a different grade/slope with variable distance between each such that climbing makes gear choice and cadence extremely frustrating after about ten miles of the same thing, over and over again. Over and over again. And then a little more. I realize that you can pump through a lot of these sections, but I grow weary of this after about an hour and desire something (anything?) different. As other reviewers have said, the trail is not naturally in sync with the terrain. This means that the fantastic Appalachia topography is not used to an advantage; rather the trail seems to abruptly cut through the terrain with the exception of some contour following. This is a shame in central PA because we are left with two extreme end-members: the largest pump track in North America and the super technical, hike-and-bike rocky ridges of the Valley and Ridge. The pump track would be cool if there were at least several faux doubles for catching air and several berms for whipping and pumping out of at high speed. Nope, just keep pumping those small rollers! The trail is smooth, with not much in the way of roots and rocks. Going down the endless rollers would be super fun, but the downhill sections are frustratingly short lived. Other than that, the trails are well-maintained, sustainable, and well marked. You don't need to bring a map and the cell service is good enough to run your favorite app. To each his own, but I do find critical reviews to be helpful when I am traveling and attempting to decide on a trail. I've ridden the trail system four times. I'm sure that I could learn to better ride the trail with greater efficiency, but like many cyclists in the state, we live nowhere near this place.
Trexler (Allentown, PA), Brown County State Park (Indiana), it does not compare with properly pumpy and flowy trails like those at 18 Road (Colorado)