March 15, 2017
Moraine has a reputation as one of the toughest mtb trails in western PA. There are rocks everywhere, and roots, and some pretty tough climbs.
There are four places you can access the trails from. Mt. Union Road has the main parking area. There are two accesses off the Alexander Road dead end - one at the powerline, and one at the end of the road where it's gated off. The last access is from the marina on North Shore Drive (don't park at the marina but at the parking lot just before it). From there you can ride into the marina and onto an abandoned road that will bring you into the bottom part of the trail system.
If you start at Mt. Union Road you access the trails from where the power line touches the corner of the parking lot. The first singletrack is just about 150 ft in, on the right. This is a series of 3 short loops, with access to the power line between them. The first loop is very technical, the second less technical, and the third (on top of the ridge) is the easiest piece of trail at Moraine, and probably the only piece of trail suitable for beginners.
The next bit of trail after the initial three loops is a descent down a boulder strewn hillside, with several BIG rock features. You can access this downhill from the power line if you want to avoid those three initial loops.
At the bottom of this hill you cross a small stream via bridge. There is uphill on either side of the powerline - more tech on the far side, less on the side you're on. These trails lead up to the top of the next ridge.
Once you get to the top of this ridge there is a 3 way trail intersection. The right turn leads into the long downhill that goes near the marina. There is a fast start here, with more technical trail further down. This trail ends on the abandoned road that leads from the marina. From there you can take the old road to the left to access other trails, or go across the road to ride the southern loop (not as technical as most of the other trails), which comes out on the abandoned road a bit further east.
If you were to turn left at the three way trail intersection you'd follow the trail parallel to the power line. There is a trail off to the right that takes you to the small ridgetop loop, and a bit further on a trail on the left that leads a couple hundred yards up to the Alexander Road trailhead. From there the trail heads down towards the lake, with lots of technical features and several climbs. This trail ends on the closed section of Alexander Road. If you take this old road downhill it will curve around close to the lake, cross a marshy spot, then climb back up the old road, where the southern loop is the first trail off to the loop.
Once you're at the old road on the bottom of the hill there is a good trail to go back up hill on. From the marina downhill trail you would turn left and climb the old road to the crest, where the uphill trail takes off to the left. This trail goes up to the ridgetop loop via a series of 11 switchbacks, making it rideable even to old guys.
At the top of the switchback trail there is a small loop, a stacked loop to the side, and a 'vigorous' downhill trail back down to the abandoned road. The loop part of the ridgetop trails will lead you back north to the singletrack parallel to the powerline, where you can head back to Mt. Union Road parking area. The downhill trail is kind of tough to find, and has some great features for advanced riders.
The trail is blazed along the whole length with red rectangles, and there are(usually) signs at the intersections. Check the photo gallery for a map that has a fairly good overview of the trail system. No night riding at PA state parks. Also, Moraine is well known for being the best trail system around to handle rain.