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Level: Advanced
Length: 100 mi (160.9 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: -
Total: 48 riders
 

Mountain Biking Rothrock State Forest

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#2 of 293 mountain bike trails in Pennsylvania
#89 in the world

A 100-mile network of 80% singletrack trails run through the Rothrock State Forest. The tracks have great technical and flow sections. There is 4,463' ascent and -4,458' descent,

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
15 miles (30 minutes) outside of State College. Take 322 E about a mile past Boalsburg, go S (R) on Bearmedows/Elks club rd, less then 2 miles to parking and TH facilities on L b4 you get to Galbraith Gap, or various spots around park.
System trails (21)
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Helena Kotala (on Feb 3, 2019)
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(on Jun 13, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near State College, Pennsylvania

****
Intermediate | 7 mi
****
Advanced | 1 mi
*****
Beginner | 1 mi

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Reviews

  • dantibbens
    *****

    I love this trail, but a minor fuck up on the bridges has cost me and several others a derailleur hanger from time to time. Great ride, but the rock garden before the bridges is an absolute enigma for me.

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  • Amishthunder
    *****

    You will get worked, but just as you are about to bag it, quit, stop, cry, curse, break a bone, smash your knee into your handle bars, crunch your nuts off your top tube, or endo into a geologically funky rock garden...Rothrock concedes and sends you on a ripping downhill, flowing single tracks, or out the other side of a monstrous rock garden and just as you fall back in love with mountain biking Rothrock bitch slaps you up a steep, rocky, never ending death march climb. What a trail.

    It is a massive system. I like to camp at Penn Roosevelt (Primitive) and hit the trails in that section...Sassafras to Pig Pile trail is a good time.

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  • Bisons77
    *****

    As with most of Rothrock, it's rocky but loads of fun; challenging with awesome vistas to enjoy when you stop. Tough to look when you're hopping rocks!

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  • jessevanholland

    This review is for Lower Trail and Bald Knob Ridge only. Not going to lie, I was unprepared. As a fairly travelled expert rider, I found these trails to completely catch me off guard, I entered Lower trail off Laurel Run Road and it started off fast, flowy and totally fun. However Lower trail soon became extremely technical, as in rocky to the next level and by the end it was seriously 500 meters an hour and big rings hitting rocks every 2 seconds. Next I took Bald Knob Ridge eastbound, which started off with taking my bike for a walk through the woods but once you get to the top it's super technical, but rideable. After that I hit SandSpring which was a decent technical. Overall good times were had but I would label it as adventure riding because the trails are not very well marked so be careful.

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  • Aaron Chamberlain
    *****

    Excellent singletrack, assuming you like rocks. Rocks, rocks, rocks, everywhere. It's such a huge trail system it really should be broken into individual sections.

    Some of the highlights are John Wert, it's about 2.5 miles long and pretty flat, but it's one long rock garden. It's insane.

    The crown jewel of the system is by far, Tussey Ridge. It's around 4 miles long, super techy, and yes, rocky. The top of the mountain burned (I think?) a few years back, so there are no trees up there. This gives you great views of the other nearby ridges.

    Overall, Rothrock has some top notch riding.

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  • Raymo853
    *****

    Rothrock is far too large to really review in a single entry. These entries seem to be for a single trails or at most, a trail system of nearly uniform trails. Rothrock trails range from wonderful to ok. As a past local, I miss the whole of Rothrock riding greatly, so maybe that is the best review.

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  • Dave Stevens
    ****

    Skinny hiking style trail. There were a lot of rocks, and it was a bumpy ride. I ride a hardtail, and I would definitely recommend a full suspension. Fun overall.

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  • djf500
    Reviewing Coopers Gap Epic:
    *****

    Awesome trails! Did the IMBA Epic per the MTB Project website. Pretty well marked w/ signs at many trailheads. Some flow, lots of rocks, nothing too tech but enough to keep you on your toes. A few big climbs but all mtb friendly if you have the legs/lungs. *Note that this epic is more like 30 miles, not 26 as MTB Project states... we ran out of light and had to cut it a little short. Also "Flat Rock Trail" is boring double track... considering skipping it by riding all of Sassafras trail instead. Have to look at a map. The Rothrock "Purple Lizard" map is really helpful here (and Tussey Mtn Trails next mountain over)

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  • Chuck Hutchens
    Reviewing Coopers Gap Epic:
    *****

    Rode they Coopers Gap Highlights system with my son. We made a diversion for some great trail riding on our trip from Wisconsin to New York. These trails did not disappoint!
    Great trail system! TONS of rocks, and lots of roots to boot! A real challenge. But fun as heck. We both loved it.
    Super rocky. Super rooty where is is not rocky. Some fun flow bits. Great views. A real fun trail.
    Huge kudos to the folks who make this trail happen. A great trail looks like it is natural and just flows, even when it is difficult. It takes a lot of work to get this kind of quality. Thanks for all your work!

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  • gshute67
    *****

    Great ride if you love Rocks and technical riding. This is definitely an advanced ride I had to walk through a few sections as the rocks are tombstones and boulders in some sections. I did have a ton of pedal strikes along the way.

    I bought a purple Lizard map and learned as I rode. You can get one at Rothrock outfitter in town. This map comes in handy and it is waterproof. Take it with you as it can be confusing up on the mountain.

    I rode the opposite direction as the below route Which made for some steep rocky climbs. I feel I gained some new skills on this ride.I do wish I had brought my full suspension bike instead of the hardtail.

    I suffered a pinch flat . However the views from the ridge where worth the climb.
    I met a group of local riders a judge ,lawyer and a engineer, they gave me much needed directions to get back over the private land.

    I was welcomed back at the parking lot by them with some ice cold beverages and great conversations.
    Nice meeting you guys.

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  • brentonrader
    *****

    Maybe one of the best views of any trail in the area, especially in the burn zone. Moderate easy climb up the end of the ridge, and then a rocky, technical ride out the spine of the ridge.

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  • brentonrader
    Reviewing Coopers Gap Epic:
    *****

    Cooper's gap has it all. Heart pounding climbs, rock gardens, hair raising descents, beautiful views and more. Check it out--Pennsylvania Mountain biking at its best!

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  • elevenses
    Reviewing Coopers Gap Epic:
    *****

    I've only been mountain biking for about a year but this is the best loop I've ever ridden. I mostly ride the trails around Philly, i.e. the Wiss and White Clay in Delaware. Cooper's Gap has quite a bit of elevation change and a huge variety of singletrack. It starts out fairly smooth with an easy ascent and fast descent down Dutch Alvin Trail. Peep Trail has a fair number of rock gardens as you wind your way up a hill and ends with a long climb up to the road. After a relatively brief road climb, Sassafras Trail is so narrow and brushy that you might think you've gone the wrong way (we did), but it opens up for some great flow and rock gardens and you pass a gorgeous lookout. Descending down Pigpie is an absolute blast, pretty much the most fun I've ever had on a mountain bike. Finally, Sass-XX trail is gorgeous and flowy as you drop through the woods to a creek and then climb back up to Coopers Gap Road. Highly recommended.

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  • D_a_n_e
    *****

    I used to live in State College and hiked these trails all the time. But I'd never ridden them until 7/14/12.
    Wicked. I started at the Mountain Rd parking area and headed up Shingletown Trail. A lot of big rocks, but with practice this could be a nice challenge. Crossed Laurel Run rd and continued practically straight up the mountain. This part is for super-experts. I walked up most of the way.

    When I got to Little Flat Rd, I hung a left and picked up the Old Laurel Run trail a few feet down on the left. This is a very challenging down hill with almost as many rocks as the climb. Don't attempt this unless you are sure of your abilities! I had to give my hands and feet a break halfway down, but luckily didn't crash.

    At the bottom of that I picked up Longberger trail. By the way, if you can cross all 3 of those bridges without dying, you should be getting paid for this.
    I followed Longberger until it intersected with Kettle trail, turned right on Bear Meadows and found Tuxedo Trail, after some confusion. This was another wicked climb up!
    Then it straightens out and eventually becomes Tussey Mt Trail. This part was awesome. Some sweet rock obstacles to go over, that are challenging but not too crazy. You could really have a fast and fun sprint here, but you might get distracted by the mountain vistas to the right and will want to stop to take pictures.

    By this time I knew I should start heading back, so I decided to take the Filmore trail as a shortcut back. I must've already passed it, and opted to keep going rather than double back. I knew I wasn't far from Tussey amusement area, so I took a chance and decided to seek water there. Right as I reached the beer tap, I ran out of water--the beer tap, of course, bone dry. But at least I knew exactly where I was. (I had downloaded trail maps courtesy of NMBA's website.) I made my way down Galbreath gap tr/Corner Rd/Bear Meadows Rd, to the ski resort. They were not only open, but they had cooler full free ice water, a courtesy bike maintenance station, and a surprisingly awesome hot dog trailer. After a few stretches, gulping and refilling my hydration pack, and one giant Mountain Dog, I was on my way. Across from the Galbreath Gap Parking lot, I took the zig zaggy trail which lead to Laurel Run Rd. I decided to take the road :/ as a shortcut to get back to Shingletown Tr. I was so beat by this time. Once I got to Shingletown Tr it was mostly down hill, but crazy rocks! I made it to my car, surprisingly unscathed, save for a few scratches. This is a great challenging, beautiful trail system--I recommend this for people who want to up their experience!! Definitely not for beginners.

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