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Level: Intermediate
Length: 19 mi (30.6 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +847/ -847 ft
Total: 50 riders

Mountain Biking Yellow Creek State Park

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#6 of 294 mountain bike trails in Pennsylvania
#285 in the world

The singletrack winds through mostly forested areas and contains over 2000' of climbing. Known for its combination of flow, climbing and technical terrain, the essential definition of a classic ride, the trail system can be accessed at multiple locations throughout this Pennsylvania State Park. The south shore Day Use Area is great for you to start your riding experience and provides plenty of parking, water, picnic areas, restrooms, and other family activities. While on the south shore, riders will enjoy fairly smooth and twisty singletrack. The north shore provides riders with more technical riding and typically the driest trails. In general, the western portion of the park will provide pleasure to those seeking climbing opportunities. Most of the trail segments can be ridden in either direction, with a clockwise direction of travel being a preferred method of travel while performing the entire loop.

Each trail segment is marked and coordinated with the park map, making navigation easy. This tail system would not have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of the Laurel Highlands On&Off Road Bicycling Association (LHORBA) (www.lhorba.org), Friends of Yellow Creek State Park (www.friendsofyellowcreek.org), RideYC (www.rideyc.com) and the Yellow Creek State Park (www.dcnr.state.pa.us).

Other park activities include camping within and near the park, boating, boat rentals, canoe & kayak rentals, fishing, swimming, hunting, picnicking, orienteering and hiking. Please be respectful of other users. Riding is discouraged during hunting seasons and wet periods.

Combine this ride with other local IMBA Trail Solutions (Allegripis Trail) and IMBA Epics (Rattling Creek, Coopers Gap, Rothrock Ride) and multiple riding opportunities around Pittsburgh for a weeklong Epic riding experience in PA.
RIDE TIME: 2.5-4.5 hours
-Description by mflinn77

First added by mflinn77 on May 28, 2010. Last updated May 1, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: yes
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: yes
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Day-Use Entrance
Yellow Creek State Park, 170 Pennsylvania 259, Penn Run, PA 15765
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Yellow Creek State Park Trail map

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PAMTB42 (on Jul 2, 2020)
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Dry (on Jul 2, 2020)
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Rider questions

Q: Because I need to know. is there really a moderate deep (thigh high) river to wade across? was just wondering if the images associated with trail is true or just ankle deep. cuze it would be cool if you have to.
A: I would imagine the depth of the river might vary depending on the time of year, but I was here a couple days ago and there was indeed a thigh-deep river.

Q: Driving though this area to NY. Want to stop for the night and ride in the AM, any sonic suggestions where to park for the night(sleeping in car). And is small fire building allowed this time of year?

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  • Corsedrummer   ✓ supporter

    Finally made it here after being told about it a couple of years ago & glad I drove the 1&1/2 hours to get here! As other reviews have said it has a little bit of everything and is both well maintained and marked. Thank you to those who work on these trails. The changing scenery was like riding in different parks and was awesome. We only saw 2 other mt bikers so it was as if we had the trails to ourselves!

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  • Helena Kotala

    The trails mainly loop around the lake. The full loop is right around 20 miles. Good mix of terrain, from smooth, semi-flat areas to some killer steep climbs (they're all relatively short though) to big rocks and fun areas to mess around. If you do the whole loop, there is a stream crossing that requires dismount and wading through the creek carrying your bike, so keep that in mind when it's cold out or in the spring when the water is high. I think the best place to start is the beach area---ample parking, restrooms, etc. And you end on a really fun, flat section of trail near the creek. Overall, great trails! I drive an hour and a half to go ride here a couple times a year.

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  • mflinn77

    RideYC!! Just enough miles to make the loop challenging all year round. There are some rocky technical areas on the North Shore. The South shore is mostly twisty, sometimes rooty, singletrack. I believe YC has some of the best trails around.

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  • sconnor412

    Absolutely amazing. Great flow, awesome climbs, killer descents, quite a few techy spots, rock/boulder gardens and a stream crossing to cool you off! Can't wait to go back!

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  • Jason McCartney

    A little bit of everything in an 18 mile singletrack loop around a lake. If starting on the south shore the trail starts with some flowing singletrack that bobs and weaves through pines. Eventually you'll drop down to the lake/stream for the mandatory stream crossing (you will get your feet wet). The north shore starts with a big climb has some rocky, technical sections and ends with an awesome rock garden.

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  • [email protected]

    I rode this yesterday and had a mixed experience. Some sections of the trails are still muddy and boggy, so I had to walk alot of those. But it is early in the season, so I'm sure it will dry out and be better. There was a little rain earlier in the day, and the rest of the trail was pretty tough as a result. There are alot of snaking trails through tight sections with plenty of roots. Needless to say, you have to take it pretty slow when things are wet and slick.

    I also parked in the wrong place to hit the good trails right away, in the pavilion and picnic area off of 259. It seems like the best parts of the singletrack are between Campground Rd and Hoffman Rd, and to the West of Hoffman. If I ever get a chance to come back, I would park on Hoffman Rd and hit the areas to the West to start, instead of the low areas by the pavilions.

    Most of my time was on the Simpson Trail, and I didn't make it to the Billygoat or Damsite trails because of a flat.

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  • Dave Hunt

    Everything you could want is at yellow creek. BLISTERING Descents, BRUTAL climbs, roots, rocks and very well maintained and marked.

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  • Jonnycat

    Yellow Creek is a trail that encompasses a lot of what makes mt. biking fun. Technical lines, pump trail sections, tricky descents, heart busting climbs, water, flats, rollers, pines. Have fun. It's basically a loop around the lake that is about 15 miles. They also hold an Exterra Off Road Tri over the summer that uses the trail system also. Check it out.

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  • lurch_96

    best single-track in Indiana...little bit of everything from twisty turns through pines, a log crossing or two, dip into a stream, couple small climbs, nice scenery, low traffic...what more could you ask?!!

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