March 21, 2017 at 2:41 pm #210774
I’m working on an article about the best MTB trails in Pennsylvania and want to know about “must-ride” trails and trail systems in the state. A couple obvious choices come to mind:
What others are there that should not be missed?
March 22, 2017 at 5:44 am #210803
Jeff, I haven’t ridden them all of course as the state is quite large. Our State parks are pretty much open to mountain biking. French Creek has a great trail system with classic PA rocky gnar. Nockamixon “The Nox” has about 10 miles of purpose built Mtb trails. Mostly flow trails that you can just rip on. Berms, rollers, man made features etc. Good place to take the family or beginners so they can learn bike control and technique. Fun if your more advanced because you can see how fast you can go before you overshoot it into a tree. Blue Knob State Park is also excellent technical riding. Yeah, we get a lot of techy stuff here where the glaciers stopped back in the prehistoric days and dumped lots of rocks that they were carrying.
Within the city of Philadelphia we have over 50 miles of challenging and fun single track. Valley Green park in the Wissahickon “The Wiss” has about twenty miles of well marked multi use trails that range from flowy and fast to gnarly ass rocky descents, technical, rocky, and punchy stair step type climbs. Come out and visit sometime. Contact me and we’ll take you through the park. I’ll be willing to bet you can’t clean the whole Wiss. The Belmont plateau section of Philadelphia. Also has a great trail network and the Philly Pump Track. The trails in Belmont were built by hardcore Mtb people and you will get your log over technique some practice. Lastly, there’s Penny Pack park with at least 15 miles of tight twisty fun single track. It’s our location of choice for night riding. That’s all within the city limits of Philadelphia. So… there’s my PA riding haunts for what it’s worth.
March 22, 2017 at 6:35 am #210804
I’m from Philly as well and I second the Wissahickon. It’s a great place with all the variety in the world. A good balance of flow and technical (it does get pretty gnarly in some places). It seems weird considering it’s in the middle of a big city, but it’s truly a great place to ride and is easily accessible. I highly recommend to anyone who is travelling on I-95, up to New York or down to D.C., to take a short detour and experience Philly mountain biking (sounds strange, I know). There’s a lot of fun to be had here, and many might never realize it exists.
March 22, 2017 at 7:46 am #210819
I will second Allegrippis! – Fun and fast, fast, fast. ….and full of MTB “personalities” (sometimes people watching there can be entertaining).
I am not as enamored with Rothrock; I found it an odd mix of, well, rock (to the point of boredom) and multi-track. But I am eager to give it a second try this summer.
…would really love to hear from western PA riders on western PA trails.
March 22, 2017 at 8:36 am #210821
Pretty much everything you ride at the Trans-Sylvania Epic 😉
Tussey Ridge – fun trail, lots of tech, amazing views
John Wert – super rocky, techy, flat, maybe not everyone’s idea of fun
Wildcat Gap – big rocks, high speed
March 22, 2017 at 1:12 pm #210856
<p style=”text-align: left;”>The Wissihickon in Philly is awesome. Jim Thorpe is the mecca for MTB riding, known as little Swisserland. Epic trails, the “wagon wheel”….blue mountain lake is long and cool too.</p>
March 22, 2017 at 1:20 pm #210857
Jim Thorpe is the mecca for MTB riding, known as little Swisserland.
Leah and I went to Jim Thorpe about 10 or 12 years ago to go mountain biking and we couldn’t find the good stuff–so bummed! Hopefully we get a chance to make it back up there. I believe American Standard was closed for some reason so we rode Broad Mtn. (snooze).
March 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm #210863
I used to work at Pocono biking in Jim Thorpe for a few years! Then moved to southern California… Still miss riding back there in the fall!
March 23, 2017 at 11:52 am #210919
<p style=”text-align: left;”>I’m from Pittsburgh and the 2 absolute must rides would be North Park and Moraine. North Park has everything you would want in a ride, aroun 40 miles of singletrack. Moraine is a tech riders dream, only about 12 miles total but well worth it. A few honorable mentions would be Bradys Run, Frick Park, Settlers Cabin, Hartwood Acres and Boyce Park.</p>
March 27, 2017 at 2:33 pm #211238
You need to get yourself out east to the good side of the state!! North Park is a trail system that is very well built and extremely fun to ride. it has plenty of every bit of riding you’d want from fast and flowy to pump tracks. the crazy part is that its almost right smack dab in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh.
Another GREAT place to ride is Moraine State Park. I hear it compared to Allegrippis a lot, though I haven’t ridden Allegrippis to speak from personal experience. For a technical challenge and a really fun ride i have to give a shoutout to the trail system at Roaring Run. Great trails with a really strong group of volunteers maintaining them. It isn’t the most expansive trail system in the world but every bit of it is very enjoyable.
for the after work rider i have to second EricJB9. Boyce is just plain old fashioned MTB fun.
March 27, 2017 at 3:18 pm #211265
i love me some Core Creek in Bucks County…not the biggest park but lots of root covered twisty single track to devour
March 28, 2017 at 8:53 am #211301
I would also throw Rattling Creek in there. It’s a good mix of smooth and flowy with some rocky stuff thrown in. And with 20+ miles of trail that can be done in a loop, it’s a great long ride or can be broken up into 2 days. There’s camping near the trailhead too, which is convenient if you want to make a weekend out of it.
Jim Thorpe definitely has some good riding (American Standard) but a lot of it also isn’t totally legal so it’s a tough one to write about.
I second Moraine as well — rocky goodness just north of Pittsburgh.
And Allegrippis and Rothrock State Forest are must-do’s. You can probably find some more info on different areas in Rothrock in my article on best MTB trails in Central PA: https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-trails/my-top-5-the-best-mountain-bike-trails-in-central-pennsylvania/
I have not ridden Wissahickon but I’ve heard good things.
March 28, 2017 at 9:26 am #211311
There are some hidden gems in the Lehigh Valley. Salisbury Purchase Park and South Mountain to name a couple. These are nice because they are tucked away and experience less traffic than many popular trails and are every bit as good. I live in Colorado now and the quantity of track here is insane. However, I can say PA trails prepared me very well for the tech I find out here. Shout out to Cutter’s Bike Shop in Bethlehem to give some good advice on local trail.
Also a note about Jim Thorpe….Last I was there maybe a year ago the local bike shops said most of the single track has been closed and if not, turned to double track. I don’t think it is the Mecca it once was.
Wiss in the Philly area is great riding as well!
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