Happy Valley, Pennsylvania is the ‘Centre of Adventure’ for Mountain Bikers

Mountain bikers will find stunning scenery and a vibrant cycling community in Happy Valley, PA, home to Rothrock State Forest, an IMBA Epic.
Mountain biking in Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Photos provided by Happy Valley Adventure Bureau

Welcome to Happy Valley, the “Centre of Adventure” in the beautiful Commonwealth of Pennsylvania! Here, amidst stunning natural scenery and a vibrant community spirit, you’ll find a haven for outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. Whether you’re an avid mountain biker or just looking for a thrilling new adventure, Happy Valley has something special in store for you.

Mountain biking Happy Valley

If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, you’ll find some of Pennsylvania’s most beautiful, challenging, and downright fun mountain biking trails right here in Happy Valley. State College, nestled amidst picturesque mountains, has earned its reputation as the Mountain Bike Capital of Pennsylvania for good reason. With accolades from the likes of Singletracks, it’s no wonder cyclists from far and wide flock to explore the wonders of our trails.

Rothrock State Forest has become a second and dear home to many in Happy Valley, specifically Shingletown Gap, Tussey Mountain, and Galbraith Gap. Find speed and fun in the trails that weave through this 97,000-acre slice of public land. There are 290 miles of trail open to mountain bikes (including Class 1 e-bikes). The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has maps and resources for bikers online. Riders can also find an interactive map on Singletracks and MTB Project. From the iconic Tussey Mountain Ridge to the thrilling Cooper’s Gap trail, every Rothrock ride promises adventure and unforgettable views.

Rothrock State Forest includes the Rothrock Trailmix, classified as an IMBA Epic adventure. This is a challenging 36-mile loop loaded with a fantastic variety of ridge-top views, technical riding sections, flow sections and solid climbs that total over 4,000 total feet. Another top destination is the Cooper’s Gap area, which also boasts an epic-style 30-mile loop with slightly less rugged terrain than the Trailmix. 

But Happy Valley isn’t just for seasoned pros. Our community is dedicated to welcoming riders of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re honing your skills at Hamer Bike Park, rolling laps at Philipsburg Pump Track — located adjacent to the Slabtown Skate and Bike Park in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania — or embarking on a family-friendly journey along Hobie’s Trail, there’s something for everyone here.

As you traverse our trails, you’ll discover the true magic of Happy Valley—a place where exercise, nature, and camaraderie converge to uplift both body and spirit. Recognized as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, State College offers a network of trails and bike lanes that make exploring our valley a breeze.

Gravel and beyond

Cycling isn’t just a pastime here—it’s a way of life. Enthusiastically embraced by locals and visitors alike, Happy Valley boasts a world-class cycling scene that caters to every rider’s preferences. From exhilarating mountain trails to smooth road rides and everything in between, there’s no shortage of terrain to explore on two wheels.

Happy Valley’s vibrant cycling community is alive with opportunities to connect and grow. From women’s cycling teams like Happy Valley Women’s Cycling to youth programs like the Centre County Crows, there are numerous ways to get involved and make lasting memories.

Looking to connect with fellow riders in #HappyValleyPA? You’re in luck! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, there’s a vibrant community waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Happy Valley Women’s Cycling (HVWC) is leading the charge in breaking down barriers for female riders. Since 2018, they’ve been creating a supportive environment where women can push their limits and discover the joy of cycling. From recreational beginner rides to skills camps and coaching, HVWC is committed to advancing women’s biking and racing in Centre County. Plus, their Seasons of Rothrock Race Series offers thrilling events that cater to all levels of riders.

If you’re passionate about mountain biking and environmental stewardship, the Nittany Mountain Biking Association (NMBA) is the perfect group for you. For over 20 years, NMBA volunteers have been maintaining trails in the area, ensuring that riders have access to top-notch riding experiences. With weekly rides and trail work days, NMBA provides ample opportunities to get involved and give back to the community.

For young riders looking to hone their skills and have fun on the trails, the Centre County Crows offers a safe and educational environment for riders in grades 6-12. Led by experienced coaches, this youth mountain biking team is perfect for those eager to explore the world of mountain biking.

If you’re seeking a more social riding experience, look no further than the Rothrock Regulators. This diverse group of riders, with skills ranging from beginner to advanced, gathers regularly for fun and camaraderie on the trails. Whether it’s a scheduled Wednesday ride or a spontaneous pick-up ride, you’re sure to find your place among the Rothrock Regulators.

Last but not least, the Bald Eagle Mountain Biking Association (BEMBA) is dedicated to creating and preserving great trail experiences in Bald Eagle State Forest. Through education, advocacy, and community engagement, BEMBA is shaping a bicycle-friendly environment that promotes fun, fitness, and transportation for all riders.

So, whether you’re seeking the thrill of a challenging singletrack or the simple joy of a leisurely ride through our countryside, Happy Valley invites you to experience the best of Pennsylvania’s outdoor wonders. With festivals, outdoor events, and delicious local fare awaiting your discovery, there’s never been a better time to embark on your next great adventure in Happy Valley, Pennsylvania. Whether you’re an experienced rider or just starting, there’s something here for everyone. So grab your bike, explore our trails, and discover the magic of #HappyValleyPA!