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  1. #1
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    2 weeks in PA -- your suggestions?

    Hi everyone -- I am a native Pennsylvanian (NEPA) who has moved away for school. I didn't start mountain biking until I moved and boy was I sad when I realized I missed out on the treasure trove that used to be in my backyard!

    The partner and I are planning a trip back East and plan on bringing the bikes. I'm hoping not to be scared away by actually 'mountain' biking. With real elevation! We're looking for some XC fun and also some nice epic rides that are more for the views than the screaming singletrack.

    Jim Thorpe is on the list as is Francis Slocum which appears to now have trails (planning on any trailwork in August?). Since we're driving through the state, we thought about stopping in Pittsburgh and State College also. Any suggestions and informational links will be appreciated ! (Upstate New York suggestions are also okay)

  2. #2
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    1. lykens aka rattling creek check out the hang glider launch if the day is clear you'll get a nice view.
    2. bald eagle state forest cowbell hollow ride
    3. rothrock state forest i'd take 2 days if not 3 for the riding here.
    4. moshannon state forest. rock run trails are worth an afternoon for sure.
    5. laurel highlands
    6. blue knob state park side. not resort side, though once you're at the top, you can cross over and do that as well.
    7. micheaux
    8. i hear the stuff around prompton dam is worth checking out
    9. if you can find someone who knows it, the quehanna wilds perhaps

    that ought to get you started

  3. #3
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    Nice list!

    Not sure what to add, but I hear Ellicotville in NY has great riding as well and its just over the border from PA.

  4. #4
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    Good job!

    DrAvogadro

    All are invited to join us(NEPMTBA) on wrokdays and for the ride after at Frances Slocum. We have a major workday once a month on Sundays and we ride every Tuesday night at 6pm leaving from the Carverton Road access near the gas line

    Check the links below for al lthe info.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocko
    Nice list!

    Not sure what to add, but I hear Ellicotville in NY has great riding as well and its just over the border from PA.
    the stuff at Ellicotville is definitely worth riding if you are up that way, two good days worth I would say.

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    from what i recall, it's about 45 minutes over the line to e-ville, and i can't think if anywhere near there that i'd want to ride on our side of the border. if you make the trip, it will be soley for the stuff at e-ville.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bighitdon
    from what i recall, it's about 45 minutes over the line to e-ville, and i can't think if anywhere near there that i'd want to ride on our side of the border. if you make the trip, it will be soley for the stuff at e-ville.
    Not even in the ANF or the state forests in Potter County?

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    the only thing ive really heard of riding up there, ANF / potter county, is fire roads. they have a 12 hour race at Ole Bull state park but the loop is almost all fire road. I heard from some guys in NY that came down to that area to do a weekend of riding and said it was a real bust.

  9. #9
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    come on and check out southwestern PA, we got some great riding here. between Pittsburgh and the Laurel Highlands there are some really great rides. Laurel Mountain, Seven Springs, Frick Park, Hartwood Acres, Boyce Park, and Roaring Run in Apollo are just a few of the places you might want to check into. check the trail review section all of these trails are top notch. and if you want scenery all of these places offer lots of eye candy.

  10. #10
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    Is Blue Knob worth a visit?

  11. #11
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    Absolutely. From what I've heard...

  12. #12
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    Potter Co...

    Quote Originally Posted by nmba guy
    the only thing ive really heard of riding up there, ANF / potter county, is fire roads. they have a 12 hour race at Ole Bull state park but the loop is almost all fire road. I heard from some guys in NY that came down to that area to do a weekend of riding and said it was a real bust.

    ...actually has some killer single track. You've just got to know where to find it. Most of it was put in and maintained by a few local riders. Most is connected and forms a good days riding in a nice loop. Very few of the "bootleg" trails are on official maps. I live right next to the Susquehannock State Forest and hours of single track start only a hundred or so yards away from my doorstep down the dirt road. As a matter of fact I sit here typing and licking my wounds after a good two hour ride that I finished only about and hour and a half ago. The weather has been incredible. Some of our single track is top notch as it was put in by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. Groomed, narrow, twisty, fast. But our biggest plus is the forest you are riding in. It is vast and beautiful.

    You are right about the Ole Bull loop. Pretty much all fire roads. Ok for a cross bike I suppose. And the guys running the race wonder why attendance is dropping every year. I tried to suggest putting in some single track as most riders won't do a three hour drive to pedal around on dirt roads. They just looked at me funny. It is a fun time to camp at the race and overall it's a nice time but real single track is lacking. Many of the guys running mountain biking races and events around here are unfortunately old school. Way back when, 20 years ago or so, when bikers were just thrilled to be getting off the pavement and into the woods, a 30 mile race around state forest fire roads was a great thing. That was very big right around the area I'm at in Potter. Times have changed but most of the organizers around here don't see it. It's too bad because this area has the potential to be a huge mountain bike destination. I'm just glad I have a few loops to ride.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J
    ...actually has some killer single track. You've just got to know where to find it. Most of it was put in and maintained by a few local riders. Most is connected and forms a good days riding in a nice loop. Very few of the "bootleg" trails are on official maps. I live right next to the Susquehannock State Forest and hours of single track start only a hundred or so yards away from my doorstep down the dirt road. As a matter of fact I sit here typing and licking my wounds after a good two hour ride that I finished only about and hour and a half ago. The weather has been incredible. Some of our single track is top notch as it was put in by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. Groomed, narrow, twisty, fast. But our biggest plus is the forest you are riding in. It is vast and beautiful.

    You are right about the Ole Bull loop. Pretty much all fire roads. Ok for a cross bike I suppose. And the guys running the race wonder why attendance is dropping every year. I tried to suggest putting in some single track as most riders won't do a three hour drive to pedal around on dirt roads. They just looked at me funny. It is a fun time to camp at the race and overall it's a nice time but real single track is lacking. Many of the guys running mountain biking races and events around here are unfortunately old school. Way back when, 20 years ago or so, when bikers were just thrilled to be getting off the pavement and into the woods, a 30 mile race around state forest fire roads was a great thing. That was very big right around the area I'm at in Potter. Times have changed but most of the organizers around here don't see it. It's too bad because this area has the potential to be a huge mountain bike destination. I'm just glad I have a few loops to ride.

    Can we ride the Susquehannock "trail" system legally or is that just for hikers?
    Proformance Cycle
    proformance58@cs.com

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    If its not too far outta your way, blue knob is worth it. theres two side, the state park, very up and down, with some really sweet rocky stuff near the top of the mountain. Its well signed and mapped. There is a good days worth of riding on that side. The other side is the ski area. theres a really nice technical loop through there, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 miles now I believe, but its not signed at all and without a local who knows it, your better off not trying it IMHO.

  15. #15
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    Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance Cycle
    Can we ride the Susquehannock "trail" system legally or is that just for hikers?
    That's a great question. It's officially posted as off limits to bikers. Funny though, as it's bikers that often put in the most volunteer hours clearing trail to keep it open. There are some spot that would make for incredible single track riding.

  16. #16
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    Hey everyone --

    Thanks for the suggestions. I am excited that I will be leaving for my riding adventures this week! I think I will be in :
    Pittsburgh - Sunday the 19th (tentative) Thinking about Frick Park
    King of Prussia area - 20th-23/24th
    NEPA: 24th-28th
    State College: 28-29th

    I know that I definitely want to do Jim Thorpe if anyone will be around that weekend. I have only been road biking lately because of school so I hope I am not too much of a novice for the trails. The views look fantastic. I will also be doing Francis Slocum and I am interested in what park that the Hubbard trail pictures are from? The boardwalks look fun!

  17. #17
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by DrAvogadro
    Hey everyone --

    Thanks for the suggestions. I am excited that I will be leaving for my riding adventures this week! I think I will be in :
    Pittsburgh - Sunday the 19th (tentative) Thinking about Frick Park
    King of Prussia area - 20th-23/24th
    NEPA: 24th-28th
    State College: 28-29th

    I know that I definitely want to do Jim Thorpe if anyone will be around that weekend. I have only been road biking lately because of school so I hope I am not too much of a novice for the trails. The views look fantastic. I will also be doing Francis Slocum and I am interested in what park that the Hubbard trail pictures are from? The boardwalks look fun!
    Here's the info:

    Hubbard is a private club owned by John Graboski and his family open to all! No addmission. Every Thursday night they have a Thursday night Ride/Dinner for 6 bucks. 5 is for the dinner and 1 dollar goes into the trail fund. Bring your own fav case of beverage, and sharing/trading is always welcome. You have to do once in your life, but be warned you will be back time and again. it is truly a Mountain Bikers Dream to ride there and meet all the nice people! I am a memeber and also the land manager/ web guy for NEPMTBA, so if your coming up our way we ride Frances Slocum on Tuesday nights and Hubbard on Thursdays! Please join us! I sent you a PM with more info!

    Cy on the trails
    LC

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAvogadro
    I am interested in what park that the Hubbard trail pictures are from? The boardwalks look fun!
    That's not a park... That's Hubbard!

    I think you might want to change a little planning and come up to Hubbard on the night of the 23rd. You'll get to meet about 60 riders that love riding just as much as you do. Not to mention an AWESOME dinner that John makes! Don't be intimidated either. We ride in different groups of all abilities. The boardwalk, the "log ride" (aka skinny), the creek crossing and the rocky bridge were all put in by the WTC (Hehe) aka Hubbard with Lee's help too from NEPMTBA. In all, about 10-13 of us were dedicated last December to make the trails a little drier... or technical!!!

    I'm going away tomorrow, so if you have any questions, post asap or ask Lee. ttyl, Fahn

    Ps, I'll be back on Monday next week to answer anything that Lee can't.
    Hubbard Bike Club

  19. #19
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    Wow, great! Am I allowed to ask my brother to go? This seems so top secret...

  20. #20
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    Is this a night ride or does it take place during the day?

  21. #21
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    Good job! Info

    DrAvogadro:

    I PMed you. Email John Graboski. Introduce yourself and discuss all questions with him. When you arrive at Hubbard ask to meet John and introduce yourself to all of us. Lot's of great people and they will show you around. I'm sure you can bring your brother, but check with John. Rides start at 6 pm. This time of year you should bring your light but you could sweek by without them.

    Frances Slocum, just show up Tuesdays at the Carverton Road Gasline Access at 6 pm. Ask for Lee or Chris and we will show you around. FS has about 5.5 miles of trails so it's not alot, but we have lot's of Fun!

    Thanks



    Thanks

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the info! Unfortunately, our scheduled stop in NEPA falls the day after the Hubbard ride and we will be leaving the day of the Slocum ride. Our schedule is kind of fixed so we don't end up spending more than 10hrs a day driving. If you know anyone that wants to bike during the weekend, feel free to let them e-mail me at dr_avogadro [at] yahoo [dot] com.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAvogadro
    Is this a night ride or does it take place during the day?
    Hubbard is on some private land that the owners know we use. To not get them in trouble or HBC in trouble, we only ride there on Thursnights. We start to pile into The Barn around 5 and the ride leaves somewhere around 6. The rides can last as long or short as you're willing. Everyone's welcome to come up on a Thursnight for a ride and to eat. I'm pretty sure you won't be dissapointed . ttyl, Fahn
    Last edited by LarryFahn; 08-15-2007 at 07:17 AM.
    Hubbard Bike Club

  24. #24
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    On your way out east hit.... and while in K.O.P. area must hit....

    Quote Originally Posted by DrAvogadro
    Hey everyone --

    Thanks for the suggestions. I am excited that I will be leaving for my riding adventures this week! I think I will be in :
    Pittsburgh - Sunday the 19th (tentative) Thinking about Frick Park
    King of Prussia area - 20th-23/24th
    NEPA: 24th-28th
    State College: 28-29th

    I know that I definitely want to do Jim Thorpe if anyone will be around that weekend. I have only been road biking lately because of school so I hope I am not too much of a novice for the trails. The views look fantastic. I will also be doing Francis Slocum and I am interested in what park that the Hubbard trail pictures are from? The boardwalks look fun!
    On your drive out east, stop by Rocky Ridge State Park in York, PA.
    And, since you'll be in King of Prussia, French Creek is SO close to you while there. That, and even if you can't find someone to hook up with for a ride there, the maps avail. at the park are excellent! You won't get lost.
    EWR-HE-148-11-4-97
    Microbeer's Better!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAvogadro
    Hey everyone --

    Thanks for the suggestions. I am excited that I will be leaving for my riding adventures this week! I think I will be in :
    Pittsburgh - Sunday the 19th (tentative) Thinking about Frick Park
    King of Prussia area - 20th-23/24th
    NEPA: 24th-28th
    State College: 28-29th

    I know that I definitely want to do Jim Thorpe if anyone will be around that weekend. I have only been road biking lately because of school so I hope I am not too much of a novice for the trails. The views look fantastic. I will also be doing Francis Slocum and I am interested in what park that the Hubbard trail pictures are from? The boardwalks look fun!


    WHen you are in the King of Prussia area check out French Creek (30 minutes away), Blue Marsh Lake(One Hour), Fair Hill (about an hour).

  26. #26
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    Well I have finally made it to PA after driving through a monsoon today. I can only imagine the luck I have had in planning to do most of my biking this week, with all the rain. I guess I will be riding a FS on some nice paved paths. I'm guessing that since it's raining until Tues, that I probably won't get to hit French Creek by Thursday? Is there a place that posts up trail conditions? I checked Philly mtb but I wasn't able to find anything there....maybe I didn't look hard enough.

  27. #27
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    French Creek.

    Probably not by Wed. But, Thurs. may be doable.
    They've recently rerouted one of the main trails around a problem poor drainage area. Might be muddy in spots but the rest should be ridable without doing trail damage. Just my opinion though.
    What's everyone else's opinions on the "wetness" issue by Thurs.?
    EWR-HE-148-11-4-97
    Microbeer's Better!

  28. #28
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    Spend your time waiting for things to dry out enjoying that region's ridiculous wealth of good beer.

  29. #29
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    Amen to that!
    Too many good ones to choose if you include all of the non-bottling restaurant brewers but, for a "can't miss" I'd say Victory in Downingtown! That gets my vote! Not to kill the orig. subject of this thread.
    EWR-HE-148-11-4-97
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  30. #30
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    No good

    What horrible luck....I think now that I am going north the rain is following and it is supposed to rain this entire weekend. I did a 5 mile loop around Valley Forge as it finally stopped raining this afternoon and tomorrow will do another paved ride, hopefully get in 20 mi.

    I'm assuming everything will be drenched so if there are any paved trails worth riding in NEPA or trailwork please post up. I will be dying to get out in the woods.

    Being optimistic, I will hope that by the time I get to state college, things will be dried out.
    Last edited by DrAvogadro; 08-22-2007 at 07:43 PM.

  31. #31
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    Frances Slocum had little mud. It has been so dry all Summer it just ran off

  32. #32
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    Still in the King of Prussia area?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrAvogadro
    What horrible luck....I think now that I am going north the rain is following and it is supposed to rain this entire weekend. I did a 5 mile loop around Valley Forge as it finally stopped raining this afternoon and tomorrow will do another paved ride, hopefully get in 20 mi.

    I'm assuming everything will be drenched so if there are any paved trails worth riding in NEPA or trailwork please post up. I will be dying to get out in the woods.

    Being optimistic, I will hope that by the time I get to state college, things will be dried out.
    If you have to do paved, ride the trail all the way to Manayunk and back. At least it's scenic.
    But, I still hold that you could hit French Creek by this afternoon and not worry about rutting up the trails. Maybe not, but I figure so.
    Any other opinions on if French will be "drained off"? I know that it won't be perfectly "dried out" under all of that tree canopy.
    Let's get you out on the dirt!
    EWR-HE-148-11-4-97
    Microbeer's Better!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAvogadro
    What horrible luck....I think now that I am going north the rain is following and it is supposed to rain this entire weekend. I did a 5 mile loop around Valley Forge as it finally stopped raining this afternoon and tomorrow will do another paved ride, hopefully get in 20 mi.

    I'm assuming everything will be drenched so if there are any paved trails worth riding in NEPA or trailwork please post up. I will be dying to get out in the woods.

    Being optimistic, I will hope that by the time I get to state college, things will be dried out.
    e-mail sent...
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  34. #34
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    I did do a nice 20mi of paved today which ended up being really nice. I think tomorrow is looking good though! I think we will start with jim thorpe and see where it goes from there.

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    Hopefully the bad weather will stay away until Saturday night. Drove down to Jim Thorpe today and unfortunately didn't leave much time so stuck to an easy trail, Switchback and rode it out to Summit Hill. Took the highway on the way back since it was dark and it's a lot of fun going downhill for over 10 minutes! I've never gone 30mph on a mtb before. The climibing here makes me realize how weak sauce I am riding in a very flat area.

  36. #36
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    Got to ride at Francis Slocum today. Super great trail! You guys are pretty lucky as it seems your trails would dry out pretty quickly with the roots and the rocks protecting the soil.

    Just wondering if anyone has a rough estimate of the feet of climbing? Everything seems like a lot out here since I'm only used to 100-200 ft.

  37. #37
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    Good job!

    DrAvogadro:

    We were there today doing work and it seem we might have about 100 feet of climbing on most hills. I guess on a loop you could get 500 feet of climbing. The thing about FS trails is it never gives up you are rolling up and down most of the time. NO mojor uphills or downhills just consatnt rolling...

    Hope you liked it!



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    Sorry I didn't make it out for trail work. My family actually woke up pretty early so I didn't have free time like I thought I would. We went to Merli-Sarnowski park and it was a lot of fun. The map at the ranger station really helped put the trails together. I'm not sure if that horse stable was there before the maps were made? It took me a second to realize the trail went up near the stable and not down and around. The view from the Field was great. Did someone build those trails or are they old hiking trails?

  39. #39
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    DrAvogadro:

    Trails were there before the stables, they were built as hiking trails. We used to race Mt Bikes there in the late 1990's hosted by Lackawanna Bike Club. The trails are maintained by Hubbrad bicycle club and we(NEPMTBA) help out when they have a workday there. Some logging was done in the park a few years back and the Hubbard crew is responsible for restoring the trails that were effected. They are very dedicted and do a great job! Larry Fahn can cover more on this

  40. #40
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    The trails were all put in by the LBC... Mianly Gene and Pete Katapski. They are riders themselves
    Hubbard Bike Club

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    Resurrecting from the dead.....

    Are there any bike shops in the area [NEPA] that rent out bikes? (could be road or mtb, not picky)

    2 weeks was definitely not enough time for a trip that lengthy...After leaving NEPA, stopped in State College and didn't get to ride anything because we had to get back in time. Stopped once more in IL and got chased back into the car by a mosquito swarm! It was so gross and the humming was unbearable. I plan on doing this trip again but I am going to just take a train out and then stay in PA....too much good stuff that I missed out on.

    Jim Thorpe


    Francis Slocum


    Merli

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