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  1. #1
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    Best Pa. State Parks

    What are your favorate parks to visit for MTBing?

    Mike

  2. #2
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    Bavington State Game Lands outside of Pittsburgh!!

    (not really a state park, but pretty darn close)

  3. #3
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    Rothrock in State College.

    Prompton's a really nice place as well.

  4. #4
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    Merli Sarnoski and Prompton State Park are both really fantastic parks in NE PA...

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    French Creek State Park. I think its in a few different towns. I want to say its in Birdsborough, Pa. Just outside of the Reading area. It has it all. Fast singletrack, switchbacks, long techincal descents, lots of rocks, two lakes, uphills, hard uphills, extremely hard (but not too long) up hills, you name it. It has everything for everyone.
    There is also the once a month ride of Blue Marsh, in Reading. Not very technical. Mostly rolling hills and fast stuff. There are a few hills that will kick you in the butt, but it is fun. Make sure you are in OK shape. The shortest ride is 22 miles, the longest ride is 29 miles, and there is no short cuts unless you turn around on your tracks. It is a big loop around the Blue Marsh lake. Make sure you bring food and drink. I have made it on a 16 oz bottle of cytomax, 1 power gel, some beef jerky and some trailmix, no camel back, all in my jersey pocket.

  6. #6
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    Hi Mike:

    I guess Francis Slocum would be first cause it's only 2 miles from me.

    Lackawanna SP because Joe Tierney does a fantastic job of trail making and maintaining!

    I visited Clear Creek in the NW part of the state. It is truly undiscovered and hardly ridden.

    That's my top 3, but Prompton and Merli are right there, with the same reasons Merli has the Hubbard crew who is bringing it back from the dead due to logging and Prompton is just the most fantastic single track in this area

    Hope all is well for you and your son
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    Thanks guys. Got a few to check out... Was mostly looking for ones with camping to make some weekend trips.

    Francis Slocum - qualifies, how many miles of trails? Maps available?

    Lackawana - qualifies, how many miles of trails? Maps available?

    Prompton - been there, no camping but it is awesome riding.

    Merli Sarnoski - is it a State Park?

    Promised Land - been there, some bike trails but couldn't find any singletrack?

    French Creek and Blue Marsh are some of my local rides.

    Thanks Lee, we're doing fine, it's that time of year again to start searching for new places to ride, lol.

    Mike

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindWalker
    Thanks guys. Got a few to check out... Was mostly looking for ones with camping to make some weekend trips.

    Francis Slocum - qualifies, how many miles of trails? Maps available?

    Lackawana - qualifies, how many miles of trails? Maps available?

    Prompton - been there, no camping but it is awesome riding.

    Merli Sarnoski - is it a State Park?

    Promised Land - been there, some bike trails but couldn't find any singletrack?

    French Creek and Blue Marsh are some of my local rides.

    Thanks Lee, we're doing fine, it's that time of year again to start searching for new places to ride, lol.

    Mike
    Mike:

    Sorry I didn't say hi at Endless Encounter. Oh well I can vouch for Francis Slocum since we have the NEPMTBA trail care group.
    http://www.nepmtba.piczo.com
    Check it out for all the links and info.

    You can ride all the trails on the Carverton Road access side except the solid yellow blaze trail. The campground is on the other side of the park and you can't ride the trails there. Stop by and see either one of the rangers: Chris or Darren. for maps and all info.They are great guys and very helpful. I can tell you also Carverton Road (paved) is a bike path and it leads to the Back mountain Rail/Trail.

    Mileage is about 5 on the Carverton Road side of Francis Slocum SP trails and the Rail/ Trail is about the same.

    You can get the Lackawanna SP ,Merli, and Prompton info from Hubbard
    http://www.hubbardbicycleclub.com/
    Larry Fahn is their contact and he is on MTBR also.

    So if your in my neck of the woods shout and say hi I would be glad to show you around anytime.
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  9. #9
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    What's up guys? Thanks for the intro Lee

    LSP (Lackawanna State Park)- There is camping. The good part about it is that Merli and Prompton aren't too far away. (20-30 minutes at the most)

    Merli is a County park, but is now maintained by members of Hubbard,Lackawanna Bike Club and NEPMTBA. The best part about Merli is that it was built by riders and we're MAINLY the only user group on the trails... OTOH, the same applies for Prompton and the LSP.

    Merli, Prompton and the LSP all have over 15 (possibly 20?) miles of trails.

    Promise Land has some trails I uesd to ride. I'd start at Bruce lake parking lot and ride from there. I'm not really sure if you're supposed to ride it or not. One thing I can tell you for sure is to check for ticks! I rode one ares up there where the ferns were leaning in towards the trails and when I got out, I seriously had 10-15 ticks on me!

    ttyl, Fahn

  10. #10
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    Larry:

    Thanks for the inclusion of NEPMTBA as a trail care group at Merli!

    Mike:

    As you can see if you do come up here to ride and camp there are a great number of guys and girls who can show you the entire area. I ride at Hubbard every Thursday night and I can tell you they are by far the most experienced and knowledgeable group of people around! Not to mention John Graboski the owner of the lodge is a great cook as are others who attend the rides. I know the Hubbard crew would show you and your son a great time! They are totally dedicated to riding and all that goes with the process.

    PS Lar:

    I'm coming to Hubbard Thursday night, but I'm bringing XC Skis!!!!!! Imagine that ME on those things? Please no pics! LOL

    Ski ya tomorrow
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  11. #11
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    A great option for camping and mountain biking is Greenwood Furnace State Park. it is right next to Rothrock state forest (mentioned before but is a SF not a state park). The camping facilities are excellent, there is a small dammed up lake with a nice beach area, hiking trails right around the campground etc. and the best part is there is amazing mountain biking that is easily accessed right from the campground.
    you can check out the maps for mtn biking at www.nittanymba.org and/or let us know when your headed up and we can see about hooking you up with some locals to ride with
    theres also the Penn Roosevelt SP option but its more privative camping but right in the middle of great riding.

  12. #12
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    Evansburg State Park and Valley Forge

    While we are on the topic of State Parks, what is the deal with Evansburg SP?
    I know there is a small loop open for MB, but has anyone ever looked into getting more trail access throughout the park?
    It seems like the park trails are mostly open to hikers and horses.
    Who would we contact at Evansburg to ask?

    I know Valley Forge isn't a State Park, but what is the deal with the trails there now?
    I haven't ridden the trails there in a while. Are they still open? I remember a while back the trails were not really open to MB

  13. #13
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    From what I understand about VF is that some of the trails are open and some are not. Some are posted, but not always at both ends. Some that are not posted are also not really open. Since the amount of riding here is pretty limited I find it's best just to avoid it all together.

  14. #14
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    Surprised there aren't more mentions of the parks out here in the Laurel Highlands...

    Ohiopyle, Linn Run, Kooser, Laurel Mountain... these are all great parks for riding! Check em out
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain

  15. #15
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    Doesn't anyone have any love for Blue Knob. It is almost a continuous downhill single track from the top to bottom of the second highest point in the state. All of the trails can easily be reached from the campground.

  16. #16
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    I can see this exploration series is going to take more than a few weekends... which is a good thing. I think Lackawana will be my first visit. Sounds like a perfect set up for a long weekend, with LSP, Prompton and Merli. I'll let you all know when I get some dates set.

    Just an idea but maybe we could turn this into a mini MTBR gathering?

    Thanks all, Mike

  17. #17
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    Dates set... setin up camp Thursday evening April 26 and enjoying three days of singletrack. Probably spend one day at the park and one each at Prompton and Merli.
    Campsite 59 on the Fox Run loop. All are welcome to come and camp, ride or just visit. Guides especially appreciated, and are invited to enjoy some homemade deer sausage on the grill.

    Boy April is going to be an awesome month, ah what's that they say about April showers... Oh yeah, March showers bring April FLOWERS. Think positive!

    Mike

  18. #18
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    4 DAYS... Not 3. Thursnight you'll have to set up camp and head over to Hubbard! We'll keep the ride short as to not burn you out for the rest of the weekend! We can do a short (5?) mile loop with the option of more if you'd like. Fahn

  19. #19
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    You are not allowed to ride on any of the trails around the 5 mile paved loop of Valley Forge park. You can ride a short section by the covered bridge, but that is it. No riding off road, no riding the horseshoe trail within park boundaries, none of that. However, there is the betzwood ridge after you cross the river. All those trails are open for riding.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn
    4 DAYS... Not 3. Thursnight you'll have to set up camp and head over to Hubbard! We'll keep the ride short as to not burn you out for the rest of the weekend! We can do a short (5?) mile loop with the option of more if you'd like. Fahn
    Mike:

    Make it 5 days and you can hit Francis Slocum also...................................lol
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  21. #21
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    Some Hubbard pics





  22. #22
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    You guys are cool, soon my long weekend will be a week, lol.

    Francis Slocum, we need to save some of the spots, so we have a good excuse to go back.

    Larry we'll take you up on the Thursday night ride. Closer to the date I'll hit you up for some info.

    Boy my kid is going nuts over the bridge work, where's that? We gotta ride there!

    Thanks, Mike
    Last edited by WindWalker; 02-16-2007 at 04:33 PM.

  23. #23
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    That's at Hubbard. Lee, Dan, John, Jay, Niel, Brian, Josh, Ken, Mike and me were all involved in one way or another. This is only the beginning of it! Wait until you see the Log ride, The stream crossing, and the flow sections we have and plan on adding in. ttyl, Fahn

  24. #24
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    Betzwood's not open either

    Quote Originally Posted by CaballoLoco
    You are not allowed to ride on any of the trails around the 5 mile paved loop of Valley Forge park. You can ride a short section by the covered bridge, but that is it. No riding off road, no riding the horseshoe trail within park boundaries, none of that. However, there is the betzwood ridge after you cross the river. All those trails are open for riding.
    Hate to break the news to you, but the trails on the Betzwood side are also closed to bikes. The only trail that's open on that side (beside the paved Schuylkill Trail) is the gravel multi-use trail that runs parallel to the river from the lower end of the Betzwood parking lot to Pawlings Rd.

    IMBA has tried to get VF to enter into discussions regarding opening up the Betzwood side of the park in conjunction with the agreement they signed in '05 to promote MTB in the National Parks system. Unfortunately, efforts have gone nowhere so far. The issue is that VF is a historical park (as opposed to recreational), and the Park Superintendent has made it clear that his priority is the preservation of our national treasures. The Trails Supervisor has added that she doesn't have the manpower to properly maintain or monitor the trails. With this in mind, many people still ride the Betzwood side while park officials turn a blind eye.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  25. #25
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    Michaux

    Although technically a state forest, Michaux offers some of the best riding in South Central PA. It has everything and it is absolutely huge. Make sure you hook up with a local for a ride because hardly any of the good trails are marked.
    Brought to you by rocks.

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