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  1. #1
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    New question here. Best Riding in PA???

    Hey All,

    After doing some riding in the Laurel Highlands last year while on business, I’ve decided to make a trip down to PA for some riding with some friends. Could anyone make any recommendations as to the BEST trails to hit? Also in surrounding states, we’re not limited to PA. Here’s the criteria:

    3 or 4 places
    20+ miles, we like to ride all day
    the more singletrack the better
    decent trail marking
    rocky, rooty, technical! (us Canucks love rocks)

    If anyone has any good suggestions, I would appreciate it!! FYI, here’s what I put together so far:

    Merli Sarnoski Park, Carbondale PA
    Laurel Higlands, Laughlintown PA
    Morraine State Park. Pittsburgh PA
    Roth Rock Ride (R3), State College PA

    Thanks in advance for your help!!

    Phil
    Toronto, Canada

  2. #2
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    Check out Michaux State Forest. Rocky, rooty and delicious. You can ride all day and not cross your tracks, and more then likely you won't see anyone else either.
    Disclaimer: I no longer fix bikes for a living.
    National Ski Patroller to feed my winter habit.

  3. #3
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    Here's a link to the Rattling Creek Singletracker's website: RCST. They've got exactly what you're looking for. Here in the Lehigh Valley we have some great riding but not for any all day gigs. You could hop around from place to place or hit some trails in the Jim Thorpe area. Check out www.bikevmb.com for some trail maps and info. We may be able to hook you up with a guide or something.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys for your help! Michaux looks right up my alley, but is there any singletrack or is it all ATV size?

    Also if anyone could give any input on what was already on my list, that would be appreciated!

    phil

  5. #5
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    They just added a new mtb trail up at Laurel Mountain State Park. Seven Springs Ski Resort is pretty close to Laurel Mtn, you can ride the 24 hour race course at 7 Springs which is really fun.

    If you head up towards the Pittsburgh area there is a lot of good riding. Boyce Park, Roaring Run (Appollo), Hartwood Acres, Deer Lakes Park, Frick Park, Moraine, and North Park are all in a relatively small area. You'd need a good week or more to ride everything in the Pgh area.

    Or you could head down to West Virginia. Coopers Rock is supposed to be a good place to ride, and its only an hour south of the Laurel Highlands area. Maybe check out Wisp and Snowshoe Ski Resorts in WV.

  6. #6
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    If you want rooty technical riding

    Quote Originally Posted by philshep
    Hey All,

    After doing some riding in the Laurel Highlands last year while on business, I’ve decided to make a trip down to PA for some riding with some friends. Could anyone make any recommendations as to the BEST trails to hit? Also in surrounding states, we’re not limited to PA. Here’s the criteria:

    3 or 4 places
    20+ miles, we like to ride all day
    the more singletrack the better
    decent trail marking
    rocky, rooty, technical! (us Canucks love rocks)
    If you don't mind the drive the area around Davis, West Virginia has a ton of great riding. In that area you have the trails in and around Black Water Falls State Park (Davis), The Timberline resort (site of the 24 hours at Canaan) & Dolly Sods. Close by are Snowshoe & Slatyfork. We rented a condo there (Timberline) pretty cheap a few years ago with a hot tub for the after ride beers and soak.
    If you say gullible slowly enough it sounds like "oranges"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scubapiper
    If you don't mind the drive the area around Davis, West Virginia has a ton of great riding. In that area you have the trails in and around Black Water Falls State Park (Davis), The Timberline resort (site of the 24 hours at Canaan) & Dolly Sods. Close by are Snowshoe & Slatyfork. We rented a condo there (Timberline) pretty cheap a few years ago with a hot tub for the after ride beers and soak.
    But this is a thread about riding in PA....anyways, Bungalow/Burma Road trails around Tamaqua, Camelback trails, RB Winter park, Bald Eagle State Forest, Danville (Geisinger) trails, Prompton....I am sure there are more, but pretty much you could start at one ned of the state and make your way across. The best thing to do is hook up with some of the local clubs (several larger ones mentioned here) and have at it. The best singletrack is almost always found with a local guide....

  8. #8
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    Wow guys,

    Thanks for the great feedback! Sounds like I can spend a month there…
    I’ve found I can only do 3 rides on this trip (short stay), so I want to make them worth it and day long epics. I agree that I have to get in touch with some locals (guides) to find the best trails.

    So, that being said, what are the top 3 rides in PA? (we’d like to ride 5+ hours each day

    Thanks,
    phil

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by philshep
    3 or 4 places
    20+ miles, we like to ride all day
    the more singletrack the better
    decent trail marking
    rocky, rooty, technical! (us Canucks love rocks)

    Roth Rock Ride (R3), State College PA
    The R3 is OK, but a much better 20 mile loop can be put together in the same area. The R3 was put together years and years ago, when there was allot less single track in Rothrock. Ask over at the SCE group's website at: http://www.nittanymba.net/

  10. #10
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    click on my signatures.
    Hubbard Bike Club

  11. #11
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    Miles and miles of singletrack in Michaux. Check out Gettysburg Bicycle's web page for a link to their race series. There are some decent maps there. My personal favorite is the Terror of Teaberry course.

  12. #12
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    We make a yearly pilgrimage up to Rothrock, camp in Greenwood Furnace (good camping with a lake for post ride swimming). The are miles and miles of single track. This area is home to the Wilderness 101 and some other long races. Great climbs, long downhills, pristine forest, super fun. I use the guide book from this website http://www.grizguides.com/guidebooks.php. I found it to be a very good guide book for the area.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  13. #13
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    Good stuff,

    So I’m thinking we hit:

    Roth Rock State Forest
    Micheaux State Forest
    Merli Sirnoski (Norh East)

    And maybe Laurel Highlands if we have enough time…

    Does that sound decent for a 5 day trip?

    Thanks
    phil

  14. #14
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    you can do at least 4 days of good riding right in the Rothrock/ state college area, 3 in rothrock, and one day up in black moshanon, all good single track.
    like raymo said, check in at www.nittanymba.org or drop me an email through the site and im sure we can hook ya up with guides for at least any weekends and we have a couple of ride directions on the site as well as maps, but ask for routes, as there are a few trails that you definitely want to hit one way and not the other. the griz guide works too, but theres been new trail put in since then so I would check in with us first for suggestions
    personally I would head down to lykens for the rattling creek stuff for a day as well but Ive not been down to Micheaux (we're so spoiled up here its hard to make the trip down)

  15. #15
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    Quebec run

    If you make it to the Laurel Highlands, try and hit the Quebec Run Wild area. The loop we typically do is approx 18 miles but feels like 30. There is potential to do 30 plus miles. Absolutely beautiful singletrack. Not easy to find but definitely worth the drive. Email me if you decide to go and I will give directions.

  16. #16
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    Bald Eagle State Forest gets my vote for best riding in PA. It's located roughly between Lewisburg, Woodward and Williamsport. For every trail mentioned in the guide books and on websites like this, there are probably five more that are just as worthy and just as unknown.

  17. #17
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    If you like rocky singletrack, Laurel Mountain State Park is full of it.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain

  18. #18
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    My bad

    Quote Originally Posted by dankilling
    But this is a thread about riding in PA....anyways, Bungalow/Burma Road trails around Tamaqua, Camelback trails, RB Winter park, Bald Eagle State Forest, Danville (Geisinger) trails, Prompton....I am sure there are more, but pretty much you could start at one ned of the state and make your way across. The best thing to do is hook up with some of the local clubs (several larger ones mentioned here) and have at it. The best singletrack is almost always found with a local guide....
    I guess it would be better to give no information since the original poster asked about riding in contiguous states. He should have never mentioned that in a PA forum.
    If you say gullible slowly enough it sounds like "oranges"

  19. #19
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    i'll take you up on that coal miner!

    i'll show up at the house sometime and we'll set up a guided tour for me, eh?

    get your butt out sometime. haven't seen you in forever!

    RCST Bash. september 13th -16th schedule the time off now!

  20. #20
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    The two places I've gone to are Rothrock and Prompton and I rank them as world class riding. The local riders are really nice to meet and helpful at both places. That makes them even more world class.

  21. #21
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    i think it really depends on how much travel you wanted to do. I think it would be cool to check out a few different areas as PA riding is quite varied. if you dont mind doing a ride then traveling a few hours then the "tour da pa" would be pretty cool. if you want to stay put for a 3-4 days of it, state college is a great base camp.

  22. #22
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    Rothrock is a great place to ride. Get a purple lizard map from one of the bike shops in state college. The trails are marked pretty well on the map and someone at the shop can reccomend a good loop. Michaux is close to home for me so it is my personal favorite. Go to racemichaux.com and get some race maps. The Maximus course uses a lot of the ATV trails but is still fun. I raced the 25 mile Dark Hollow course yesterday and it is more single track and better riding in my opinion.

  23. #23
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    Thanks everyone for the excellent responses!

    I think we will hit State College for a 2-3 days of riding.

    If anyone would like to be a guide for us, we would appreciate it! I’ve been looking on Motionbased.com for some GPS routes in the area. If anyone has some links to some great rides there, I can download them to my Garmin unit and go from there…

    We will be there the weekend of August 4-5 if anyone is interested,

    Thanks!
    phil

  24. #24
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    unfortunatley for you Ill be in Utah that weekend, but also keep in mind that the wilderness 101 race will be going on that saturday. My suggestion would be to ride on the tussey side of the forest on saturday - race day, and start a little later in the morning as the riders should be through by mid morning, at least the majority of them. really the only place you would run into them is on lonberger trail, they will be coming down it, so you really dont want to be heading up it when they are racing. We dont have any gps tracks on our website yet (but I did just get a unit so im gonna start working on that) but we do have a couple of ride suggestions and I can get you another one for the coopers gap area. theres also printable maps on there as well.

  25. #25
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    We can ride elsewhere on Saturday if you have some other suggestions, then ride the Tussey side on Sunday…

    I found this, ‘Tussey A’. Is this decent? http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/2458147

    Thanks!
    phil

  26. #26
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    thats a very odd ride. well sort of. im compairing it to my Purple Lizard map and it wants you to start in a VERY wierd place, go through the elks county club then cross a highway. where as you could bypass that by just starting at the tussey mountain ski resort:


    that way it would be all dirt and no road mumbo jumbo.

    any way that course looks like it uses a lot more stone road than it does trail. it would be a good work out but not so much fun. definatly not showing what the area has to offer. it by passes a whole lot of trails. you are actually making a big circle around a network of trails.

    what i highly suggest doing more than looking at those gps maps is going to The Bicycle Shop in downtown State college. ( www.thebicycleshopinc.com ) picking up a Purple Lizard map, and talking to one of the very knowledgeable employees. while these maps dont have ALL the great trails on them, since people build every day, the shop has a master map that they have a lot of the other good trails filled in.

    if you let me know approximently what time you'll be there i can help you out while you look at a map. if you want i may even be able to show you a few trails, depending what ive got going on those days.


    one more thing. im an extremly large advocate of the coopers gap area of rothrock. its just a stones throw away from my home and i could meet you up there one of the days for a ride. i know most of it.

  27. #27
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    ahh, no. thats all just gravel road, fine for a cross bike but not what you want.
    ill check around with guys in the club and see if anybody has a gps plot of a good route.
    you might have to slum it and do it the ol fasion way, directions and a paper map though. you might be able to plot it out on your mapping program and do it that way though

  28. #28
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    Great, thanks for checking for GPS tracks. And if somebody wants to show us around to the best singletrack that weekend, there will be some free post ride beers for them!

    Thanks
    phil

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    I do recomend moraine state park & if you do that be sure to check out kennerdale, ya just have to watch out for the bears, but a really diverse trail, the ciff trails above the allegheny river is awesome.
    syn

  30. #30
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    I have a Garmin Vista C that I have mapped Prompton and Merli-Sarnoski Parks. I just opened a Motion-Based Lite account and may try fooling with this thing later. Hopefully, I'll be able to upload those files to the site so you can download them for your use.

    Scott

  31. #31
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    Hey All,

    Looks like 4 of us are going to come down for the weekend to State College

    Does anyone know of any inexpensive hotel accommodations?

    If anyone would be interested in showing us the sweetest trails in the area that weekend (Saturday, or Sunday) we will definitely reward you with post ride beers!

    We’re all fit, very capable technically, and can spend a full day in the saddle.

    Thanks!
    phil

  32. #32
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    There's a Super8 and a Motel6 very nearby. I can't remember which one is the closer, but I stayed at the one further away. I recommend the closer one. It's much much closer.

  33. #33
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    there is a hampton and a hilton next to each other right off rt 322 on East College Ave. they're a about 10-15 minute high way drive to the tussey ski resort. about a half hour one direction to coopers gap and about another half hour the other direct to greenwood state park. you said inexpensive so the hilton might be out of the question but hamptons are rather reasonable.

    being a state university town that hosts largely attended football games there are a whole lot of hotels in state college and it wont be hard to find one if you arent making reservations.

    i would take you up on the offer but one i wouldn't want you to get in trouble for buying a minor beer. and two i wouldnt want to hold you back. im not in the best of shape. i plan a lot of riding this weekend so i may see you. dont be afraid to talk to the locals. they are very friendly. oh and watch out for the black bears in coopers gap. ive been seeing a cub lately near the roads. no sign of the mother however, i dont stick around long to look though.

    best of riding!

  34. #34
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    laurel highlands?

    So it looks like we're going to hit Laurel Highlands on Saturday, then head over to State College for Sunday and Monday

    does this look like a decent loop for Laurel Highlands?

    http://www.thealleghenies.com/images...op/aloop23.gif

    any suggestions for an epic ride in that area would be appreciated. I rode there last year and loved the technical rocky areas!

    thanks
    phil

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by philshep
    So it looks like we're going to hit Laurel Highlands on Saturday, then head over to State College for Sunday and Monday

    does this look like a decent loop for Laurel Highlands?

    http://www.thealleghenies.com/images...op/aloop23.gif

    any suggestions for an epic ride in that area would be appreciated. I rode there last year and loved the technical rocky areas!

    thanks
    phil
    Great riding up here. That ride looks good. There are a lot of trails up here so just make sure that you mark in your GPSr where you parked and go get lost on the trails.

  36. #36
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    This is a good loop for an epic ride. You should get close to 25 miles or so. If you want to stay on singletrack then I would avoid Quarry and Weaver(they are dirt roads).

    Alternatives would be to do an out and back on Fish Run and then take the portion of Fish Run(listed in pink) that you missed. This is one of the better trails in the entire system. At the top of Fish Run is a brand spanking new trail we just built(starts at the corner of Linn run rd and summit rd) and goes to the picnic area where you can pick up picnic trail.

    If you really want to make this an epic ride than take Grove run trail from Fish and do the Grove run loop. Gove run is a technical trail that resembles a Goat path.

    Email me if you would like better directions for the Grove run ortion but I must tell you it involves some very tough climbing which is even harder after getting beat up on the rock at LM.

    John

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by drnich
    This is a good loop for an epic ride. You should get close to 25 miles or so. If you want to stay on singletrack then I would avoid Quarry and Weaver(they are dirt roads).

    Alternatives would be to do an out and back on Fish Run and then take the portion of Fish Run(listed in pink) that you missed. This is one of the better trails in the entire system. At the top of Fish Run is a brand spanking new trail we just built(starts at the corner of Linn run rd and summit rd) and goes to the picnic area where you can pick up picnic trail.

    If you really want to make this an epic ride than take Grove run trail from Fish and do the Grove run loop. Gove run is a technical trail that resembles a Goat path.

    Email me if you would like better directions for the Grove run ortion but I must tell you it involves some very tough climbing which is even harder after getting beat up on the rock at LM.

    John
    John,

    Where at the picnic area does this new trail come out? I haven't seen it, but haven't really looked. I heard there was a new section, but assumed it was lower on Fish Run, which I have yet to ride this Summer. I'd like to check it out Sunday. We're parking at the picnic area. Guide me

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    Here is a pic of the Picnic Area.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Rass Goat
    John,

    Where at the picnic area does this new trail come out? I haven't seen it, but haven't really looked. I heard there was a new section, but assumed it was lower on Fish Run, which I have yet to ride this Summer. I'd like to check it out Sunday. We're parking at the picnic area. Guide me
    Too Rass

    When you drive into the picnic area go to the back parking lot where the Wolf Rock trail begins. Look about 50 ft to the left of the WR trailhead and you will see the Fish run trail head. It is behind a picnic table and there is a sign. Tough to miss. A group of us from LHORBA may be riding Sunday as well. Hope to see you out.

    John

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    awesome, thanks!! If anyone wants to join us and give us a tour on Saturday at Laurel, email me at philshep AT sympatico DOT ca

    thanks!
    phil

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    If you see a Khaki Metallic Jeep, top off and a T2 on the back at the picnic area...that's me. We're riding at 9 so we'll probably see you guys. We'll look for your new trail and we'll probably be riding out Black Bear to Rocky Gap, up Towhee to the ski resort, down Summit to Spruce, then back to Outcrop/Silvermine into the picnic area.

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    so yeah, i live in state college, anything on tussey ridge, or coopers gap or shingletown own, also, there are a bunch of trails on both sides of scotia road out in scotia(little (4-5 houses) town by a shooting range, most all loop back to the main road so its very hard to get lost

    PM me and i can help you out alot about which routes to take in all 4 places

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    Thanks Guys!

    Hey all,

    Thanks everyone for your great trail suggestions! We ended up riding Laurel Highlands, Rothrock, and Greenwood Furnace in our 3-day weekend.

    Here’s what we did…

    Day 1: Laurel Highlands

    We rode an extensive part of the trails there. I love rocks, and I ride a Nomad, so I had a blast. The return loop from Wolf Rocks was quite the exercise! We did Silvermine, Outcrop, Wolf Loop, Hollybush, Fish run, hike a bike up a ravine, took the road back, bear run, rock gap, and some trails back to the car. A good long ride. If I were to return, I think I would only ride the ‘expert’ labelled trails. They were just dialled perfectly. Loved them. Also, the ride out to Wolf Rock was worth the view!

    GPS route: http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/3579494

    Day 2: State College, Rothrock

    We started at the bottom of Shingletown and rode up the trail. Nice climb! Hiked up the rest of shingletown, then descended a wicked rocky trail, that spat us out at ‘three bridges’. We rode up three bridges, to longeberger, up to the Tussey ridge trail. What an epic trail with amazing views. The DH after Tussey was truly amazing. We got spat out to the gasline cut, took the road down to John Wert. Oh, John Wert, mixed opinions on this one. I loved it, but I’m a sucker for punishment. My two buddies on 29’ers were not too impressed at this point in the ride! J after a good long slog (in the rain) out to bear meadows, we took the road up a little and got back on Longeberger. Fantastic trail in this direction!! We then hit three bridges, rode up the road and finished off with the shingletown trail. What a blast on that trail!! I decided to time myself, 8 minutes from the small creek crossing at the top. A great ride that day even though we finished in the rain.

    GPS Route: http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/3579495

    Day 3: State College, Greenwood Furnace

    It was a FURNACE that morning. We climbed chestnut ridge trail, descended an amazing trail and climbed up bear gap. From this point, I can’t remember the trail names but we rode some amazing flowy singletrack (that looked well used) as well as some less mature trail that brought us up to the top trail (beautiful, I think it’s called). We then came down the ridge on a really fast downhill section, crossing the road and continuing on until we reached the car. We were parked at what looked like a jeep climbing hill (and gun shooting, judging by all the shells on the ground). Amazing trails. Another great day.

    GPS Route: http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/3579496

    I’m excited to come back to PA and ride some more epic trails! Very impressed with what State College had to offer,

    Thanks again,

    Phil

  44. #44
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    Good job!

    philshep:

    Thanks for the descriptions. I have ridden some of what you described. I will put in my wanna ride list. If ya ever get to Ne Pa look us up.

    Lee

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by philshep
    Hey all,

    Thanks everyone for your great trail suggestions! We ended up riding Laurel Highlands, Rothrock, and Greenwood Furnace in our 3-day weekend.
    Phil,

    I was wondering what GPS device you used to on your rides to make those maps?

    Looks like some great rides in PA. way to go

  46. #46
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    Hey Moonraker,

    My GPS unit is the Garmin Edge 305. It's great for analyzing your rides! It also has a feature to download other peoples' maps to ride them. I've only used that feature once, but it saved my butt because it was extremely easy to get lost in the forest we were in.

    You can also view your maps in google earth in 3D which is pretty neat. I can't ride without it!

    NEPMTBA: I'll put NE PA on my list of rides to do! In that area, how much riding can we get in?

    thanks
    phil

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    next time your in the laurel highlands stop by 7 Springs. the terrain there is about the same as laurel mtn, well the rock gardens arent as crazy as laurel mtn though. 7 springs is really close to laurel mtn.

    i think the laurel highlands area is really under-rated. the trails and scenery are awesome, there is plenty of trail access, and the trails are never crowded. and your only 45 min from Pittsburgh.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by InvictaS1
    next time your in the laurel highlands stop by 7 Springs. the terrain there is about the same as laurel mtn, well the rock gardens arent as crazy as laurel mtn though. 7 springs is really close to laurel mtn.

    \
    I have to seriously, respectfully disagree on that.

    7S has a about 3 miles of mildly decent terrain around Lake Max, the rest is a mix of fire roads, atv trails and double track. Not even close to LM IMO. And the good stuff that is there now is going to be developed shortly, so kiss it and the rock garden goodbye in a year or so. 7S certainly has more climbing for the XC junkie, but LM owns it in technical terrain. I've ridden 7S so many times I know it ilike th back of my hand. I even built the trails around Lake Max attempting to find every technical area available to make remotely close to LM. It ain't gonna happen, the terrain is just too different. The rock structure at 7S is nowhere near what is available a few miles away at LM. If someone ever buys Laurel and gets the ski resort operational again, it will blow 7S out of the water for the intermediate/advanced skier and avid MTB'er. The ski terrain is far more advanced than 7S and they would have top notch mtb'ing/downhilling/freeriding that would put 7S to shame...if someone ever had the money to invest and get it going again.

  49. #49
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    hey Too Rass, i agree with you for the most part about 7 spings. its definately no Laurel Mountain but if your in the Laurel Highlands area then i cant see how you could pass up on riding there. the 24 hour course give you a good 12+ miles of fun riding.

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