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  1. #1
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    Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!

    I live in Hazleton. Looking for trails nearby, I came across the Broad Mountain Loop trail, which is along Route 93 near Jim Thorpe and is about 11 miles long or so. Unfortunately, my ride on the trail Sunday was absolutely miserable, as the trail is 90% rocks. These jagged rocks are several inches wide and cover most of the trail. Riding is extremely bumpy and uncomfortable... I was so sick of riding on the rocks by the end of the trail that I pushed my bike most of the way back.

    I spoke to a few people on the trail who also complained of the rocks. They said that these rocks were not on the trail last year. Does anyone on this forum know why these rocks are here? Are there any plans to make the trail smooth, like it used to be? It's truly a shame that such a good trail is ruined now because the rocks make it a terrible ride, where otherwise it would be a really fantastic trail to ride.

  2. #2
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    Heard it was for moving heavy equipment to the back half of the mountain...and the bridges

  3. #3
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    Yup, I was there about a month ago as well. Fricken terrible.

    I personally have gone from loving Jim Thorpe to hating that place. We used to go there, stay at the inn, ride the weekend and have a great old time. Now, it is not worth going to.
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  4. #4
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    I don't see it being put back to the way it was. Over the years it has seen less riding each year, thanks to other trails being closed. I remember when the lot across from the fire tower road would be filled on a Saturday/Sunday. Now you are lucky to see 4 or 5 cars. The AS probably sees more riding.
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  5. #5
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    I don't know what exactly is going on but it clearly is for heavy equipment, not only did they put down the stones and erect the bridges (no more creek splash thru in the summer...) but they also put in big turnaround areas.

    I read some stuff last year about it when it was initially happening but I forget what I read and where, but I'm pretty sure it was for drilling for gas. I don't want to perpetuate that rumor if it is false though.

    In other words: whatever they are doing in there is not in anyone's best interests aside from the company paying them money to be back there. Welcome to modern America.
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  6. #6
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    Could this be the same powerline going through!

    They have done the same from Susquehanna county through Wyoming county, now going it in Luzerne county near Frances Slocum SP going to New Jersey.

    BML is SGL correct so it's not a housing development.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies, guys! I find it surprising that the trail was so popular despite the lack of bikers and hikers present last Sunday... but I doubt many people will be going back to the rock hell that is now the Broad Mountain Loop. Next time I'll ride the Lehigh Gorge trail instead. If the state or game commission would "pave" a singletrack wide path through the rock obstacles on the Loop, the trail would be at least ride-able. I won't hold my breath though.

  8. #8
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    If in fact it is the gas industry or the electric companies, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't float the PGC some dough to gain access to their land. The gas companies are giants and can pretty much buy anything they want, very sad...

  9. #9
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    I will still ride it in the winter. When the snow hits, it's fun on a fatbike. But yes, it is a shame.
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  10. #10
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    I also live in Hazleton and have been riding the loop for over 15 years.

    Road resurfacing - Over the last year, the PGC had been preparing for controlled burns on the Broad Mountain. The roads were resurfaced to handle heavy truck traffic. They also cut fire breaks through the forest. You would notice this if you rode the Deer Path section. The burns have been occuring over the last couple of weeks. hopefully over time the ballast will get pushed down into the soil and/or mix with fines, making the trail more ridable. I can tell youthat it is even a pain to hike on. I walked several miles on it a couple weeks ago and it was tough. I am sure the hunters are going to complain about it as well. If that happens they might fix it, because mt bikers complaining sure won't help. And i'll tell you that some hunters bike in as well, so they won't be happy about it either.

    Bridge over Jeans Run - this permitted bridge was installed so vehicles could traverse the stream while protecting it from erosion and sediment since it is in the Wild Brook Trout Enhancement program.

    I can tell you it has nothing to do with gas drilling. The marcellus formation does not reach lower Luzern County much less Carbon County (although the utica formation might, but that is years off as they need to clear marcellus out of the way before they extract the deeper Utica - marcellus is just the tip of the iceberg). Drilling on top of the mountain would make no sense as they would need to drill through an additional 1000 ft or so of rock - why not start at lower ground?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Yup, I was there about a month ago as well. Fricken terrible.

    I personally have gone from loving Jim Thorpe to hating that place. We used to go there, stay at the inn, ride the weekend and have a great old time. Now, it is not worth going to.
    Broad Mountain Loop is not the only trail to ride, there all kinds of trails in the area! Try the trails west of route 93 on the Broad Mountain. We rotate at least 3 rides in the immediate vicity of JT. There are at least a half dozen within 20 minutes to a half hour.

  12. #12
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    Are the trails west of 93 on Broad Mt. on state game land? Is it ok to ride them next week?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rollinrox View Post
    Are the trails west of 93 on Broad Mt. on state game land? Is it ok to ride them next week?
    Some are, all access from rt 93 is SGL. It is turkey hunting season. SGL are off limits to bikes (unless you can demonstrate you are a license holder and are actively in pusuit of game) until after May 31st.

  14. #14
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    Ah that sucks. Thanks for the info. Could you recommend anything in the area that is not SGL?

  15. #15
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    At least it's still no-hunting on Sundays. ;^)

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    Quote Originally Posted by rollinrox View Post
    Ah that sucks. Thanks for the info. Could you recommend anything in the area that is not SGL?
    You should keep in mind that most state parks allow hunting, it's not just SGL that is dangerous.

    I don't know about closer to Thorpe, but up in the wilkes-barre/scranton area you have Moon Lake and Merli-Sarnosky which are currently no-hunting zones.

    Both have MTB trail networks.

  17. #17
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    Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!

    I'm not talking about safety, I'm strictly speaking to staying within the law. Now I'll address safety. I am comfortable going into the woods during hunting season while wearing orange without being shot. Hell, in 20+ years of hunting I've never been shot. ;^) Be safe out there!


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  18. #18
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    So the laws regarding bikes on SGL are not really enforced then? That is my main concern I guess.

  19. #19
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    Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!

    Depends on time of year. As long as you respect the major hunting seasons you should be ok.




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  20. #20
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    I am gonna be up there a week from today, for the first time. If I wanted to stay off the SGL, what trails would you recommend in the immediate area?

  21. #21
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    rollinrox,

    If your ever in doubt check the state portal for "designated" trails, not saying these are pristine single track trails that we as mt bikers like to ride, but it is a resource.

    State Game Lands

    Here are the 2 routes for SGL 141

    SGL 141 CARBON COUNTY
    Approximately 4 miles, beginning at a gate/parking area along Township Route 506 returning over a looped trail.

    SGL 141 CARBON COUNTY
    Approximately 8 miles, beginning at a gate/parking area along SR 93 across from the entrance to the Pennsylvania Game Commission rifle range following the road over a portion of Hickory Run State Park property to a second gate/parking area along SR 93.

    Of course sometimes trying to figure out just where the hell to go is a magical mystery tour at best cause none of this is marked, other than by description on the website, which does a person no good out in the field You would think the PAGC would GPS all this for us, Ya right!

    Just thought I would pass along the info.
    Enjoy

  22. #22
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    Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!

    Quote Originally Posted by NEPMTBA View Post
    rollinrox,

    If your ever in doubt check the state portal for "designated" trails, not saying these are pristine single track trails that we as mt bikers like to ride, but it is a resource.

    State Game Lands

    Here are the 2 routes for SGL 141

    SGL 141 CARBON COUNTY
    Approximately 4 miles, beginning at a gate/parking area along Township Route 506 returning over a looped trail.

    SGL 141 CARBON COUNTY
    Approximately 8 miles, beginning at a gate/parking area along SR 93 across from the entrance to the Pennsylvania Game Commission rifle range following the road over a portion of Hickory Run State Park property to a second gate/parking area along SR 93.

    Of course sometimes trying to figure out just where the hell to go is a magical mystery tour at best cause none of this is marked, other than by description on the website, which does a person no good out in the field You would think the PAGC would GPS all this for us, Ya right!

    Just thought I would pass along the info.
    Enjoy
    Those are of course all off limits until after turkey season. Basically double track can be ridden outside of major hunting seasons. Single track is off limits year-round.

    Here is an old site that is no longer updated, but the trails are still there.

    http://jttrails.wordpress.com/maps/




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  23. #23
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    Yeah thanks, that is the list i have been looking at. I am thinking of starting with the Nesquehoning trail. Of those on that list that are open legally to riding next week, which would be your top 3 picks?

  24. #24
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    If it's anything like where they've put that stone down around here when they're done they will spread soil over top so it settles in and plant grass. They did that on a powerline near my house and now it's not bad to ride on at all. It also has a solid foundation so if they take trucks on it in the future it won't rut it up and make it all muddy.

  25. #25
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    So last Thursday my bro and I rode American Standard. Beforehand, we visited one of the shops in town, and the guy there convinced us we'd be ok riding it despite hunting season. He said we would not see another soul, and he was right. I loved the ride! The guy at the shop also talked about all the new stones, and said they would be covered soon! He mentioned "modified", so I am not sure if he meant gravel or asphalt. I am thinking gravel.

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