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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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    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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    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.

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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...

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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?

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

  26. #26
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    Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!

    That's good news. Modified refers to 2A modified stone. It's 2 inch stone with fines mixed in so it compacts well.

    I drive broad mt every day and only see one or two cars parked a week and they usually have bike racks. At least one hunter bike packs in with his weapon as well.




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  27. #27
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    Yes gravel it is, they do this type of road for logging in my area, at first it sucks big time lots of sharp rocks. Hard on mt bike tires, but if anything gopd can be said, when topped and run on with large trucks it basically turns to a concrete like surface.

    Weeds and plants will regrow around it and close it in a bit so it won't be so bad.

    I guess it's a give and take but one thing in the spring thaws it will be solid which is more than can be said for native topsoil.

    Don't get me wrong I'm not in favor of it, just looking at a positive outlook, if there is one.

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    Despite what the shop people say.....one of the reasons all that awesome stuff is off limits, and can only be poached now is because people were riding during hunting season, as for now, Spring Gobbler is in, which means there is hunting until 12pm. Which should be no problem....get up get some breakfast, hang in in JT see the sights go on a Mansion Tour, then head up to ride. You'll be in good shape.
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  29. #29
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    Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!

    Quote Originally Posted by vack View Post
    Despite what the shop people say.....one of the reasons all that awesome stuff is off limits, and can only be poached now is because people were riding during hunting season, as for now, Spring Gobbler is in, which means there is hunting until 12pm. Which should be no problem....get up get some breakfast, hang in in JT see the sights go on a Mansion Tour, then head up to ride. You'll be in good shape.
    They Changed the season. Turkey is half hour before sunrise to half hour after sunset. Can't ride game lands until June.


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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rollinrox View Post
    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.
    My buddy and I hit up American Standard on 5/16/13. Hit up the shop prior, was informed about the bad condition (railroad rocks) on the Broad Mtn loop. We encountered some of that stuff toward the later stages of the AS trail up on the fire road that leads back to 93, it's semi close to where the fire tower is, the rest of the trail was great! We didn't see a soul all day. Went out at like 12. Parked in the lot on 93 across from the rifle range, there was 1 other car. Did see a turkey but no people. Going back in 2 weeks.
    Silky Johnson: "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go home and put some water in Buck Nasty's momma's dish."

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

    ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!-imageuploadedbytapatalk1369820202.007037.jpg  

    Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!-imageuploadedbytapatalk1369820229.489086.jpg  

    Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!-imageuploadedbytapatalk1369820250.689521.jpg  

    Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!-imageuploadedbytapatalk1369820271.122826.jpg  


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    Still more then enough riding and great trails in and around Thorpe!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by techfersure View Post
    Still more then enough riding and great trails in and around Thorpe!
    Exactly! There are dozens of trails to ride in the area. People seem to think that Jim Thorpe consists of only the broad mountain. Nothing can be further from the truth. There are also land uses other than mountain biking. I can say this because i am a mountain biker in addition to the many other activities i partake: Mountain bikers tend to act like spoiled brats. Organize yourselves, like bikevmb.com and others do, if you have issues with how land is managed and be proactive in maintaining areas for mountain bikers


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    Road it yesterday... wish I would've visited the forum first. Have to agree that it's ruined until its finished or compacted over the next few seasons. I'm actually up in Albrightsville, so will be actively seeking more trails closer to home. Would love to hear an update though whenever the road is improved. Was out riding with wife, walked a large portion of the really bad stones. Assuming there are singletracks around a lot of it but not that familiar with that area yet. Plus doesn't PGC limit the MTB usage to Broad only? Thanks. If anyone rides this loop and it has been completed with smaller stones please message me and let me know.

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

    Might be a while before the roads are resurfaced. If by limited to broad (i presume by "Broad" you referring to doubletrack or fire road trails) you mean singletrack riding is prohibited, you are correct. That said, you need to ride the fire roads in order to get to the singletrack.


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    Thanks! I have to get a better map and figure out where some of these are. I saw the off shoot to I think the deertrail early on to the left. Yes I was referring to the double track loop that was all stone now. (well mostly stone. Couldn't take it at one point and rode the powerline. Chased a big bear out just past the one bridge too. Ok so that loop is out for awhile. Thanks. Like I said I'm on top the hill in Albrightsville so I have to learn some of this area better. Still upset that MTB is prohibited at Hickory Run.

  37. #37
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    Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!

    Yes, biking is completely prohibited in hickory run. At least the PGC throws us a bone and allows some riding.


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    Pisgah is epic and Flagstaff has an awesome DH finish! Do both sides and expect several hrs or more ride.

  39. #39
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    That's a nice bridge they put in there.
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  40. #40
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    eff them bridges and rocks, give us our double track back!

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    well that still doesn't detract from the fact that, the bridge in question is a nice one ;p Honestly that's a Double Track Family Loop, and it's good that they put stuff like that in.....now the rocks....that type of stone is tough, but the stuff they put near the entrance has already become worn in, and over time it will get better.
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    Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!

    Quote Originally Posted by vack View Post
    well that still doesn't detract from the fact that, the bridge in question is a nice one ;p Honestly that's a Double Track Family Loop, and it's good that they put stuff like that in.....now the rocks....that type of stone is tough, but the stuff they put near the entrance has already become worn in, and over time it will get better.
    Yes!


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  43. #43
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    Deer Path and the View make up for the rocks, yeah it was squirrely but it was fun in its own way.

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    Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!-img_20130605_180802_908.jpgBroad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!-img_20130605_180909_821-800x450-.jpg

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    And I'm not going to mention what I found in the parking lot...lmfao!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trauma05 View Post
    And I'm not going to mention what I found in the parking lot...lmfao!
    I'll bet it Rattled ;p
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    Yes. I agree with that. I went there primarily with my kids and it became almost unridable. It is nice to see the rocks settle in. My beef with the town still exist. It went from being very MTB friendly, to hostile...
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  48. #48
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    Broad Mountain Loop Trail (Jim Thorpe) ... Ruined!

    I don't understand where that sentiment stems from. We ride the area weekly without a problem.


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    You can always choose, it might not be the same or now your cup of dirt, take it as it is, cause the people wielding the big shovels are in control, but having a place to ride is better than a shopping mall of housing development.

    Koval is right, there is so much to ride around there, do a little exploring. I have never seen any problems when I ride there other than having to go home and end another great ride.

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    Although I do not agree with the point made a few above, I can see where they are coming from....I lived there when it was "Friendly" a lot has changed, I don't think it's "Hostile" but it's definitely not what it was, "Atmosphere Wise" There were a lot of us locals who would meet people from all over the country and take them on rides all weekend. Met a lot of nice folks that way. But many trails were changed/moved and the map books don't have the off limits stuff listed any longer....and well Jim Thorpe was always an Adventure Ride. Nothing was ever marked really or meant to be marked. So if you wanted to ride there it took some effort, because is was meant to be well....an adventure.

    As Cyclists, on or off road, and hell as Tax Payers, we need to organize better in PA, and get some of these places back on the map. But that's a whole other thread/argument. But I will say this, one of the best trails on the Eastern Side of the US, is on that mountain, and it's still there ;P
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