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  1. #1
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    PA Roadtrip? What should we hit?

    I’m looking for a little guidance on PA MTB destinations………..

    My wife and I are thinking of a MTB road trip from New England passing through PA to WV or thereabouts, if we were to ride in PA for a day or two, what are some of the must rides? We are more geared towards your typical northeast XC singletrack, climbing isn’t that big of an issue (normally) as long as it is worth it, rocks and roots are normal to us, however I’m not sure 20miles straight of wet roots would be enjoyable for too many days……..

    Any thoughts would be appreciated…..

    We’re thinking mid-May………

    Thanks

    Steve

  2. #2
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    Mt Gretna, French Creek, or Anteitam would be 3 that I can think of right away. All are in Southeastern PA and my regular riding areas. I would be happy to take you around Gretna or French as I am most familiar with them.
    BTW I rode Soapstone Mountain and Peaked Mountain last weekend in New England and it was great. I am originally from Northeastern CT.

  3. #3
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    Here are two options that would prevent you from crisscrossing the state, and with the logic (maybe right, maybe wrong) that from NE you would more than likely be taking I-84 west to Scranton, then going somewhere.

    Option 1 - Eastern PA (probably more trails than you plan to ride on your trip)
    -Prompton Dam
    - Merli Sarnoski
    - Moosic Mountain
    - Moon Lake
    - French Creek
    - Mt Gretna
    - Michaux
    - Rattling Creek
    I didn't map these points EXACTLY, but a road trip would look a little like this:
    LINK


    Option 2 - Central
    - Merli Sarnoski (it's on the way, sort of)
    - Prompton Dam (also on the way)
    - Moosic Mountain (also on the way)
    - Moon Lake (also on the way, sort of)
    - Rothrock State Forest
    - Raystown
    LINK

    EDIT: I should mention that almost all of these trail systems are easily self-guided with maps being available somewhere online. The exception I believe would be Michaux (which, I'll admit, I've never ridden, but have heard great things about.) Also, Rothrock is a vast area. I would go to www.purplelizard.com for a trail guide if you end up there.
    Last edited by jonz; 04-09-2010 at 06:09 AM.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the ideas guys…..this is great.

    Since we will probably be heading to Davis WV (yes we know that Bike Magazine did a write up and yes we used that for some guidance) the Central or Western part of PA………

    If we were to crash for a night in PA, any good target towns that would provide at least some services and choices or reasonable lodging?

    I appreciate the help here…………the good news is the laptop is coming along with the MiFi……so we can at least stay a little connected, although normally I frown on being connected while not working ;-)

    Keep the suggestions coming.....this is starting to come together for us........

    Steve

  5. #5
    my church is the woods
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    my suggestions:

    option 1 would be heading down I-81, hitting Rattling Creek, spending the night in the Harrisburg area, then Michaux the next day.

    option 2 would be to head to Rothrock State Forest and ride, spend the night in State College, and hit Raystown the next day.

    of course there is plenty of other options around the state, but those 4 places are all in the PA top ten IMO.

  6. #6
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    Western PA -

    Top 3 choices:

    Bavington - Great single track - drains like no other (35 mins from Pittsburgh)
    Roaring Run in Apollo - Awesome Trail (About 45 mins from Pittsburgh
    7 Springs 24 Hour Race course loop - Awesome (45 - 50 min from Pittsburgh

    I would ride either Roaring Run or 7 Springs.

    Bottom 3 Choices: (you would need alot of direction on these trails.

    Frick Park (5 mins from Pittsburgh)
    Boyce (25 mins from Pittsburgh)
    Hartwood (15 mins from Pittsburgh)

    Edit* If you can only ride one place, ride Raystown



    I have some maps and directions. Let me know if you need any!
    Last edited by Evo.; 04-09-2010 at 10:22 AM.

  7. #7
    Spring! Spring! Spring!
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    For my 2c, Rothrock SF and both Raystown are easily navigable on your own (you'll need a good map of Rothrock though, like the one published by Purple Lizard - ordered my copy from Rothrock Outfitters). Rothrock is rougher-tougher and Raystown is the polar opposite.

    I hear great stuff about both Rattling and Michaux, and soon as I can get good maps/guidance/ride leads I'll be sampling both (driving down from Kingston PA). I need to find good map sources, or buy a color printer so I can print the DCNR maps in color (or take the PDFs to the print shop). FYI, the DCNR has pretty nice maps online of the various forest and such, but they do NOT necessarily have much of the bike trail coverage.

  8. #8
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    Michaux is a must. It has some of the best riding not only in the state but the entire east coast.
    These guys can hook you up with the good spots to hit.
    www.mbmblog.com

  9. #9
    The White Jeff W
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    I used to ride Michaux quite a bit before I moved. It can be tough to navigate without a guide.

    some of the best riding not only in the state but the entire east coast
    Agreed 100%
    No moss...

  10. #10
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    i would also suggest 7 Springs, they have a downhill trails there and a great xc race course. Laurel Mtn St Park is in the same area, there are lots of trails there but it's very rocky. Quebec Run might be a good choice as well as it is very close to the WV border.

  11. #11
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    Guys thanks so much for the suggestions, now I'm just pulling together the details.........I saw somewhere that Seven Springs is open Memorial Day weekend.......we were hoping to hit it a few days before that.......are the trails open only from Memorial day on?

    I really appreicate the help.......I may have some more questions if you don't mind.

    If some of you guys are around while we're in the area we would love to ride with you.....the more the merrier.

  12. #12
    No Gansta Lean here.
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    I'd stick with what Moonraker said....

    Either option will allow nice lodging/food to enjoy your post ride evenings... In addition to the great riding.... plus I'm sure that you're aware of the national attention that the Raystown trail system is getting.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by River19
    Guys thanks so much for the suggestions, now I'm just pulling together the details.........I saw somewhere that Seven Springs is open Memorial Day weekend.......we were hoping to hit it a few days before that.......are the trails open only from Memorial day on?

    I really appreicate the help.......I may have some more questions if you don't mind.

    If some of you guys are around while we're in the area we would love to ride with you.....the more the merrier.

    Some friends and I are riding 7 Springs tomorrow. It is in the resort but you do not need special access to get to the trail. The downhill / freeride kicks off on Memorial day weekend. If you are going to be riding on the weekend, some friends and I might be willing to meet up and ride.

    Here is some more info on all the trails in 7 Springs Park Details

    Here is a map of the 24 hour Race Course MAP

  14. #14
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    Do you know how you'd be driving down through PA? If so, we could recommend some routes right along yours. There's a ton of good riding throughout the entire state, so it's gonna be people naming off all their faves. Ttyl, Fahn

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn
    There's a ton of good riding throughout the entire state, so it's gonna be people naming off all their faves. Ttyl, Fahn
    Ohhh yeah..... though I think that most of the greatest hits have been spoken for.
    I'm going to speak out of turn, b/c I think there are only 2 straightforward, logical routes from NE to Davis, WV, unless you want to clip NYC, or go way out of your way.
    Route 1

    Route 2

    In which case, I mostly agree with Moonraker, along the way you have:

    Route 1: Rattling Creek and Michaux.
    Route 2: Rothrock and Raystown.

    Either way you have an optional ride at Merli/Prompton/Moon Lake. And you pick and choose Western PA trails once you get there.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the route suggestions as well...........I think we'll bang down Rt 81 into the Harrisburg area, so I guess that would be Rattling Creek and Michaux......then on to Davis afterwards, ride there for a few days then............maybe hit some more PA on the way through..............We'll be leaving out of the Providence RI area as we live just over the MA Border..........

    So now I'll start looking at places to crash in the Harrisburg area.

    Are maps available for Rattling Creek and Michaux? Trailheads to shoot for? This is coming together..........nicely I might add
    Last edited by River19; 04-10-2010 at 04:44 PM.

  17. #17
    the unvarnished nonsense
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    Davis will demand you be on your game to enjoy the finest gems. Don't overdo it in PA on the way down. If you still have gas in the tank, you can spend it on the way back after Davis. When you get to Davis, you must do Plantation, CVI trails including Moonrocks and HooDoo Rocks, and I'd throw the park to park ride in as third must do.
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  18. #18
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    If you're taking 81, then Lackawanna State Park, Moosic mountain and Merli Sarnoski are all close. LSP is only 4 miles off the highway. Moosic- 4, and Merli- 8.

    Ttyl, Fahn

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by davis
    Davis will demand you be on your game to enjoy the finest gems. Don't overdo it in PA on the way down. If you still have gas in the tank, you can spend it on the way back after Davis. When you get to Davis, you must do Plantation, CVI trails including Moonrocks and HooDoo Rocks, and I'd throw the park to park ride in as third must do.
    This is some solid advice here..........

    What is the length of the Plantation Trail ride? This seems like the "must do" trail.

    I appreciate all the help with this, we're looking forward to getting away for a few days and just riding and relaxing. Now about the tendonitis in my knee.........nothing advil can't work with...........

  20. #20
    the unvarnished nonsense
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    Quote Originally Posted by River19
    This is some solid advice here....

    What is the length of the Plantation Trail ride? This seems like the "must do" trail.
    I spent 8 seasons living in the Monongahela National Forest before returning to PA, so I do know a little something about the place....

    Plantation is roughly 8.5 miles of singletrack. Has a few different loop options from town but I just heard that the old swinging bridge collapsed under the exceptionally heavy winter snow so that option is probably out. Roger and/or Matt at Blackwater Bikes can give you the detailed scoop. The loop from town is probably a tad over 20 miles. Its a full days ride. The trail that runs out to the overlook (after Plantation meets Canaan Loop Road) is another 1.5 miles (one way) and is very technical, but the view is one of the best in the MNF.

    Sirianni's serves up some tasty pizza and Parmesean Wedges. Hellbenders across the street is also recommended for burritos. Don't miss Mountain State Brewing Company located between Davis and Thomas.

    My friends on the WV forum will tell you more than you ever care to know about the place if you ask them. You'll probably get offers for free guide service including the "off the map" rides you won't hear about in Bike magazine.

    Just tell them some "davis" guy with funny lookin' cows sent you. OutdoorNut can probably send you some great GPS maps and OldNoob is usually up for a ride anytime.

    Have fun and enjoy the trip.
    "Sufficient to have stood, yet free to fall."
    -John Milton, Paradise Lost

  21. #21
    HopHeads, Unite!
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    Give Rattling Creek Singletrackers a few bucks for a year's membership and get a map as a membership perk. They built and maintain the trails. They earned it!

    http://www.rcst1.blogspot.com/
    www.rcst1.org

    Depending on when in May, I may be able to help you out. I live in Michaux.

    Sounds like a great trip!
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  22. #22
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    OFF of Route 81 south near PineGrove, PA,,, Swatara State Park, great loops of fast single track, you can spend a good 2-4 hours there dependant upon how many loops you do, then move on to Wieser State Forrest , near Lykens and Elizabethville, PA, this is RCST maintained trails. You can get a map from the State Park site with out spending the bucks, although the RCST map is more detailed. A full day can be spent there, park in the Minnich's Hit, White Oak or Turkey Federation Lot for good access to all the trails.. If your opting for camping, there are 4 designated free camping areas located on the mountain, you can get the permit at the main office right off of White Oak road. Next day I'd definately hit Raystown to get your groove on with some super fast riding, once again , many have said its a giant pump track, yea, they aren't pulling your leg.. !! Its a blast... Send me a PM if you have any questions with those area's , I have vast knowledge on where to stay and whats around the area.. Ride on !
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  23. #23
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    Rothrock and Raystown

    I'm gunna have to agree with quite a few people on here; hit up Rothrock. These central PA hills and forests are something special. I hail from New England as well and fell in love with mtb when I came to PSU. Make sure to grab a purple lizard map (the guys at Freeze Thaw rock) because the place is f-ing huge. If you like good local food and good brews go to Ottos after! Oh and by all means head down to the Allegrippis system; rode there last summer and am preparing to go again, all I can say is it is a roller coaster in the woods. Some big climbs to get out but well worth the hard packed and super fast trails.

  24. #24
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    Rattling Creek is incredible!!!

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