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  1. #1
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    Shade Mountain Trails

    I read an article in the Lewistown newspaper this weekend (it was a month or two old, but had been saved for me by a friend) that mentioned this 17 mile trail system off rt. 235 between Mcallisterville and Beaver Springs. If anyone is familiar with these trails, I have a few questions: Where is the best access area/trail head? Are the trails maintained by the state or any other group? I hiked in a couple years ago from a parking area right off 235 - the trails were marked with blazes that indicated they were intended for motorcycles. They also seemed to be pretty rough as far as standing water and uncleared blow downs. I'm not sure if this was part of the trail system mentioned in the article. I enjoy riding rocky, somewhat technical singletrack and would like to explore these trails more if possible - I belong to a cabin about 10 min. from Mifflintown/Mcallisterville, and haven't been able to find much in the way of singletrack without driving to Raystown or the State College area.
    smells like cotton candy.....

  2. #2
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    There is a motorcycle trail loop there. I believe Patra maintains them. There is a map available, but I'm not sure where to get it.

  3. #3
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    the best place to access the trail is from the Shade Mtn. Trailhead along Rt 235. You can also pick it up several places along the Shade Mountain Forestry Rd. that runs from Rt235 to Rt104, ( where the Pisgah Altar sign is as you start down 235 towards Beaver Springs) as the route crosses it several times.

    Yes, it is a burly ride. some steep ups and downs with loose babyheads. blowdowns depend on when the motorcycle guys clear them out, so you might have a few.

    I like the sections to the north of the forestry road the best and there's a few other trails over there that connect with the marked route. however there are some great sections on the south side also.
    I just basically went in and explored, but Griz has the route in his guide to the Bald eagle State Forest. http://www.grizguides.com/guidebooks.php

    theres also some great stuff on up 235 on top of Jacks Mtn. above Troxelville. There's a trailhead there also right off of Rt235. Henstep Valley, Middleridge, Horseshoebend and ColdSprings are just some of them. again...check Griz Guides.

    hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info.. I may take the "just go in and explore" route myself. I may be able to get over there again to check things out this weekend, depending on the weather. I've been back the forest road toward the altar, but never noticed any trail crossings as I drove by. I've also hiked in a short distance from the trailhead on top of Jack's mountain, without finding much other than doubletrack ATV type stuff. Sounds like I'll have to take some time to ride in further at both of these spots.
    smells like cotton candy.....

  5. #5
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    there's actually a trail that goes east from the road that goes up to the altar ( after the steep and out closer to the altar). it eventually hits the enduro trail but also intersects the diamond trail that goes back down across the shade mountain road. the enduro trails cross shade mtn. way on past the road to the altar. there's also some state marked trails out there that are used by the enduro trail but i can't remember which ones for sure but i think shawverville is one of them.

    as for Jack's Mtn., for a nice ride that's not real long, leave the lot on bike and head north on 235. turn left onto henstep valley road.( a couple hundred yards at most) keep staying left. this road keeps deteriorating into a rocky jeep road.go past 3 trails to your left, the first being summit and the other two unmarked. make a left on the 4th trail. this is middleridge. ( if you hit hunter road you went about a 100 yards too far) it starts with a short steep hike-a-bike. follow middleridge the whole way back across the ridge, crossing the three trails you saw earlier. this is primo ridgetop riding with some good tough rockgardens, middleridge will dump you back out on the 4wheeler trail that goes around the deer fence where you parked. turn right and follow the deer fence back to the lot.

    here's a map that may help somewhat: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/ucmprd2/...t/D_000872.pdf

    cheers

  6. #6
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    Thanks again - I'll definitely be checking these options out sometime in the next few weeks.
    smells like cotton candy.....

  7. #7
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    Reviving this thread, as I'll finally be getting a chance to explore Shade Mt. on wheels this Sunday. My son and I hiked in on the "Diamond Trail(?)" a few weeks ago, but didn't have time to go very far. I'm hoping to get a chance to look around some more and decided to post in case anyone is planning to ride the area or has any info. on legal access to this trail. I didn't notice any "no bicycles" signs, and it's not posted as state game land/closed during hunting season (I stay away from these areas even on Sundays during the season), so I assume it's fair game to ride.
    smells like cotton candy.....

  8. #8
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    Wow...

    ... it's been years since I was there. Way back my friend and I used to race at Beaver Springs Dragway, sometimes we would bring the motos and ride on Saturday camp then race on Sundays, and I remember it was a great place with lots of diffeent trails!

  9. #9
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    the trails are on state forest land...the bald eagle state forest... and are open to bikes. they're actually legal motorcycle trails and i see PATRA has a trail work day scheduled for Sunday, so those guys could also point you in the right direction.

    the easiest access is from the trailhead parking lot along RT235. If you access from the Shade Mtn. Rd, you need to drive/ride in past the Mt. Pisgah Altar entrance before you hit state forest ground.

    have a good ride

  10. #10
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    how was your ride?

  11. #11
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    Unfortunately, I never made it to the Shade Mt. area Sun. I decided to take a morning ride on some other trails that I had not explored yet closer to my cabin, and ended up getting "lost" and had to do more climbing than planned. (I knew where I was, but didn't know where I was going to end up, if that makes sense). After this adventure, there wasn't much left in the tank, so I decided to abort my planned second ride. I still have it on my short list of places to ride before the snow flies (again!).
    smells like cotton candy.....

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