Tamaqua Bungalow trails
I used to live near Tamaqua 7 years ago and still have in-laws in the area. The trails near the Bungalow Pool were awesome rocky singletrack. The trails were maintained by a group of guys who I think were affiliated with JAMA bikes which I believe has since gone out of business.
When I'm in town visiting my in-laws I always head back up to the trails. I rode today and noticed that it doesn't seem like anyone is maintaining the trails anymore. I ran into some ATVs who had done a little damage to the trail as well. Fortunately, because it is all coal country, the trails haven't grown over and they are still a lot of fun.
My question is does anyone know if any group is still maintaining these trails? Who owns the land? Any races still going on there - there use to be two a year? Seems like it could be a great spot for a 24 hour race given the 7 mile or so loop with a nearby baseball field for camping.
Just curious what anyone knows about these trails.
Since Jama bikes went out of business and the yearly race is no more, the bungalow trails have gone down hill fast. I used to do maintenance here and there but was losing the battle with all the dirtbikes and ATV's who have made that place their playground. Much of the awesome, hardpack, narrow singletrack has turned into wide, loose, doubletrack/ATV crap. Compared to 5 years back, many cool, flowing banked corners are now deep trenches, single or double wide; many of the fantastic roller coaster hills are very loose & rocky due to motorized vehices tearing it up going up the hills that normally we used to fly down, in addition to the erosion that is tearing them apart due to this traffic; many sections have a ton of water that lays due to these motorheads splashing thru these sections and deepening those parts evenmore with alot of go-arounds being made due to those impasses; the overgrowth and deadfall that never gets trimmed or picked up by anyone; and the knuckleheads that block off various trails and take down any trail markers when creating their little race tracks in the woods make it harder to navigate the trails for people not too familar with the area. Now that the trails have been taken over by that lot of rider, it would be near impossible to limit their usage and return that area to more mountain biker friendly. Having said all that, I still return periodically (and so do others) and tolerate alot of that crap and condition because the place is still a very cool place to ride and you still get an excellent feel and thrill for the flow of the place that is so well known. The main 7 mile counterclockwise loop people usually do is still ridable eventhough I have not done the entire loop in a while, but I usually do a shorter out and back retracing the trek I made out. I don't know who "officially" owns that land and there are no signs (or they have been taken down) and the people, town, police don't care a lick about that place and any potential it may have for races or mountain bikers in general.
Not the answer I was hoping for but the answer I expected. I loved those trails and ride them every chance I get. I'm over in Jersey now but like I said, whenever I visit the in-laws, I'm making sure I get up there.
I would love to know who owns the land. How is the biking community in the area? With the game lands being shut down to bikers, I would have thought trails like this would have become more popular. Instead it appears that the bikers left the area or found other trails. I remember people talking about Tamaqua taking off as a mountain bike community but it never happened.
When I was riding yesterday I came up on three ATVs. I stopped and talked to the guys and they were nice but it was clear to see where their ATVs were tearing up the trail. The only good thing is the ATVs didn't fit on much of the tight singletrack so that was still good. I can't blame the ATVs, if I had one and lived there I would probably be riding as well. That is why I was curious as to who owns the land. If the owners or the town do nothing to stop them, then it is just going to continue.
Any other trails in the area that compare to these trails?
Reading anthricite,, they sell permits for use of the land to the "motorheads" Just remember,, the quads make the trails wide and loose,, the dirtbikers is who usually make the trails,, Those trails were dirtbike heaven back in the late 70's and early 80's before the 3 and 4 wheelers came in.. and yes,, most of the trails in that area were made by local dirtbikers as there were several races that went thru that area,,
As a person who rides both,, I understand both sides of it,, but the 4 wheelers have gotten more places shut down than either types of 2 wheelers,,
Form a Group..Go for it!
One of our members Chris, recieved an email out of the blue from one of the orginal guys who was associated with Jama Bikes and he said he saw Chris's pic on a website and recognized him from the old races at Tamaqua. He said one of the guys who owned Jama had some interest in riding there again. No mention of races though.
All I can tell you is do as we did when we formed NEPMTBA. It will not be easy but well worth the effort. By forming a group you open the door to all who would be interested. Be friends with the ATV groups and they might even help and respect the singletrack trails you would build there at Tamaqua. Of course it would be wise to first make an attempt to contact the land owner.
We would support your efforts and would advertise your trails on our website if you get permission from the land owner. Being we live in WB /Scranton area we would only be able to help work there on a limited basis, but we always look forward to have new members in other areas such as yours. Check out our website address in the sig line below.