Visiting Hershey PA, Bringing MTB
I'm from Niagara Falls, and will be in Hershey for a few days this week, and I'd like to sample some of the riding in the area.
Currently, my plan is to do two rides, a shorter ride at Swatara on Wednesday, and a longer ride at Rattling Creek on Thursday. A search brings up quite a bit of good information.
I'm just checking in to see if there is anything particular that I need to be aware of, that may not have been mentioned in older threads.
If for some reason your plans change, Rattling Creek will be the ride not to be missed (that's no knock on Swatara, it's just that Rattling Creek is that good.) Park at east end parking lot and do the full IMBA epic route. There are a bunch of maps for RC, but the one on sambabiker.com is the most recent.
Swatara is actually not very representative of the majority of local trails, in that it is so fast and lacking in rocks. Perfect on a rigid SS.
Yes, I am looking forward to Rattling Creek the most, it sounds great. Swatara just seems like a good way to spend an afternoon after 5+ hours of driving.
Originally Posted by jonz
I was in the area yesterday and rode Swatara in the morning and Rattling Creek in the early evening. Swatara was fun, flowy, and fast. Unfortunately, there wasn't really enough time left for Rattling Creek so I only got to ride a few trails. Also some trails at RC were lacking markings and quite overgrown making it a bit confusing at first. But the trails are technical and fun.
Doing Swatara in both direction makes it an added pleasure!
RC is more of typical Pa "rocks-n-stuff"... always fun!
I see you mentioned your from Niagara Falls, do you ride at Sprague Brook park much?
Visiting Hershey PA, Bringing MTB
Funny you mention this and I know it is meant for rkj, but I used to live 10 miles away from Sprague Brook and helped build the trails and rode there a lot before I moved to PA. Have you ridden there?
Originally Posted by NEPMTBA
Here's some more pics from my rides.
It is a fairly scenic drive through NY and PA.
I arrived in Jonestown PA, and set up camp.
I did two MTB rides. The first was a fairly easy / short ride at Swatara State Park, on the same day I drove down. The trail was very well maintained, and flowed well. It is a system of stacked loops, so navigation is not a problem. I just made a right turn at every intersection. Though it was smooth, it was not uninteresting. There were a few fun little features. It was a perfect way to stretch the legs after a 6 hour drive.
Then back to camp for a beer by the creek and a fire.
The next day, I had a longer ride planned, the Rattling Creek IMBA Epic. This trail system was much more backwoods, and more typical of the riding in the area. Lots of rocks! There is a very good map of the trail system that I followed very carefully. I did accidentally miss a turn, which put me in a deep hollow. I did not see a sign post as I was descending. I then had a monster climb to get out of it. Doh! The trails were marked quite well though.
Some sections were a little overgrown by some people's standards, but not terribly so. Did I mention there were lots of rocks? Although challenging, there was always a good line to take you through. Never was there a section that I felt was impossible. Though I did not ride everything cleanly, it certainly seemed doable. I walked a few sections because I was either tired, or playing it safe, since I was all alone in the woods, quite far from home.
There were lots of Cicadas. Their song was incredibly loud all throughout the woods.
There were some smooth sections, thankfully.
And rocky sections.
I may or may not have intentionally laid my bike down here...
Not a leaf.
I will admit, I bailed on two of the trail sections: Rattling Creek, and Rugged / Stone Cabin. I'm not in amazing shape right now, and I was just beat. No need to work too hard on vacation, or even worse, overdo it, and get hurt.
I had a great time. The information I found on MTBR helped make this a great trip.
One of the other reasons I was in the area was to meet up with another online community. Though less relevant to this forum, I'll drop a few pics anyway.
I had a great trip. Thanks for looking.
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