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  1. #1
    CTB is offline
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    Feb 2008

    Visiting Pittsburgh next week - tips on Frick?

    Hi everyone. I grew up in the Pittsburgh area, but I've been gone for 20 years now. I'm heading home to PA for the holidays, and I'd like to get some riding in. Frick's Iron Gate and 276 seem like things I'd like to try (assuming there are no more homeless axe-wielders anymore...jeez, and I though living in Detroit was going to be the problem!). I'm going to do a lot of surfing to try and find maps, etc., but so far I'm not clear on how Iron Gate works. I assume one shuttles it? It looks like a lot of downhill fun, but of course what goes down must also go back up. Then the videos of 276 I've seen look like some good XC riding, a bit more like I'm used to here (though we don't have real hills here). Can you connect these two in one day?

    Any tips, maps, suggestions, etc., would be great, thanks! I'm unclear on my schedule at this point, but weather-permitting, I'd like to try something on maybe the 30th or July 1st. Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
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    May 2007
    Unfortunately, most of the maps out there are pretty outdated.

    You can do everything in one day, and probably get about 25 miles in if you hit everything.

    Lots of different route options...but I like to start at the blue slide playground at the top of the hill, do Iron Gate, then cross over to the slags (entere where the proposed baseball field is on the above map) and do everything over there....of which there's lots of new stuff that isn't on the map, such as crater trail, crater trail extension, etc. From there, cross back over and hit 276, which is also not on the map. Then I head up the trail that is just off the beginning of braddock trail, which eventually hits braddock trail, make a left and do dinky bridge in reverse. From there, I will either normally keep riding out straight on braddock after crossing the entrance to the lower lot and ride out of the back of the cemetary, or go and ride up bradema with the new extension they put on and then head over to the cemetary. After that, I normally just fill in whatever I haven't hit yet, then climb back up on out up the falls raving trail to the singletrack at the intersection between falls ravine and riverview.

    PORC normally runs rides out there that you could join in on....

    Intermediate/advanced rides typically on Monday's at 6PM
    And casual Friday rides at 6PM

    Both from the Frick Park tennis courts.

    Edit: Also feel free to check in on the Bike PGH message board and/or PORC forums
    Bike Pittsburgh | Bicycle safety, advocacy, and community
    PORC ? Index page
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Sep 2011
    Here is my normal training route: Untitled by steelhmr at Garmin Connect - Details

    The ride is around 13 miles with ~1400' of climbing/descending. You hit all of the major trails and it minimizes the time spent on firelanes (other than for climbing or getting back from Crater Trail).

    2 minutes in and I'm at the main entrance (tennis courts) on Braddock Ave. You should start there.

    1. Take the trail to the right and follow along behind the tennis courts and baseball field. Climb out to Forbes Ave and take a left to cross the bridge. On the other side of the bridge take a left and stay straight to go on the South Clayton Loop. Take this until you get the Nature Center and bear left at the Y. After 100 yards you will see the entrance (left) to the Nature Trail (Bradema) which is a nice moderate downhill.

    2. At the end you will cross a hiking trail that takes you to the end of the bridge where you started the South Clayton Loop. Proceed across and you will pick up the Nature Trail Extension. Take that to the end and you will end up on the Tanquil Trail (firelane). Make a right and proceed to Falls Ravine (you will see a pavilion there at the start).

    3. Climb Falls Ravine (firelane). Make a u-turn left at the 5-point social intersection. Proceed up a small hill and look for the entrance to the Roller Coaster on the left. Immediately after the entrance is a 4-way intersection. Take the route that is to the right, but goes downhill (the straighest right I guess). Follow this to get to the roller coaster section.

    4. After the Roller Coaster, look for the lower exit. It should cut straight across the firelane trail and begin and immediate short uphill. This is the Roller Coaster Extension Trail. After navigating around some rocks. You will go downhill (be careful) and bear towards the right into the valley. Two short, but very steep climbs and you are out. Stay towards the right after the log obstacle at the end to exit. You will end up at the upper exit of the previous Roller Coaster trail.

    5. Take the Roller Coaster Trail in reverse and you will end up at the 5-point social again. Take the trail that crossed the foot bridge. You will climb this for a while until you get to the upper section of the park (asphalt).

    6. Make the right at the exit and make the next left 200 yards or so ahead. You will go behind the baseball field and see the entrance for Iron Grate (downhill). Take Iron Grate to the bottom.

    6. At the end of Iron Grate, go towards the right to Commercial Street. Cross it (with caution) and go towards the slag pile. Just follow the GPS map above to find the Crater Trail. There are lots of different ways to get there. Be warned, Crater Trail is advanced and potentially very dangerous. Only ride it if you are very comfortable with your skill level. The new Humpular section is an out and back so be careful.

    7. Head back from Crater and go back across Commercial street. Cross the long bridge and go right to follow the trail along the 9-mile Creek. When you see a bench, go over the rocks to the other side of the creek and get on 276 Trail.

    8. After exiting 276, go right (firelane) and then make a left on to the Braddock Trail (firelane). Go 20 feet or so and take a right onto the Backyard Trail. You will climb and then go leftward to start out.

    9. After exiting Backyard Trail, make a left to go down Braddock Trail (firelane). 100 yards or so down is the entrance for Dinky Bride (in reverse). Take that and stay right (you will cross a small bridge). Take this to the end and you will catch back up with Braddock Trail (firelane). Take that to get back to the entrance where you started.

    Hope this help. I will try to explain the Slag Pile and Crater Trail entrance later when I have more time. Good luck.

  4. #4
    CTB is offline
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    Feb 2008
    Wow, guys, this is great info. I'll definitely print this and thread and bring it along with me. I'm hoping to try this on the 29th, but it'll depend on weather and whatever else is going on with the family, etc. With these tips, I'll be much more likely to have a successful day. Thanks again!

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