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  1. #1
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    Best trails near Willkes Barre

    What are some of the best single track trails to ride in the Willkes-Barre area? And are the trails off limits during Hunting season? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Frances Slocum SP, and Moon Lake SF have S/T, Mocanaqua Trails, Penobscot Ridge Trails are old mine road or quad type trails.

    Travel out a bit further in any direction and you will find lots more.

  3. #3
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    One map of the area trailheads is available over here, there's a PDF downloadable along with the online Google map which is clickable so you can get directions.

    First off ... the elephant in the room ... is that the only are I know of currently which is hunting prohibited is Merli-Sarnoski park. Moon Lake used to be, but since it has transitioned to become part of the DCNR managed forestry properties hunting is allowed. Outside of bear and early deer season as long as you're wearing enough "safety orange" it's legal for you to be out and enjoying the trail - but use your common sense, okay? For bear season and the first couple weeks of hunting season I'd advise staying out of the woods. Exception reminder: Sunday are still hunting-prohibited everywhere.

    Also, there are trailheads adjacent to state game lands (think Black Diamond trailhead at the to of 437 above Mountain Top, ostensibly for accessing the D&L rail-trail conversion). People with open eyes will notice singletrack splitting off from the D&L at different places. Officially, hiking and cycling singletrack in the game lands is no-bueno; use common sense and your own judgement please.

    That off my keyboard ...

    - Lackawanna SP - *not* the closest to W-B but the most-buff dirt based trail, some good climbing and fun descending. I like to park at the south boat launch area and basically work my way counter-clockwise working my way around the lake. There are a couple of road crossings required, be safe! Bombing down North Woods trail can be a lot of fun. Watch out for water/wet trail, LSP probably holds the most moisture, longest, IMO. Also, plenty of roots ... but it is the least rocky trail in the area (well, short of the D&L or the levee trails). Easy to do a 15+ mile ride here if you have the time.

    - Frances Slocum SP - closer to W-B, just up 309 and off Carverton; superficially similar to LSP, but with a bit more rock and a lot less trail overall ... just less area opened to MTB.

    - Moosic mountain - great network, good variety of trail types, from less rough (Blueberry, Bones, Waterfall) to more rough (Conglomerate, The View) to somewhere in between (Gene's, After 5, Bruised Ego). Potentially great views of the valley, on a good day you can see all the way to Berwick reactor.

    - Moon Lake natural area - up hwy 29 from Nanticoke. One of the best / closest options to W-B. Good variety of trail, more rough than not but not insufferable. ;^) The north-/north-east side towards Pikes Creek reservoir was logged this past year so there has been some trail disruption there, but things are slowly recovering.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Hunting is allowed:

    Frances Slocum
    Lackawanna SP
    Moosic Mountain
    Hunting Sites - The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania | The Nature Conservancy
    Moon Lake, and of course all State Gamelands including Mt Top.

    Speaking of Mt Top, a quandary, having State Forest, State Gameland, and State Park lands, where the State Park is off limits to mt biking, the State Forest is allowed, but the Gamelands aren't except the rail trail that passes through the Gamelands. Having spoke with the WCO I have been told he is willing to work to allow "certain trails" to be opened up on State Gameland for mt biking.

  5. #5
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    Now if ya really like super techy S/T then HGA is your place.

    It is private property, but there are threads here in the Pa forum where you can join in the riding every Wednesday night at 6PM

    http://forums.mtbr.com/pennsylvania/...y-1025778.html

    http://forums.mtbr.com/pennsylvania/...e-1027536.html

    http://forums.mtbr.com/pennsylvania/...a-1021808.html

    ...and you did say the "BEST" S/T trails near Wilkes Barre, didn't you?

    You will need lights, and no hunting, on Wednesday nights. It is one of the only places around you can "legally" ride at night, and not need "special permits" or "join a club" to attend and we won't try to sell you anything either! Ride leaders attend the rides and never leave anyone feeling all alone out there!

    Come join us at HGA!
    The coordinates: 41.233566, -76.059860

  6. #6
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    Don't get out that way too much, but have visited Lackawanna and Moon Lake (pre wood harvesting activity). Both were good. Lackawanna gets the nod from me. Well put together network - range in difficulty, good signage, interesting terrain. Moon Lake was just too much like my local trails in central PA - lots of rocks! Give them both a shot!

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    I was planning on Riding Moosic on Monday 11/21 and then either Moon Lake or Jim Thorpe (American Standard) or Lackawanna SP on Wednesday the 23 - Is there any issue with these trail being bear season?

    I will wear an orange pinny but do not want to be unsfae.

    Thanks and sorry for interjecting

  8. #8
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    Keep an eye here for HGA rides. I'll be out there on Wednesdays until it snows and/or gets too cold. 6PM start. Noone gets left behind, and we ride as long as the group wants to. Unfortunately, next Wednesday is Thanksgiving prep at home, so I won't be out there. Maybe Scott will lead next Wednesday.

  9. #9
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    Damn, I was gonna bring the rifle and get one of those "turkeys" roaming the property!

  10. #10
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    Trailforks.com has decent coverage of area trails too, FYI.

    clicky the linky

  11. #11
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    Thank you all for the responses. It sounds like there is some good spots down there. I will probably try Lackawanna if I am in the area. I was thinking next week but now my plans have changed.

    Thanks again!

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