Do you have to pay to use Bear Creek trails?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do you have to pay to use Bear Creek trails?

    I was thinking of heading to Bear Creek in the next couple weeks and I saw this on their website: "Please note, guests that are not staying in The Hotel, must purchase a Mountain Activity Pass." The Mountain Activity Pass for the summer season is $25 and it says you need it to use the bike trails.

    I assume that is their official stance, but are people paying to ride there? Is it worth paying to ride there now (I have not been up there in about 5 years or more to mountain bike)? I suppose if I rode there regularly, I wouldn't mind paying the $ and its private property so they can do what they want, but for one ride its a little steep.

    This leads to my next question, what would be the best place to ride up in the Allentown Area for an advanced rider looking for a mix of tech and flow and also some kind of map or easy to navigate trail system you can do solo (in other words, you don't need a local to show you around)?
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  2. #2
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    Yep, $25 for an "Activity Pass" BUT you get that back in a $25 gift card. Just use it for some food and drinks after ride or at some point in future. I pay it every year, wear the rubber wristband, ride those great trails a bunch of times, and usually treat the wife to some adult beverages when in the area. Kinda sucks in a way for a one time rider and having to go to the front desk the 1st time, but ya get it back and get to "rock" those nicely maintained tech trails.

    bdwargs
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding View Post
    I was thinking of heading to Bear Creek in the next couple weeks and I saw this on their website: "Please note, guests that are not staying in The Hotel, must purchase a Mountain Activity Pass." The Mountain Activity Pass for the summer season is $25 and it says you need it to use the bike trails.

    I assume that is their official stance, but are people paying to ride there? Is it worth paying to ride there now (I have not been up there in about 5 years or more to mountain bike)? I suppose if I rode there regularly, I wouldn't mind paying the $ and its private property so they can do what they want, but for one ride its a little steep.

    This leads to my next question, what would be the best place to ride up in the Allentown Area for an advanced rider looking for a mix of tech and flow and also some kind of map or easy to navigate trail system you can do solo (in other words, you don't need a local to show you around)?
    I live in the area. Here are my thoughts:
    #1 Trexler - by far my current #1. Love this place.
    #2 Nox - little more of a drive from Allentown, but very flow, not so much jumping.
    #3 Jacobsburg - I live within 5 miles.... there's about 12-14 miles of nice single track with some challenging technical climbs and downhillish segments.
    #4 Camelback / Walking Purchase Park (Sals)

    Maybe a #2 or #3 if I road it a few more times... Allamuchy, by Hackettstown NJ. Shoot out 80.

    I've also heard very good things about South Mountain. I haven't been there in 10 years, but hope to make it there this year.

    #1, #2, #3, & Sals are all very to find trail maps. #1 and #2 are absolutely no problem solo, 1st time. #3... if you get an aerial picture in your head is pretty easy as well. Sals has good maps, I think you'd be ok there, I solo'd it with only a map as my guide the first time. Camelback... only road it once, I'd look for a gps file on that one, one wrong turn and it could be a several k climbing day.

  4. #4
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    IMHO, Sals(Walking Purchase Park) in Bethlehem is a lot more technical than Trexler. More rocky with some climbing. Even the rocky sections flow. Easy to navigate with or without a map. Park at the Dodson St lot. Trail enters woods on the right. Nox is very flowy but not that technical. Jacobsburg has some nice trails but again I don't think it's very technical. And watch out for the horse droppings. Always a mess. You also have Mt Penn over by Reading. About a 40 minute ride west. Technical with lots of climbing. There isn't really a good map but it's hard to get lost. Every trail comes out to a road. Just my $0.02.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  5. #5
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    Over 15 years ago when I moved back to the area and began MTBing, I met up with a few guys who introduced me to several trails. Those same people formed the Valley Mountain Bikers group. They have a nice little trails section on their website with links to maps:
    Trail Finder | VMB - Lehigh Valley, PA Mountain Bike Club

    So just to clarify some of the trail advise from yesterday. This is my second year on a Rip 9. I’m fairly hard core, took a week long trip to Moab last year. I’ve been to Blue Mountain’s bike park, road every trail, but opted out of the big drops and long table top.

    Trexler has massive swooping features, large berms, and jumps which can send you 4-5' high and 15' long. While various skill levels can absolutely ride Trexler, it's very rare to see someone full bore down halfpipe and clear the big double. Trexler also has a trail called broken arrow. This year after the second switch back they built up some large rollers. Steep drop to your left, steep hill to your right, 25mph launch off roller. I personally love the fast flowing trying to clear the double trails. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCfS1tlwPTA

    Sals is a very different trail and it is quite good. Visited Sals several times last year. While Sals will be less vertical climbing it will feel like more. There are several nice downhill sections. There's a very technical rocky / river crossing which is a great challenge. There are several nice rock sends mixed in with the downhill. There is a very challenging rock garden (I only clean it about 1 in 3 tries). And the last standout feature in my mind is a large rock, the size of a car, to get up and over. I've road Sals on my HT and FS, on my HT Sals really just gets too rocky. It starts fun but toward the end I feel like ‘enough already’. On the FS, the pounding isn’t nearly as bad. I enjoy Sals on my FS. This is the park where they host the Steel City Enduro. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB15FJ1uJt0

    Nox is easy with only one somewhat techy section of rocks. What makes Nox unique is the flow. To make Nox more challenging, ride Nox faster. There are several nice tech features such as small balance log rides. There are some very nice bermed switch backs. There's a Turkey Hill less than a .5 mile away so when you have completed 1 loop you can grab some food then head back out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8S5etk8bpo

    Oh there’s one other place I forgot to mention… Glenn Park. There are some major lung busters here but there are also some very nice downhill sections. While going down there is flow, but there isn’t much flat flow.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the great info. I appreciate the detailed recommendations about area rides. I'm going to be in downtown Allentown for work, so I am thinking Sal's or driving over to Bear Creek, when I get done. It sounds like those two places are more what I am looking for. I didn't realize BC gives you the $25 back as a gift card. I take my little kids skiing there all winter, so its not a bad deal and it sounds like the trails there are pretty sweet. I checked out Sal's on the VMB site and that place looks very cool, too.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  7. #7
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    FWIW, I've only ridden at Bear Creek a couple times but never bought the pass and was never asked for one.

    I love Trexler but it's more fun than techy. It's also much less crowded than Nox.

  8. #8
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    Kinda like sneaking into an event without a ticket and not getting caught. Theft of services is what I think they officially call it. Bear Creek is private property and a resort and you are using their facilities without paying. Might as well go jump in their pool, use their sauna, and get a massage too. I just figure that a ton of time, energy, and resources go into keeping the trails open and improved and the fee is a small token of my donation to the sport I love to ride those awesome trails a few times a year, but the catch is ya get it back anyways with the gift card! Sheesh. Go use Blue Mt downhill trails and see what ya have to pay for a one time use. I doubt you would try to ride their trails without paying.

    bdwargs
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  9. #9
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    Hey little FYI here.... If Trexler looks interesting or is a place you like to ride, KillDozer will be changed. Construction could begin as early as September! This trial is very unique in the area, definitely worth a visit if you've never been there.

  10. #10
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    Was just there Saturday with the GF. How will Killdozer be changed? We hit every trail there. Some twice. Really liked Broken Arrow. The amount of speed can really make you a bit nervous around some of the turns.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  11. #11
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    The tightness of Kill was part of the fun, I can only imagine they will open it up more!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker64 View Post
    Was just there Saturday with the GF. How will Killdozer be changed? We hit every trail there. Some twice. Really liked Broken Arrow. The amount of speed can really make you a bit nervous around some of the turns.
    Trexler and bikevmb has info. Believe they are doing work on the north range and removing some stuff but don't quote me.

    And for the OP nox would be a good call but a bit further south of Allentown. Plenty of flow not too bad tech wise either. Trexler definitely has a good flow.

    If you want to travel further north a little blue mountain. But you will definitely pay to ride. But pretty much worth it if you want to ride downhill for a day

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwargula View Post
    Kinda like sneaking into an event without a ticket and not getting caught. Theft of services is what I think they officially call it. Bear Creek is private property and a resort and you are using their facilities without paying. Might as well go jump in their pool, use their sauna, and get a massage too. I just figure that a ton of time, energy, and resources go into keeping the trails open and improved and the fee is a small token of my donation to the sport I love to ride those awesome trails a few times a year, but the catch is ya get it back anyways with the gift card! Sheesh. Go use Blue Mt downhill trails and see what ya have to pay for a one time use. I doubt you would try to ride their trails without paying.

    bdwargs
    I'm not sure if I even knew it was pay to ride at the time I did it but I won't use their disc golf course because of their stupid fee. I frankly don't care for the Bear Creek trails but hadn't done them in a while at the time and wanted to take another stab. Were I to be a regular, I would hook them up. That said, I'm not going back so, try not to worry too much. I don't even steal music.

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