Moon Lake and surrounding area bike vacation- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Moon Lake and surrounding area bike vacation

    Hi Everyone,
    My wife and I take a mountain bike vacation every year to different places, sometime out of state but mostly in Pa where we reside. I hear so much talk about Moon Lake that we are planning to go there this year to ride the trails. Are there maps of the trails there and how to get them? We like to do 12-18 or 20 miles a day or 5-6 hour rides.

    We are also thinking to explore other trails around the area as well. We will have 4 days in the area to ride. We don't like rails to trails unless it is a short distance to get to a good trail. We don't necessarliy like "easy" trails but prefer some with some exciting, and or flowing terrain, technical is good also. Any help or guidence on this would be appreciated!

    Also, would there be any cabins around the area to rent or vacation rentals anyone could recommend? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Do a google search for Moon Lake trail map and you will find it. The map is accurate but unfortunately some of the trail signs have vanished. Still not too difficult to figure out.

  3. #3
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    Moosic, Merli and Prompton will be your favorites. Ttyl, Fahn
    Hubbard Bike Club

  4. #4
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    Just rode in Mountain Top last weekend with a buddy that lived there. No idea if there is maps but it was some pretty tough riding. I did 14 miles and was shot. It is probably the closest to Moon Lake. Heres my strava link...

    https://www.strava.com/activities/296856858

  5. #5
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Good job!

    bizman,

    Shoot me a PM a few days in advance, if I'm able I'll show ya around the area!

    South of mOOn about a hour away Geisinger, lots of climbing, but great trails, Hess Field, Flat down by the creek type of trails, Mainville, big mountain climbs and fast descents, and Hopewell, saved the best for last...Hopewell would be a fav if you like rippin flow and big swoopy berms on of Nikks Big Bannana trail...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn View Post
    Moosic, Merli and Prompton will be your favorites. Ttyl, Fahn
    ^ +1 Moon Lake is an awesome, fun place to ride, but it's not that epic that you're going to be doing 5-6 hour rides there. Ride it one day, but also hit these other three. Prompton being the longest, Moosic being the most unique and most technical. Merli and Moosic can also be a bit confusing. Prompton is pretty easy to follow.

    There's probably 40+ miles of trails in Mt Top, but there's no published map due to much of the trail's status, you really need to ride there with someone familiar with the trails. If you can find someone to guide you on snappers, it'll be a big ride.

    Accommodations - there's Keen Lake resorts right down the road from Prompton. There's Bodnaroso kind of close to Moon Lake.
    Last edited by jonz; 06-23-2015 at 08:42 AM.

  7. #7
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    If you were looking to do (NE) PA epics, and really bury your legs, think about doubling up some ...

    disclaimer: I haven't been to Prompton in more than a year. I really need to get up there.

    Lackawanna SP in the morning (15-20, "most buff" trails in NE PA I think but by no means smooth like Blue Marsh Lake or Raystown),
    lunch break,
    Moosic Mtn (15-ish) afternoon, sunset view over the valley. Moosic is *work* - fun work though.

    Moon in the morning (15 +/-, if you include NFS, 5858, Salamander, Screamer, and everything in between),
    lunch break,
    Mtn Top afternoon (guides advised), sunset view over Arbutus Peak or off Summit View. Note: Some doubletrack traversals required to connect, and if you go down Tatoo Alley you'll probably need to ride next to the railroad to get back and climb back up into Glen Summit, or futher back to your start. To me the most logical starting points are the public parking at Black Diamond Trailhead; the game-lands parking just off 437 on Tunnel Rd; or the small lot just up Church Rd near A&R Building Supply.

    Merli is a "tough ball" - some truly fun crazy rock work there, but I don't know if it's got the mileage OP's looking for. I always get lost when I ride there. Always.

    My personal favorites next-up in proximity to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area include, in no particular sequence ...

    American Standard + Deer Path, near Jim Thorpe. 20+ miles total easily. Late afternoon big snack stop overlooking Lehigh Gorge. You're out in the woods for a long one here. Note that there has been logging/work in some areas on the DP side and the game lands road used as connector has the most irritating sized gravel you've ever traversed on a bike.

    Roaring Creek, on the ridge-line between Aristes and Natalie, PA.

  8. #8
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    Ok. My two cents. You could stay in Bloomsburg at the inn at turkey hill, and have a brewery/ restaruant outside your door. From there, roaring creek is only 20 minutes away, with 20 mile loops possible, only hitting a dirt road for a few miles between singletracks. Then both the Hopewell trails and Geisinger trails in Danville are only 15 ish minutes away. I like to ride Hopwell then hop over to Geisinger for some more riding. Moon lake is not too far away, and if you take route 11, you would pass right by the Berwick brewery, which has fantastic beers and really good pizza. If you hook up with a local (or I could email you a gpx of the snappers) mountain top trails are only a little over a half hour away. Have a great vacation!

  9. #9
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    Hi everyone,
    Thanks for the insight on some of the trails in the area and accommodations! Thanks also to NEPMTBA for offering to show us around too! That is very nice but being on vacation we will be on no time schedules and it could be difficult to hook up. We were at Jim Thorpe last year and rode the American Standard, deer path and a few other ones so we would like to do some different ones.

    We do enjoy adventure but like to have a map to be able to follow and reference. I have been searching some of the trails and from what some of you said there doesn't seem to be much in that dept (or that's how I took it). We are not planning to go until August but want to get our cabin/vacation rental scheduled.

    In our search for trail it looks like there may be a bicycle shop (Bloomsburg?) that we may try to talk to to see if they would have any maps or suggestions. Moon Lake has been talked about so much on here I thought it would be easier to find info on the trails there or even other trails in the area but it does apear challenging. I will keep searching and maybe something will come up? If anyone has any ideas please feel free to put them on this thread or even PM me, thanks everyone!

  10. #10
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    Don't be discouraged by the difficulty in finding trail maps for all of the above mentioned trails. Do keep in mind that even though you will be on vacation, there will always be someone around this area that can show you around. There is a link to Moon Lake trail map. I just gotta find it and post it. There have been a few additional trails put in recently but they are easy to navigate. If you decide to make this area your vacation destination, just post up here as the time gets nearer and I'm sure you will have no problems hooking up for rides. I live about 25 minutes from Moon Lake and would be happy to show you around also. I've also ridden Moosic, Mtn Top, and Lackawanna. Another jem about an hour and a half south of Wilkes Barre is Mt Penn in Reading. Lots of mileage there and you can't really get lost. Good luck in your planning.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHOAA View Post
    Just rode in Mountain Top last weekend with a buddy that lived there. No idea if there is maps but it was some pretty tough riding. I did 14 miles and was shot. It is probably the closest to Moon Lake. Heres my strava link...

    https://www.strava.com/activities/296856858
    I just signed up for Strava. It looks like a pretty good way to track my rear end getting into shape. I'll be riding in the White Haven area mostly.

  12. #12
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    For Moosic, take a pic of the kiosk with your phone. The map is there with the exception of After 5.

    Prompton has a map. If you can't find it, Sawmill Cycles in Honesdale has copys of it. They're only 5 minutes away from Prompton.

    Fahn
    Hubbard Bike Club

  13. #13
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    I have (some) maps of our trails to share, that I've collected since I moved into the area in '09

    Lackawanna SP Trail Map (pdf)

    Merli-Sarnoski CP Trail Map (pdf)

    Moon Lake CP Trail Map (pdf)

    Moosic Mtn Conservancy Trail Map (pdf)

    Prompton Lake Trail Map (jpg)

    disclaimers:
    - I didn't author any of these, credit to whoever made them
    - I make no guarantees about veracity
    - Moosic Mtn map lacks the Blueberry extension that crosses over the top of the hill, Bones trail which connects Blueberry to Waterfall, After 5 which comes off View and goes down to Gene's by the reservoir
    - Moon Lake map lacks some recent additions (What trail off NW2 towards 5858/Deacon, new line 'parallel' to 8 from Plan B to SR2/TTS, others)
    - Merli map likely missing recent developments too

    But they should help someone unfamiliar with the trails (they helped me).

  14. #14
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    Trail maps for Moon lake can be found on Strava or through google maps on your phone. Hopefully that helps some. I use them both for that

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clipless in PA View Post
    the Berwick brewery, which has fantastic beers and really good pizza
    Oh yes!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEPMTBA View Post
    Oh yes!
    Reminds me, I want to add notes on my personal google pushpin map for post-ride-eats location. Going to list that as a good location for post-ride for Roaring Creek. :^)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    Reminds me, I want to add notes on my personal google pushpin map for post-ride-eats location. Going to list that as a good location for post-ride for Roaring Creek. :^)
    Great idea!

  18. #18
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    A little update on our vacation plans this summer. We have made reservations for a place to stay in the Moon Lake area. I want to thank everyone who has given suggestions for this trip as well as PM's to me with info and their experience of the area, it is greatly appreciated! We have 4 days to ride in the area and will be hitting Moon Lake and Roaring River for sure.

    We are told by the owner of the property we will be staying at there is some other private property they also own and have indicated we will be allowed to ride the trails there and they have maps for this area. We are excited for this mountain bike vacation (like all the others we have taken) and I will try to dig this thread up to give a report on our riding in the area. Thanks again everyone!

    EDIT: There was no private trails or maps for those areas as we thought there would be.
    Last edited by Bizman; 08-15-2015 at 07:20 PM.

  19. #19
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    Keep the rubber side down, have a ton of fun!

  20. #20
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    Bizman, when are you going to be in the area? If possible, we could put together an HGA ride one of the days you're here. I'm out there this thursday to clean up the trails, so it should be in good riding shape.

  21. #21
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    Biz,

    HGA is less than one mile from moon lake and has a super cool trail network!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by eburatti View Post
    Bizman, when are you going to be in the area? If possible, we could put together an HGA ride one of the days you're here. I'm out there this thursday to clean up the trails, so it should be in good riding shape.
    Hey thanks for the info on that! We won't be going till August and I appreciate the offer for and HGA ride although I don't know what an HGA ride is?

    I think I said earlier that when on vacation with my wife we have no time schedule and just enjoy the time alone to enjoy our vacation together, nothing personal. If I was going to ride with a group I would rather make the trip without my wife (nothing personal toward her either) as she doesn't like riding with groups as she is allot slower than most riders. Maybe we can do it another time? I like riding with other groups of people the thing is finding the time way from my business to do it!
    Last edited by Bizman; 05-13-2015 at 08:58 PM.

  23. #23
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    what i wanna know is where are you staying?? a b&b with trails????

  24. #24
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    VACATION UPDTATE:
    We just completed our mountain bike vacation in the Moon Lake area this past week! We stayed at Sweet Valley Cottage's, 26 Updyke Road, Hunlock Creek, Pa. The cottages were on Updyke Road about .4 of a mile from Main Road. Updyke Road is located a mile or so to the right (just past Suburban News) heading south from 118. Main Road is slightly west on 118 from the intersection of Rt 29 & 118. It was a rustic cabin in a nice quiet area with electric, modern toilet, shower, running water, gas stove (no oven), fire pit, State Park style grill and full size refrigerator. There is no TV or radio and you need to take your own sheets, blankets, towels, soap, etc.

    In front of the 5 cabins was a small pond with 2 resident swans, a white duck, a mallard duck, row boat and catch and release fishing. We thought there was to be bike trails on one of the owners other property's but this was not the case. I would recommend this place to stay at if in the area and you want a nice quiet place. At $105 + tax per night we thought it was a good deal! We got there Sunday and left Friday morning.

    We usually eat out one night on vacation so Sunday we went down to Banko's Seafood restaurant on the corner of Rt 29 & Rt 11 approx 12 miles from the cabin. The food was cold, the service was not good and the food was really nothing to rave about. We won't be going back. The other nights we cooked on the State Park style grill using wood you can purchase at the cabins for $5.00 a barrel. We built two fires in the pit and cooked supper 4 nights using only one barrel of wood. It was a really good deal! We did take a splitting maul (and I would recommend doing this) as we normally do on vacation to split wood for our fires and cooking.

    BIKE RIDING:
    Moon Lake was only about 8 miles from our cabin. Monday we went there and parked at the main gate. We rode the west, north west, northern, and upper north east areas. It is allot of tight turns, rocks and roots giving a good work out for the 3 1/2 hours we rode. It isn't what I would call flowing but a little more on the technical side. It is a really nice park and its a shame the facility is closed! We did watch a guy pull out a nice large mouth bass (and throw it back) down by the shore line or what they may call the boat launch area? It rained off an on through the day making rocks and roots a bit slippery. We marked it as a 10 mile ride.

    Tuesday we parked at the same place. We rode the south west, south, south east, and east side before my wife wrecked when we were coming down skinny. She banged her hand up pretty good, and bent her rear brake rotor as it was starting to pour rain. We got down to the shore area, got under the roof of the building as it was really poring rain by then. It eventually let up and we got back to the car via the service road for the park. This was about 2 1/2 hours of riding. We marked this as a 5 mile ride. NOTE: We went to Main Bike World in Kingston (about 20 miles from the cabin, south on 29 then 8 miles east on 11) for the rotor replacement. $19.07 including installation as I had the wheel off the bike. The guy dropped what he was doing and put it on right away, seemed like a good bike shop!

    Wednesday we went up to Lackawanna State Park, a 42 mile drive from the cabin. We parked at the main headquarters. It started to rain part way into the ride but not as bad as Monday or Tuesday at Moon Lake. These trails here were more flowing than Moon Lake trails, had fewer rocks but allot of roots. We did allot of the trails that day going in a counter clockwise rotation around the water. We were out about 6 hours that day. It was muddy in some spots but not terribly muddy. We marked this as a 15 mile ride.

    Thursday we went up to Moosic Mountain just off of Rt 407, it was also 42 miles from the cabin. We parked at the main gate and rode the trails in a clockwise rotation looking at the map. This was really technical but very nice and challenging! There were allot of rocks and only a couple roots here and there. It was a real unique area to ride with the rocks to ride over, around, and on top of. We have never rode trails like this before on any of our adventures, it was awesome! We rode for 3 hours 10 minutes and were beat! We marked this as an 8 mile ride.

    SUMMARY:
    The cabin was nice and would recommend staying there. Also, there is a 24 hour gas station at the intersection of Rt 29 & 118 and a small grocery store just west on 118 that is handy to have. It had some good fresh doughnuts which were great after a ride one day!

    Each place we rode was nice for what it was about and had to offer! If I had to pick a best one out of the 3 it would have to be Moosic. It was just so unique and the scenery was spectacular! The trails there were marked what I thought was the best of the 3 trail systems, which by no means was perfect.

    If I had to pick a second choice it would be Lackawanna State Park. I give it this rating as it was more flowing than Moon Lake. And the scenery was nice too!

    If my wife had to pick one as being the best she picks Lackawanna State Park because it was more flowing and easier for her to ride and the scenery was nice too!

    Her second pick was Moosic as the scenery and terrain was really nice to her liking. She struggled with the rocks and how technical it was. She was on and off the bike allot which she does not like.

    Moon Lake was a place we both also recommend riding as it was very nice there too! It may not be fair to our rating of Moon Lake as we had to deal with allot of rain those two days and she also wrecked there and damaged her brake rotor. We both agree all the places were nice but if we had to rate them above is how we would do it. Rating may vary for others who rode them and we mean no disrespect to anyone for our ratings, we had a great time!

    We would also like to thank those responsible for the up keep and marking of the trails, everyone has done a wonderful job! I rode my 2010 Santa Cruise Tallboy and she rode her 2011 Ellsworth Evolve, both full suspensions with XT components, 25 psi for both of our bikes fr & rr tires, I weigh 130 lbs, she, 120 lbs. The bikes performed flawlessly for all of the terrains using the Maxxis Cross Mark 29" 2.10 tires!

    We used an anolog compass for navigation (worked great) and hard copy trail maps for all the trails. For the most all the trails were marked pretty well but there was still places we had to make decisions on which way to go. But, we are back home safe, and here to write this review, so it worked out to be another great mountain bike vacation!

    Good luck to anyone going to ride any of these trails, it is so much fun!

  25. #25
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    Glad you had a great vacation, thanks for the update!

  26. #26
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    i second the update thanks, sorry there weren't any bnb trails

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