Trails for kids in SE PA?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trails for kids in SE PA?

    Does anybody know of a good place for young kids (or first-timers) to learn mtb?
    My son is 6, has a 20 inch mtb and is already kind of bored by rail trails (me too We'll go to the Philly pump track for sure, but I'd also like to take him on some flat, smooth trails in the woods to give him a taste of trail riding and boost his confidence and skills. The closer to the car the better.

  2. #2
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    White Clay I suppose.

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    Trails for kids in SE PA?

    Places like White Clay and Nockamixon are way too much for him at this point. It doesn't have to be big; a small loop or section would be fine -- better, in fact, so he could ride it over and over and master it.

  4. #4
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    We've got a great stock of intermediate trails, but the beginner/kid options are really lacking.

    In the Wiss, the best kids spot I know of is a cool little loop built by FoCT, north off Cresheim Rd. near the Allen Lane train station. It has a few logs to carry over and it's not as flat as you'd like, but I've seen 4 year-olds on balance bikes having a blast there.

    You're right that the pump track is great for kids too, although it's closed for repairs right now.

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    If you don't mind driving all the way down to South Jersey, Wharton State Forest/Batsto is fantastic for beginners/new riders. Took the wife who has never been on a MTB and did the big loop. She only fell 3 times. LOL.

    They have the big 19.3 loop but also have shorter 5+ mile loops as well. It's flat and most of the log piles have go-arounds. Be careful of the deeper sand, might cause some falling issues if they catch you by surprise.
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    I started mountain biking with my son at Nox. There are some short routes that can get him used to riding on the trails. Green lane also has some good spots.
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    Core Creek in Bucks county might not be so bad for kids either. I don't remember it being very technical at all.
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    There is a trail that runs parallel to the paved trail at harmony hill for about a mile or so. Flat, hardpack. That's where I intend to take my son to learn... one day... hopefully.

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    Also in the Wiss is Blue Bell Hill Park. I have taken both of my boys (4 & 8) to that park to ride both run bikes and their bigger bikes.

  10. #10
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    Trexler Nature Preserve, Lehigh County
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p_uifZvzgg

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    I know that trail at H Hill, but hadn't thought about it ... that's perfect. Red trail at Green Lane, too; and a trip to Wharton SF with some camping sounds like fun. After some practice he should be ready for these other spots. Thanks, folks.

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  12. #12
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    Trex is too much I think. Jacobsberg Environmental Center, up by Nazareth and also Clayton, over in Jersey are good ideas IMO.

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    You guys need to consider that you don't need to do the whole freaking trail.

    I have a 6 year old son, Trek Superfly 20 so I think it's a 1x7.

    We ride with no problems:

    Nox: the whole first loop (so, half of the whole trail system)

    Trexler: HP1 climb and first descent and then Brian's Trail to Pooh's Woods where we just chill and do laps

    Jordan Creek in Allentown: like pretty much the whole thing

    So to the OP, just go to a trail you know well, and stick with a smaller loop and try to minimize obstacles bigger than like 4 inches to start. If you're near White Clay or Nox those are great places to start.

    If your kid is on a single speed with probably too long crank arms, just try to find a flat area. We modded my sons bike with a Sinz crank cuz the OEM crank was WAY too big, and a Shimano MegaRange freewheel. So he can handle most hills like a boss now. Equipment quality isn't super important depending on where you ride, but I feel that way cuz a lightweight and proper fitting bike for my son is super important to me.

  14. #14
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    Gretna aka Governor Dick has trail 5. This trail explores the northern side that's certainly ridable for any novice but also bumpy to ward off the rail trail boredom. It's not the longest and gets rocky in spots but it should bring a fun challenge to your boy. http://sambabiker.com/attachments/04...%202-23-11.pdf

    Another spot could be some loops at southern Lancaster County Park at the end of exhibit farm road. It's a long loop and pretty scenic with a few minimal hills.

    http://web.co.lancaster.pa.us/DocumentCenter/View/370
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    I've seen quite a few younger kids on the "A" loop at Swatara State park.

  16. #16
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    The Philly Pumptrack at Parkside/Evans is perfect for your youngster. He'll learn basic skills and can ride with other kids his age.

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    We need a good BMX track. Great for the really little ones.


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  18. #18
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    My son wrote a check he couldn't cash today at Trexler. Poor little bugger, was scary to watch but he was fine. 6 year olds are resilient

    Trails for kids in SE PA?-img_20150705_132904.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    My son wrote a check he couldn't cash today at Trexler. Poor little bugger, was scary to watch but he was fine. 6 year olds are resilient
    LOL. What time were you there? I think I passed you(s).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by glorth2 View Post
    LOL. What time were you there? I think I passed you(s).
    We were there yesterday from about 10-1. We did HP1 climb and then down into two laps of the lower HP1, where he bit it hard the second lap, then we sessioned at Pooh's for a while and then rode up to Killdozer. He rode all of Killdozer to the climb up to HP3 and then he said he was getting tired so we salmoned back up Killdozer, which turned out to be probably just as hard as just doing HP3. Unsure if he's ready for HP3 though haha.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    We were there yesterday from about 10-1. We did HP1 climb and then down into two laps of the lower HP1, where he bit it hard the second lap, then we sessioned at Pooh's for a while and then rode up to Killdozer. He rode all of Killdozer to the climb up to HP3 and then he said he was getting tired so we salmoned back up Killdozer, which turned out to be probably just as hard as just doing HP3. Unsure if he's ready for HP3 though haha.
    Yeah, I passed you on HP1. Mostly white kit on a Rocky Mountain Element 29er. Very cool. Yeah, I would never think to "salmon" (LOL) back up Killdozer. I just tell beginners to take it easy on HP-3's first drop, which I guess is called "Gravity Cavity" on Strava or somethign.

    Good work getting him out there. I've had mine riding for maybe 8 years now. They're 17 and 14 now, both have 29ers and are killing it.

  22. #22
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    Great shot Jared. Is that the kids first "Flying W"

  23. #23
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    Yup, we've had falls before but this was the first big one, haha

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    Yup, we've had falls before but this was the first big one, haha
    My daughter had a fall like that when she was 6. Unfortunately, that was her last mountain biking trip. Rides the road with her mom but I have struggled to get her back on the trails...
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    My daughter had a fall like that when she was 6. Unfortunately, that was her last mountain biking trip. Rides the road with her mom but I have struggled to get her back on the trails...
    I made certain to point out to him asap that it wasn't actually bad once he figured out he wasn't hurt. He fell again twice in the day after this, once over the bars and took the bar end to his stomach which sucked, and another where he washed out on a turn and his bike fell on him, both those times we had some minor injuries to nurse but fortunately he realizes they are short lived, and that we all crash from time to time. From crashing, we learn. lol

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