Where to ride near Hershey?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Where to ride near Hershey?

    Looks like I might be moving to the Hershey area early next year. Would like to know where the trails are in the area. Don't mind driving. Also, what are the local shops like? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Mt Gretna, Camp Mack & Swatara State Park are all close and pretty good ... check out SAMBA (Susquehanna Area MBA; sambabiker.com) for maps and other info, including group rides. A little farther away, but not far, there's Rattling Creek, Mt Penn & French Creek. Rothrock & Alegrippis are about 1.5 hours (?). I'm sure others here can tell you more. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Closest ride to Hershey is going to be Gretna (about 20-25 minutes drive), Camp Mack and Swatara about 30-35 minutes.

    Gretna offers a nice range of trails, from extremely fun and technical (White Diamond, trail 15) to mild and enjoyable.
    Mack, I haven't been there in 20 years, so I forget everything about it!
    Swatara is 5 minutes away from me, and is a great place for a workout, but will not challenge you technically at all. (Bring a hardtail or rigid for Swatara)

    About an hour and some change away is Rattling Creek. Only been there once. Seemed extremely enjoyable.

    Also around the general vicinity, Rocky Ridge in York, Lake Redman near York, Micheaux near Hanover (Micheaux used to be an absolute rock monster. I don't know if the trails are the same as they were 20 years ago, but that place was a nightmare for flats), French Creek near Reading, Blue Marsh (Tame stuff) near Reading.

    If you're into road stuff too, there is a group of (mostly) Hershey employees that leaves from the Hershey Fitness center on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the summer. Can be extremely tough rides.

  4. #4
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    Also some trails in the confines of the Harrisburg Greenbelt. I don't think we've found all of them yet, and no real maps that I'm aware of. I'm about 20-25 minutes west of Hershey. In Gear Cycling in Middletown would be the closest shop depending on what side of Hershey you end up on.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys!! I appreciate the response

  6. #6
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    I live in Hershey. First off, regarding shops: I wouldn't recommend In Gear at all. Lots of road stuff and stuck-up staff in my experience. I haven't had my bike to a shop for about 4 years now since I've started doing all my own maintenance. If you're not into rebuilding shocks send them off, that's what the local shops do anyways. Holmes in Camp Hill is about the closest you're going to get to a good shop for mountain bikes. Pedal Pushers shop in Harrisburg is awesome for normal maintenance if you need it but mostly geared towards touring/hybrids/commuting. The staff is very nice and knowledgeable in my experience though and where I got for parts if necessary.

    The fun part: riding. Pretty much everything was covered above, but here's a bit more. Rocky ridge is a lot of fun. It's technical but you get some breaks too and impossible to get lost and always an easy walk back to the car if something breaks. Mt. Gretna is relatively tame except for Trail 15 which is a rock monster. Trail 4 is a fun downhill too if you're into that. Mt. Gretna is closest for me and has greatly improved my technical riding. I typically only ride 4,13, and 15 there. Camp Mack is a boyscout camp. It used to require a permit/pass but they did away with that. Be aware that there are certain trails that are not allowed to be ridden. Also, you're supposed to immediately go the other way if you see scouts. Funny how they sweep child rape under the rug and bikes are the devil...but I digress. I dont ride there much but it is pretty good. Rattling creek is about an hour drive but it's an awesome trail system. About 15-20 miles of fun single track with a bit of double track thrown in. Micheaux is still a rocky mess (not in a bad way!) and I love riding it but it's also 1+ hour drive. When I ride Swatara I'll often do it clockwise, then counter clockwise. Good way to rack up 20 miles and not want to die at the end. No huge climbs and not technical at all. Just buff single track with a bunch of easy log crossings.

    Shoot me a PM if you end up making the move.

  7. #7
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    Great info dietz!! Should be making the move just after Xmas. Thanks again everyone.

  8. #8
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    I guess everyone forgot to mention Shirk's bike shop over in East Earl. Only about 20 minutes east of Lancaster. Every time I've been there they have been more than helpful. Good selection. Prices were pretty good too.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  9. #9
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    Around the area my favorite place to ride is Camp Mack. It really has a great mixture. Want flow? It has it. Want rocky? It has it too. Want some gnarlier trails go down the blue trail. My favorite place to ride.

  10. #10
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    X2 on Gretna and shirks, though Gretna Bikes in Lancaster is a decent shop as well.
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  11. #11
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    Greenbelt trails are fun in Harrisburg. Park on City Island, cross the pedestrian bridge and shoot south down the river. Pass the DMV and you'll be on the rail trail style section of the belt. Go over the railroad tracks and around the corner and theres a cool little section on that stretch where you shoot up a hill, jump some logs, and hit a cool berm at the top. Cross south Cameron St and a few hundred yards up you will see a green arrow spray painted on the path. This is the beginning of the trails. At one point you are gonna end up facing across a road looking at a warehouse. Cross the road and look at the woods to the left. This is where the trails continue.

    I really enjoy the Greenbelt trails, and it seems like they have done a lot of work on it this season. I know the QBP guys do a monthly night ride. First Friday maybe?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeStroganoff View Post
    At one point you are gonna end up facing across a road looking at a warehouse. Cross the road and look at the woods to the left. This is where the trails continue.

    I really enjoy the Greenbelt trails, and it seems like they have done a lot of work on it this season. I know the QBP guys do a monthly night ride. First Friday maybe?
    Is that road you're talking about South 19th street or whatever that if you were to continue driving down, you'd be at the UPS hub?

    QBP group??

  13. #13
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    I am not really sure if that is South 19th St. I just know I have to cross a road and find where the trail continues. Next time I'm out I will try to figure it out.

    Quality Bicycle Parts. Surly, Salsa, etc. They have a warehouse in Middletown. Samba's site mentions they are going to be working with QBP to maintain the trails soon.

  14. #14
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    Hunting season in Mt. Gretna? I might try riding there tomorrow.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldberm View Post
    Hunting season in Mt. Gretna? I might try riding there tomorrow.
    It is hunting season, but everything in the Gov Dick area of Gretna is open and NOT State Game lands. It's pretty well marked around Gretna where the hunting is happening.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the info.

    Trail 15 was brutal with the dusting of snow and wet leaves. I had a lot of hike-a-bike. I started at the parking lot. Most tracks I saw were heading the opposite direction. Maybe that would have been better. Suffered a minor mechanical of course (derailer).

    Trail 4 was fun. I was time pressed because my family was checking out of Hershey Lodge, but otherwise I would have loved to have done that run again.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Where to ride near Hershey?-img_0211.jpg  

    Where to ride near Hershey?-img_0212.jpg  


  17. #17
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    Mini half dome in that pic 😀

  18. #18
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    Any New Year's Day rides planned?

  19. #19
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    Unfortunately I'll be away for New Year's.

    I rode Gretna yesterday and it was in pretty good shape. A few wet areas on trails 15 and 13 but overall the conditions were good.

  20. #20
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    Today is my first day of work at In Gear Cycling and Fitness. I would like to set up some kind of group ride in the spring. I hope you guys have a chance to stop by and say hi.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigb73 View Post
    Today is my first day of work at In Gear Cycling and Fitness. I would like to set up some kind of group ride in the spring. I hope you guys have a chance to stop by and say hi.
    Cleona or Hummelstown?

  22. #22
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    I'll be splitting my time between the two stores for now. I think I'll be at the Cleona store most of the time. Anyone have plans for a ride this Sunday? 1/11

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