East Coast MTB Destinations- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    East Coast MTB Destinations

    I'm planning an extended solo road trip to various trails on the East Coast this June. Biggest challenge is identifying good trails that an outsider can access and navigate without "local knowledge".

    Anyway, here is my semi-prioritized list comprised mostly of IMBA Epics and Ride Centers... looking for thoughts on additional spots to visit, particularly in New England. Also is there anything on my list that (in your opinion) "isn't worth the drive"?

    NC - Tsali / Dupont / Pisgah
    VT - East Burke (Kingdom Trails)
    VT - Pittsfield (Green Mountain Trails)
    NY - Ellicottville
    NY - Shindagin Hollow *edit*
    VA - Harrisonburg
    PA - State College (Roth Rock, Coopers Gap)
    IN - Brown County State Park
    TN - South Fork
    GA - Bull Mountain

    Preferred riding style is technical all-mountain... I ride a 27.5 Ibis HD3 (150mm) and I like to point it downhill.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by bmmullen; 04-13-2016 at 01:57 PM. Reason: adding another destination to the list

  2. #2
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    If your going to tn and ga, you might as well swoop down into northeast alabama and hit Coldwater mountain. You won't regret

  3. #3
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    Well, I don't know how much time you have or how much more time you're willing to add...

    The Charlemont trails are in MA and they link up with Thunder Mountain Bike Park. It wouldn't be too out of the way to stop through there from Ellicotville on your way to Pittsfield.

    Highland MTB Park isn't really on your way, but depending on where you're coming from it's "in the area". It doesn't really sound like your style of riding - but it's a one of a kind place on the East coast.
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  4. #4
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    Sounds like you might be coming through WV...check out Snowshoe and Davis. Davis not so much for DH still but has some epic riding and a lot of technical stuff if you desire.
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  5. #5
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    If you end up making it to State College, Raystown (Allegrippis Trails) are only about a half hour drive or so but totally worth it!!!

  6. #6
    the discerning hooligan
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    Millstone Quarry Trails are south of East Burke VT and will give you a dose of tech.

  7. #7
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    Combine Bull Mountain in GA with Pinhoti/Bear Creek/Mulberry Gap/Ellijay area, Coldwater (as mentioned), and Chattanooga, TN and you've got a sweet trip all by itself. I spent a week down there last summer and only scratched the surface. Did two trips to Dupont/Pisgah and again, barely scratched the surface. I've been to Tsali a couple times in the past, and I'd say there's not much technical stuff there.

    Brown County is practically my backyard. It's my favored local destination. The trails are FAR more than just the park. The park is a lot of fun, don't get me wrong, but you'd be missing out if you skipped Yellowwood State Forest and Hoosier National Forest, which are adjacent properties. If you like chunky stuff, you won't want to miss OBannon Woods if you're passing through the I65/I64 area north of Louisville.

    Also, since it seems Big South Fork is on your list, consider the Sheltowee Trace in KY.

  8. #8
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    Of those on your list, I've personally ridden Brown County, Ellicottville, Shindagin Hollow, Rothrock (Tussey and Coopers sides), and Kingdom Trails. IMO, KT and BCSP are the true destinations. The others really are worth the drive if you're passing through.

    I would spend two full days at KT if you can swing it. Lots of good mileage and certainly worth exploring fully. If you're in NE, you should absolutely add Highland on the list. Pairs reasonably well with a KT trip.

    The problem with New England is, there's a metric ton of good trail hiding in those six small states - you could spend the better part of a summer riding a new state/county/local park every day, and most would be pretty good rides. NEMBA does a great job out there, and it gets hard to prioritize.

    If you're passing through NY state and want to point the bike down hills, I would prioritize Shindagin Hollow over Ellicottville (not that you wouldn't do both). Eville is a lot of fun, with good trails and good tech, but it doesn't have a lot of payoff. For Shindagin, it's reasonably easy to navigate if you have a map, but you want the local knowledge to tell you which direction to do your loop. You don't want to climb up the trails with sweet jumps and berms. Eville and Shinny are each worth a full day of riding.

    I agree that you want to pair up Rothrock and Raystown Lake. They're polar opposites and together make for a couple days of excellent riding. Rothrock is big mountain, chunky, lots of tech, while Raystown is smooth, fast flow with tons of pumps and berms and rollers. Together they're a great destination. Raystown is worth a full day, Rothrock is worth at least one or two, and you still won't ride everything.

  9. #9
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    Ditto on Rothrock and Raystown. Both are very good spots. Rothrock has a lot of miles in it. Could do (2) 25+ mile rides. One out of Galbraith Gap trailhead, other one out of Coopers Gap. I live in State College so it's my local spot. If you'd like trail route suggestions or possibly a guide, PM me.

    Also strongly suggest George Washington National Forest just outside of Harrisonburg, VA. I've logged many miles there as well. More back country than Rothrock. Bigger climbs = bigger descents. Your bike is ideal for both spots. A bit overkill for Raystown, but will suffice none the less.

  10. #10
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    Nemba Fest is June 17-19 @ Kingdom Trails. Way loads of fun. Demos, food, music and such.

  11. #11
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    Unless you plan on riding the adjoining Burke bike park, I think you'll be disappointed with the lack significant descents (the few there are on the far western side are tame) or tech at Kingdom Trails. While scenic and lots of trails its pretty much hardtail XC stuff.

    Add Carvins Cove and Douthat as a stop between West NC and Harrisonburg/GWNF.

  12. #12
    the discerning hooligan
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    Vermont info... the Victory Hill Sector mentioned has been built out enough to host an ESC race two weeks ago
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  13. #13
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    Since you seem to be passing through MD, hit Frederick for Gambrill State park, (well marked , steep and rocky), or the adjacent Frederick Watershed, (not well marked, steeper and rockier!). It's worth the trip for sure.

  14. #14
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    Grew up in New England, went to Penn State, currently in NC. I've ridden from Maine to Florida. I could write pages on this topic. I'll try to keep it short, feel free to ask questions.

    - skip Raystown if you want technical, go to Rothrock. Stop in at Freeze Thaw in town, Justin and staff rock, pick up Purple Lizards. Make sure to get up to Tussey Ridge.
    - Harrisonburg is stellar. Massanutten, get up to the ridge. Then go out to GW.
    - Skip Tsali in NC. Pisgah and Dupont are close together, Dupont is the flow to Pisgah gnar. Its great, do it, but do Pisgah. Stop in at the Hub, buy a Pisgah Map Company map. So much to hit in the forest. Laurel/Pilot loop is classic, big climbs, rocks, views.
    - Stay at Mulberry Gap in GA. Great people, get out to Pinhoti and such, Andrew can help you with any loop and Ginni's food will refuel you.
    - TN/AL has great stuff. Chattanooga was a lot of fun, Raccoon Mountain.

    And for New England.... can't speak highly enough of my home region.

    VT scene is blowing up. KT doesn't have all the tech you may want, so get to the Stowe area and hit Perry Hill. There is more there too. VT could have a paragraph to itself.

    NH is great, Bear Brook is super awesome. North Conway is lots of fun.

    MA is fantastic. Charlemont, Batchelor St, Harold Parker, just to name a few. There is a ton.

    Maine is a personal favorite. Carrabassett Valley has been blowing up.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceboxsteve View Post
    Grew up in New England, went to Penn State, currently in NC. I've ridden from Maine to Florida. I could write pages on this topic. I'll try to keep it short, feel free to ask questions.

    - skip Raystown if you want technical, go to Rothrock. Stop in at Freeze Thaw in town, Justin and staff rock, pick up Purple Lizards. Make sure to get up to Tussey Ridge.
    - Harrisonburg is stellar. Massanutten, get up to the ridge. Then go out to GW.
    - Skip Tsali in NC. Pisgah and Dupont are close together, Dupont is the flow to Pisgah gnar. Its great, do it, but do Pisgah. Stop in at the Hub, buy a Pisgah Map Company map. So much to hit in the forest. Laurel/Pilot loop is classic, big climbs, rocks, views.
    - Stay at Mulberry Gap in GA. Great people, get out to Pinhoti and such, Andrew can help you with any loop and Ginni's food will refuel you.
    - TN/AL has great stuff. Chattanooga was a lot of fun, Raccoon Mountain.

    And for New England.... can't speak highly enough of my home region.

    VT scene is blowing up. KT doesn't have all the tech you may want, so get to the Stowe area and hit Perry Hill. There is more there too. VT could have a paragraph to itself.

    NH is great, Bear Brook is super awesome. North Conway is lots of fun.

    MA is fantastic. Charlemont, Batchelor St, Harold Parker, just to name a few. There is a ton.

    Maine is a personal favorite. Carrabassett Valley has been blowing up.
    Ditto - Raystown is smooth and fast. So is Tsali.

    I can't say enough about N. GA, esp. Pinhoti, Bear and Bull.
    E'ville is an annual trip for us. You can ride it in any weather - it's mostly rocks! As mentioned, no real sustained climbs/descents, unless you ride up from the bottom of the ski resort.
    Never been to State College, but my local connection has been trying to get me there for years. Highly recommended based on hearsay. Lots of it.

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  16. #16
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    That's a good "East Coast Bucket List." I've hit KT and some Harrisonburg. Plan on scratching off three more this year - Pisgah, Bull Mountain and South Fork. Hunting on AirBnB as I type...
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