Special Features : Best Summer Bike Rides: Bikes and Beaches Mountain Biking Trails in the Mid-Atlantic Region
©June 2006 - 2011 Barbara & Peter Lynn. All rights reserved.
Delaware | Maryland | Pennsylvania
Return to Bikes And Beaches Return to Special Features
Keep your cool while biking on the trails this summer. Summer cycling tips
Bikes and Beaches Mountain Biking Trails in Delaware
Delawares Coastal Beaches : Sussex Region
For biking at the beach, Southern Delaware's 381 miles of shoreline provides plenty of seashore recreation and great summer bike rides both on and off-road. Quiet rural backroads, paved bike paths and dirt trails traverse Delaware's coastal State Parks, beach resort towns, peninsulas and barrier islands from ocean and bays to dunes and marshes to marine forests.
For biking at the beach, Southern Delaware's 381 miles of shoreline provides plenty of seashore recreation and great summer bike rides both on and off-road. The scenic Delaware Bicycle Route 1 (see Southern Delaware by Bicycle), links Rehoboth, Dewey and Bethany Beach Resorts, Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware Sea Shore State Park and Fenwick Island State Park like ocean pearls on a string. Both Delaware Seashore State Park and Cape Henlopen’s Peninsula feature miles of pearly white sandy beaches, Atlantic waves and expansive bays.
The paved and unpaved bicycle trails at Cape Henolopen State Park, the 6 mile crushed stone-surfaced Junction & Breakwater Trail, Delaware's longest rail trail, and the wide and grass/packed sand multi-use Prickly Pear Trail at Delaware Seashore State Park offer some of the best ways to explore the parks and Delaware coastal habitat. Both Delaware State parks feature two designated life-guarded swimming beaches between Memorial Day and Labor Day, modern bath houses with showers, food concessions, picnic areas, recreational programs and more. Perfect for combined weekend bike and beach excursions.
Lums Pond State Park: Newcastle Region
Lums Pond State Park Trails wind around Delaware's largest freshwater Pond, providing over 15 miles of easy, scenic multi-use trails for family-friendly mountain biking and hiking this summer. The trails travel through wetlands over elevated boardwalks, through shaded woods and along the pond shore. While there is no swimming -- wading, kayak and rowboat rentals, gorgeous pond scenery, modern park facilities, campgrounds, nature excursions and wildlife puts this park, located on the north side of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, on our list of best places to mountain bike in Delaware this summer.
Bikes and Beaches Mountain Biking Trails in Maryland
Assateague State Park & National Seashore : Eastern Shore Region
Assateague State Park on Marylands Atlantic Coast has bike trails, wild ponies and 2 miles of ocean beach for swimming, beachcombing and sunbathing. The bayside offers the opportuntiy to explore secluded coves by canoe or kayak. Boat rentals are available. The beach is always changing due to the storms that effect this 37-mile long, windswept barrier island. The cool sea breezes, solitude of remote sections of beach and of course, that plunge into refreshing ocean waters make Assateague the perfect place to relax after biking.
Lifeguards are on duty from 10AM to 5PM at designated swimming areas during the summer. Facilities include campground, campstore, restrooms, food & beverage, bath house, boat lanch and nature center. Beware of biting insects. They shouldn’t be much of a problem daytime on the beach with an ocean breeze. Toward dusk when the breezes subside is a different story. Bring an effective insect repellent.
Deep Creek Lake State Park : Western Region
After mountain biking the lofty meadow mountain trails at Deep Creek Lake State Park in Garrett County, head back down to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland’s largest freshwater lake. The park’s one mile shoreline provides a sandy beach with roped off swimming area and lifeguards. Facilities include campground, bath house, restrooms, picnic tables, grills, shelters and playground. If you have time, try paddling the Meadow Mountain Cove Water Trail.
Gunpowder Falls State Park : Central Region
Enjoy mountain biking the trails this summer at Gunpowder Falls State Park, home to the 21 mile Northern Central Rail Trail (NCR). After your ride head for the Hammerman Area of the Park, located in Chase near the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Grace Quarters Road. This area features a gorge-like wilderness setting and offers 1,500 feet of beach and a swimming on the banks of the Gunpowder River. The swimming area is supervised by lifeguards from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Swimming permitted at your own risk when lifeguards are not on duty. There are picnic tables and grills in the Hammerman as well as 3 picnic shelters available for rent.
A popular activity during the hot summer months is tubing along the Big Gunpowder Falls. The pools and riflles make for a relaxed float trip with a few thrills. Bunker Hill Road and York Road provide easy put-in/take-out locations for tubing.
Water temperatures do not go above 60 degrees, due to the releases from the cold waters at the depths of Prettyboy Reservoir to maintain the trout fishery. Along the way you may spot signs of beaver activity and the cool steep-sided wooded ravine is the perfect habitat for laurels and hemlocks. Picnic tables are available at Bunker Hill Road for those who like to make a day trip.
Herrington Manor Trail System : Western Region
Herrington Manor State Park features 10 miles of mostly double-track trails open to mountain biking which lead into the adjoining Garrett State Forest. The man-made 53-acre Herrington Manor Lake with an average depth of only 8 ft., provides a beach area for your post ride swim. The lake was created by the CCC in the early 1930’s by damming Herrington Creek. It is now open from dawn till dusk for swimming and boating. The Lake House has restrooms, showers and snacks. Other facilities include campground, cabins, boat rentals and picnic area.
There are four waterfalls in the area. See Bike Maryland Waterfalls Trails
Best Bikes and Beaches Mountain Biking Trails in Pennsylvania
Gifford Pinchot State Park : Pennsylvania Dutch Region
Gifford Pinchot State Park offers beaches for swimming, boating and fishing on beautiful Pinchot Lake (pictured right) and a multi-use trail system for mountain biking, hiking and cross-country skiing. A large, accessible beach in the Quaker Race Day Use Area is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. Lifeguards are on duty from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, unless otherwise posted. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming when lifeguards are off-duty. Boat rental, picnic facilities, snack bar and children’s play area are near the swimming beach.
McDade Recreational Trail : Pocono Mountains Region
The McDade Recreational Trail is located on the Pennsylvania side of the scenic Delaware Water Gap. The trail winds for most of the way along the Delaware River between the low forested mountains of Pennsylvania and New Jersey offering awesome views. Along the way the trail passes Smithfield Beach where you can find restrooms, changing rooms, shaded picnic areas, facilities for swimming and boating. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer.
Allegheny National Forest Trails : Allegheny Region
With over 600 miles of trails there are plenty of opportunities for Mountain Biking Allegheny National Forest Trails. Many Recreation Areas within the forest offer access to miles of scenic multi-use trails that wind along heavily forested service roads, cool stream valleys and around beautiful lakes. The multi-use Twin Lakes Trail, the second longest trail in the forest, begins at the scenic Twin Lakes Recreation Area. Facilities include bathhouse, camping, modern restroom facilities with hot showers, picnic areas and swimming beach.
[Photo Credit: USDA]
Allegrippis Trails At Raystown Lake : Southern Allegheny Region
29,000 acre Raystown Lake Recreation Area is the outdoor destination for mountain bikers, especially during the summer. 118 miles of shoreline surround the scenic 8,300-acre Raystown Dam, the largest lake in PA. The new Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake offer lake and mountain views, world class singletrack trails designated primarily for mountain biking. Picnic areas, beaches, boat launches, campgrounds, trails and the largest Marina in Pennsylvania provide lots of opportunities for summer adventure on and off the water.
Prince Gallatzin State Park : Southern Allegheny Region
6,249-acre Prince Gallitzin State Park is located in the scenic Allegheny Plateau Region of Pennsylvania. Activities center on and around the beautiful 1,600-acre Glendale Lake. A 20 mile snowmobile trail network is open to mountain bikes north of the lake. The main sand beach at the Muskrat Beach Area is open 8am-sunset from mid-May to mid-September. There is a food concession, modern bathhouse and large picnic area. Across the lake is a campground, with campstore and another swimming beach (closer to the mountain bike trails). Cabin and boat rentals are also available in the park.
Raccoon Creek State Park : Pittsburgh Region
Raccoon Creek State Park offers over 17 miles of multi-use trails and roads for mountain biking over a wide variety of terrain. The 7,500 acre park also features beautiful Raccoon Lake. Most of the mountain bike trails are on the west side of the park so ride east on the park road to the lake for a refreshing post ride swim. The lake’s 800 ft. sand/turf beach (pictured above right) is open from late May until mid-September, with lifeguard service from Memorial Day weekend-Labor Day. There is a bathhouse, food concession and picnic areas. Nearby are the campground, modern cabins and boat rental for canoes, rowboats or kayaks.
R.B.Winter State Park State Park : Susquehanna Valley Region
MR.B.Winter State Park may be small at 695 acres, but make it your home base for easy access to the mountain bike trails in the Bald Eagle State Forest. There are almost 50 miles of trails and nearly 100 miles of connecting forest roads ideal for mountain biking. R,B. Winter State Park has a 300 foot white sand swimming beach on Halfway Lake, perfect for some post-ride relaxation. It is open daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Swim at your own risk. Facilities include a beachhouse with restrooms and dressing rooms, a beach volleyball court, children’s play area and food concession. A 59-site campground with showers, 3 camping cottages and a modern log cabin are within walking distance of the beach.
Switchback Trail : Mountain Biking Pocono Mountains Region
Midway between Jim Thorpe and Summit Hill lies Mauch Chunk Lake Park, with the 330 acre pristine Lake as its centerpiece. This is a great place to stop for a post ride swim on a hot summer day after riding any of the Jim Thorpe Area Mountain Bike Trails. The day use area has a swimming beach with lifeguard, bathhouse, food concession, picnic area, canoe, kayak & rowboat rentals, campground and campstore. Beach hours from 11am-7pm, Memorial Day to Labor Day. The historic Switchback Rail Trail, offers miles of easy cycling and can be accessed right from the park.