Pennsylvania Mountain Bike Trails
Mountain bike Pennsylvania on thousands of miles of unpaved roads and trails. Over 4.5 million acres of public lands provide mountain biking opportunities to last a lifetime. You'll find an astounding variety of terrain and trails, from gently rolling hills through picturesque countryside to steep, challenging singletrack mountain trails.
Across the state, Pennsylvania's extensive Rail Trail system, built on historic canal paths and railway routes have been converted for biking, hiking, cross country skiing and other outdoor activities. Trails including the Pine Creek Trail (Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon), the Lehigh Gorge Trail, the Switchback Trail (the world's first gravity railroad), the York County Heritage Trail and the Youghiogheny River Trail provide some of the most spectacular bike rides.
The Pocono Mountains Area, bounded by the Delaware River to the east and the Susquehanna River to the west is a mountain biking fantasy complete with wooded peaks, old-growth forests, lush valleys, sparkling lakes, rushing rivers and lots of spectacular waterfalls.
Bike trails, hiking trails and exciting water trails wind through Lehigh Gorge State Park, a popular outdoor recreation destination in the Western Pocono Region. The 30 mile Lehigh Gorge Trail, a legacy of Pennsylvania's railroading and canal era history winds along the deep gorge, overlooking the roaring rapids below. Nearby, Mauch Chunk Lake Park provides easy access to the famous Switchback Trail, the first "rollercoaster" and gravity railroad in the northeast. The trail provides easy, scenic riding as it travels on a slight downhill grade for 9 miles, ending in the charming village of Jim Thorpe, where you can explore beautifully restored Victorian era houses and inns or mountain bike on the miles of converted rail-trails or singletrack trails that radiate from the town.
The Susquehanna Valley lies in
the beautiful ridge and valley section of the state. Sandstone ridges with
heights of 2,300 feet, rise abruptly from the
valley floor. The many streams in this area originate in the forested ridges
and eventually make their way into the Susquehanna River. Some of the best mountain biking trails in Pennsylvania can be found throughout the State Parks and Forests in this area.
The Bald Eagle State Forest features 25 off-road mountain bike trails. They are all located near R.B. Winter State Park with a total of 48 miles of rideable trails
-- and nearly 100 miles of connecting forest roads. Central to the town of State College is
the main campus of Penn State University. The scenic backroads and extensive
network of mountain bike trails in the nearby mountains and surrounding
countryside make it a mountain bike mecca. Located just a few miles south of
State College, PA is the legendary Rothrock
Within the Tioga State Forest lies the
Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. The canyon exceeds a depth of 1,000 feet from the
rim to Pine Creek in some places. The Pine
Creek Trail follows an old rail path along the bottom of the Pine Creek Gorge,
past dramatic cliffs, rock outcroppings and waterfalls. The surrounding Tioga
State Forest offers miles of logging roads and jeep trails
for the adventurous mountain biker to explore.
The Allegheny National
Forest region of Pennsylvania is a remote, mountainous region that covers more
than 500,000 acres of forested wilderness. This is home to the headwaters of the
Genesee, the Allegheny and the Susquehanna Rivers. Over 600 miles
of multi-use Allegheny National Forest Trails criss-cross the hillsides, plateaus, ridges, and narrow river
valleys. The extensive network of Forest Service roads (both open and gated), O.R.V. trails and cross-country ski trails provide some of the best mountain biking experiences. Quiet cyclists, attuned to the surroundings beyond the immediate trail, can spot some
amazing creatures. The Buzzard
Swamp Wildlife Management Area offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the Allegheny National Forest. Biking is also one of the nicest ways to experience the region's most spectacular natural and historical landmarks.
The Philadelphia / Lehigh
Valley area, home of the Declaration
of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, is the most populated
area of the state Philadelphia and one of the most bike friendly cities in the Mid-Atlantic. Numerous State Parks, County Parks and Rail Trails provide excellent bike routes and miles of multi-use urban recreational trails.
On the northern edge of the Lehigh Valley, Jacobsburg
State Park & Environmental Center, near the foothills of the Pocono
Plateau and the White Clay Creek Preserve (adjoins Delaware's White
Clay Creek State Park), offer a network of scenic mountain biking
trails over varied terrain.
The Fairmount County Park System covers
about 10 percent of Philadelphia's geographical area. Besides an eight mile paved
recreation loop, mountain biking is permitted on Forbidden Drive, a 5.5-mile
bridle path along the Wissahickon Creek. The Pennypack
Park Area offers more than 9 miles of paved trail and miles of unpaved trails
to explore through woodlands and meadows.
A bike ride along the 60-mile long historic canal and towpath of the Delaware Canal State Park is a ride into American history. It parallels the Delaware
River between Easton and Bristol, passing by farm fields and
through historic towns. Best of all, 30 miles of the Delaware Canal towpath parallels
New Jersey's D&R canal towpath, separated only by the Delaware River. Six
bridges link the two trails.
Spring Mountain Ski Resort in Lehigh Valley
is the closest lift-accessed cycling area to the Greater Philadelphia region,
providing riding for all skill levels.
The Pennsylvania Dutch region is home
to two Capitals; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's State Capital and Hershey, the chocolate
capital of the world. The world slows down in Amish country where the Amish
live without the use of electricity and motor vehicles. This is the perfect place
to unwind while biking the backcountry roads. The idyllic countryside is
dotted with one-room schoolhouses and covered bridges.
Set amidst picturesque farmland, French
Creek State Park offers eight scenic mountain bike trails mostly for intermediate
and advanced riders. Gifford Pinchot
State Park has a packed gravel 3.5 mile outer loop with a number of internal
connectors. The York County Heritage
Rail Trail (once a section of the Northern Central Railroad),
winds through the heart of York County. It extends for
21.1 miles, connecting the historic district of York with Maryland's Northern
Central Rail Trail. Along the way it provides easy biking past woods, historic
train stations and other historic features.
York County's William
Kain County Park Trails, Spring
Valley County Park Trails and Rocky Ridge County Park offer miles of
marked multi-use trails, from wide grassy fire roads to rocky singletrack over
You'll be surprised to learn that Pittsburgh's parks, wooded hillsides and trails account for one-third of all City land. This wasn't always the case, but today there are many excellent places to mountain bike within
the Pittsburgh city limits. The trails vary from technical single-track to easier
double track and rail trails. Frick Park, Hartwood Acres and Boyce Park contain some good mountain bike trails available inside the
city limits. There are also some great trails at Riverview Park, just north of
the city along Perrysville Ave. Nearby, Raccoon
Creek State Park offers everything from steep and rolling hills to level service roads on 17 miles of
The Southern Allegheny region contains
Mount Davis, the highest point in Pennsylvania. It is a land of hills,
dramatic waterfalls, challenging mountain climbs, lightly traveled country
roads and panoramic vistas at every turn. Cyclists are welcomed with open arms. The
region operates the largest pro-amateur road race in the country, the Tour de
'Toona and successfully hosted the 1992 Olympic Road Trials.
Ohiopyle State Park's focal
point is the fourteen plus miles of the Youghiogheny River Gorge that cuts through
the heart of the park. A 28 mile section of the
Youghiogheny River Trail, one
of the most scenic Rail Trails in the state, runs along the beautiful, frothy
Forbes State Forest, Shawnee State Park, Prince Gallitzin State Park and Blue
Knob State Park all maintain a network of multi-use trails and forest service
roads which are perfect for mountain biking.
Hidden Valley Ski Resort offers opportunities for mountain bikers of all skill
levels and interests. The 2,000 acre property includes miles of forested paths,
trails and gravel roads connecting to others in the Forbes State Forest and Kooser
Take your pick. With so many places to ride and a variety of terrain
ranging from steep and challenging to level, gentle and pleasant, mountain bikers
of all ages and skill levels will find something to enjoy on Pennsylvania trails.
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