Pennsylvania has beautiful and challenging opportunities for all-terrain vehicle riding. Purposed trails have been developed on both public and private lands for this intensive use.
What are the rules and regulations about Off-Road Vehicle riding in Pennsylvania?
ATV riding is only permitted on designated trails in Pennsylvania State Forests. State Forest roads, state parks, and state gamelands are not open to ATV riding. In all national forests, motor vehicles can be used only on roads, trails, or areas that are designated as open. This includes all motorized wheeled vehicles from ATVs to street-legal vehicles. Permits are required. Proof of registration and insurance is neccessary to purchase a permit.
In the Allegheny National Forest, mountain bikes are permitted on all forest roads, all ATV trails, and most hiking and cross-country ski trails unless otherwise noted.
Please keep in mind, that these mandates are subject to change as needed.
Summary of the State Of Pennyslvania's All Terrain Law:
The Marienville Area Trails are designated for ATV, motorized dirt bikes and motorcycles. It's a system of three stacked interconnecting loop trails (Timberline, Marienville and Penoke) that traverse the scenic, forested hills of the southern section of the Allegheny National Forest.
Open season for these activities on State Forest lands span from the Friday before Memorial Day through the last full weekend in September. Some sections may be open to snowmobile use in the winter – usually from December 20 to April 1. During the season, trail maintenance neccessary to mitigate increased runoff, soil compaction and erosiion may cause some inconvenience. Riders should avoid riding through soft, muddy sections to avoid digging ruts into trails, mud slinging and globbing up your wheels, gears and eyewear.
All trails are marked with yellow, diamond-shaped blazes that tell you what part of the trail you are on and what mile or half-mile you are at. Key junctions on the trail are marked by numbered wooden signposts corresponding to the junction marker numbers shown on the map. "YOU ARE HERE" maps are also located at these key junctions to aid riders in navigating the trail. Direction of travel is also noted.
The trail system has been divided into three connecting trail loop systems: Timberline, Marienville and Penoke. The trails are rated Easiest, More Difficult and Most Difficult. The rating system is designed for motorized off-road vehicles.
Trailhead facilities include a paved parking lot, loading/unloading ramp, vault restroom, hardened rustic campsites and informational signing. The Timberline offers some hardened rustic campsites and camping is permitted along the trail and at the Twin Lakes Recreation Area. On summer weekends these can be filled to capacity.
Timberline ATV/OHV & Mountain Bike Gravel Grinder Loop
Mileage / Blaze: 39 mile loop, Two-way travel, Max width 50 inches, Beginner to Intermediate
This trail system is rated EASIEST and serves as a warm-up loop. Riding surfaces are generally level on wide gravel roads (averaging 8 feet in width) with some rocky, rugged and rough sections. This makes for a Gravel Grinder Epic. Riders can connect to the Marienville ATV Trail on the east side of the Timberline trail.
Main Traulhead parking: Forest Road 232, one mile south of SR 948 and SR 66 intersection.
Marienville ATV/OHV & Mountain Bike Loop
Mileage / Blaze: 14.2 mile loop, One-way travel, Max width 64 inches, Advanced
Marienville is the gateway to the Allegheny National Forest. This trail system is rated MORE DIFFICULT and is best suited to ATV's because of its more scenic quality and wider travelways. This portion of the trail uses many old roads and railroad grades that travel for the most part through scenic woods. Riding surfaces are more level, hard-packed dirt when dry and wide (averaging 10 feet in width). There are many rustic wooden bridges along the trail over sparkling cold mountain streams. Be prepared for some steep climbs and descents and some rutted and rocky patches.
Penoke Bike & Mountain Bike Loop
Mileage / Blaze: 23.1 mile loop, One-way travel, Max width 50 inches, Intermediate to Advanced
This trail system is rated MOST DIFFICULT due to it's very rocky terrain and winding, serpentine design. The narrower treadway with more hill climbs, switchbacks, and mudholes makes this ride best suited for trailbikes and mountain bikes. Trails are designated one-way travel oexcept where otherwise posted. This trail is open only during the summer.
Main trailhead parking: End of Forest Road 521, off SR 66 about 4 miles northeast of Marienville and 22 miles southwest of Kane. Not maintained during the winter.
Rocket John Trailhead: Off FR 395 via the Pigeon Connector on Duhring Road.
Connector: between Duhring Road and Rocket John (FR 395) is two-way travel and open to ATV's, OHM's and Mountain Bicycles
The main trailhead parking is located along State Route 66, about fifteen miles southwest of Kane and 11 miles northeast of Marienville (maintained for winter use). Secondary trailheads are noted on the map. You can also access the trail anywhere it crosses a public road.
For More Information
National Forest Service: Bradford and Marienville Ranger Districts
Website: Allegheny National Forest : https://www.fs.usda.gov/allegheny