Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Biking trails in Pennsylvania

Incredible Pennsylvania Biking Trails

A cyclist’s dreamland, Pennsylvania has nearly 100 rail trails — historic railroad beds converted into pedestrian pathways — and a wide array of biking routes for all ages and ability levels. Whether you prefer road or mountain biking, we guarantee there’s a Keystone State trail that’ll suit your fancy.

Ohiopyle State Park

Ohiopyle State Park in the Laurel Highlands is home to 27 miles of the Great Allegheny Passage, the longest unpaved bike path on the East Coast.

The Great Allegheny Passage consists of more than 140 miles of converted rail lines running from Homestead, Pa. (near Pittsburgh), to Cumberland, Md. The mostly level rail trail connects to the C&O Tow Path, extending to Washington, D.C., for a total length of 334.5 miles. Hop on the trail and make pit stops at charming towns along the way like Rockwood, Meyersdale, and Connellsville.

Biking opportunities in the Laurel Highlands include more than 50 miles of trails at Ohiopyle State Park in Ohiopyle, including 27 miles of the Great Allegheny Passage and more than 25 miles of mountain biking routes. Try the McCune Trail, a newer edition to Ohiopyle’s roster of mountain biking trails, for an exhilarating ridge-top singletrack that leads up to spectacular panormas of the state park.

During the summertime, Seven Springs Mountain Resort is converted from a winter ski resort to a hiking and biking hub. The resort’s 11 downhill trails span more than 20 miles and range from smooth paved roads to extreme downhill paths. The trails — which feature berms, banks, rock gardens, drops, and 20-foot jumps — are conveniently serviced by chair lifts.

Cruise through Pine Creek Gorge — the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania— on the Pine Creek Rail Trail, a 61-mile pathway from Wellsboro Junction to Jersey Shore, Pa. The trail offers fabulous views of the area’s dramatic outcrops and several waterfalls, along with chances to spot creatures like eagles, deer, wild turkey, and river otters.

The Redbank Valley Trail, named 2014 Trail of the Year by Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, is a 51-mile non-motorized route that's perfect for all seasons. The trail travels through undeveloped scenic areas along Redbank Creek, over many bridges and stone arches, and through two tunnels.

Gentle downhill conditions and beautiful views of rock formations and the Lehigh River make the Lehigh Gorge Trail popular with cyclists of all ages. The 25-mile route from White Haven to Jim Thorpe is the perfect two- to three-hour ride — a Pocono Biking shuttle to the trailheads is also available.

Rent single, multispeed, tandem, and children’s bikes from Moraine State Park in Portersville to pedal through meadows and forests along the shores of Lake Arthur. Seven miles of trails can be accessed at numerous spots within the park’s Lakeview and Watts Bay Marina areas.

The Schuylkill River Trail runs along the Schuylkill River from Philadelphia’s Center City District through Montgomery County’s Valley Forge National Historical Park and ends in Chester County’s Phoenixville. Every year, more than 20,000 runners, bikers, and commuters traverse the 26.5-mile trail, which was recognized by USA Today and 10best as the country’s best urban trail.

Greater Reading Trails offer access to more than 125 miles of mountain biking trails in Berks County, from beginner-friendly cruises to challenging rock-strewn routes. In 2015, the trail system attained the International Mountain Biking Association’s Bronze Level Ride Center status and is the only ride center in the northeastern U.S.

Clearfield County’s Curwensville Lake Recreational Area in Curwensville has more than 12 miles of trails varying in difficulty and length. Try the moderate 1.4-mile Bee Kind Trail, designed to make riders feel like they’re deep in the woods.

More Ride-Worthy Pennsylvania Biking Trails

• Capital Area Greenbelt: The Hershey-Harrisburg region’s 20-mile urban trail is a great way to see Harrisburg on two wheels.

• Buffalo Valley Rail Trail: Admire glimpses of tranquil farmland and wildflower-peppered fields on this nine-mile pathway between Lewisburg and Mifflinburg.

• Cumberland Valley Rail Trail: The 11-mile trail stretches from Shippensburg to Newville, offering a scenic sampling of the valley’s countryside and woodlands.

• Allegrippis Trail: Enjoy 36 miles of multi-use trail systems organized into three stacked loops surrounding the beautiful Raystown Lake in Hesston.

• Delaware & Hudson Rail-Trail: The 38-mile trail in the Endless Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania winds past Susquehanna County’s pristine woodlands and several stopworthy scenic overlooks and small towns.

• York County Heritage Rail Trail: The 21.5-mile trail runs from York to the Maryland border and passes seven railroad structures on the National Register of Historic Places.

• Stavich Bike Trail: Bike for 12 miles through two states, two counties, and three townships from New Castle, Pa., to Struthers, Ohio.

• Tussey Mountain Trail: Located in Rothrock State Forest in Huntingdon, the nine-mile route is just one of the many favorite mountain biking trails near State College.

• Michaux State Forest: Mountain bikers can choose from 18 miles of easy trails and nearly 20 miles of more challenging trails in southcentral PA. Get maps, route descriptions and other resources for mountain and road biking trails in and around Gettysburg at Healthy Adams Bicycle Pedestrian's website.

• Armstrong Trail: Possible stops along the 30-mile trail in Armstrong County include the towns of Kittanning, Ford City, and East Brady.

• Karl Stirner Arts Trail: Ride along the Bushkill Creek in Easton for 2.5 miles to see art installations by local artists, including Karl Stirner — a renowned Lehigh Valley sculptor.

• Forbes State Forest: Choose from more than 100 trails ranging from winding singletrack routes to dirt and gravel roads in Laughlintown.

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