Mountain Biking the Greater Philadelphia Area  by Bob D'Antonio

Mountain Biking the Greater Philadelphia Area Guide Book

by Bob D'Antonio (Falcon Guides)
Mountain Biking the Greater Philadelphia Area  by Bob D'Antonio
Philadelphia, known as the city of brotherly love, is the focal point for some of the best mountain biking on the East Coast. Within a 75-mile radius of Philadelphia, you can pedal your mountain bike through dense, deciduous forest, ancient pine barrens, pastoral, rolling, farmland, and the Pocono Mountains. From this book you can expect exhaustive and comprehensive trail descriptions, from beginner to advanced. GPS-quality, digitally designed relief maps detailing each ride and accurate route profiles showing the ups and downs of each ride. In addition detailed directions get you to the ride without getting you lost. Detailed mile-by-mile directional cues are also provided with difficulty ratings, elevation gain, trail contacts, and much more.

© 2004 Bob Dand39;Antonio/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Mountain Biking the Greater Philadelphia Area" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 43.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 43.

I could rave all day about this fantastic loop around Blue Marsh Lake. It's easily one of the best rides around. The singletrack trails are tight and the terrain offers a number of short, steep hills and stream crossings. The trail is never very difficult, so you can really crank out the miles. If you're in the Reading area only for a short time, this is the ride I recommend. And IMBA agrees. they called this one of the best mountain bike trails in America. Ride it and find out why. Expert riders will spend most of the ride in their middle chain ring. Terrain: Singletrack, doubletrack, dirt and paved roads.
Reading, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 20.8
The lovely Brandywine Creek weaves its way through Chester County, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to join the Delaware River. Along the way the creek has created a valley of stunning natural beauty. Rolling hillsides, charming fieldstone houses, back-country roads, and rural open lands, all contribute to the charm of this lovely area. Over the years, the river has seen more than 100 mills on its banks, producing everything from flour, paper, black powder, snuff, and textiles. Today, the Brandywine River Valley is a major tourist area, attracting visitors from all across the United States to its beautiful rural landscape and its rich history. The off-road tails within Brandywine State Park offer some of the best singletrack riding and it's just a short drive from Philadelphia and Wilmington. There are many spur trails that connect with the main blaze trails, including the Brandywine Bike Trail that follows along Brandywine Creek, so feel free to explore these trails to add more riding time. Terrain: Singletrack, doubletrack, dirt, and paved roads. Mostly tight single track, with some short rocky sections and wide doubletrack trails. Pass rolling hills and farmland. This is a 795-acre park with over 14 miles of trails. Connects with Woodlawn Land Trust.
Wilmington, DE - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 14
Lebanon State Forest once supported one of the largest stands of Atlantic white cedar on the East Coast, and then in stepped Lebanon Glass Works. Production at the glass works began in 1851 and proved quite successful, thanks to the wealth of natural resources in the area: quality sand and wood. But within 16 years, the majority of the trees depleted the cedar resource, the furnace was abandoned. The state of New Jersey slowly began to acquire the land that in 1908 would become Lebanon State Forest. Through natural regeneration, reforestation by the Civilian Conservation Corp, and proper management practices, the site has now begun to rebound. Today Lebanon State Forest protects a robust and diverse forest of oak, maple, pine, gum, and Atlantic white cedar. Deer, wild turkey, fox, and raccoon are just a few animals that make Lebanon State Forest their home. Terrain: singletrack, doubletrack, and soft, sandy roads.
Medford, NJ - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 11
Broad Mountain is quite popular with hunters. The principal game species you'll find are whitetail deer, black bear, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, and gray squirrel. But hunters are not the only folks flocking to Broad Mountain. Mountain bikers are coming in equal numbers to enjoy the excellent riding that's available in the area. The Deer Path, Tar Trail, and Broad Mountain Loop are just a few of superb rides you'll find on Broad Mountain. With everything from tight, twisty, rocky singletrack trails to steep climbs and smooth doubletrack trails, Broad Mountain has the terrain to satisfy any skill level. A great thing about biking on Broad Mountain is that after you get to know the area, you'll notice that a number of the trails interconnect--so you can create your perfect ride. Wear bright colored clothing (preferably blaze orange), stay on the main trails, and show common courtesy when coming in contact with hunters and other trail users. Terrain: Doubletrack and dirt roads.
Jim Thorpe, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 10.4
This is a classic Jim Thorpe ride with a nice section of mellow riding that leads into a technical section on tight singletrack that will command the attention of the best of riders. Terrain: Paved roads, singletrack trails, and doubletrack trails.
Jim Thorpe, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 8.7
Transportation from an earlier time is the theme of this ride. NJ TRANSIT'S Northeast Corridor Rail Line serves as a shuttle to the start point. In recent years bike transportation advocates have been able to regain access on buses and trains. If you want to experience the freedom of intermodal transport then this is the ride to try. (To find out about taking your bike on the train, call NJ TRANSIT or visit their website). It is smooth and easy riding for much of your trip, however there are sections of the towpath that can get muddy during wet periods, and tree roots might temporarily disturb your bliss. Also look out for heavy pedestrian traffic in the Lake Carnegie section on the ride. Terrain: Dirt canal towpath, paved multi-use trail and on road segments.
Princeton, NJ - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 30
The Drake's Creek ride takes you through some interesting terrain in the northeastern section of Pennsylvania State Game Lands No. 141. There is a section of road riding, but there's minimal car traffic- and it's a nice warm-up before the big climb out of Drake's Creek. The climb is very strenuous and demands all of your attention. Once on top, the ride mellows out and the scenery consumes your attention. Thick stands of mountain laurel dominate the landscape, and in the month of June, they're in full, beautiful bloom. If you're lucky, you may see some wild turkeys and other wildlife that inhabit the area. Terrain: Singletrack, doubletrack, paved and dirt roads.
Jim Thorpe, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 14.6
Located in the northeast corner of Cecil County, Maryland, the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area covers 5,622 acres of gentle rolling hillsides, lush forests, wandering streams, and fertile hayfields. The park boasts over 40 miles of singletrack trails. Add to that the dirt roads and paved sections and you have a treasure of mountain bikers in the tri-state area. If you love singletrack riding, this is the place to go. Fair Hill has a complex trail system, with trails shooting off in all sorts of directions. If you follow the directions closely and use you odometer, you should be fine. Fair Hill is a pro-mountain bike area. In fact, park officials encourage the use of mountain bikes on the park's many trails. Just remember that when riding your bike, you're sharing the trails with other users. Terrain: Singletrack, doubletrack, dirt and paved roads.
Newark, DE - Fishing,Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 8
This is a great beginner ride that's suitable for the entire family. Your ride starts from the parking area on Bells Mills Road and takes the gentile gravel road down to Lincoln Drive and back. There are numerous sights and many places to stop along Wissahickon Creek, so pack a lunch, bring the family, and enjoy one of Philadelphia's most beautiful areas. Terrain: An easy gravel path that follows Forbidden Drive along Wissahickon Creek.
Chestnut Hill, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 10
This wonderful excursion takes in a variety of trail surfaces, starting in Mauch Chunk Lake Park and climbing up to the Fire Line Trail. This is one of the finer rides in the Jim Thorpe area and should be on every mountain biker’s hit list. Terrain: Paved roads, singletrack trails, and doubletrack trails on big coal mounds.
Jim Thorpe, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 18.8
Mauch Chunk Lake Park, located on the Lentz Trail Highway (SR 3012) between summit Hill and Jim Thorpe, offers 2,300 acres of fun-filled recreation for visitors to the Jim Thorpe area. A the heart of the park is the beautiful creek-fed Mauch Chunk Lake. The park has 85 camping sites, plus two large group sites. A boat launch and three large picnic pavilions are also located within the park, as well. A beach and a guarded swimming area are located close to the boat launch. Each June the park is host to the Jim Thorpe Mountain Bike Festival. The park has a number of well-maintained trails worth exploring. The hill climb up to Flagstaff Mountain will challenge most beginners and intermediate riders. At the top of Flagstaff Mountain, take a minute to enjoy the views of Jim Thorpe and the surrounding mountains. Terrain: singletrack, doubletrack, dirt and paved roads.
Jim Thorpe, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 9
French Creek State Park offers a wide variety of outdoor activities for the general public. For mountain biker, there are over 22 miles of trails in the park where cyclists can hop logs, crank up steep hills, get wet crossing streams, and pedal through dense forests on some of the best terrain for mountain biking in Eastern Pennsylvania. But that could change. Mountain bikers need to get involved with maintaining the trails. The park rangers are pro-mountain biking, and with your help, it can stay that way. Terrain: Hilly, rocky, technical singletrack and doubletrack.
Birdsboro, PA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 6.2
French Creek State Park, one of the crown jewels of ht Pennsylvania State Park system, offers up to 7,339 acres of opportunity for the outdoor enthusiast. Located approximately 14 miles southeast of Reading, Pennsylvania, the forested hills of the park not only provide habitat to animals and plant life, but they also house over 32 miles of trails. Portions of the trails are open to mountain bikes and have become quite popular. As you ride through the park’s rich forests, try to imagine large tracts of the park timbered completely off.That’s pretty much how it looked at the close of the nineteenth century. By the late 1700s,America had grown increasingly hungry for steel. Iron production required large quantities of iron ore, limestone, and charcoal. French Creek State Park was the site of one of the major players in the iron-producing industry, Hopewell Furnace. From 1771 to 1883, nearby Hopewell Furnace supplied America’s growing demand with resources drawn directly from the surrounding hardwood forests.
Birdsboro, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 10.9
The Lebanon area has some of the best riding in Eastern Pennsylvania. The trails are extremely challenging and are by far some of the best mountain biking trails in the state. If you're riding in the Lebanon area, you're sure to have a wonderful time. Your ride starts at the State Game Lands No. 156 parking area, 1.5 miles from US 322. The ride follows a wide dirt road for a short distance and then goes right along Kettle Run. The trail along Kettle Run is tight, rocky, and technical. This is a difficult patch and can easily be avoided by walking. The next part of the ride climbs up a wide dirt road, passing several State Game Lands food plots as it leads you up to the top of a ridge and to the radio towers. Just past the towers the trail drops steeply down a tight singletrack trail back to Kettle Run. Terrain: Rocky single and doubletrack trails and gravel roads.
Lebanon, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 8.1
This ride takes in a small section of the 120-mile long Horseshoe Trail. The Horseshoe Trail starts in Valley Forge Historical Park at the Woolman memorial Marker on the south bank of Valley Creek and takes a meandering line west to where it intersects with the Appalachian Trail on Sharp Mountain, just northeast of Hershey, Pennsylvania. The trail passes through Hopewell Village National Historical site and the adjoining French creek State Park. From French Creek State Park the trail cuts west through the Furnace Hills, hugging the Lebanon and Lancaster County Line. The main trail is clearly marked with yellow blazes and all side trails are marked with white blazes. Sections of the trail are open to mountain biking and offer some very steep and technical riding. Terrain: Rocky singletrack, doubletrack, and gravel roads.
Lebanon, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 7.6
Want a ride where you can take the family? Want a ride where you can get a workout and spend time in a beautiful area full of migratory birds and rich plant life? Well, here's the ride for you. Located near the Philadelphia and Delaware county borders, the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum spreads out over 1,200 acres, safeguarding Pennsylvania's largest remaining freshwater tidal wetland. The main activities at the refuge are hiking, walking, jogging, fishing, cycling, bird watching, and canoeing. While the area may feel remote, it's actually close to both the Philadelphia International Airport and Interstate 95. At certain times of the day while you are riding along the trails, the music from the songbirds will replace the noise from the encircling areas. Take the time on your ride to stop and enjoy the serenity of this peaceful and diverse eco-system. Terrain: The ride follows a wide, flat dirt and gravel road around the main impoundment area.
Philadelphia, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 3.5
Once the site of a large mining operation, Iron Hill Park's334 acres now lie alongside the hustle and bustle of Interstate 95. Many of the old mining pits now offer mountain bikers trails that are laced with roller-coaster hills and BMX jumps. A good example is the Mega-Dip: a 40-foot drop into an old abandoned iron mining pit. This is an excellent short ride. There are many spur trails that connect with the main blaze trails. Feel free to explore these if you want to add riding time. This ride takes a tour around the longer trails in the park. First time visitors can easily get confused with all of the spur trails shooting off from the main trails. But don't worry; it's very hard to get lost in the park. The spur trails either dead-en or eventually lead back to the main trails. Terrain: Mostly tight singletrack and wide doubletrack trails, with some short, rocky sections. Some wild BMX-type sections are off the main trails.
Newark, DE - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 15
Situated on 1,168 acres at the eastern fringes of the Lehigh Valley is Jacobsburg State Park. Within the boundaries of the park is the Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, one of four centers operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources / Bureau of State Parks. The ride takes in a number of well-marked singletrack and doubletrack trails throughout the park. The trails are well maintained and offer only minimal difficulties throughout the 8.4-mile course. There are a couple of stream crossings and a few rocky sections, but they are modest and should not deter even the novice rider. For the rider looking for a harder workout, the 18 miles of trails in the park should be enough to keep you busy for the better part of an afternoon. Terrain: singletrack, doubletrack, and hard-packed gravel trails.
Wind Gap, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 8.4
Tinicum Marsh is the largest remaining freshwater tidal wetland in Pennsylvania. This unique ecosystem is located, surprisingly, just miles from downtown Philadelphia. Situated along the Atlantic Flyway, Tinicum is home to over 80 bird species. Nesting boxes have been placed throughout the refuge to attract migratory birds. Over 280 types of migratory birds have been recorded visiting the refuge. Ducks, Canadian geese, great blue herons, and various other migratory birds use Tinicum as a resting/feeding spot during their flights north and south. The refuge is also home to deer, turtles, frogs, and many other small wildlife. There are over 50 species of wildflowers, as well as trees such as willows, locusts, maples, oak, and alders. Native plants such as cattails, rushes, and sedges are also visible and provide excellent food and cover for wildlife. Purple loosestrife and other non-native plants also thrive here. steps are being taken, however, to limit the spread of these invasive plants. nice dismissed as a useless swamp, Tinicum Marsh has been recognized as a vital link in the health of the surrounding area. Terrain: Tight singletrack trails, wide doubletrack trails, and gravel roads that travel through densely wooded areas and tidal marshes.
Philadelphia, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 8.9
The Lehigh Valley railroad parallels the Lehigh River through the stunning and scenic Lehigh River Gorge. The Lehigh Gorge State Park is a narrow area consisting of 4,548 acres along the Lehigh River. The park is popular among hikers, joggers, cyclists, cross-country skiers, and rafters. The two most popular sports are clearly rafting and cycling. The Lehigh River happens to be one of the most popular whitewater rivers in the country. And the Lehigh River Gorge is equally renown as one of Pennsylvania most popular mountain bike rides. Terrain: Abandoned railroad grade.
Jim Thorpe, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 21.3