Mountain Biking Ohiopyle and the Laurel Highlands
With 25 miles of trails, lodging, and pubs, Ohiopyle is the perfect town to base a mountain biking trip. More trails are being added to the system and there are even bigger plans than that...but while those plans are developing, there are still hundereds of miles of single-track, double-track, and fire road in the area.
Ohiopyle State Park: 25 miles of trails - Link to map
Sugarloaf Trail: Starting on the GAP Trail next to the Middle Yough Takeout, Sugarloaf is a long double-track climb. The trail has switchbacks, loose rocks, and waterbars. On top of the ridge, the trail splits into two sections. The left side is smooth and grassy, and the right is full of difficult-to-climb loose rock. Going down Sugarloaf is a fun and ripping descent without too many serious technical sections. Watch out for the waterbars after it rains. They can get slippy.
Baughman Trail: A tight, rocky single-track trail. At the top of Sugarloaf Trail, take a left and cross Surgarloaf road. Baughman winds through a series of medium sized boulders and rocky gaps before opening up to a stunning overlook on top of the ridge. After the overlook, there are a few fast corners, then it's a flat out shred-fest to the bottom of the ridge. The trail ends with an extremely technical and steep descent before spilling out onto the GAP trail next to the Middle Yough Takeout. The climb up Baughman is as technical and rewarding as the descent.
Sugar Run: A fun single track run that begins at Jonathon Run on the bike trail and climbs to the private boater parking lot at Bruner Run. Watch for stinging nettle in the summer, but other than that, it's a fun ride.
McCune Trail: The newest addition to Ohiopyle's Mountain Biking Trails. The trail begins a few feet off of Sugarloaf road. Ride into the McCune Trailhead parkling lot, then make a quick right into a field and climb up the hill. The entrance to the trail is covered with tall grass in the summer, but after beating through the field for a few feet it opens up to sweet ridge-top single track. McCune is full of large rocks and flowing turns and bordered with ferns. After rolling through the soft soil on top of the hill, the trail swings left and blasts down the ridge. The trees open every few feet to reveal one of the best vistas in Pennsylvania. This is the best trail in the park. Don't miss it.
After you've explored the park, there are hundreds of miles of nearby singletrack:
Quebec Run is a back-country mountain biking experiece. Tight trails full of jagged rocks wind through the empty woods, and past the occasional shack flying a confederate flag. It's extremely easy to get lost in the wild area. Bring a map, spare tubes, and a GPS if you have one. Once you figure out the trails, it's an incredible place to ride.
Start by the Lake Tahoe lodge to ride the race course loop. The 12 mile course is full of steep downhills, rock gardens and tight turns. The trail starts on top of the mountain, winds down to the bottom, then shoots back up next to the ski slopes. Spings also offers lift-serviced downhill runs. There are some other super cool trails by the resort, but those are off the map. 7-Spings is the site of the 24 Hours of Champion Challenge race.
Big Bear has a series of super fun single-track rocky loops. The trails are full of medium sized boulders and fun downhills. Big Bear is the site of the annual Big Bear Classic, Big Bear 2x12, and Big Bear Ultra mountain bike races. There is a $5 entry fee and a waiver to sign at the gate. Ask at the gate for a map, and good luck following it. You might get a little lost, but you'll have fun!
Laurel Mountain has some of the best rock gardens in the country. The miles of limestone deposited by glaciers are a consistant technical challenge. Parking in the Wolf Rocks or XC Ski lot, it's possible to ride 30 miles of hard trails without ever climbing a hill. Log bridges, huge boulders and skinnies abound. Park at the bottom of Quarry Run Trail to get a long climb in before hitting the trails on top of the mountain.
The Margroff Trails in Accident, MD offer a great series of loops and you'll have the place to yourself.
We have some other favorites as well...stop by the shop for the local secrets!
Call 800-272-4141 to book your bike tour or ask questions about biking in the area
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