20 Apr 2010 Mountain Biking in Ohiopyle
Ohiopyle is at the bottom of one of the deepest valleys in Pennsylvaina, so riding here usually involves a big climb and a big ripping descent.
From the center of Ohiopyle, you can ride some awesome loops.
This first set of rides uses Sugarloaf, Baughman, and McCune Trails, which are all east of town.
Sugarloaf Trail is about four feet wide, and full of loose rocks and water-bars. The trail alternates between super steep pitches and flat sections. It’s a great climb, but most locals skip riding down it because of all the flat pedaling sections.
Baughman is narrower, runs along the ridge at a steady grade, and has more sharp embedded rocks and fun dips. Descending that trail is awesome, so that’s the way I usually go.
There are three ways to chop up the Sugarloaf-Baughman loop.
#1 Sugarloaf to the Baughman Overlook – 1 hour
The start of Sugarloaf and Baughman Trails are across the rail-trail from the Middle Yough takeout. Take Sugarloaf, which is on climber’s right, and start heading uphill.
A couple miles up, and after the steep water-bar covered pitch, look for a trail that swings back and to the left. Take it and climb to the Baughman overlook. Make a left and shred Baughman back to town. It takes seven to ten minutes of hard descending to get back to the parking lot.
There’s a steep set of stairs at the bottom of Baughman. They’re rideable, but it’s a good idea to get off and scope them out on the first time down
After the stairs, turn left down the street and past the WV Ohiopyle Bike Shop, make a right across the car bridge, make another right onto Garrett Street, and park your bike in the rack at Falls City Pub. Get some beers.
#2 Sugarloaf Trail to Upper Baughman Trail – 1.5 hours
Keep riding past the turnoff and up Sugarloaf. There are two more steep rocky pitches to grind up before the start of upper Baughman. Do a short descent, then turn left to follow the trail at the dirt road. Cross the road and stay on Sugarloaf.
After a second dirt road crossing, Sugarloaf forks. Take the left side and climb another 400 yards. At the trail signs, cross Sugarloaf Road and start Upper Baughman.
The top section of Baughman is tight, twisty, and full of big rocks. It’s a great piece of singletrack. After the overlook, keep going on the trail and back to town.
#3 The Full Loaf – Sugar, McCune, Baughman – 2.5 hours
This loop has 1,700 feet of climbing, which makes it one of the biggest dirt climbs in Pennsylvania. It takes almost 1.5 hours of steady ascending to get to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, and the start of McCune Trail.
Ride past the Baughman turnoff. At the XC Ski Area parking lot, either keep going up Sugarloaf or jump onto the road.
I usually take the road, about a mile of pavement, to get to the start of McCune. At the trail sign, turn left off Sugarloaf Road to the McCune parking area. 100 feet from the road, on the right side, McCune starts going up hill.
There isn’t a sign to mark the trail’s start, so pay attention. The first few feet of the trail go through a field, then the trail turns into the best rocky singletrack in the park. Climb up the switchbacks to the very top of the mountain, check out the sweet view, then start the long, long descent. Ride back onto Sugarloaf, onto Upper Baughman, down Lower Baughman, and into town.
Sugar Run Trail – climbs and creeks!
Sugar Run Trail is another local favorite. It’s spectacular in the spring, when the trillium are blooming and clean water rushes down Sugar Run and Jonathan Run. This is an out-and-back ride that will take 1.5 to 2 hours.
Start the ride from Ohiopyle, and spin about 2.5 miles down the bike path toward Connellsville. Turn onto Jonathan Run Trail at the marker. There’s a fun little climb immediately off the bike trail, bringing you to the creek. Cross Jonathan Run and take a right on Sugar Run Trail. There’s a fun singletrack climb, which leads to the take-out parking lot at Old Mitchell Place. Take a rest at the parking lot, then turn around and enjoy ripping down the big hill you just climbed!
Wilderness Voyageurs is your complete Ohiopyle biking source, with bike rentals of all kinds, mountain bikes and hybrid bikes for the Great Allegheny Passage. Ohiopyle’s only full service bike repair shop is open every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day and on weekends in April and October. The remainder of the year, stop into our main Ohiopyle outfitter store at 103 Garrett Street, (next to the railroad tracks) for parts and minor repairs.
103 Garrett Street
Ohiopyle PA 15470