Trail Reviews

Bavington, West of Pittsburgh, PA

10/10 | Fast Singletrack

 

This is a State Game lands area so be careful during Hunting season. Wear bright colors. You technically aren't allowed to ride here but everyone does.

There are three basic sections. Both are defined relatively well at RIDE GUIDE. If you have an afternoon I suggest exploring it all. If you have about an hour I suggest the figure 8 trail. The figure 8 is a quick-not-so-technical trail that I use to train for races. The road is easy to miss, it is marked by a green Game Lands road sign just after the Knowlton building. It rides about 5 or more miles but is quick. There are some pine sections, quick uphill's, and some good straight sections that you can pick up some speed on. It can get pretty slick on the needles. Trail head is marked by a No Motor Vehicles sign. You have to see the massive spill I had trying to jump a tree! I jumped the log on the first round but we didn't have the video. Keep in mind I didn't have my clipped petals and I have no form at all. This was my second "attempt." Make sure your sound is up! HOLY CRAP! This is one of the sections in the loop.

Right across the road there is an entrance to a short trail that is good to warm up with. It is right across the road from the figure 8 access trail. This makes a big loop and has you on 3 inch trails weaving in and out of trees. The trail head is right across the road from the entrance to the figure 8. It comes out on the fire road, ride it to the left to get back to the road.

For the other section, park at the "Airport" (Its just an open field that actually at one point was paved). This entrance is the next road to the right after the Knowlton building. There are two trailheads from this parking lot. one to the left and one across the airfield. This main section has you riding on the edges of cliffs, dodging trees, and can get pretty technical in some sections. It was easy to get lost because the trails tend to weave in and out. I hit a couple trees on my first time through this trail. Be prepared to spend a good couple 3 hours on this trail exploring then jump across the fire roads to finish with a race on the figure 8.

The third section is a mile after the first gamelands sign on another game lands sign. I did this section when it was in the teens'. It was muddy and snowy. This section is a long trail with plenty of uphills and a couple downhills.

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Vultures Knob, Wooster, OH

10/10 | Technical Singletrack

 

This is an extremely fun trail and has a great upkeep by the Vultures Knob Team. They host numerous races through the year and I suggest hitting up at least one. There are some awesome riders that call this place Home. The trail has been reviewed by numerous sites including Dirt Rag, and MTBR.com (mountain bike review). There is a lot there so I will do my best to describe the highlights.

Starting through the arches, it goes into a dirt single track through some switchbacks and rock bed and you'll reach a section under a bridge. Look up because you will soon be riding overtop this bridge. Weave in and out and through the rock garden to the cherry bomb which is a bridge through the Y of a random tree. from there cross the bridges made out of halved logs. Race through "Oh Shit" down the hill- or just slide like me- and gun it over the suspension bridge in the valley. You'll find a HILL from here Good luck. Ride the 2x4 across the swamp to get out of this section, then you have the choice of which trail to take. If you take the trail that leads to the back of the Knob you can catch some awesome speed down the gas rite-a-way but be ready for the 2' bridge at in the middle. Snake down the hill on cutbacks and heat up your brakes going over numerous bridges, cross valleys, and a downhill rock bed/creek. Then another killer HILL. Find your way through this section heading back towards the parking lot and go through The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Which are jumps. Keep an eye on the trail from here to finish off another couple miles of technical trail. and a fast finish. Pick up speed because ther is a ramp at the end to finish off through the Arch again. The trail is about 11 miles ( I could be wrong) but it takes about an hour if your racing or more if your me. The Knob keeps trail maps up to date. Defnitly check out these races. Winter riding is jsut as fun. The knob is a year round trail.....check out the video's I tried to take while I rode one hand on the bars and one hand with the camera.... I'm working on a better system. This is the PASSING SECTION VIDEO

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Duff Park,Murrysville , PA

6/10 | Hill Climbs/Cliff Hangers

 

Duff park is two big hills surrounded by a gravel trail that goes along the creek behind 84 Lumber and that tire place. For a warm up you can start on the dirt/gravel trail that goes about 1.25 miles back to a junction point where the gravel ends. From that junction point you can follow 2 trails one that goes along the side of the hill that the creek is on(very steep drop offs at some points), or you can go along the creek side on that gravel road for about another half mile which turns into a single track that cuts up the hill to the top. This is one of the toughest climbs I've done. From the top you can go a number of ways. To get the most out of this trail go fast and faster. Almost every trail has a downhill so be prepared to open up the brakes and fly down the hill. Another good starting point is to start at the main trail head that is attached to the parking lot and shoot up the hill from there. There are A LOT of hikers/walkers so watch out.

I only have been on this trail once for a total of an hour but I would call it a good conditioning trail because of all the uphill's and downhill's. Nothing technical just a lot of ups and ups then nice downhill's! It is still single track because of the balancing act you sometimes have to do to prevent falling down 200' embankments and the hella climbs, plus the trail is only 4 inches wide in most places. Look for mud spots and in the fall its pretty slippery.

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Zanesville , OH

8/10 |Fun Singletrack

 

An hour and a half drive from pittsburgh down 70 is Zanesville(near "THE WILDS" whatever that is).. Its kinda hard to find this place but its a fun course. It reminds me a lot of Coopers without the rocks down in WV. There are some pretty neat obstacles on the trail including bridges, over and under, cutbacks and even a sea-saw. Fairly technical single track with stream crossings. Its pretty easy to get the bike muddy on this one. I remember it being a long trail

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Coopers Rock , WV

8/10 | Rocky Singletrack

 

Grease up your shocks and put your tire pressure around 60psi! No I'm not kidding. I have gotten more pinch flats than you can imagine on this trail. There are a lot of rock beds and random rocks to shoot out in the trail and throw you off your balance. Keep light on your feet because this single track weaves in and out of trees and with the nice down hills you can gain a lot of speed. One of the well known spots on this trail is a rock bed downhill that will make your arms/hands/feet go numb and leads into a small bridge over a stream. There are only two ways to go into this track. As soon as you get off the coopers rock exit take the first parking lot to the right. The trail head is right on the other side of the road from the parking lot. There is another trail head connected to the parking lot at the end. If you go any other way your going to be stuck doing all up hills.

You have to be light on your feet and able to maneuver quickly on this single track. Rocks and Roots make it slippery as hell when its wet. Be prepared for a hella climb back up through the trail to the road to connect to the other section of the trail. This trail is a good way to waste 4 hours then go up to the picnic area and rock climb. There is a good overlook and some fire trails up on top of the mountain after you get off the trail (hopefully your not pushing your bike with one hand and your chain in the other-been there).

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Mohican -Glenmont , OH

10/10 | Technical Singletrack

 

This is one of the best trails Iíve ever ridden. It has two lung busting hills but the payoff is the sweet downhill sections. There is an XC course with a South and North Loop (4.5 and 4 miles, respectively) and a DH course. Part of the North Loop is closed from 8am-6pm between Memorial Day and Labor Day due to horse traffic.

The XC course is all singletrack with great FLOW and a variety of obstacles (boulders, rock garden, bridges, and switchbacks). When you are bummed out because your trail is a watery mud pit, you can ride Mohican because it holds water amazingly well and is well marked. They hold races on the weekends so check out the website . The plan is two develop up to 30 miles of singletrack throughout the Mohican area. There are tons of campsites around the area if you plan to make a trip and the Mohican River is open to kayaks and canoes (not whitewater or anything, remember this is Ohio).

A new 8 mile loop was developed at the end of 2004 at the actual Mohican State Park. It is an out-and-back with climbing.

(Submitted by Chad Head)

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Settlers Cabin -Robinson, PA

5/10 |Muddy Circle

 

I FOUND THE TRAILHEAD FINALLY!!! So the trailhead is heading out across the field from the tennis courts. This place has a lot of potential but is very tame. It's a big circle.

Conditions are key because there are a lot of mud holes. This is a good thing if you want to practice bunny hopping over them or just absolutley getting muddy. I chose a combination of the two. There is another outlet which pulls up to a parking lot. If you travel the road into settlers cabin and continue until you get to a "T" make a left and another left in the next parking lot. The trailhead dropps down over the hill from the last parking spot in the second set of spaces.

Since I live so close I think i might try to get another connecting trail going. Contact me if you can help.

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Mingo Creek, 84, PA

2/10 | Take your horse

 

If its close and its 5 min from work then I still don't suggest it. I went after work because it was close but I don't think I'm goin back. It took me awhile to figure out where the bike trail actually was... I'm still not sure where it all is but I did find a "bike trail" after about an hour of riding around. Park across the first bridge on the right across the stream. The trail turns off of the paved road to the parking lot that turns into a fire road (past the no motor vehicles sign) its off to the right after about a half mile. You're going to cross a stream and get all muddy as hell. If you would rather take your horse instead. Its probably a good time but other than that its not worth it. I have 3" tires and still got stuck in the Mud Baths all over this pace. Horses have beat up the trail badly. I had to walk my bike through some of the spots for fear of loosing my bike in the mud.

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South Park, PA

7/10 | Double and Singletrack

 

There are a couple good reviews I have read about South Park. The locals love the trail and all are in agreement that this is an everyday training ride. There arent as many technical sections and you have to hit up some Doubletrack to get to the other sections. This doubletrack is also a walking\jogging trail so bring your horn. I started at the Ice Rink and hit the trail head where the road starts to go into the woods. We then went to the right and rode to the top of the hill. This leads to a double track/ walking trail. Ride this all the way through the field past the rangers house.. there are some fun sections overhere in this region. . to a big parking lot ( Soccer Fields?). On the way up the hill there are some little jumps that you can practice your tabletops. Once at the top of the hill you should ride across the parking lot to the trailhead at the far end and streak down that hill. I got goin pretty fast but caught a Briar in the eyelid. There are some Logs and tight corners. That make it interesting.

I was having bike problems that day so I may be a little bitter about this ride but overall we had a good time. I broke a chain and popped a back tire!

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Beans Bike Park, OH

8/10 | Switchback Singletrack

 

Beans Bike Park is a pretty fun park. I wish I was biking with a full suspension and knew how to ride in the trees becasue this place has an awesome Trials area. Other than the trial area ( I have a picture that doesn't do it justice) the trail rides a pretty good distance. We got through it in about an hour and a half. This is the first trail I've done this year and it was a lung buster.

The trail is built on two nice size hills. This is where you will find why I call it Switchback Singletrack. They designed some pretty sweet switchbacks that reminds me of a halfpipe because you carve up the reveine and around a tree and back up the other side, gain some speed and do it again. There are 2 fast no-break downhills that'll cool you off. Trails are well marked with colored signs.

There is also a motorcross track that looks awesome. Obvioiusly these guys put some work into this place. Its a great weekend ball buster and if you got the balls get some skills on the trials area. I've read that this place can get wicked muddy.

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Boyce Park, PA

9/10 | Technical Singletrack

 

Boyce is near Plum. I have always parked near the soccer fields. There is a trail head there and more importantly there is a pump well by the circle thing, that you played on when you were a kid, where you can wash off all the mud after you ride.

This is a great place to tune up your skills. I'm going to call this single track very technical. You are always looking for the next turn, dodging trees ( broke a rib on this trail) , and looking out for mud pits. There are no straight-a-ways just ups and downs and all arounds. Get a map! there are trails that weave in and out. This trail gets slippery and muddy when wet.

Other bikers have kept this up with little see-saw's, logs, and other little tricks that you have to look for but are good to screw around on. Expect to spend a couple hours on this trail. You might find other bikers and walkers on these trails so keep an eye open for Ped-Xing. There are a lot briars, pricker bushes or whatever you call them depending on where you're from. There are actually a couple places where you can get some air. I crossed a rite-a-way and there was a jump across to the upper trial and also I remember another rite-a-way that looks like its a hella downhill with a nice built up jump at the top.

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