A Cyclist's Guide to Pennsylvania's Best Rides

Travel Map IconPENNSYLVANIA - Pennsylvania, the Keystone State, boasts a diverse landscape that caters to every cyclist's desire. From gentle rail-trails winding through picturesque valleys to challenging mountain climbs with breathtaking vistas, Pennsylvania offers an unforgettable cycling experience. Whether you're a seasoned road warrior or a casual weekend rider, here's a curated list of some of the best places to explore on two wheels:

A Cyclist's Guide to Pennsylvania's Best Rides
A Cyclist's Guide to Pennsylvania's Best Rides

Cruising the Countryside: Pennsylvania's Rail-Trails

Pennsylvania is a haven for converted rail-trails, offering smooth, scenic paths perfect for family outings or leisurely rides.

  • The Pine Creek Rail Trail: Often hailed as the "Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania," this 62-mile gem follows Pine Creek, offering breathtaking scenery and minimal elevation gain. Charming towns like Wellsboro and Jersey Shore mark rest stops for cyclists.

  • The D&L Trail: This expansive network stretches over 160 miles, following the historic Delaware Canal. Choose a section that suits your time and fitness level, enjoying canal-side vistas and quaint towns along the way.

  • The Great Allegheny Passage: This 150-mile trail is a haven for long-distance cyclists. Conquer rolling hills and majestic scenery as you traverse from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland.

  • The Schuylkill River Trail: Explore urban landscapes and natural beauty on this 60-mile trail that winds through Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. Pass historical landmarks, museums, and scenic riverfront parks.

  • The Lehigh Gorge State Park: Nestled in the Poconos, this 29-mile trail offers stunning vistas of the Lehigh River Gorge. Cycle through tunnels, past waterfalls, and over historic bridges for an unforgettable adventure.

Mountain Majesty: Pennsylvania's Off-Road Adventures

For the thrill-seekers, Pennsylvania's mountains offer challenging climbs and exhilarating descents.

  • Seven Springs Mountain Resort: This popular resort boasts a network of well-maintained mountain bike trails catering to all skill levels. Hone your skills on beginner-friendly paths or push your limits on technical descents.

  • Blue Mountain Resort: Located in the Poconos, Blue Mountain offers a variety of trails for cross-country and downhill mountain biking. Enjoy scenic vistas and purpose-built features that will test your technical skills.

  • Rothrock State Forest: This vast forest provides endless opportunities for off-road exploration. Navigate through a network of single-track trails, tackling switchbacks, rock gardens, and challenging climbs.

  • Bald Eagle State Forest: This hidden gem offers a variety of singletrack trails for mountain bikers. Explore dense forests, scenic overlooks, and historical remnants of the lumber industry.

  • Laurel Mountain Ski Area: This ski resort transforms into a mountain biking haven during the summer months. Ride challenging single-track trails with breathtaking views of the Laurel Highlands.

Hidden Gems: Pennsylvania's Scenic Byways

For cyclists seeking a taste of local flavor, Pennsylvania's scenic byways offer a unique perspective of the state's beauty.

  • The Susquehanna River Byway: Follow the majestic Susquehanna River on this scenic route. Enjoy rolling hills, charming towns, and historical landmarks that tell the story of Pennsylvania's past.

  • The Great Lakes Escape Byway: Explore the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania on this byway that winds through wine country, Amish farmlands, and scenic lakefronts.

  • The Lackawanna Valley Scenic Byway: This historic route traverses through the heart of the anthracite coal region. Pass restored mining towns, vibrant cultural centers, and stunning natural landscapes.

  • The Bucks County Scenic Byway: Immerse yourself in the rolling hills and historic charm of Bucks County. Discover charming towns, colonial architecture, and vibrant art communities.

  • The Endless Mountains Byway: Experience the tranquility of the Endless Mountains on this scenic route. Cycle through lush forests, encounter waterfalls, and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views.

Pennsylvania is a cyclist's paradise, offering a diverse range of routes to explore. From gentle rail-trails to challenging mountain climbs, and scenic byways to historic towns, there's something for every cyclist in the Keystone State. So, pack your gear, pump up your tires, and get ready to discover the beauty of Pennsylvania on two wheels.