Last weekend, a group of eight of us descended upon the Raystown Lake area in Pennsylvania. Our original plans were to ride the Allegrippis Trails, as well as journey northward to check out the trails at Rothrock State Park (not to be confused with Rothrock State Forest).
Four of us arrived about mid-day on Thursday and unloaded our gear at the Drooly Bear cabin, which we called home for the long weekend. The cabin is tucked in somewhere along Trough State Park and has a quiet, remote feel to it. It’s about 30 minutes to the Allegrippis trailhead, but once you figure out how to get there, it’s a nice drive through the mountains, rural farms, and one small town. I would recommend the cabin to anyone going to the area.
We arrived at the nearly empty trailhead parking lot on Baker’s Hollow Road Thursday afternoon and followed a route that had been recommended. It went a little something like this: Buck to Allie to Grippis to Ridge to Ray’s Revenge to Sidewinder to the bottom section of Osprey to Hydro Loop. After that we followed Eagle to Switch to Doe to Buck back to the trailhead parking. Did you get all that? If not, follow along on the map.
The “vista” noted on the map at the end of the Ridge trail is worth a stop. You get there pretty fast following the route outlined above though as most of the trail up to that point is a fast, rolling descent. Likewise, Ray’s Revenge to Sidewinder to the bridge shown on Sidewinder is a rollicking good descent, but once you cross the bridge it’s a climb up to Osprey, with a short downhill section toward the end before reaching the Hydro Loop.
The Hydro Loop is a hoot in either direction. It was recommended to take it counter-clockwise, and I agree it is the most fun direction for my particular tastes. It descends in either direction to the lake’s edge and if you aren’t in a big hurry it is another great place to hop off the bike and take in the view (or to take a dip). Climbing out counter-clockwise is a shorter, steeper climb and climbing out clockwise is a longer mellower climb. Over the course of three days, this loop was ridden several times by our group.
From Hydro, we took Eagle to Switch. I think Eagle had some climbing at the beginning and the end, but there is also a wicked fun section where the tread turns red and swoops and hollers above the lake before turning more inland to hook up with Switch. Switch definitely gains some of the altitude back in only about a half mile and takes you up to Susquehannock Rd and the trailhead for Doe & Fawn.
We decided to take Doe and, ironically, the two riders in front spotted a fairly large buck. Doe is fun, but pretty mellow with some flowy sections and one rock garden until it dumps you out on Buck. From there, you are only moments away from the trailhead parking lot.
That route clocked in at about 15 miles. With the late start, we called it a day on the trails, and drove into Huntingdon to pick up some supplies before returning to the cabin to eat and await the rest of our guests.
Stay tuned. Lots to come…