Riding in Bald Eagle State Forest

Countdown to Opening Day

Dual Sport Motorcycle Trail System

Dual Sport Motorcycle Trails in Bald Eagle State Forest are open to street-legal, licensed motorcycles from the Friday before Memorial Day through the last full weekend in September.

Dual sport motorcycle trails are blazed in purple, and open during the summer riding season (specified above). Trails blazed in blue, yellow, orange, red, or green are closed to motorcycles at all times.

The dual sport motorcycle trail is classified as a summer trail only. Questions or concerns about this classification can be directed to the Bald Eagle State Forest district office.

State Forest Riding Etiquette

Please Ride with Respect to the forest, the trails, and other forest users.

Motorcycles must yield right of way to hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers. When encountering horses, stop off the trail, shut off the bike, remove your helmet, and wait until horses have passed and are out of sight before starting up.

Please Respect the trails and the forest. No Trespassing on Private Land. The future of the public trail systems depends on the riders who use it. Other forest users and surrounding land owners are quick to point out to DCNR when motorcycles are in areas that they don’t belong.

Spread the word. Riding with Respect is the only way to ensure we keep these public trails.

Jacks Mountain Trails

Middle Ridge Trail

NOT A NOVICE TRAIL.  Riders are advised to empty their bladders before attempting.   This trail begins at the point where Henstep Valley Trail meets Rout 235. Follow a rocky fence line trail for a short distance, then make a right at the Middle Ridge Trail sign.  The trail will take you along the ridge line through long sections of rocks, followed by several rock gardens. Did I mention the rocks? After about 2 miles the trail ends at a 4 way intersection. From here you can make a right on Summit Trail The other trails are closed to motorcycles by DCNR.  

Henstep Valley Trail

This one is a long drivable trail that loops around Middle Ridge to connect Hunter Road and Route 235. Adventure bikes can get through without too much difficulty, but watch out for the mud holes. They may be deeper than you expect. Some sections are a bit rocky, but come on, it’s Pennsylvania. What did you expect?

Summit Trail

A punishing switch-backed ridge climb that is narrow and rocky at points. DO NOT RIDE STRAIGHT UP OR DOWN THE RIDGE. At the top of the ridge is a 4-way intersection. Hang a left here onto Middle Ridge Tr. The other trails are closed to motorcycles by DCNR.  

Spring Trail

This short single-track connects Hunter Rd to Henstep Valley Trail. From Hunter road, the track starts with a rocky incline, which flattens out at the top of the ridge, then takes you right back down a rocky slope to end at Henstep Valley Trail. Starting from Henstep is more difficult because the climb is steeper. It’s a Wheaties moment!

Horseshoe Bend Trail

A fun, short trail that is much easier when you start from the Hunter Road end. Begins smooth and flowing, then you come to a downhill slope which gets increasingly rocky until you thump over some really big rocks and suddenly it’s over. Starting from Brenninger Gap is more difficult. You will be thinking “Horsehoe? Horseshit!”

Cold Spring Trail

Connecting Hunter Road to Short Mountain Road, this trail is a fun challenge for all types of riders. From Hunter Road, it starts out as a smooth single-track that climbs the ridge to meet up with a fence line. At the corner of the fence is a steep rocky downhill and an abrupt 90° turn onto a mercifully flat run. Don’t get too comfortable though; there will be several rock gardens along the way. The last section is all smooth except for a series of water bars which may cause you to giggle.

Bull Hollow Trail/Road

Miles of piss-your-pants fun! From Short Mountain Rd, the rout starts as a drivable trail with a few seasonal mud holes. Eventually you will come to a clearing with a cabin. Stop here and take a break, because it’s all rocky single-track from here. At the end of this is a sharp turn onto County Line Trail which will take you up and over a hill with lots of water bar swells, and end at Hunter Road.  

Pardee's Tram Trail (Suicide Slide)

Take High Top Trail to the top of the ridge, then as you start downhill, look for the single-track on your left. Suicide starts out smooth and deceitfully easy, then begins a long decline made challenging by rocks. Then it gets steeper still! If you make it, go ahead and ring out your jersey. Who knew you could sweat going downhill!

Kreb Gap Trail

Starting out from Knob ridge Road, there will be a short uphill, which ends at a vista (Picture Time!). Across the road and down a steep loose hill onto a nice flowing track. Last is another steep downhill which puts you on Pine Ridge Trail, which leads out to Swift Run Road.

Knob Ridge Road

 This one is pretty wide and smooth, so it should be all fun and no trouble. Look out for the Kreb gap trailhead near the intersection with Swift Run Road.  

Strong Mountain Road

This drivable trail takes a mountainous route from Hunter Road to Havice Valley Road. You will find a mix of smooth flowing runs, and rocky slopes. This road has seen it’s fair share of flats. The rocks are not big, but they are loose! Stay strong!

Longwell Draft Road

A long gradually sloped drivable trail that connects with Strong Mountain Road. There can be a lot of puddles along the way, but they tend to be fairly shallow. Riding in either direction is a blast. It is actually part of a Backcountry Discovery Route, so you may meet other mud soaked explorers here.   

Flat Hollow Road

 This drivable trail goes out of the way a bit, but sometimes I throw it into my dual-sport route just for variety. It’s pretty flat as the name suggests, but it’s got some mud and bumps.

Little Poe Road

If you want trail with little variety, try Little Poe Road. From Havice Valley Road, it starts with rocky ascent that can shake your teeth out. At the top, check for loose bolts and continue down the other side of the ridge. Bear right at the intersection with Panther Run Road. This section is all muddy and rutty, and then begins a gradual descent to the valley floor where you follow a beautiful stream out to Poe Valley Road.  

Panther Run Road

This one is pretty straight and flat. From Little Poe Road, you start out with some patches of small loose rocks. Further West, it turns grassy, with 3 lanes to choose from. It’s a fun time for any bike. The West end of the trail meets up with the Seiglerville-Millheim Pike putting you in a good spot to tour the trails in the Sand Mountain Region. 

Poe Paddy Drive

Find the beginning of this road in Poe Paddy State Park. Please go slow through the camp ground. Soon after leaving the camp sites behind, you’ll come to a hard right and begin a long rocky ascent with several switchbacks. And when I say rocky, I mean BIG rocks! It’s a wide road, so pick your track and weave your way to the top. From here, it’s just a regular gravel road, but there are some amazing vistas overlooking the Penns Creek. Stop and enjoy. It’s mandatory. 

Tower Trail

The sign at the East end will read “Deep Low Place Trail”. From here you take a narrow sandy trail through a clear-cut then a sloppy loose hill climb. A fast, flowing single track follows the ridgeline to a gravel road intersection. It’s not a long trail, but it gets your adrenaline going.   

Plantation Trail

See description in Sand Mountain Trails.

Sand Mountain Trails

South Sand Mountain Trail

This shale-based trail starts at the Sand Mountain Parking lot, and is the main bike access road to the Sand Mountain trail system. It is wide and easy, and has some nice turns that often develop with banks. It is a Shared Use trail designed for motorcycles, Mountain bikes, horses, and snowmobiles. Here is a great beginner route: South Sand Mountain trial, Ground Oak Trail, Faust Valley Trail, Horse Path Trail, Old Peat Bog Trail.

Ground Oak Trail

This short trail links the North and South sections of the Sand Mountain trail system. Most of the trail has a moderate incline and some spots have deep washouts or loose softball sized rocks that can kick you sideways if you’re not careful. It is a main access trail, so be prepared to come across horses and people.  

Faust Valley Trail

This is another easy one. Coming from Ground Oak Trail, there are some rocky sections and a short downhill. After that it straightens out and becomes a wide gravel road. Watch for the next dual-sport trail toward the end on the right; If you get to a gate, you’ve gone too far.  

Horse Path Trail

Here is a rough little trail among all these easy ones. From Faust Valley, you’ll go down and cross a bridge and a good mud pit in the wet season. Then it’s a minor ascent with pretty big loose rocks ending at Old Peat Bog Trail.

Old Peat Bog Trail/South Sand Mountain Trail

After bumping your way up Horse Path, you get to take a breather on this smooth shale trail. After a while you get to a clearing with a gate and it gets a bit rougher after that. Bear right up a hill with softball sized rocks. Wind you way through the hills and eventually ascent to a yellow gate. Make a left and you’re back on Sand Mountain Road, or go straight on a bumpy drivable trail that ends up on the Seiglerville-Millheim Pike.  

Decker Path

This trail is easiest when ridden from West to East. A short but nasty downhill turns into a pile of horrible rocks and roots at the bottom. After a hard right bend, the remaining trail is a twisty flowing single track. You’ll see trails with Private Property signs for SMCC (Seven Mountains Conservation Corps). It may be tempting, but stay off of those trails.   

North Sand Mountain Trail

This is another shale-based beginner trail that takes a long, winding way from Sand Mountain Road to Plantation Trail in the North East. It is pretty smooth and easy, but watch for horses and people, as it is a popular shared use trail. 

Ripka Trail

This is just a short little drivable trail that starts at a gate off of Old Sand Mountain Road and merges with North Sand Mountain Trail. There is a short incline and a small section of loose sandstone. 

Plantation Trail

This is a nice flowing single-track that widens into a double-track after crossing the Seiglerville-Millheim Pike. There are some short sections of roots and rocks, and also quite a bit of sand. The last section is a single-track that turns off of North Sand Mountain Trail. It’s a fun uphill scramble with tight switchbacks, sandy sweeps, and big water bars.

Old Burn Trail

Starting from Mountain Church Road. There are a few trail intersections in the first section, so watch for sign posts. It will go from rocky hill climb single-track, left on gravel double track, then left onto single track again. From here it is a sphincter-clenching series of switchbacks down to the valley floor. Over a stream, then a keep-on-the-gas rocky uphill that comes to a fence. Swing left and follow the fence down a hill, through some mud, then up some rocks to meet with Old Sand Mountain Road.  

Old Sand Mountain Road

You’ll need a break after Old Burn Trail. This drivable trail is nice and smooth.

Tower Trail

See description in Jacks Mountain Trails.  

Panther Run Road

See description in Jacks Mountain Trails.