August 30, 2017

Gravel riding is a popular pastime for the right reasons: Cyclists can enjoy an outdoor adventure on roadways without terrifying traffic or distracted drivers. Black Moshannon State Park and Moshannon State Forest offer rewarding rides for those looking challenging loops! This area is also a fantastic place for beginner riders to sharpen their skills.  

A number of gravel roads and ridable trails surround the outer borders of Black Moshannon State Park, an area affectionately known to locals as 'Black Mo'. This can be a little confusing, because Black Moshannon State Park is nestled in the larger area of Moshannon State Forest. You won't really know when you leave one area and enter the other, but the State Park is located around the lake, and has amenities like boat launches, campgrounds and rental cabins. The State Forest is just that, miles and miles of forest, with a delightful network of gravel roads throughout. This section of Forest sits on the edge of the Allegheny Plateau, which means that the road inclines are mostly gentle, even though some tough grades do exist.

Huckleberry Road Moshannon State Forest PA

Looking for a gentle ride, a gravel grinder, or dirt double track?

Gentle, more rolling roads include Underwood, Clay Mine, Huckleberry and Hanna Furnace. Several 10-15 mile loops exist using these roads. Some 30-40 mile loops (and longer) exist too, but you'll have to do a bit more climbing for these loops. More difficult roads include Benner Run Road, Tram Road, and North Run Road. There are also options for those who want to get off the road and explore some trails. Shared-use trails include Smays Run Trail, Shields Dam Trail, and Old Huckleberry Trail; all of which criss-cross this area. These red blazed trails are designated as Shared Use Trails on the Moshannon Quehanna Lizard Map and they are open for hiking, bicycling and equestrian use.

Smays Run Trail Moshannon State Forest PA

Where to park?

Several large parking areas offer a good starting point for gravel cycling. Tram Road Lot and Underwood Road Lot are both on the plateau for an easy start. Moss-Hanne Trail Lot and the State Park Beach Lot are both at low points in the area, so the ride from here would end in a downhill. It's also nice to cool your legs in the lake after a summer ride!

Gravel Riding Moshannon State Forest PA

Prepare 

Cell phone coverage is very limited, so bring your Lizard Map and give your plans and expected return time to friends at home. Water is plentiful, but do not drink from Red Moshannon Creek! A great spot to stop that has year-round flowing water is a set of piped springs near Moose Head Lane. The State doesn't guarantee the purity of this water, but locals fill up jugs from this spring all the time. 

Moose Head Lane Spring Moshannon State Forest PA

Want to do an overnight gravel getaway?

Camping is also an option in the state forest. Your Moshannon Lizard Map will point you in the right direction for established State Park camping. Primitive camping and car camping are allowed in the Moshannon State Forest with certain restrictions. Contact the forestry office for more info on camping locations and get a free permit 814-765-0821.  

Roadside Camp Moshannon State Forest PA

Keep your eyes peeled and... have fun!

This forest is loaded with wildlife, so don't forget to keep your head up! Most roads in the forest are also open to vehicular traffic so bring bike lights especially if you plan to ride in Six Mile Run; the canyon gets very dark earlier than roads on the high plateau.

Hawk Perched on a tree Moshannon State Forest PA

 

Start Your Adventure Today with Purple Lizard Maps

 

 Explore More Lizard Adventure Blogs

Colyer Lake Trail





Also in Lizard Adventure Blog

Green Monster Loop Trail System: The Best Unknown Trail System in PA
Green Monster Loop Trail System: The Best Unknown Trail System in PA

October 15, 2018

The Green Monster Loop includes almost 32 miles of exciting trails and additional side trails in this corner of Tioga State Forest. Features for trails in this area include wide single and double track paths with solid dirt treadways. The notorious rock gardens found in many other parts of 'Rocksylvania' are less common here. Almost all of the trails in this part of the forest are open to bicycles; riders and runners will enjoy these smooth and fast trails! Dozens of loop options exist in this part of Tioga State Forest, but today we'll give an example of this area by following the 50K loop in the same direction as the annual Green Monster Challenge. Pull out your Pine Creek Lizard Map and follow along with us today, then go out and discover this area for yourself! 
Choose Your Own Adventure with Lizard Adventure Lists
Choose Your Own Adventure with Lizard Adventure Lists

October 12, 2018

Lizard Adventure Lists are a great tool for diving deep into your Lizard Map: include brief descriptions of the trails organized in three sections: Trails, Special Designated Areas & Destinations, and State Parks, to help you explore all your Lizard Maps have to offer!
Exploring Allegheny Trail Along Glady Fork River, WV
Exploring Allegheny Trail Along Glady Fork River, WV

October 09, 2018

The Allegheny Trail  (ALT) hugs the isolated Glady Fork River for over 25 miles. This hike will introduce you to one of the most rugged and wild sections of the entire ALT, as well as some fantastic campsites accessible by car. I recommend exploring this section as a long day hike, with a car and camping gear waiting for you at the finish. To set up a shuttle, you’ll be happy to have the Dolly Sods-Seneca Rocks Lizard Map showing you how to access the remote Forest Service roads.