Weiser State Forest - Haldeman Tract
(updated: Jul 6, 2008)
These trails were built and maintained by the Rattling Creek SingleTrackers of Lykens, PA. I got the chance to ride these fine trails during a brief trip to PA. In addition to singletrack, there are snowmobile trails and service roads throughout the area as well. There's a lot of land here, over 1000 acres, and that's not including the adjacent game lands. The area is between Elizabethville, PA and Lykens, PA, which are small towns. The nearest major city is probably the capital -- Harrisburg, PA.
I rode the trails on the 4th of July. I got there around 10am, which incidentally, was when the local club was having a group ride, but unfortunately I didn't make my way down to the parking area until after they had left. I was just waiting for the rain to stop in another parking area.
The Minnich Hit Picnic Area where I started:
But I had my GPS and a map. So off I went, looking for singletrack in a place I was unfamiliar with. I found the trailhead, called Fawn Kill Trail and started riding. Because it was very wet, I left the camera back in the car. Good thing, too, because in about one minute, I was completely soaked. The branches and bushes were all heavy with water and practically swallowed the trail. Going through it was like getting slapped all over by a flabby armed spanking machine.
Fawn Kill Trail:
So my map was ruined and I had to rely on my memory and the gps. I think my trail instinct is pretty good now because I managed to put together a great 25 mile loop. I did do some riding back and forth on the service road looking for singletrack I might have missed, but I got a lot of it because after the ride I checked the map in the picnic area and saw where I went.
The lush green forest:
I did run across a few riders on the way but I didn't stop anyone. I guess I wasn't in a talkative mood. I pretty much rode non-stop. I stopped once to eat a pb&j sandwich I had packed. I guess that's a testament to how well these trails were thought-out. I mean, driving up the really steep grade from Elizabethville to the trailhead made me think that there was going to be some hellacious climbing involved, but the trails flowed really well. They made you just want to ride all day, which is pretty much what I did - after I got over being soaked like a drowned rat.
Narrow enough? The wild blueberry nearly conceal the trail:
I had to go back after I finished the ride and it had dried out a little to snap some photos of one of the trails. These trails put the single in singletrack. They are super narrow, not more than a foot wide, and the bushes (lots of wild blueberry) overhang the trail. They should be trimmed back or the trail needs to be ridden more. The trails are also very rocky. Some rock gardens were tough and I didn't clean them not knowing the line (I didn't see a line most of the time). I didn't get a shot of any of the rock gardens unfortunately.
My favorite trail was Rattling Creek Trail. You could tell it was the one ridden most, because it wasn't as overgrown like the others. It also flowed the best. These trails were so well constructed that there were no drainage or erosion issues (the rockiness helps as well).
I did go down twice - once over a log (lots of downed trees), and another on a wet bridge that was slicker than snot. I slid out and slammed hard on my hip and off the bridge onto rocks. Now I have a nice bruise there.
I'm definitely going back whenever I head up to the mother-in-law's again. I'm thinking a nice DH run with a shuttle service from Black Creek Bike Shop in town back up to the top of the mountain would be sweet.
Map of area (click to enlarge):
1. Sir Disappears a lot said...
Thanks for sharing SBA. We got rained out in Tsali on Saturday morning and decided to pack it in. The good news was by the time we stopped at Carolina Fats in Asheville, the weather had broke and we hit Bent Creek! What a blast!
Jul 7, 2008 @ 4:45 AM
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