Rattling Creek - IMBA Epic

 14 votes

22.3 Miles 35.8 Kilometers



1,739' 530 m


-1,738' -530 m


1,691' 515 m


922' 281 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (6°)

Minor Issues

1,691' 515 m


922' 281 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (6°)

Flowy trails punctuated with rock gardens create classic East Coast riding.

Building Map
Loading Map Data
Map Settings
Featured Ride


A sure sign of a good trail system is the debates that arise on what direction is best for trail flow. Rattling Creek is no different, as each trail is fun in both directions. Riding the system in a counter-clockwise direction will give you a chance to see the general order in which the trails were built. Riding in a clockwise direction will allow you to save the Rattling Creek and Doc Smith trails for last.

Need To Know

In addition to the parking area on Lykens and Powells Valley Road, there are additional access points throughout the trail system making it possible to ride different variations of the Rattling Creek Epic.

For post-ride refueling, check out Kevin's Diner.


To start the Epic route on the Rattling Creek trails, park at the trailhead on Lykens Rd just off Powells Valley Rd. Ride back across Powells Valley Rd to access Stone Cabin and Rugged trails. Start with Stone Cabin to ride in a counter-clockwise direction. This short loop is a good introduction for what the riding is like throughout the trail system.

After the warm up ride back across the road, through the parking area and onto Hopback trail. From here the order of trails goes like this: Left on Lykens Rd, left on Fawn Kill, left on Shale Run. Towards the end of Shale Run there will be a fork; either direction works here but remember to turn left onto Grimm. From here: right on Luke's, straight on Rim as you cross over White Oak Road. Turn right onto Wolf Pond and you can enjoy a little break from the rocks along a section of trail that rolls well and has a more open corridor. Before you get to the road look for Matter on your left. After crossing Wolf Pond Road you ride another short section before jumping on the west end of Rock's Ridge.

If you're inclined to stop for a good view, take a detour to see the hang glider launch at the end of Wolf Pond Road. The views are spectacular to the west across the Pennsylvania countryside.

Rock's Ridge is the next technical part of the ride, one of the most fun. At the east end you'll have a quick left and right to continue the epic ride on the Matter ski trail. Make the connection to Dry Run via Preserve Line. Compared to the rest of the ride this section is non-descript but does provide another respite from the high frequency of rocks. Dry Run is a quick warm-up for the highlight of the route, Rattling Creek. This is the longest stretch of trail, and perhaps, the best. When riding the epic, it's mostly downhill. The fun doesn't stop at the end when you bear left on Doc Smith, an excellent ending to a classic East Coast long-distance ride.

History & Background

The trails are a labor of love of Keith Whitcomb, a life-long resident of the area. Beginning in 1999 with his friend Mike Mace, Keith began building a loop based on the lessons of sustainable trails that were just then being espoused by IMBA, but he aimed to keep the East Coast flavor of the terrain.


Rate Featured Ride


3.9 from 14 votes

Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins


Oct 11, 2016
Benjamin Cheek
Rock fest: 45% rocky single track with ample rock gardens, 25% flowy single track, 30% gravelly double track or woods roads.
Sep 18, 2016
Barry Davis
Jun 11, 2016
Jeffrey Meyer
Trails are in good shape, although a little overgrown. A great challenge, great elevation profile, good times. 23.6mi — 3h 03m
Mar 19, 2016
Mike Major
Trails were in good shape. A lot small sticks and branches though to watch out for that will ruin a good ride if caught in a wheel or derailleur. 24mi
Oct 18, 2014
Steve Leoniak
Rattling Creek and Rugged trails are a blast. 22.3mi — 4h 00m
Jun 20, 2014
Adam Wint
Challenging trail, I probably wouldn't do it again - its rough, rocky, and great to know you can ride this but there are some better trails in PA. 11mi
Jun 14, 2014
Derek Bicksler
2nd time at Rattling Creek. 1st time on this section and from main parking lot. Liking RC more and more. 9.4mi
Sep 1, 2013
Mike Hood
12mi — 12h 30m

Stewarded By

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 14 votes


  3.9 from 14 votes
1 Star
2 Star
3 Star
4 Star
5 Star


in Pennsylvania


295 Views Last Month
10,527 Since Aug 30, 2013
Difficult Difficult



Minor Issues 8 hours ago
Fallen Trees - severally overgrown
Update ConditionsHistory

I wouldn't refer to any section of this trail as flowy. It is your typical rocky and rooty NE trail for 20+ miles. A flowy trail in PA is hard to come by. It is definitely worth your time if you truly love actual mountain biking; however, I wonder about its Epic status given the more extensive trail system in nearby Michaux. May 23, 2015

I just moved to the area, what would you recommend instead? Jun 24, 2015

Erich Moorman Depends on where you are and how far you want to travel. Not far from Rattling Creek is Swatara if you want some actual flow. Many, many good trails in Michaux, but few maps and not much is marked. You kinda have to earn your keep there. Allegrippis at Raystown Lake is the best flowy single track in Pennsylvania. It has some the same kind of flavor as Copper Harbor in the UP and the ground is more like what you find in western PA. There are tons of other gold nuggets in PA as well as up north in NY. Gotta travels four hours in some cases, but definitely worth it if you have the time. Jun 25, 2015

MTB Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Mountain Bike

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter