Be very careful during hunting season, this area gets hunted very heavily in the Spring and Fall for turkey, along with Archery season starting in October - please be considerate of hunters.
Hunting is prohibited on Sundays in PA, so do that, if you can.
The Coopers gap trails of Rothrock provide the best singletrack experience to be had in Pennsylvania. The trails just flow non-stop, allowing you to string together endless possibilities of all day singletrack riding. You'll find the trails on the Coopers gap area to be less rocky than the trails on the TrailMix side of the forest.
One of the great aspects of this course is the lack of road miles. There is so much singletrack and its all rideable! The climbing is challenging, but could be worse. For a skilled intermediate rider, it was perfect. I used the MTB project app to follow the directions and keep track with the course map. It worked extremely well for me and showed me exactly where I was.
Need to Know
Great camping can be found at Greenwood Furnace State Park, Penn Roosevelt State Park, and Whipple Dam State park.
The trails are marked pretty well with signs and continue to get better. nittanymba.org
The ride starts at the Shale pit along Coopers gap road. From the shale pit you ride up the road for a little over a mile before you make a hard left onto Dutch Alvin
tr, keep an eye out for the sign. Follow Duch Alvin for 2.2 miles, relax and enjoy as this is the smoothest trail in all of Rothrock.
Turn right onto Chestnut Spring
trail. Turn left on Coopers gap Rd and then a quick right onto Peep Trail
. Climb peep trail to Kettle road. Peep trail cuts out a large road climb, not a bad trail to climb. Once you start descending down Kettle road, keep an eye out for Sassafras Trail
on your left. Follow Sassafras to the intersection, then turn right onto Pig Pile Trail
At the next intersection, with Bigelow Trail
, stay straight on Pig Pile Trail
all the way to Barrville Rd
. Turn left and descend via Barrville Rd
to Flat Road Trail
. Keep and eye out as you'll be going fast and can blow right by Flat Road Trail
entrance. Flat Road Trail
is marked with a yellow gate and is probably the worst named trail in the forest as it is anything but flat. Follow this doubletrack to its end at the next gate. Flat Road Trail
is quite awesome.
Here there will be a cul-de-sac and the Sassafras XX
will be in the northeast part of the cul-de-sac. Northeast may seem like it's the left side of the cul-de-sac, but you're looking for a trail on your right, and I don't think there is a sign. Follow the Sassafras XX
and stay right as it joined from Sassafras Trail
. Continue on Sassafras XX
to Coopers Gap Rd
. I ended up coming out to a fire road and some kind of house before I found Coopers Gap Rd
. There are a few different ways to go here, and no signage, so I had to guess. Look for some downhill fire road that goes off to the left. The road is nearby.
Turn left on Coopers Gap Rd
and climb until you see Deer Tick
trail on your right. Once you are on Deer Tick
Trail, you'll come to a 4-way intersection. If you go the wrong way, you'll just end up back at that intersection. If you want the extra .2 miles, go straight. If not, make a sharp right. Climb Deer Tick
to the top and take a rest at the natural rock benches before continuing on to Beautiful Trail
. Follow Beautiful Trail
to Conklin Rd
Continue across the road and join Chicken Peter
trail. At the end of Chicken Peter
turn right and descend down Bear Gap Trail
. Turn right onto Lingle Valley Trail
and ride out past the camp to Conklin Rd
. Turn left onto Conklin Rd
and continue straight up a grassy doubletrack that will parallel a deer fence. The grassy doubletrack that youre looking for looks like its on someones private property, branching off of their driveway. Its on the left and its not far up Conklin Rd
at all. Once the deer fence bears right, make sure you stay left and climb Indian
trail. There is no sign for Indian Trail
. You want to look for an uphill trail that goes in a straight line off to the left about .4 miles from Conklin Rd
At the top of Indian Trail
you'll turn left onto Brush Ridge Trail
. Now you'll follow Brush Ridge Trail
all the way to Coopers Gap Rd
, continue directly across the road back onto Brush Ridge Trail
. When you pop out of Brush Ridge Trail
the shale pit will be a 100 yards to your right.
History & Background
The Coopers Gap trail system is maintained by the Friends Of Coopers Gap or FOCG's, lead by Rich Wertz. Over the last decade Rich Wertz has been the lead trail builder, and care taker for the trails in Coopers Gap. Rich truly has made this area one of the best areas to ride your mountain bike in PA. If you happen to run into Rich a 6 pack of Miller High Life is always appreciated.