Most of this loop is on doubletrack gravity rail trail that was used by travelers to access the grand hotels here during the 1900's. The views and mineral springs that surround Neversink Mountain are the reasons why it was a well known tourist destination. Check out the links in the "History & Background" for more info.
The singletrack is covered with loamy dirt and even has few technical rock sections. It's a real treat for the intermediate to advanced rider and a great place to build fitness. This featured ride does contain a fair amount of climbing.
Neversink Mountain drains well and after wet weather is one of the first places the locals will ride.
The first long climb on Neversink North Trail
takes you to the Witches Hat. It's a fine place to catch your breath and/or snap a picture. The south side vista overlooking the Schuylkill River is also well worth the effort to get there.
There are more trails and old hotel remnants around the mountain. I believe this loop is the easiest to navigate and has a nice blend of beginner riding with a touch of intermediate descents and singletrack. It's the perfect post work & pre-dinner ride!
Canal Street Pub has one of the best beer selections in the area.
Starting at Canal Street Pub, head out toward the back and take note that the same building houses Bill Khakis and the teafactory.
Bills Khakis: billskhakis.com/
A short ride through city streets will take you up onto 9th street. While climbing 9th Street, just before the gate to enter onto the Neversink Trail system, have a look to the right for a nice view of the Schuylkill river. Also, look for the large red brick buildings. That will be Alvernia University's campus.
From Canal Street it's three miles to the Witches Hat. Most riders will need somewhere around 20 minutes to get up there. When the leaves are down you can get some great views of the city, including the famed Pagoda, while on the Neversink North Trail
Berks Conservancy has put up several informational boards and around the mountain. They are worth the read. *Note - when riding this loop the very first information board is missing its info. The rest are intact.
Keep your speed in check on the rail bed downhills. The rocks are sharp and have a unique way of feeling more loose the faster you go.
All the bridges are rideable but require a steady and skilled hand to get the bars in and out without catching an end.
This ride starts and finishes in the city. The Canal Street Pub parking lot is pretty safe and well lit but use common sense: hide your valuables, lock your car, and lock your bike if you go into the restaurant. Canal Street Pub is very rider friendly. If they are not busy they'll let you bring your (non-muddy) bike inside. We usually park them in the game (pool table, darts, and board game) area.
As with any ride: be friendly, share the trail and pack out what you pack in.