This route hits all the highlights of the Western end of Bald Eagle State Forest near RB Winter. Primarily trail and minimal climbing, the route is a good introduction to the area. There are ways to do shorter versions of this ride (or add other trails in), but they will require more road. The other big advantage of this ride is that you can start (as the route indicates) over 5 miles short of RB Winter State Park, making it closer to people coming from the West (and also starting and finishing in the State Forest proper means you can have post ride beverages with out breaking the rules).
Most of the trails are well marked, but there are a few places that the signs get confusing. DCNR has marked the the trails and roads of the Central Mountain Trail System in a unique way. The top name on the sign is the one you are on and the name underneath should indicate the next intersection. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case so the signs can be confusing.
Starting from Cabin Rd, head West on the red blazed trail. This is a section of Old Narrows Trail
that parallels 192 for a while. It will pop up to 192 at the edge of the forest and the route crosses 192. Look for signs for Schade Path, a snowmobile route that continues on to Tunis Road
Follow Schade Path around the yellow gate and look for a sign for Railroad Run Trail
on the Left. Initially, the trail meanders along the contour until it intersects an old road bed and then follows the the creek North. This section is often wet, so be prepared.
At the top of Railroad Run, take a Left on Tunis Rd for 100 yards until you reach Hough Trail
, which you'll take to the right. This is a gentle climb up to Hall Trail
and the Group Camping site off of RT 477. Hall Trail
starts out pretty flat but soon drops into a rocky bench cut downhill. At the end of the bench cut, follow the trail East as it looses elevation and becomes a pretty gentle woods trail for a couple of miles. After crossing a bridge and reaching Engle Rd, turn right and climb the road to Black Gap Trail
Black Gap Trail
starts off as a slightly rocky climb in a hemlock valley, then transitions to an extended rock garden that goes down hill slightly. There are three sections of Black Gap, often referred to as West, Middle and East. If its been wet at all, its best to skip the middle section and take a right on Jamboree Trail (on DCNR maps as Handicap Access trail) and follow that for over a mile until it heads down hill to a junction. You'll want to bear left and continue downhill to meet back up with Black Gap. You'll pass the middle section on your left and continue for another 250 yards until the Eastern section starts up on the right. This section has been rerouted at the top and contains some funny flowy bits until it joins up with the old trail bed and follows the creek bed again.
At the end of Black Gap, turn Left on Engle Rd for a quarter mile until you cross the power line and start to head back up hill. Look for White Deer Creek Trail
on the right. The trail rolls along the contour of the valley with little elevation to speak of. There are a few short sections of rock gardens to sharpen the skills on, but nothing too challenging or soul crushing. It's one of the favorite trails of the locals and usually in the best shape of all the trails. At the end of White Deer Creek, turn right and climb to the top of McCall Dam Rd. At the crest of the road, Overlook Trail
will be on the Left, but go past the trailhead and take a brake at the park overlook for one of the better views on the ride.
Overlook trail is rocky and technical and can be overgrown with stripe maple. It will lead you to a power line cut which you'll want to follow uphill to get to Rocky Corner trail. Take a right on Rocky Corner and turn left heading downhill for a while. After Rocky Corner passes back under the power lines, take a hard right and follow the trail into RB Winter State Park. When you hit the paved park road, turn left. There is water and bathrooms available if you need them here. Follow the pavement for 1/4 mile until it comes to 192. Immediately across the road is Litko Trail, a gravel path that will take you to Pine Creek Rd. Turn right on Pine Creek and head up hill to the first switchback. Fallen Timber Trail
starts at the Switchback and heads up hill at slight grade. Its mostly a doubletrack, but is pretty tough in spots. About a mile up, Yankee Run Trail
comes in on the right.
Yankee Run Trail
is a great old skid trail; steep at the top but turns into a fun rocky bench cut at the bottom. At the bottom, it will pop out on 192. Follow the guard rail to the next drive way and take a left. At the end of the guardrail, take a hard right onto Old Narrows Trail
. Old Narrows follows a 100 year old route that is never far from 192, but is still fun. It crosses several drive ways, so be sure to follow the red blazes back to your car.