“Excellent entry-level riding in a beautiful area.”
— Adam Linstedt
The Roaring Run parking area, just off 711, provides quick trail access from the turnpike (I76). For hiking, there is the Roaring Run trail network, as well as the Laurel Highlands Trail. Unfortunately, these are off limits to bikes. In contrast, riding is allowed in the area just east, which is a valley formed by Jones Mill Run.
The ride described here makes its way to a point on the western ridge of the valley and then descends the western side to near the valley entrance. It then enters Laurel Hill State Park. After riding a couple of the park trails and crossing a third bridge over Jones Mill Run, the ride ascends back up the valley on the eastern side.
At the top, the ride accesses a loop of singletrack that returns to the starting point. You may notice a few unauthorized trails in this area. The ride is excellent for beginning and intermediate riders that are fit. The sections of singletrack are fun with roots and mud being the major obstacles.
Need to Know
If you approach this ride from the turnpike, the exit at Donegal is like a roadside auto/truck stop with plenty of places to pick up food and beverages for before and after. Sarnellis Market at the junction of 711 and 381 is a good choice. If you are at Seven Springs, the parking area marked at the Ridge Trail
trailhead is an excellent starting place for this ride. If you are staying at Hidden Valley, the ride can be accessed directly from the resort. Regarding hunting, check ahead and dress appropriately.
Route finding should be pretty easy as most of the junctions are marked, but running the MTB Project mobile app will be helpful.
Starting from the parking area, cross Fire Tower Rd. (that you drove in on) and begin riding the Lookout Trail
. After passing the Laurel Highlands trail (yellow blazes) take the next right onto Jones Mill Run Trail
Continue down and back up until Jones Mill Run Trail
dumps you out on a forest road at the top of the ridge. Continue as you pass Laurel Highlands trail and then turn left on Fire Tower Rd.
Shortly after, turn left onto Cherry Trail
. Descend the doubletrack to Jones Mill Road at the bottom.
Turn right on the road and take it towards the entrance to the valley looking for the marked Ridge Trail
trailhead (and parking area) on your left.
Take Ridge Trail
down past the cabins until it hits the park road. Turn left, cross the bridge over Jones Mill Run, and access the Pump House Trail
Take Pump House Trail
up a short steep climb to a left at the top onto Martz Trail
. This will take you quickly to a junction with a forest road. Simply cross the road to gain access to the Red Oak Trail
Take Red Oak Trail
up the valley side until it dumps you onto Jones Mill Road.
Ride up the road until Lookout trail and take a right, riding Lookout Trail
as it goes up near the Hidden Valley Resort. Now, stay to the right at most junctions to stay on the Lookout Trail
as it circles the top of the valley, crossing Jones Mill Run Road, and brings you back to the parking area.