This ride highlights the easiest trails of the network linked to provide a tour of the entire ridge. While the route can be followed as a continuous ride as presented, it can also be broken up into three separate loops accessed from the numerous parking areas along Laurel Summit Road. Beginners should ride the northern loops first before extending the ride to, or using the alternate starting points for, the middle and southern loops as they feel comfortable. The middle and southern loops can be accessed from parking at Locust Camp Road
, Rector-Eddie Road
or Laurel Summit State Park.
The overall length is 13.9 miles, but the shortest alternative is just 2.9 miles with the longer northern loop being 5.9 miles. The middle and southern loops add 3.2 and 8.0 miles respectively, and can be done separately as independent 3.2 mile and 5.4 mile loops.
Most of the trails are non-technical but some short rockier sections are unavoidable. The photo shown is not on the trails of this ride. These sections are located south of Locust Camp Road
and are noted in the description below.
The land manager recommends the following trails for winter fat biking (and snowshoeing) to avoid conflicts with cross country skiers - Grove Run Trail
, Fish Run Trail
and Hobblebush Trail
of the Laurel system and Additionally, Rocky Gap
, Outcrop Trail
and Rector-Eddie Road
of Laurel are recommended if accessed without disturbing the xc ski tracks on the trails used to access these locations. Alternatively, DCNR suggests use of the Mountain Streams, Mount Davis, or Quebec Run trail systems, which present a lower potential for user conflicts.
This ride starts from the warming hut along gravel section of Laurel Summit Road just beyond the Main parking area. The first 2.1 miles follow wide, smooth single or doubletrack Loop Trail
, Lippos Loop, Towhee
, and Bill Alberts central trails that are groomed for xc skiing in winter. The biggest hill is a short climb on doubletrack at about 0.5 mile. When you reach the reach the Loop/Alberts intersection again, you can turn right to retrace a 0.8 mile portion of Loop Trail
to complete the shortest option.
Continuing across Loop Trail
instead to follow Bill Alberts, West takes you on a gradual rockier downhill to Locust Trail
and Locust Camp Road
. The rockiest areas have been smoothed out from years past for grooming as xc ski trails. Locust Camp Road
provides a more gradual but steady climb to the intersection with Silvermine Dirt Road
. You can stay with the next shortest northern loop by jumping to * below (but left instead of right) for the 5.9 mile ride.
Staying with the overall ride, you would turn right onto the doubletrack Silvermine Dirt Road
, which turns into Silvermine singletrack bearing left at the gas well field. Short walkable rock gardens and boulder areas will allow you to experience increased challenges. The overall ride turns right onto Rector-Eddie Road
and through the gate, but if you are just doing the middle loop you would want to turn left instead and then left again onto Black Bear.
The open section of Rector-Eddie Road
ends at Bobcat Trail
, which leads to Wolf Rocks Trail
. The last section of Wolf remains very rocky for a beginner so you may want to leave your bikes out of the way at the end of Bobcat and walk to the overlook. Watch out for snakes on hot days.
Retrace your tracks on Bobcat and the first portion of Rector-Eddie Road
to a short interconnector back to Wolf Rocks Trail
. This section of Wolf Rocks Trail
to the Spruce Flats intersection is smoother with some rock, but no more difficult than Silvermine Singletrack
. You'll continue past Spruce Flats to the Laurel Summit State Park parking area.
Turn left by the restrooms and ride out the Bog Trail
to the overlook of the unique vegetation in this area. This would be the entry point if you are just doing the southern loop. This trail experiences heavy foot traffic, so be prepared to yield. Then double-back and turn left onto the Picnic Area Trail
Turn left onto the doubletrack Rector-Eddie Road
. This road segment is technically open to vehicular traffic, but traffic is infrequent.
Turn right onto Black Bear, South
. If you are doing just the middle loop, you'll be approaching this intersection from the opposite direction. This is relatively smooth, level singletrack. Bear right at the end to dump you out on Laurel Summit Road to avoid the extensive rocks on Black Bear North.
To avoid those rock ride Laurel Summit Road to the left to Locust Camp Road
. This road is gravel and open to traffic that kicks up a lot of dust.
Locust Camp Road
will take you to the intersection with Silvermine. (*) Turn right and quickly bear left onto Towhee
. This section includes a short steeper hill but is otherwise fairly level.
Turning left onto the Lippos Loop and a quick second left will take you around the opposite side of the loop than you already did. Taking the next left to exit Lippos will put you back on just plain Loop Trail
to retrace your route back to the warming hut.