For those of us who don't want to pedal the 1,500' climb, the shuttled "10-Mile Downhill" ride is a popular ride at our annual picnics. Although it is mostly downhill, this is not a beginner ride due to several technical sections and some fast downhills. It is mostly rideable by intermediates, but many of us still have trouble with some of the technical sections concentrated between the Pavia Overlook and reconnection to the Three Springs
Trail. But those are fun sections to play on and short to walk through, when necessary.
This ride requires multiple vehicles to form a pre- and post-ride shuttle with vehicles parked at Mowrey Hollow or the pool area at the bottom of the mountain and others at the ski lodge parking area atop Pennsylvania's second highest point.
Parking at the far end of the ski lodge after your first shuttle leg, the ride starts on the lower side of the road at a cable gate blocking the driveway to a small demolished building pad. This point is the interconnection between the State Park managed trails to the right and the Resort managed trails to the left. Before starting your full ride, take some time to ride left to the top of the ski lifts and enjoy the view.
Restrooms at Mowrey Hollow at bottom.
This starting point is not well-marked. The trail passes through on open grassy field, right of the building pad, and continues to the woods line where there is a small abrupt drop. The short section extending through the woods to Three Springs
Trail is rocky.
The route turns right on doubletrack. Don't gain too much speed that you miss the quick turn onto Lookout Loop
. Lookout is a gradual downhill singletrack with a few projecting rocks and close trees to be alert for. You pass through one four-way intersection before reaching the Pavia overlook. Take a moment to enjoy the view.
Leaving the overlook begins a flat to slightly uphill stretch before hitting the uphill rock garden. It's a short walk to the top if you don't make it. A garden of flat rocks at the top leads you to the "Y" intersection where you'll take the right for the Connector back to Three Springs
. This starts with a series of large boulders stepping down the hill and continues with clusters of smaller rock challenges before dropping abruptly onto the gravel surfaced Three Springs
is a steeper downhill doubletrack where you can pick up a lot of speed. Be alert for ruts and fallen branches. The trail makes a sharp right off the gravel road onto a flatter grassy doubletrack with impressive views of Queen on your left. Watch for another sharp right onto Mountain View Connector
Mountain View Connector
is a gradual downhill singletrack skirting the hillside. This trail is nicknamed "Clickety Clack" for the sounds that the rocks make as you ride and is mislabeled as Rock N Ridge on the official Park map. This is a fun boney trail that features some impressive rock work on the "Hat Rim" turn. This trail ends at a crossing of a paved entrance road to Group Camp #1. Be alert for traffic.
Crossing the road diagonally, the trail merges into the doubletrack Sawmill
Trail, which continues a slight downhill to Forest Road. The mapped/described route continues straight across Forest Road becoming Chappells Fields Trail in the counter-clockwise direction. Although not mapped, this location provides an opportunity to modify route choices. Turning left just before the road on Chappells Field Trail
(clockwise) will take you on a shorter route to intersect with Crist Ridge, described further below (Alt 1). Or you can turn right on Forest Road, following it uphill to pick up the more technical Lost Turkey Trail on the left, just beyond the Ski Access Road Y (Alt 2). Staying on the mapped route takes you on the gentle dirt surfaced doubletrack of Chappells Field Trail
down to the park campground. Just before entering the campground, take the singletrack Campground Bypass to the right.
The Campground Bypass starts as a short stub connecting over to the Lost Turkey Trail, where Alt 2 reconnects. It turns left with Lost Turkey until Lost Turkey splits off to the right. Don't make that turn. The Bypass continues to loop around the lower side of the campground curving to the left before reconnecting with Chappells Field. Take that to the right for a grassy doubletrack that drops out onto Forest Road. Cross Forest and continue on Chappells for 0.15 miles, watching Crist Ridge dropping to the right. This is where Alt 1 rejoins the route if you took the shortcut.
Following Crist Ridge, the next two miles are a fast and furious ride down the mountain with occasional rocks to be alert for. After one mile, you'll cross Forest Road then after the second mile cross it again.The first crossing is not visible much in advance, so be prepared to stop to avoid dropping out into traffic. The bottom of the trail offers several switchbacks, the first of which is steeply banked.
Go straight across the road to get on Rock N Ridge Trail. Stay left the first intersection and ride until you drop onto doubletrack. Make a sharp left and cross a bridge into Mowry Hollow, where your other vehicles are parked.