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Rattling Creek - IMBA EPIC

Difficult

Trail

22.3 mile 35.8 kilometer loop
85% Singletrack
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,739' 530 m
Descent: -1,738' -530 m
High: 1,691' 515 m
Low: 922' 281 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 10% (6°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Flowy trails punctuated with rock gardens create classic East Coast riding.

Leslie Kehmeier

Electric Mountain Bikes Allowed

Features -none-

Overview

A sure sign of a good trail system is the debates that arise on what direction is best for trail flow. Rattling Creek is no different, as each trail is fun in both directions. Riding the system in a counter-clockwise direction will give you a chance to see the general order in which the trails were built. Riding in a clockwise direction will allow you to save the Rattling Creek and Doc Smith trails for last.

Need to Know

In addition to the parking area on Lykens and Powells Valley Road, there are additional access points throughout the trail system making it possible to ride different variations of the Rattling Creek Epic.

For post-ride refueling, check out Kevin's Diner. As of 7/2019, Kevin's Diner is closed. Instead, check out Stoney Creek Inn in Dauphin, PA on the way back to Harrisburg. Great outdoor deck.

Description

To start the Epic route on the Rattling Creek trails, park at the trailhead on Lykens Rd just off Powells Valley Rd. Ride back across Powells Valley Rd to access Stone Cabin and Rugged trails. Start with Stone Cabin to ride in a counter-clockwise direction. This short loop is a good introduction for what the riding is like throughout the trail system.

After the warm up ride back across the road, through the parking area and onto Hopback trail. From here the order of trails goes like this: Left on Lykens Rd, left on Fawn Kill, left on Shale Run. Towards the end of Shale Run there will be a fork; either direction works here but remember to turn left onto Grimm. From here: right on Luke's, straight on Rim as you cross over White Oak Road. Turn right onto Wolf Pond and you can enjoy a little break from the rocks along a section of trail that rolls well and has a more open corridor. Before you get to the road look for Matter on your left. After crossing Wolf Pond Road you ride another short section before jumping on the west end of Rock's Ridge.

If you're inclined to stop for a good view, take a detour to see the hang glider launch at the end of Wolf Pond Road. The views are spectacular to the west across the Pennsylvania countryside.

Rock's Ridge is the next technical part of the ride, one of the most fun. At the east end you'll have a quick left and right to continue the epic ride on the Matter ski trail. Make the connection to Dry Run via Preserve Line. Compared to the rest of the ride this section is non-descript but does provide another respite from the high frequency of rocks. Dry Run is a quick warm-up for the highlight of the route, Rattling Creek. This is the longest stretch of trail, and perhaps, the best. When riding the epic, it's mostly downhill. The fun doesn't stop at the end when you bear left on Doc Smith, an excellent ending to a classic East Coast long-distance ride.

History & Background

The trails are a labor of love of Keith Whitcomb, a life-long resident of the area. Beginning in 1999 with his friend Mike Mace, Keith began building a loop based on the lessons of sustainable trails that were just then being espoused by IMBA, but he aimed to keep the East Coast flavor of the terrain.

Biked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, Features

Contacts

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Check-Ins

May 14, 2020
Drew Artrip
17.6mi
Apr 19, 2020
Dan Skotek
Oct 29, 2019
James Moore
24mi — 5h 28m
Aug 24, 2019
cjd 115
Aug 8, 2019
Ben Launder
I've never seen so many rocks! This trail is not for the faint on heart or legs.
Jul 25, 2019
wil chung
Added little detour to hang glider lookout. 22.9mi — 4h 00m
Jun 23, 2019
Mark Temple
Great morning ride Love finishing with Rattlin Creek And Docs 12.9mi
Jun 21, 2019
Loren Silbaugh
Nice trail. Mainly did the main road to the fire road to the top of rattling creek. If anyone finds a yellow wahoo elemnt bolt I lost mine on the ride 10mi — 2h 00m

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 28 votes

#1

in Lykens

#518

Overall
  4.0 from 28 votes
5 Star
29%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
18%
2 Star
4%
1 Star
0%
Ride Rankings

#1

in Lykens

#9

in Pennsylvania

#518

Overall
483 Views Last Month
23,151 Since Aug 30, 2013
Difficult

0%
0%
7%
0%
93%
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Photos

Rattling Creek Trail
Feb 28, 2013 near Lykens, PA
Crossing the West Branch of Rattling Creek on the Rattling Creek Trail.
Jan 18, 2013 near Lykens, PA
The Doc Smith trail features beautiful sections of hardwoods and rock cliffs.
Jan 18, 2013 near Lykens, PA
Rocks! Rocks! Rocks! Rattling Creek has classic East Coast trail texture.
Feb 28, 2013 near Elizabe…, PA
Lichen, rocks and trees along Rugged Trail at Rattling Creek.
Feb 28, 2013 near Lykens, PA
Rocky flow is the name of the game at Rattling Creek.
Jan 18, 2013 near Lykens, PA

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