If you're looking for a little adventure or a bit of solitude in the Allegrippis Trail System, the Raystown South Loop is probably for you. Located on the south side of Seven Points Road, the route, pedaled in a counter-clockwise direction, has big climbs and descents, dense forest and a backcountry feel.
The Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake are mountain bike optimized trails. Expect trails that contour and roll with bermed turns and lots of flow. In other words...expect a lot of fun!
Raystown Lake is very developed for recreation and has camping, picnic and boating facilities. There are a few places to get general provisions, but for the most part, gas, food and lodging are found in the nearby town of Huntingdon.
The Raystown South Loop starts at the trailhead Seven Points Rd on Dark Hollow
. The route starts out mellow and rolling, contouring along a shallow hillside just below the road. At the intersection with the Visitor's Center trail, stay right. Be prepared for a BIG bermed turn and a screaming descent into the creek.
The trail crosses a bridge and then steadily climbs and contours around to an intersection with Shade
and Barrel Bay
. Stay right for the outbound leg of the ride.
starts out with a brief climb and then continues rolling through moderately dense forest with pockets of open areas. The end of this trail pops out onto a road - take a quick left and then quick right to get to the intersection with Allegheny
is at the far southern end of the Raystown South Loop. It has a real backcountry feel with climbs and descents throughout thick forest. You'll feel like you're in a jungle at times as the lush vegetation closes in around you.
From the intersection with Dirt Surfer
stay right. To start, Allegheny
has a steep-ish but short climb before a fast and enjoyable descent to a road crossing. From there the downhill continues as it contours around steep hillsides. If you take a moment to check out the hillside below, you might notice how high up you are. At some points you'll feel like you're riding through the tree canopy.
There's one punchy climb and short descent before reaching the far end of the trail where it meets a junction with Dirt Surfer
and Barrel Bay
. Stay right to continue the ride on Barrel Bay
is the final long run of singletrack and is the inbound leg on the Raystown South Loop. It connects back to Dark Hollow
Keep your eyes peeled about 0.6 miles into the route - great views are available to your right as you pass through a break in the forest.
Similar to Allegheny
, Barrel Bay
has tight singletrack through the forest. The vegetation isn't quite as lush but the trail is just as fun. It starts with a quick descent followed by a short, steep climb. From there it's a more than enjoyable cruise back towards Dark Hollow
where you'll retrace the route back to the trailhead on Seven Points Rd.
The Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake are the culmination of a partnership between IMBA and the Army Corps of Engineers that began in 2002. The trails themselves were one of the first wholly new, machine built trail systems on the East Coast and have been a smashing success. As of now, there are about 33 miles of trails to enjoy but there is talk of more to come.