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The Yellow Creek Loop

 19 votes

18.6 Miles 29.9 Kilometers


90%

Singletrack

1,356' 413 m

Ascent

-1,355' -413 m

Descent

1,555' 474 m

High

1,274' 388 m

Low

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

All Clear

79 days agoUpdate

This singletrack heaven has a little bit of everything you love.

A.J. Kindya

Overview

The park is open to hunting, be respectful of other users. Riders will encounter hunting activities in the fall and also in spring turkey season. It is discouraged to ride during hunting seasons and wet periods. Laurel Run Trail and the eastern portion of Ridge Top Trail are closed to biking.
The Loop @ Yellow Creek State Park is over 90% singletrack and consists of nearly 21 miles of sustainable, well-groomed/well-marked trails encircling Yellow Creek Lake enjoyable by beginners and experts alike. This ride provides multiple out-and-back opportunities without having to commit to the entire loop.

There are over 25 miles of multi-use trails within the state park. The ride consists of the official park named trails consisting of Paul Trail, Ridge Top Trail, Simpson Trail, Damsite Trail, Black Hawk Trail, Stake Church Trail and Handlers Long Haul Trail.
Features: eMTB allowed
Dogs: Leashed

Need to Know

Your feet will get wet crossing the spillway below the dam unless you do an out-and-back ride. Both directions around the lake are rideable, with the clockwise direction being the preferred route.

Ride Time: 2.5-4.5 hours

Getting There:
Pittsburgh, PA: 1 hour
State College, PA : 1.25 hours
Raystown Lake, PA: 1.45 hours
Harrisburg, PA or Cleveland, OH: 2.75 hours
Baltimore, MD or Washington,D.C.: 3.25 hours
LOCATION: 11 miles east of Indiana, PA at the intersection of Route 422 & Route 259.

Trail Map:
A map of Yellow Creek State Park, including mountain bike & hiking trails can be found at the following link:
dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/…

Description

The singletrack winds through mostly forested areas and contains over 2000 of climbing. Known for its combination of flow, climbing and technical terrain, the essential definition of a classic ride, the trail system can be accessed at multiple locations throughout this Pennsylvania State Park.

The south shore Day Use Area is great for you to start your riding experience and provides plenty of parking, water, picnic areas, restrooms, and other family activities. While on the south shore, riders will enjoy fairly smooth and twisty singletrack. The north shore provides riders with more technical riding and typically the driest trails. In general, the western portion of the park will provide pleasure to those seeking climbing opportunities. Most of the trail segments can be ridden in either direction, with a clockwise direction of travel being a preferred method of travel while performing the entire loop.

Each trail segment is marked and coordinated with the park map, making navigation easy. This trail system would not have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of the Laurel Highlands On & Off Road Bicycling Association (LHORBA) (www.lhorba.org), Friends of Yellow Creek State Park (www.friendsofyellowcreek.org), RideYC (www.rideyc.com) and the Yellow Creek State Park (www.dcnr.state.pa.us). Ridge Top Trail, Damsite Trail and parts of Stake Church Trail are the original park trails prior to the official start of mountain bike trail building in 2004.

Other park activities include camping within and near the park, boating, boat rentals, canoe & kayak rentals, fishing, swimming, hunting, picnicking, orienteering and hiking. Please be respectful of other users. Riding is discouraged during hunting seasons and wet periods.

Combine this ride with other local IMBA Trail Solutions (Allegripis Trail) and IMBA Epics (Rattling Creek, Coopers Gap, Rothrock Ride) and multiple riding opportunities around Pittsburgh for a weeklong Epic riding experience in PA.

History & Background

Yellow Creek State Park, established in 1963, is a Pennsylvania State Park on 2,981 acres in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. Yellow Creek Lake (720-acre) was built in 1969 by an earth and rock dam on Yellow Creek and Little Yellow Creek streams. Some of the trails are named after local families whose properties were consumed to create the state park.

Contacts

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   Clear Rating

4.4 from 19 votes


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Check-Ins

Sep 4, 2017
Norb Kuta
good trail conditions and perfect weather 10mi
Jul 30, 2017
Eric Dittmer
some mud
Jul 16, 2017
Eric Dittmer
May 28, 2017
Norb Kuta
12mi — 1h 15m
Sep 21, 2016
Dylan Gruse
Aug 22, 2016
Roger Little
10h 10m
Aug 20, 2016
Norb Kuta
excellent conditions — 1h 30m
Jun 15, 2016
Roger Little
Rained in am. wet logs and rocks. — 9h 24m

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 19 votes

#344

Overall
  4.4 from 19 votes
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37%
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Rankings

#5

in Pennsylvania

#344

Overall
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8,298 Since Feb 26, 2015
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Conditions


All Clear 79 days ago
Mostly Dry
Update ConditionsHistory

Getting forecast...

Hard to beat YC, one of the best set of trails around....a must ride!!! Jun 15, 2015

 
Great place to ride, mostly buff single track with some rock gardens, rock and log features on the north side. Climbing it closer to 2500 ft for full loop. The crossing at the damn i suggest taking shoes and socks off and take your time it is a bit slick and depending on the water flow I would suggest hiking bike to keep hubs and bb out of water. I parked at the South Sore Day Use Area, from there it was a little hard to find the trail head and once the trail was found the rideyc tags where small and hard to spot at speed. Look forward to riding there again. Aug 30, 2015
I hit several miles of trails south and north of the lake. I was underwhelmed. Overgrowth, repetition. Some fun sections. If this was my home trail I would be happy it is close by, but considering Raystown Lakes and Rothrock are not too far away there isn't much need to drive here for a day trip. Jul 10, 2017

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