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Find the top rated atv trails in Back Mountain, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
We parked at the Forest City Trailhead and rode 10 miles to the North. There is a nice parking lot in Forest City.
The 5 miles from Forest City to Uniondale is recently maintained with fine cinders. The next 5 miles was coarser gravel, so a little more difficult, but still well maintained. The grade was pretty gradual, so even though it was uphill, it was quite do-able. On the way back, the same gradual grade meant there wasn't much coasting, but it was a little easier.
The trail crosses a few roads, but cyclist never need to ride on the road.
To discourage ATVs, there are gates periodically. Bikes can get around the gates, but ATVs can't.
I hope to explore other sections of this trail in the coming months. I will definitely come back.
This was primarily a recon mission planning for a longer ride. The trail does not disappoint, with lovely views and a lot of interesting wooden bridges (they break up trail monotony), locks, spillways and a farm market.
I initially was going to park one access north from the park. However, there is a sewage processing plant there. Need I say more? I doubled back and parked at Wy Hit Tuk.
A couple of notes about Wy Hit Tuk: You have to enter the trail by crossing a small, wooden bridge. I had forgotten about this by the time I got back and blew right by it. The landmark of I-78 crossing overhead --- which I had NOT passed under on the way in --- tipped me off that I had overshot. Also, the gates to this park are closed at sunset. Your car will be locked in, or so the sign says. So if you are heading back, set your watch. I don't know if they go by astronomical sunset or just when it gets dark. Either way, play it safe.
I'll be back to do a lot more on this trail.
This is not a trail that is friendly to cycling. It is mostly an ATV trail. However, since the southern end runs so close to the D&H trail, you might want to give this a try. I was cycling the D&H and found the places where there were crossovers between the two trails. Inspecting the O&W, I found its roadbed to be vastly inferior compared to the (apparently recently upgraded) D&H. Since the O&W always stays east of the Lackawanna River, I figured it would have a bit of a different feel to the D&H- and it does. I would recommend doing what I did- unless you really want the exercise. I covered the O&W DOWN-hill from Forest City to Uniondale and covered the D&H 3 times (once down, twice up). The O&W is pleasant going downhill, but it was clear that the slippery cinder base would be a challenge going in the other direction.
I had started looking at the comments here a couple years ago. I decided to hold off until now to make the journey and risk finding a possibly very crummy trail. Since no one has commented in a while, here is an update. The southern end of the trail is open and in good shape up until a couple miles north of Uniondale. This portion is fine stone and (other than the constant incline), should make for good cycling for everyone. Heading north, you then start to encounter larger gravel that makes for a more challenging ride. The highest point is Ararat. There is a lot of work being done north of the highway crossing there. I saw a number of pieces of heavy equipment. Continuing north (going downhill now), much of the trail is slippery cinders. I continued till just west of Thompson before turning around. While I had been looking forward to the downhill return, the roughness of the trail means you can’t coast downhill- you just keep pedaling (again, until a couple miles or so north of Union Dale). Once you get to that point, you can then coast on back to your parking area.
Note that O&W and D&H trails run so close together at the southern end, that there are occasional crossovers. When inspecting the O&W trail, I saw that it was vastly inferior in roadbed quality. However, being the explorer that I am, I decided to cover the O&W to see just how different it might be (it stays entirely on the eastern side of the river, while the D&H crosses the river in multiple locations). Knowing that the D&H was not far away, I banked on the fact that I would not be required to ride UP-hill if I didn’t want to. So, indeed, I only went DOWN-hill on the O&W, covering the D&H 3 times (down once and up twice). I did this for the distance from Forest City until Carbondale. It is clear that the farther north you get on the O&W, the more it is simply an ATV trail and not at all comfortable for cycling.
I had looked at the map and decided another day’s journey might begin at the parking area shown on the map in Thompson. At that location is an old depot converted into an ice cream shop. But in that parking lot were large mounds of material and some heavy equipment. As it is clear they are continuing (sorely needed) work on the trail, I will be waiting a year or two to pick up my journey at the northern end of this trail. It is a very scenic trail and I enjoyed myself. It is good to know that the future looks promising for comfortable riding along the Lackawanna River.
My wife and I rode the Switchback this past weekend for the first time, and it was her first time off-road on a bike. The only part she had difficulty with was the last stretch of the downhill rock garden. This was a very fun ride, and I don’t recommend riding the whole 18 miles unless you’re in a mountain bike.
Since I recently moved to within walking distance of a trailhead, I’ve been on the D&L at least twice a week. To mix it up, I have started my routes at different points. Should I ever return to marathon training, I’ll probably run a point-to-point and have a friend drive me home. I can’t wait to see the trail in fall, along with the foliage all around me. It is a well-kept PA treasure.
First, I appreciate this trail being there.
A lot of the trail is right next to route 11, so if you are looking to "get away from things" this may not do it for ya. The part by the route 239 bridge is overgrown - not maintained at all - so we had to ride on the road through a traffic light and find our way through the town to get back on the trail.
The trail was mowed and week killer of a sort was put down which made the trail at least 8 feet wide. Wide is good.
We started at Riverlands Park and went 5.5 miles before turning around. It just got a bit too bumpy for our party.
I would recommend this to those who like to ride distance, do not mind riding over some bumps, rocks, and grass, and do not mind circumnavigating some inconveniences - like riding on the highway and some land slides by Shickshinny (3 of them).
Other than that we enjoyed it.
Pedestrian bridge complete south of Jim Thorpe! Rode approx 28 miles round trip from Slatington to Jim Thorpe and back. Trail head at Slatington had bathrooms, picnic tables, and food truck. The ride was mostly on trail with small sections on roads-not much traffic at all (note we were there on an overcast Tuesday-not sure what a sunny weekend would be like). With the Pedestrian Bridge we were able to go into Jim Thorpe for lunch with no problem! Flat trip although we thought perhaps slight grade going south to north. Scenic ride with river on one side and canal on other. Worth the 2 hour drive.
Biked from North to South, White Haven to Jim Thorpe, July 2019. Trail is gradually downhill. But you still have to pedal. You will see some old locks along the trail. There really isn't much else to see. The Lehigh River would be on your left and it's over the hillside and through the trees so if you are looking for a riverview the entire trip, it's not going to happen over the Summer. Buttermilk Falls is near the Rockport access. You pass through Glen Onoko just before Jim Thorpe. In Jim Thorpe there are various places to eat and interesting history to see. Spend time in Jim Thorpe if you get a chance.
With more gaps being closed every year, the 40-year goal of constructing a continuous, multi-use trail that will run the length of the Schuylkill River from the coal country of the Poconos southeast to the marshes of South Philly is close to being a reality.
As of mid-2019, over 71 miles of trail have been built, enough to classify the system as the unified Schuylkill River Trail, as opposed to a series of stand-alone greenways regarded as separate projects.
Rather than rehash the description above, I'll just note that, like other long-distance greenways, the Schuylkill River Trail has a lot to offer for hikers, cyclists, parents pushing young kids in strollers and roller and inline skating on the paved sections. Most of the trail follows old rail corridors or canal towpaths, ensuring a level trip with few slopes, as well as numerous reminders of the river's history as a major transportation route, a roll that can still be seen today by its close proximity to major highways like Routes 61, 422 and I-76 and active rail lines that freight trains often rumble along. Although most of the mills and other factories that used the coal and lumber shipped down the river for raw materials and sent finished product to the port of Philadelphia are now gone, their legacy also lives on whether as ruined hulks, historical markers or as repurposed apartment houses or office buildings. Some of the many historical sites on or near the trail include the vintage car museum and Yuengling brewery in Pottsville, an old canal tunnel turned rock cut south of Landingville, the railroad museum in Hamburg, Daniel Boone's birthplace near Douglassville, Morlatton Village, a Swedish village that was one of the firstthe Phoenix Iron Works museum in the old foundry in Phoenixville, a restored segment of canal in Mont Clare, Valley Forge National Historical Park, an old movie studio just east of Valley Forge, the Philadelphia Art Museum and Bartram's Garden, the oldest botanical gardens in the US, along with many others.
As one would also expect, the trail passes through a wide array of landscapes on its route. From the lush, remote forests of Schuylkill County, to the rural farmlands of Berks County, to the more suburban Montgomery and Chester counties and finally heavily urban Philadelphia, as well as smaller cities Reading and Pottstown and numerous towns along the route, the trail offers users a microcosm of Pennsylvania.
The trail is paved with crushed stone on most of its rural and remote segments from its northwest terminus outside Pottsville to the eastern end of a restored canal near Oaks, and asphalt in Reading, Pottstown and on most of the stretch from Oaks to its current southeast end at Bartram's Garden in South Philly. No review of the trail would be complete without mentioning the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk segment, which extends over the river itself in Center City Philadelphia.
Although most of its surface is smooth and user-friendly, some of the shorter segments, including the one that parallels Route 61 just south of Pottsville and a little-used one near Felix Dam Park in the north Reading suburbs, are in need of improvement. The westernmost segment of the Thun segment of the trail from Route 183 to Reading Community College, although paved with asphalt, also needs repaired and better overall maintenance. The subpar status of these sections of trail. along with vandalism in parts of Reading and the fact that some of the remaining gaps in the trail are not easily detoured, prevents me from giving the trail a 4 or 5 star rating.
Fortunately, efforts continue to close these gaps and it looks like the trail may be completed in the next decade or so. Plans are currently under way to complete the long-stalled restoration of an old RR trestle south of Auburn in the next year or two, a pedestrian bridge over a steep gap over Route 724 east of Monocacy is currently in the planning stage, a trail bridge spanning the Schuylkill River next to the new Route 422 bridge east of Pottsville has been completed in anticipation of constructing the "missing link" between Pottstown and Parker Ford in 2020 and work is currently under way on the repurposing of an old RR swinging bridge over the river in South Philadelphia, which will connect the Greys Ferry Crescent and Bartram's Mile sections to one another.
In addition to bringing the Schuylkill River's status as a transportation corridor into the 21st century by connecting numerous towns and cities, the trail has also helped revitalize the economy of a region that was hard hit by the decline of steel, coal mining and other heavy industries in the last few decades. With connections to the East Coast Greenway and future Schuylkill-Susquehanna Passage and 9/11 trails, it has the potential to be an eastern PA counterpart to the Great Allegheny Passage.
I biked this trail eastward from RT54 to its eastern terminus at RT42 on 6/22/2019. This is NOT a flat trail as both Google and some other reviews describe. It is a roller coaster of a trail. There are places that I slowed down to 8MPH ascending the hills and then hit over 22MPH descending the hills. At approximately mile 4.1, I encountered the western edge of the McWilliams Reservoir and paralleled this for a while to its eastern edge. Near the eastern end of the trail, I encountered Kline's Reservoir. Absolutely gorgeous! If you are one that likes to have an easier return trip versus the outbound ride, then I suggest you start from RT54; the western end. I averaged 12.19 MPH on the outbound trip and averaged 12.87 MPH overall; i.e. I moved a lot faster on my eastbound return trip. The surface of the trail is NOT your typical crushed limestone but rather a very hard pressed stone & dirt trail. There were times that one was biking right next to the edge of the reservoirs. Worth the trip. If you don't have the time to do the entire trail but want to catch the awesome vistas, I suggest that you start at the eastern end @RT42 and travel westward about 3.69 miles to the western bank of the McWilliams Reservoir.
I loved this trail, but have had too many run-ins with the bear, at least 2 every few days. I make noise and do what they say to stay safe but they still follow us,I no longer feel safe and will be finding a new place to walk my dog.I hope there is something they can do, maybe relocate them
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