12.7 miles
1,922 ft
-1,921 ft
2,411 ft
High Point

This is a technical loop the climbs Greenshoot, crosses Bald Knob before dropping Maguire and then climbing to the firetower and dropping New Laurel only to climb 1/2 back up to the fire tower to enjoy Old Laurel before crossing the infamous 3 bridges on your way back to the car.

You get to warm the legs up climbing Laurel Run Rd for ~1.5 miles then veering off on to the technical Green Shoot and its rock gardens and climb up to Bald Knob Ridge Trail. Work your way across Bald Knob Ridge Trail and its variety of rock gardens stopping at the overlook and the down to Maguire Trail. Maguire Trail is fast a flowy but watch there re a few surprise corners on your way down to Lower Trail, which you keep left on and follow out to Laurel Run Rd.
Climb Laurel Run Rd up and over the top taking the left just over the crest on to Little Flat Fire Tower Rd and climb this all the way up to the fire tower. Just as you reach the fire tower the entrance to New Laurel Run Trail will be on your right. Go in here and you have a short flat area before you start descending along the old telephone poles. At a point the trail will turn left and become a series of switch backs through the rock gardens down to Laurel Run Rd.

Make a right and climb back upto Little Flat Fire Tower rd, make a right and continue climbing as before only this time instead of going around the gate make a left on to Old Laurel Run Trail. Prepare for a rock garden bonanza on the fast downhill to the entrance to Three Bridges Trail. Make the right on to Three Bridges Trail and follow this to Lonberger Trail, making the hard left onto the Lonberger Path reroute and down the "yellow brick rd", cross over Laurel Run Rd and continue down Galbraith Gap Trail .

Detailed Description
Bald Knob & the Laurels Loop is a 13 mile popular expert route located near State College Pennsylvania. This mountain bike only route can be used one direction and has a moderate overall physical rating. This route includes 13 trails. This route climbs 1,922 ft with a max elevation of 2,411 ft then descends -1,921 ft.
Local Trail Association
Local trail association
Nittany Mountain Bike Association (nittanymba.org)
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11 Reviews & Comments

  • + 1
jekoslosky (Jul 31, 2022 at 8:36)
Fun, challenging trail and a great trail to work on skills in the rocks. Loop up Maguire, across Bald Knob, down Sand Spring for a shorter, fun but still challenging loop.
  • + 0
Ranger-X (Apr 24, 2022 at 14:23)
Loved this trail, very challenging.
  • + 0
coreydickman NMBA (Jan 24, 2021 at 7:57)
Consider alternate routes during thaw conditions in spring. This trail is heavily used by drains poorly in the flat spots.
  • + 1
yoimaninja (Nov 3, 2020 at 12:05)
One of my favorite trails in Rothrock. Steep, fast, and bumpy descent! Hope you have full suspension.
  • + 0
Bree33 (Aug 12, 2020 at 17:29)
Fun downhill. I prefer to climb up greenshoot and go down Maguire, crossing the bridge on bald knob. I guess the reverse of that loop is probably decent too.
  • + 0
Bree33 (Aug 12, 2020 at 17:27)
I've ridden trails all around the country and this is one of my favorites. If you like rock gardens, this is your trail. I typically turn at Maguire which means I skip the uphill madness on bald knob west that I don't find quite as fun as the section from greenshoot to Maguire. Maguire is an easy descent in comparison that is pure fun so when you get to that intersection, you're through the hard part. I loop this by going up greenshoot, across bald knob, down Maguire.
  • + 1
coreydickman NMBA (May 11, 2020 at 6:22)
Open again. This trail closes for a week or 2 during freeze-thaw condition. Some sections are flat and have poor drainage, but is heavily used by beginners and most users to return to Galbraith lot.
  • + 0
Jtb226 (Jun 12, 2019 at 7:20)
Start of the trail ha some rock gardens but totally rideable. Easily walkable for beginners. Pretty flowy otherwise. Switchbacks near the end are pretty tight. The “Yellow Brick Road” at the end is really fun but would be pretty intimidating for a beginner.
  • + 0
Jtb226 (May 23, 2019 at 14:19)
Agree with the other commenter. Really rocky and loose.
  • + 0
kpears (Apr 14, 2019 at 21:33)
Closed indefinitely as of April 2019
  • + 0
phrogfella (Sep 21, 2017 at 18:48)
Don't be deceived by the intermediate difficulty rating. The lower portion of the trail from Shingletown Gap to Bald Knob Ridge / Jaunt is "Most Difficult" with one section being a practically unrideable rock garden. One of the last trails in Rothrock to dry out after a rain and thaw out at the end of the winter, which keeps the rocks slick.


  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
  • Bike type
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
  • Ridelogs
More Stats for Bald Knob & the Laurels Loop mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    1,332 ft
  • Altitude start
    1,332 ft
  • Altitude end
    1,332 ft
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    7 miles
  • Distance down
    5 miles
  • Distance flat
    3,835 ft
Avg: 4.5 (2 votes)

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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
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  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
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Recent Trail Reports Along Route

Old Laurel Run Trail
Oct 1, 2022 @ 5:13am
Oct 1, 2022
Oddly loose.
Greenshoot Trail
Sep 6, 2022 @ 9:40am
Sep 6, 2022
Maguire Trail
Sep 3, 2022 @ 1:13pm
Sep 3, 2022
Removed down tree
Black Gum Trail
Aug 9, 2022 @ 1:19pm
Aug 9, 2022
Weed eat and prune
Lonberger Path
Aug 3, 2022 @ 8:04am
Aug 3, 2022
Finished all the work on Loneberger
more reports »
  • By Saclydesdale NMBA & contributors
  • #107 - 1,643 views
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