Including some of the better trails in North Bald Eagle State Forest, this ride adds a small amount of fire road riding to hit them in the most fun direction. This ride includes a diverse array of terrain from flowy, loamy, hemlock forest trails, to chunky, technical rock gardens. This ride is a challenging ride for an intermediate rider based on the technical difficulty of some sections. The middle section of Black Gap Trail in particular is very rocky and difficult, and riders my opt to skip this section by taking the Disabled Sportsman's Access Road, a doubletrack which runs parallel to Black Gap Trail a few hundred feet higher up the mountain.
Need To Know
Railroad run has a turn that is not obvious after the descent. The descent will start to get a little rock and steeper, then it will smooth out again. Once it gets smooth again, start looking for two red blazes on a tree on the left side of the trail. the turn is immediately after the marked tree.
Be careful after you pass the first gate on Old Narrows trail, the trail cuts off of the doubletrack to the left and is extremely easy to miss. It's almost immediately after the gate. If you get to the bottom of the valley and start going back up without turning off, you missed the turn. Turn is marked with 2 red blazes on a tree right before the turn on the left side.
After a short fire road warm up, you'll dive into Railroad Run Trail for a fun, flowy descent, that leads into a technical singletrack climb to Shade Path. Shade path will take you down to and across route 192 to Old Narrows Trail which will run you out to Tunis road. After a very short fire road climb you'll see a cabin to your right and just beyond it is a sign for a campsite that also warn there is private land ahead. Head up to the campsite and ride to the top of the field at the camp site and turn left where a opening will lead to McCall Mountain Trail, which will take you back to where you parked.
Head down the road to Engle Road the way went when you started. Turn left on Engle Road and drop down to Black Gap Trail which will be on your left, marked by a sign facing the away from you. It will be right after the S-turn on Engle Road.
Black Gap Trail is a local favorite, with a technical climb to start, an extremely chunky and technical middle section and a fun little ripper of a descent at the end that spits you out on Black Gap Road.
Hang a left onto Black Gap Road and drop down to White Deer Creek Trail which will be on your left just after the bridge. White Deer Creek Trail is both flowy and rocky in sections, but also possesses some nice rock gardens and a neat stream crossing at the end. It will spit you out on McCall Dam road, go right on McCall Dam Road.
If you are looking to extend your ride a few miles there is an awesome vista overlooking the lake at R.B. Winter State park if you go past Black Gap Road all the way to the top. From the vista if you double back to the parking area at the crest of the hill you'll see a sign for Overlook Trail which is a fun rocky singletrack that goes up and over the ridge to the powerline and to Boiling Springs Trail. Boiling Springs Trail will take you back down to McCall Dam Road if you turn left on the doubletrack there and you can drop back down the road to Black Gap Road.
This will be a long road climb back up to Black Gap road on your right. Cruise a short distance down Black Gap Road till you see the shale pit on the left. turn left on the doubletrack just past the shale pit on the left. Take this to McCall Mountain Trail which will be on your left in the first clearing you come to. This trail will take you all the way back to your vehicle.
Local Trail AssociationBald Eagle Mountain Bike Association (www.baldeaglemtb.org)
Bike typeAM, XC
More Stats for Black Gap Figure 8 mountain bike route
Altitude min1,391 ft
Altitude start1,816 ft
Altitude end1,816 ft
Distance climb11 miles
Distance down9 miles
Distance flat3,142 ft