This covers all the greatness found in Coopers Gap and is an IMBA epic ride
Be very careful during hunting season, this area gets hunted very heavily in the Spring and Fall for turkey, along with Archery season starting in October - please be considerate of hunters.
Hunting is prohibited on Sundays in PA, so do that, if you can.
The Coopers gap trails of Rothrock provide the best singletrack experience to be had in Pennsylvania. The trails just flow non-stop, allowing you to string together endless possibilities of all day singletrack riding. You'll find the trails on the Coopers gap area to be less rocky than the trails on the TrailMix side of the forest.
One of the great aspects of this course is the lack of road miles. There is so much singletrack and it’s all rideable! The climbing is challenging, but could be worse. For a skilled intermediate rider, it was perfect.
Need To Know
Great camping can be found at Greenwood Furnace State Park, Penn Roosevelt State Park, and Whipple Dam State park.
The trails are marked pretty well with signs and continue to get better. www.nittanymba.org
2/4/15 - Made some edits to the directions.
The ride starts at the Shale pit along Coopers gap road. From the shale pit you ride up the road for a little over a mile before you make a hard left onto Dutch Alvin tr, keep an eye out for the sign. Follow Dutch Alvin for 2.2 miles, relax and enjoy as this is the smoothest trail in all of Rothrock.
Turn right onto Chestnut Spring trail. Turn left on Coopers gap Rd and then a quick right onto Peep Trail. Climb peep trail to Kettle road. Peep trail cuts out a large road climb, not a bad trail to climb. Once you start descending down Kettle road, keep an eye out for Sassafras Trail on your left. Follow Sassafras to the intersection, then turn right onto Sassy Pig Trail.
At the next intersection stay straight onto Pigpile trail all the way to Barrville road. Turn left and descend via Barrville road to Flat road trail. Keep and eye out as you'll be going fast and can blow right by Flat road Trail. Flat Road is marked with a yellow gate and is probably the worst named trail in the forest as it is anything but flat. Follow this doubletrack to its end at the next gate. Flat Road Trail is quite awesome.
Here there will be a cul-de-sac and the Sassafras Spur will be in the northeast part of the cul-de-sac. Northeast may seem like it's the left side of the cul-de-sac, but you're looking for a trail on your right, and I don't think there is a sign. Follow the Spur and stay right as it joins Sass-XX. Continue on Sass-XX to Coopers gap road. I ended up coming out to a fire road and some kind of house before I found Coopers Gap Rd. There are a few different ways to go here, and no signage, so I had to guess. Look for some downhill fire road that goes off to the left. The road is nearby.
Turn left on Coopers Gap road and climb until you see Deer Tick trail on your right. Once you are on Deer Tick Trail, you'll come to a 4-way intersection. If you go the wrong way, you'll just end up back at that intersection. If you want the extra .2 miles, go straight. If not, make a sharp right. Climb Deer Tick to the top and take a rest at the natural rock benches before continuing on to Beautiful Trail. Follow Beautiful trail to Conklin road.
Continue across the road and join Chicken Peter trail. At the end of Chicken Peter turn right and descend down Bear Gap Trail. Turn right onto Lingle Valley Trail and ride out past the camp to Conklin road. Turn left onto Conklin road and continue straight up a grassy doubletrack that will parallel a deer fence. The grassy doubletrack that you’re looking for looks like it’s on someone’s private property, branching off of their driveway. It’s on the left and it’s not far up Conklin Rd at all. Once the deer fence bears right, make sure you stay left and climb Indian trail. There is no sign for Indian Trail. You want to look for an uphill trail that goes in a straight line off to the left about .4 miles from Conklin Rd..
At the top of Indian Trail you'll turn left onto Brush Ridge trail. Now you'll follow Brush Ridge all the way to Coopers Gap road, continue directly across the road back onto Brush Ridge. When you pop out of Brush ridge trail the shale pit will be a 100 yards to your right.
History & Background
The Coopers Gap trail system is maintained by the Friends Of Coopers Gap or FOCG's, lead by Rich Wertz. Over the last decade Rich Wertz has been the lead trail builder, and care taker for the trails in Coopers Gap. Rich truly has made this area one of the best areas to ride your mountain bike in PA. If you happen to run into Rich a 6 pack of Miller High Life is always appreciated.
Local Trail AssociationNittany Mountain Bike Association (nittanymba.org)
Trails in Route
Difficulty ratingBlack Diamond
More Stats for IMBA Coopers Gap Epic mountain bike route
Altitude min1,144 ft
Altitude start1,153 ft
Altitude end1,155 ft
Distance climb11.7 miles
Distance down13.8 miles
Distance flat4,644 ft