17.9 miles
Distance
2,687 ft
Climb
-2,695 ft
Descent
3,132 ft
High Point

Blue Knob State Park, https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/BlueKnobStatePark/Pages/default.aspx, has some of the most fun and longest descents that you can find in PA, taking you from the second highest point in the state at 3146 feet down to 1576 feet. However getting to the high point without doing a shuttle requires a long climb by PA standards. Since the rewards are fun rock gardens, fast flowy stretches of singletrack, and an 8 mile downhill it is well worth the effort to do the climb. Here is a ride that will take you on the best trails at the park. Your GPS or Strava may say 17.5 miles at the end but the your much more accurate cyclometer will tell you the true mileage of this ride which is 20 miles with 3000 feet of climbing:

Start your ride at the Mowry Hollow parking lot by the Pavia Run Pavilion. Go around the gate and make an immediate right on Rock N Ridge Trail and stay right at all intersections. This is a fun rolling section of trail with a view of the creek below. You will end up on Forest Road which you will cross over to start your climb on Crist Ridge Trail. Climb Crist Ridge for one mile and cross over Forest Road again to continue up Crist Ridge.

In one mile you will make a left on Chappell Fields Trail. Cross over Forest Road and continue on Chappell Fields. Before you get to the Family Campground watch carefully for a trail to your left that will bypass the campground and become the Lost Turkey Trail where you will stay straight. Just as you are leaving the campground make a right on a short connector trail that take you back to Chappell Fields Trail where you will turn left on this double track. Trail becomes Sawmill after crossing straight across Forest Rd.

When Sawmill crosses over the paved road Group Camp #1 road, bear left onto Mountain View Connector Trail. This trail is mislabeled as Rock N Ridge on the official Park map. This trail is nicknamed “Clickety Clack” for the sounds that the rocks make as you do this gradual climb. This is a fun boney trail that features some impressive rock work on the “Hat Rim” turn. Stay straight as you cross over Mountain View Trail and make a left on Three Springs Trail when Mountain View Connector ends. Three Springs is a grassy double track with impressive views of Queen on your right. After Three Springs makes a 90 degree left it becomes a gravel road. This will become a steep lung busting climb after passing Mountain View Trail. After the top of the climb the trail will level out.

Watch for a marked trail on your right that takes you to the trails at Blue Knob Resort. It is worth taking this trail to Overland Pass Road, make a left and turn right when you see the ski lifts. You are now at elevation 3146, the second highest point in PA (but only 67 feet less than the highest Mt. Davis). There is an awesome view here high on the Allegheny Front.

Retrace your way back to Three Springs Trail and make a right. Very soon you will see a sign on your left for the Pavia Lookout and turn here. After a short fast downhill make a left on the Connector Trail and do the short grunt climb. After this climb the trail is almost all rock but all rideable and nothing crazy. At a Y in the trail you will go right to get to the Lookout. (another good option is to go left and do an out and back to Three Springs Trail. This is a mostly rock downhill and then a real challenge to clean it coming back up). Go down another rock section which turns into fast flowy singletrack. Stop at the Lookout on your left and take in the view. You can see the tower on Skyline Drive which is 9 miles away via the Lost Turkey Trail.

Continue on Lookout Trail until making a left on Connector Trail and after a short loose downhill make a right on Mountain View Trail. At the top of Mountain View make a left on a dirt road which is the top of Three Springs then after a gate cross the paved road and look carefully for the Lost Turkey Connector Trail. Take this rolling single track to Tower Road and make a right. When you get close to the tower make a left to access the Lost Turkey Trail. Your long descent to the bottom of the mountain starts here.

After a left hand turn and some mellow rock drops STOP and take a look at the next section of trail. This is a long section of steep rock steps. It is a “one percenter” section because only that percentage of riders are going to feel comfortable riding these gnarly steps. Even if you have to walk this section these impressive steps are worth checking out. After a right hand turn those who did not ride the steps can get back on and enjoy the steep twisty decent to the road. Cross the road to continue your decent on the Lost Turkey making a left at a T intersection.

When you enter the Family Campground take the paved road through the campground to the exit onto Forest Road.
Go straight across the road and bear right through the field to the Chappell Fields Overlook. After taking in the view take a right on a short connector then a right on Chappell Fields Trail. On this fast downhill pass up Rock N Ridge Trail on your left and, after a right bend in the trail, watch for the left to get on Crist Ridge Trail. The next two miles are a fast and furious ride down the mountain. After one mile you will cross Forest Road then after the second mile cross it again.

Go straight across the road to get Rock N Ridge Trail. Stay left the first intersection and ride until you drop onto the trail where you started the ride at Mowry Hollow. You could end the ride here but it is well worth it to climb up Rock N Ridge to get to another downhill. To do this make a right on the double track. You will eventually get to a T. The left is “Rock N Ridge #2” and the right is Rock N Ridge #3. Both will take you to Group Camp #1. For this ride take the right on #3.

What starts out as mellow single track with a view of the creek will turn into a steep grunt climb that will eventually pass on old stone amphitheater on your right. When this dirt road makes a sharp left you will make a right on a grassy double track. At the next T make a right to start your next fun downhill on Rock N Ridge #4. This will start as a grassy double track and turn into a singletrack as it enters a rock garden (“The 30 mph Rockgarden”). After a short climb you will do a fast twisty downhill. Bear right at any intersection until you end up back at the Mowry Hollow parking lot.

Local Trail Association
Laurel Highlands On & Off Road Bicycling Association (www.lhorba.org)
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1 Review & Comments

  • + 1
sshapiro25 (Apr 26, 2021 at 4:16)
 Had some trouble locating the entrance to Lost Turkey but overall this route worked very well as far as navigation goes.
[Reply]

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Details

More Stats for LHORBA BKSP Advanced Ride mountain bike route
  • Altitude change
    -8 ft
  • Altitude min
    1,591 ft
  • Altitude start
    1,668 ft
  • Altitude end
    1,660 ft
  • Grade
    -0%
  • Grade max
    -52.2%
  • Grade min
    55.7%
  • Distance climb
    10 miles
  • Distance down
    7 miles
  • Distance flat
    1 mile
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Recent Trail Reports Along Route

statustraildateconditiondescription
Crist Ridge Trail
Apr 8, 2021 @ 8:33am
Apr 8, 2021
Rock-n-Ridge #3
Apr 8, 2021 @ 8:33am
Apr 8, 2021
Chappells Field - Campground Bypass
Jul 19, 2020 @ 4:04am
Jul 19, 2020
Rock-n-Ridge to Crist Ridge Connector
Jul 19, 2020 @ 4:04am
Jul 19, 2020
SkiAreaConnector
Jul 19, 2020 @ 4:04am
Jul 19, 2020
more reports »
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