This ride highlights the easiest trails of the network linked to provide a tour of the entire ridge. While the route can be followed as a continuous ride as presented, it can also be broken up into three separate loops accessed from the numerous parking areas along Laurel Summit Road. Beginners should ride the northern loops first before extending the ride to, or using the alternate starting points for, the middle and southern loops as they feel comfortable. The middle and southern loops can be accessed from parking at Locust Camp Road, Rector-Eddie Road or Laurel Summit State Park.
The overall length is 13.9 miles, but the shortest alternative is just 2.9 miles with the longer northern loop being 5.9 miles. The middle and southern loops add 3.2 and 8.0 miles respectively, and can be done separately as independent 3.2 mile and 5.4 mile loops.
This ride starts from the warming hut along gravel section of Laurel Summit Road just beyond the Main parking area. The first 2.1 miles follow wide, smooth single or doubletrack Loop Trail, Lippos Loop, Towhee, and Bill Alberts central trails that are groomed for xc skiing in winter. The biggest hill is a short climb on doubletrack at about 0.5 mile. When you reach the reach the Loop/Alberts intersection again, you can turn right to retrace a 0.8 mile portion of Loop Trail to complete the shortest option.
Continuing across Loop Trail instead to follow Bill Alberts, West takes you on a gradual rockier downhill to Locust Trail and Locust Camp Road. The rockiest areas have been smoothed out from years past for grooming as xc ski trails. Locust Camp Road provides a more gradual but steady climb to the intersection with Silvermine Dirt Road. You can stay with the next shortest northern loop by jumping to * below (but left instead of right) for the 5.9 mile ride.
Staying with the overall ride, you would turn right onto the doubletrack Silvermine Dirt Road, which turns into Silvermine singletrack bearing left at the gas well field. Short walkable rock gardens and boulder areas will allow you to experience increased challenges. The overall ride turns right onto Rector-Eddie Road and through the gate, but if you are just doing the middle loop you would want to turn left instead and then left again onto Black Bear.
The open section of Rector-Eddie Road ends at Bobcat Trail, which leads to Wolf Rocks Trail. The last section of Wolf remains very rocky for a beginner so you may want to leave your bikes out of the way at the end of Bobcat and walk to the overlook. Watch out for snakes on hot days.
Retrace your tracks on Bobcat and the first portion of Rector-Eddie Road to a short interconnector back to Wolf Rocks Trail. This section of Wolf Rocks Trail to the Spruce Flats intersection is smoother with some rock, but no more difficult than Silvermine Singletrack. You'll continue past Spruce Flats to the Laurel Summit State Park parking area.
Turn left by the restrooms and ride out the Bog Trail to the overlook of the unique vegetation in this area. This would be the entry point if you are just doing the southern loop. This trail experiences heavy foot traffic, so be prepared to yield. Then double-back and turn left onto the Picnic Area Trail.
Turn left onto the doubletrack Rector-Eddie Road. This road segment is technically open to vehicular traffic, but traffic is infrequent.
Turn right onto Black Bear, South. If you are doing just the middle loop, you'll be approaching this intersection from the opposite direction. This is relatively smooth, level singletrack. Bear right at the end to dump you out on Laurel Summit Road to avoid the extensive rocks on Black Bear North.
To avoid those rock ride Laurel Summit Road to the left to Locust Camp Road. This road is gravel and open to traffic that kicks up a lot of dust.
Locust Camp Road will take you to the intersection with Silvermine. (*) Turn right and quickly bear left onto Towhee. This section includes a short steeper hill but is otherwise fairly level.
Turning left onto the Lippos Loop and a quick second left will take you around the opposite side of the loop than you already did. Taking the next left to exit Lippos will put you back on just plain Loop Trail to retrace your route back to the warming hut.
Local Trail AssociationLaurel Highlands On & Off Road Bicycling Association (www.lhorba.org)
Trails in Route
More Stats for LHORBA Intro to Laurel mountain bike route
Altitude change1 ft
Altitude min2,584 ft
Altitude start2,696 ft
Altitude end2,697 ft
Distance climb7 miles
Distance down6 miles
Distance flat2 miles
- Snow Groomed
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- Snow Covered
- Freeze/thaw Cycle
- Prevalent Mud
- Very Dry
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Recent Trail Reports Along Route
Jul 28, 2019 @ 1:44pmJul 28, 2019
Sep 24, 2018 @ 7:38amSep 24, 2018
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