As the home of the 2014 and 2013 Mountain Bike National Championships these trails are truly top notch. They may be a bit far from downtown Philadelphia, but with a resume that includes hosting races at the National level they are worth checking out. These are the perfect example of rocky east coast riding with technical descents and technical climbs. When locals talk about the riding at Bear Creek the consensus is that if you can ride Bear Creek you can ride anywhere.
What Makes It Great
Bear Creek offers the raw mountain biking that everyone loves with modern first class facilities. The Lodge at Bear Creek includes an excellent restaurant as well as beautiful hotel rooms, and the ever important indoor bathrooms. This isn't meant to be a sales pitch about the resort, but instead a recommendation on the best way to enjoy the trails. For riders that live a bit far from the resort the accommodations are a great excuse to make it a weekend get away.
Now more about the trails. There is one main loop that runs clockwise around the mountain with several alternative section that can be interchanged. These are rocky trails that will test even the most veteran of riders. From small baby head rocks to larger boulders the landscape remains difficult through most of the trail. Enjoy short bits of double track or ski slope crossing as a chance to recover, and be sure to stop at the top of the mountain for a great view. Maintain your momentum and remember to breath and these trails can be a ton of fun, or an excellent place to challenge yourself.
Who is Going to Love It
As a rider looking at just the trail characteristics most people would assume that Bear Creek is just for intermediate and advanced riders, but that’s not necessarily true. Even though the trails are very challenging and can become very overwhelming, many beginner riders have been testing themselves here for years. As a home to many local Mid Atlantic races, the beginner categories are always filled with people ready to give the trails a go. At Bear Creek there are only around 7 miles of trails but the trails tend to ride slow, and many people will do several loops to achieve a longer ride.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Follow directions to Bear Creek Mountain Resort (101 Doe Mountain Lane, Lehigh Valley, PA) and anywhere in there lots will give you access to the trails. Park closer to the facility to get your summer access pass or to use the facilities. Often people will park on the right of the road above the pond as you’re driving in just before the road heads down to the lodge. This parking lot offers close access to a trail head by just crossing the main road.
With the purchase of your summer access pass from the resort you are also given access to the resort’s disc golf course.