Bicycling in Pennsylvania: pedal across the Keystone State

Ready to trade service plazas and fast-food joints for scenic countrysides and small friendly towns? Pennsylvania offers a vast array of biking adventures - whether you’re a hard core mountain biker or a newbie who enjoys a bit of pavement beneath your wheels.

Pick a weekend, pick your route and picture yourself winding your way through rhododendron and pine forests, barreling down through hardwoods past giant rock outcroppings, or enjoying long, leisurely breaks alongside clear, rushing streams in the refreshing shade of mighty oak trees. Or if the urban landscape is more your thing, check out the Rails-to-Trails network, a nationwide network of trails converted from former rail lines. Overnight and long end-to-end trips are easy to negotiate thanks to quiet campgrounds, quaint bed and breakfasts and charming inns along the way.

While in the Pittsburgh area, find a bike and make your way to the Great Allegheny Passage that extends all the way from Maryland to Homestead, PA.  No matter how far you go you’re sure to come across something uniquely Pennsylvania as the path winds along rivers, through beautiful valleys and quaint, small towns with access to local events and festivals along the way.

The Hershey Harrisburg Region’s 20-mile Capital Area Greenbelt urban trail is a great way to see Harrisburg on two wheels. The trail circles the city, following the Susquehanna River along its west side then looping back around linking local restaurants, charming neighborhoods, city parks and open spaces together, in effect creating the perfect atmosphere for a fun ride with family and friends.

If you prefer mountain biking to road biking and singletrack to paths check out the Allegrippis Trails in Raystown. You’ll find 33 miles of sustainably built trail systems organized into three stacked loops on the hill surrounding beautiful Raystown Lake, ranging in difficulty from beginner to expert. The area has all of the necessities you’ll  need to make it a multi-day trip- lodging, food, beverages and bike services. Spend a few days exploring and never ride the same route twice!

The rolling hills of the Amish Countryside make a pleasant backdrop for a scenic bike tour of Lancaster County.  A variety of trails from moderate to challenging take riders through small towns and villages, over the picturesque covered bridges PA is known for and by local attractions including The Ephrata Cloister National Historic Landmark and Historic Downtown Lititz, recently named “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Travel.

Check out these local resources for more information:

Take a look at biking business and related listings to find the perfect biking activity for your trip!


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