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Archive for the ‘Bicycling’ Category

From time to time, we’ll post some bike routes to this blog as suggestions for some nice bike rides. The posts will involve both road and mountain bike rides at all levels of talent. So here’s the first one: Biking around Jim Thorpe, PA

No Brainer

Distance: Approx 27 miles round trip

Comments: This is a great warm up ride for your next day’s hilly adventure. It’s quiet, some terrain and good exercise, but nothing mind-bending. No turns…no maps…no worries.

The route: Start on Broadway from the Inn at Jim Thorpe. You’ll proceed west along a gradual uphill grade. After a couple of miles, the road name changes to Lentz Trail. You’ll continue past Mauch Chunk Lake on your left for a couple more miles to a stop sign. Go straight across this intersection – this is Owl Creek Road.  The road  ends at Route 309.

Turn around here and head back to Jim Thorpe.

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Getting Oriented

The 2 best places for information are at Blue Mountain Sports and the Lehigh Gorge Outpost which are both situated right next to the Josiah White Park in front of the downtown Train Station. Click here for more information about both businesses.

Autumn is a prime time of year for riding. The scenery is gorgeous, the weather cool and crisp. If you need to rent bikes, the best thing would be to call ahead to reserve.Fall Foliage Riding in Jim Thorpe PA

Where to Ride

There are many trails in the hills around Jim Thorpe all of varying degrees of mountain biking difficulty. This is where either bike store can be of particular assistance. Some informative sites are The Jim Thorpe Trail Coalition, Mountain Biking PA, and Blue Mountain Sports.

The Switchback and Lehigh Gorge Trails are excellent and scenic introductions to the Mountain biking in the area. If you ride them hard, you’ll get plenty of work in if that’s your goal. If you’re looking for something a bit more serene, no problem. Both take you gently through some nice country.

For these and other trails, the bike shops can direct you.

Road Riding

This will surprise you, especially if you like some terrain. A good introduction is to simply ride west on Broadway towards Mauch Chunk Lake, a gentle 3-mile climb out of Jim Thorpe along a smooth state road with plenty of shoulder space and lovely views. If you continue past the lake a few more miles you’ll come to an intersection, where all the options are quite good. For an extended ride, continue straight which takes you towards Tamaqua along a country road. If you go left you’ll immediately begin to climb again for about a mile. You can turn around at the top or continue on towards the little town of Normal Sqaure.

If you go right you head up another climb towards Summit Hill. The shoulders aren’t as wide here, so it’s best to be careful and pay attention. But it’s an outstanding ride, a nice climb and challenging. From there you can head towards Lansford, Nesquehoning and back to Jim Thorpe for an excellent loop along mostly nice state roads.

The point is that the road riding is, in my opinion, something of a secret here. Though I’ve noticed a definite uptick in the number of riders over the last few years, it’s hardly a crowd. You should be able to get plenty of solitude as well as exercise.

For some more info on more extended road rides, you might check in with Dave Drury who runs the Inn at Jim Thorpe. He’s an excellent rider with a lot of knowledge of the roads in the area. He’ll have plenty of ideas for you. Who knows, with enough interest we can get a riding group together for next Spring.

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