Mountain Biking at Lackawanna State Park

Jay in a blur, crossing Kennedy Creek

As a kid, I would often ride my old BMX bike on the country roads around my house.  As I got older, I turned to hiking and kayaking, and rarely touched a bike.  Recently, I’ve been wanting to give bikes, particularly mountain bikes, another try.

Lackawanna State Park has become a haven for mountain bikers, with its miles of trails that wind along creeks, meadows, forests, ponds, and Lake Lackawanna.  The trails in the park are considered ideal for intermediate, or even beginner riders.  A cadre of volunteers have done amazing work on the trails in the state park.  This would be my first mountain bike ride.

I met Jay and we proceeded down to the dam, crossed a bridge, and I tried to climb switchbacks.  But I ended up pushing my bike.  My bike does not have a front suspension, so it often would want to pop a wheelie when I was climbing and the front tire hit a sudden obstruction, like a root or rock.  And I just don’t have the legs for mountain biking yet.

It is surprising how mountain biking changes your perspective on a trail.  Trails that are easy, or even boring to a hiker, suddenly become challenging and exciting on a bike.

Next was the Frost Hollow Trail that was a lot of fun as it rolled through the forest and then descended along switchbacks.  We continued around the lake along the Ranger Trail which winds along the steep banks of Kennedy Creek and then crosses the creek via two bridges.  It was a fun and beautiful trail.   The Lakeshore Trail was also excellent as it lived up to its name, closely following the shore with great views over the water.  This trail also had two bridges, and several sections were wet.

We ran across Bill who is the Executive Director of the Countryside Conservancy and who was participating in the Go Green Bike Tour, a benefit for the conservancy.  We rode together down PA 438 to the Orchard Trail.

Bill riding the Orchard Trail along Lake Lackawanna

The Orchard Trail was fun.  It is a tight and more technical trail with small inclines and declines as it threaded between trees.  It also offered some great views of the lake.

After our ride, we stopped by the Go Green bike tour festivities where there was a band and food.  It was a good time.

Overall it was a successful ride- I didn’t fall over, no injuries, I had to push my bike a short distance up a hill twice, and put my foot down about ten times.

A map of Lackawanna State Park.

More pictures.

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