Mountain Biking in the Lehigh Valley

Welcome to my MTB Page!

Mountain Bike Leans On A Fence

I've been bicycling offroad for more than 25 years, starting not long after I moved to Easton in 1990. Since then I've gone mountain biking all across the US, including many "name" destinations, but in the end I think some of the best riding around, or at least my favorite bicycle destinations, can be found right here at home.

I created this website to share my love of offroad bicycling in general, and to share some of what I know about the local mountain biking scene in particular, including where to ride in the Lehigh Valley.

Where To Ride

Three Friends Enjoy A Bike Ride

Our local riding does not feature the dramatic vistas you might find out west, though there are a few overlooks to be found, as you can see in the photo to the right. Most Pennsylvania mountain biking can be summed up with one word: rocky, and Pennsylvania cyclists have learned to embrace the rugged terrain we've been blessed with. There are a number of these rugged trails here in the Valley, but we also have a bit more variety, including some very scenic bike paths suitable for beginner or casual riders. Here is a partial list of some of of my own local favorites, ranked from easiest to hardest.

A partial list of mountain biking destinations in the Lehigh Valley
Trail Location Difficulty Length
Use GPS on your rides? Contact me and I can provide GPX tracks for these rides, and others.
Lehigh Towpath
Bethlehem map
Easy 12 miles
Ottsville map
Moderate 8 miles
Belfast map
Moderate 17 miles
Schnecksville map
Moderate 8 miles
Fountain Hill map
Difficult 10 miles

Trail Etiquette, Stewardship, and Getting Involved

I'm a big fan of living in an urban area like Bethlehem, but one fact of urban life, and of riding, is that you share your public space with other people. Offroad bicyclists share the local trails with hikers and equestrians as well as other cyclists — to say nothing of the plants and animals who are the actual denizens of our wild spaces.

Mountain bikers were until recently the newcomers in the trail community, and had a sort of probationary, "outsider" status. Organizations like The International Mountain Bike Association have advocated for mountain bike access to trails, and also promulgated the type of mountain biker behavior that would make us a welcome addition to those trail communities. Here is a copy of their "Rules of the Trail," which is mostly common courtesy and common sense. Hopefully you'll follow it, for my sake as well as your own!

IMBA Rules of the Trail

IMBA developed the "Rules of the Trail" to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails. Keep in mind that conventions for yielding and passing may vary in different locations, or with traffic conditions.

Etiquette is one part of the recipe for mountain biking sustainability; the other vital ingredient is stewardship: building, maintaining and in general caring for the trails where we ride.

The crew at a Sals trail maintenance day.

Mountain biking is a social activity: there are races, and group rides, and a mountain bike community that comes together when we work to maintain our local trails. In the Lehigh Valley, that mountain biking community is represented by The Valley Mountain Bikers, the local mountain bike club. The VMB has built and maintains three of my favorite local trails (Trexler, Nockamixon, and Sals), and also sponsors rides and other local bike events. If you're looking for more Lehigh Valley biking, people to ride with or ways to give back to our local trails, the Valley Mountain Bikers website is the place to go.

Well, that's all I have to say about Lehigh Valley mountain biking — for now! See you on the trails...