Saturday, December 31, 2011

circumnavigate the lake

December 25th generally marks the day when I pack the up the dog and bike and head east towards the homeland (Valley Forge/ Phoenixville.) This year I got the pass from the family to stay in the huntingdon area for the holiday and enjoy Christmas in my own way.

Now before I start into this, let me say that I am not the grinch and I don't hate Christmas it is just not the holiday for me. But the traffic and idea of driving three hours is absolutely horrifying. Having spent so much time on the Allegrippis Trails, Rothrock State Forest, and the areas countless miles of gravel I felt it was time to revisit an old advasary: Terrace Mountain Trail.

Last summer I was dumb enough to attempt the ride on a traditional 29er singlespeed mountain bike with 80mm of suspension. To say the least it was a pain having a bike during that hike. During the twelve hour ride around the lake I vowed never to ride the TMT again (unless with the right bike.)

For most people the Terrace Mountain Trail is simply the trail on the otherside of the lake. But know little about it really. The trail is 30 miles long and ranges from gravel roads to near vertical ascents, covering the entire length of Lake Raystown.

The Bike:
Salsa Mukluk Fatbike with Jandd Frame Bag and Knog Frog Lights for getting home in the dark.
One Bottle Cage.. regretably.
Osprey Hydration Pack

The Ride:I left the shop in Huntingdon around 9am and headed out to the trailhead on Corbins Road about six miles away. After rolling for 20 minutes I hit the yellow trussed bridge that marks the beginning of the Corbin Road climb a long grinding gravel climb that weaves for 2.5 miles up the side of terrace mountain. Corbin road is a great warm up climb as it never gets overly steep and has some great views facing south down the lake. After climbing three quarters up the mountain there is a large rock on the side of the road covered in yellow paint.

This rock apparently marks the start of the Terrace Mountain Trail at the north end. Not much of a welcome mat. Beyond the rock there is a short rough road that winds down the mountain a few hundred feet till opening into a large pad....parking lot?

Misleading Start- Off the bat I was making great time with recently cleared trails and flat rolling trail. This only lasted about two miles.
 Very peaceful meadow just off of the Hawns Road portion of the Terrace Mountain Trail.
Despite the big meat there was plenty to push over.
Very cool peninsula the trail runs down to the lake making a large sweeping turn into the hillside just beyond the red patch in the center. Plenty of briars for everyone!


Very cool bridge section just outside of Trough Creek State Park. There where some very cool bear tracks across the first bridge. Smudged pads with heavy claw marks.
Bottom of Trough Creek. this is the old road bed that connected over to the town of Aitch.

I cruised my way up the old road bed into the park. Over the bridge back to the trail. After getting to the resort It started getting dark and I stopped taking pictures and rode! An amazing trip, I am currently looking to evaluate what needs to be done to save this trail. As it is currently in horrible disrepair.  Maintenance is just the begninng this trail needs a makeover. The value of this trail to the local community, the outdoor community  and the potential for the area is amazing. 
tis the season. merry xmas!

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