Ride in solitude in this sparsely used trail system in Forbes State Forest.
Many state forests in Pennsylvania have “wild areas.” These areas are just what they sound like: places set aside to remain wild, with no permanent developments allowed. You’ll find no parks, playgrounds, pools, pavilions, or improved campsites. Wild areas are best known for hiking, dispersed camping, fishing, and hunting, but the trails of Quebec Run are excellent for mountain biking as well. (Unlike federal wilderness areas, Pennsylvania’s state wild areas allow biking.)
Forbes State Forest lies near the West Virginia border and encompasses 50,000 acres. Quebec Run is a 7,500-acre portion of the park on the eastern slope of Chestnut Ridge. Major logging operations were completed here by 1940, and now the forest has healed and is full of maples, pines, rhododendron, and ferns. You might be surprised to learn that the healthy-looking forest is primarily third-growth timber.
This is a legacy trail system; there’s no modern trail work, like berms, to be found here. Even though the trails have been around forever, they have a raw and organic feel, with a sporty serving of rock gardens, roots, streams, and general eastern tech. There are no massive elevation changes, but the trails are rarely flat.
With upwards of 65 miles of trails, this area which be a tangle of confusing intersections. Plan a route and carry a GPS. Even though you are never far from civilization, cell service can be spotty, and there’s a chance you’ll spend a night in the woods if you get lost. Extra food and a rain shell aren’t a terrible idea no matter the time of year. Hunting is legal here, so keep that in mind during the fall.