Photos and words by brand ambassador, Leslie Kehmeier
Pssst! Have you heard about the new network of trails on the east coast? It's a whole bunch of flowy goodness in the Alleghneny National Forest just north of Warren, Pennsylvania. The first phase of the Jakes Rocks trails opened in late August with a solid 10 miles sweet singletrack.
The grand opening was flooded with a crowd of over 200 people. It was an effort six years in the making, so you can imagine a lot of anxious people waiting to hit the trails.
I had a chance to preview the trails in the days before the official opening. It was a plimgrammage of sorts for me. I had been to the area in 2010 when I was on the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew, teaching trail building and doing community development. It's not often that I get back to the places that I traveled to during my TCC days so it was extra special to make the return trip to see the community's vision come to life.
The trails themselves are a great mix of fun and flow with some good sections of technical rocks to add a little spice. My favorite part of the network was the area of house-sized boulders where the trail winds through slots and around corners with rock walls towering above.
The Jakes Rocks trails are a welcome addition to an area that doesn't have that much riding....yet. I met people from Erie and Pittsburgh who were psyched to have good trails within a reasonable drive. When the Jakes Rocks vision is fully realized, there will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 miles of trail.
If your travels take you anywhere near northwest Pennsylvania, take some time to check out the sweet new trails near Warren!