When one thinks of mountain biking...Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is not the first thing that comes to mind. About a year ago, when Mark told me that there was single track along the Capital Area Green Belt, I was more than a little skeptical. Over the last two years, SAMBA (Susquehanna Area Mountain Biking Association) has converted the wooded areas around the Green Belt into the Parkway Trails Network...some of the most surprisingly cool mountain bike single track in the area! There's definately an urban feel to it...nearly 10 miles of trail, which enter and exit from the Green Belt, ranging from intermediate level to expert. The Parkway Trails blend the natural, wooded areas along Spring Creek with the urban setting of Pennsylvania's capital city, Harrisburg. After adding the rail trail section of the Green Belt (which connect the trail network) you can easily pedal for more than 15 miles!
|My 2016 Specialized Stumpjumer resting on the wall next to the railroad tracks in Phoenix Park...part of the Capital Area Green Belt -- July 26, 2017|
|Mark (front) and Glenn riding out Phoenix Park on the bridge overtop of the railroad tracks. Glenn's taking notice of the "High Voltage Do Not Touch" signs posted on the sides of the bridge. -- July 26, 2017|
|Riding a super cool section of the Green Belt near the Harrisburg Incinerator -- June 27, 2017|
|Near the Harrisburg Incinerator we spotted a few deer along the fence -- July 26, 2017|
|Probably my favorite trail along the Green Belt, SAMBA did an excellent job carving PAX 4 into the side of the ridge. Mark Lentz can be seen in the distance riding the trail -- July 26, 2017|
|A memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr is located on the Cameron Parkway East section of the Green Belt. The only way to access the memorial is via the Capital Area Green Belt...which provides a quite setting for visitors -- June 27, 2017|
|Mark checking out the view above Spring Creek along the Cameron Parkway side of the Geen Belt -- June 26, 2017|
|Glenn is all smiles after his first ride on the the Green Belt. No doubt that we will be back! -- July 27, 2017|
For sure, there's no day dreaming on these trails. Along the way you will climb, descend, ride build ups, navigate switchbacks, and pedal slippery stream crossings. Mark, Glenn, and I rode inches from industrialized areas of Harrisburg yet we observed three dear within feet of us. I'm no longer skeptical of the single track in Harrisburg...and neither is Glenn (who is skeptical of anything "new" Mark brings to the table). The uniqueness of the trails (blending the best of all worlds), the proximity to home, and the shear joy of riding along the twisty and smooth trails carved into the city have made the Green Belt and Parkway Trails one of my new favorite destinations. It's a safe bet that it won't be long until we'll be back in Harrisburg for some more urban mountain biking.
Life is a journey...not a destination.
David A. Raymond -- July 30, 2017
|According to Mark, "S" is for Specialized and "N" is for 'Niner. The South Harrisburg Wall Project near the tracks in Phoenix Park were funded by the Penn Cumberland Garden Club -- Pics taken on June 26 and July 27, 2017|
Here are the GARMIN maps and data from the rides featured in this post...