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Thursday, November 15, 2018

SWEET TRAILS


People love Hershey, Pennsylvania.  It is, after all, designated as the "Sweetest Place on Earth."  Twice, within the past two weeks, I've made the thirty-ish mile trip from York to Hershey, to ride the area's sweetest new attraction...a brand new, super cool mountain bike trail system located directly behind the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

My Stumpjumper resting near trail W3 on the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Trail System. -- November 3, 2018

Thanks to SAMBA (Susquehanna Area Mountain Bike Association)...the same group that put together the Parkway Trails in Harrisburg, PA...I now have another place to add to my list of local spots to mountain bike.  Tim and I made our first visit to the HMC Trail System two weeks ago.  Neither one of us knew exactly what to expect...but we  knew that this would be something special from the moment we left the parking lot.  The first thing we came across was an outdoor "lounge" equipped with chairs, recliners, a table, and trail maps.  The place brought a smile to our faces before we even got onto the single track!


Just a few feet out of the parking lot, you come across this super cool "lounge" just prior to jumping onto the single track. -- November 3, 2018

This ten mile trail system is compact, twisty, and just...fun.  Speaking for myself, the most surprising aspect of the trails was the condition that they were in.  I visited the HMC Trail System the past two Saturday mornings...each of those mornings came after days of torrential rain.  I (and I assume Tim, too) expected an absolute mud-fest.  That's not what we experienced though.  Any water that may have been there the day before had drained off leaving the trails in great condition...another testament to the trail building skills of SAMBA.  The trail system is split into the East and West side...with the trails on each side numbered 1-5.  We came across a few rock gardens...but, for the most part, Tim and I experienced nothing but fun, fast, twisty single track that was nicely marked, labeled, and expertly built into the surrounding landscape.  

A map of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Trail System.  You can view and download the map HERE


The twisty trail system in incredibly well marked.  The trails are categorized as BEGINNER (green), ADVANCED (blue), and EXPERT (black).  --  November 3, 2018


The build-ups along the trail system are consistently perfect. -- November 3, 2018


Tim Sindlinger and I pedaling down the single track that is expertly carved into the landscape. -- November 3, 2018



Tim took this pic of me on the HMC Trail System. -- November 3, 2018


Tim Sindlinger navigating the leaf covered trails. -- November 3, 2018


Tim Sindlinger and Dave Raymond enjoying the HMC Trail System.  -- November 3, 218


My Stumpjumper blending into the surrounding landscape. -- November 10, 2018

Two weeks ago, our time schedule didn't allow for Tim and I to ride more than half of the HMC Trail System...so I headed back last week on my own to ride the rest of the trails.  What appeals to me the most about this new set of trails is that they are directional, well maintained, and meant for mountain biking.  I also noticed that the entire area was posted as NO HUNTING.  Please don't hate...(I'm not against hunting in any way, shape, or form)...but I am pretty excited to know that I  now have a local place for me to do my "thing" when the hunters are out doing their "thing."  And...if I have to drive to Hershey to do it...that's ok with me.  Those trails are pretty sweet.

Heading home after a sweet ride on the HMC Trail System. -- November 10, 2018


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- November 15, 2018


One of my favorite Hershey memories...back in 2013, my brother, sister-in-law, and my nieces & nephew were visiting from Arizona.  One of the must stops for the kids was Hershey's Chocolate World.  Left to right:  Jacob, Kristi, Isaac, David, Robin, Alex, Jackie, and Sophie Raymond.  -- July 5, 2013


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Here's the GARMIN maps and data from my first two rides on the HMC TRAIL SYSTEM.  Happy biking!








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