Showing posts with label Allegrippis Trails. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Allegrippis Trails. Show all posts

Sunday, October 29, 2017


A few February's ago, my wife and I stepped out of Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport and into the warm dessert air.  Robin looked at me with a smile on her face.  When I inquired about the big smile she respond that she was reacting to my smile.  Six hours previous to that moment we boarded a plane at BWI and escaped the deep freeze of winter.  I couldn't help but be excited about being outside...and apparently, the expression on my face said it all.

I've been doing a lot of solo mountain biking after school this year.  Last week, while riding the Lakes, I paused to  the appreciate the amazing Autumn Pennsylvania weather and take in some Vitamin N. -- October 19, 2017

I crave nature and I crave being outdoors.  I don't know the science behind it but I feel better and I'm happier when I'm outside.  There are plenty of studies out there that say that exposure to nature helps with depression, high blood pressure, anxiety, ADD, and just about any other infliction that comes to your mind.  Recently I read a book by Richard Nouv entitled VITAMIN N:  The Essential Guide to a Nature Rich Life....kind of a guidebook for those who need reminding that daily exposure to nature is fun, exhilarating, and potentially one of the most powerful drugs available.  

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, I choose to sit outside and read my nerdy history books! -- October 22, 2017

I'm not just talking about how exercise increases the levels of sarotonin and dopamine in my brain...which helps me battle ADD.  All that it true...but it does't explain why I feel better, both mentally and physically, simply by stepping outside on the porch.  It doesn't explain why reading a book while sitting on a rocking chair in the garage with garage doors wide open  is more appealing for me than reading a book while sitting in the house.  Nor does it explain why sitting around the firepit in my back yard is more exhilarating that sitting on the couch in my living room.  Some might just say that these things are my preference.  Maybe so...but I know others who believe a healthy dose of Vitamin N is not just beneficial, but essential.  Here's what some of my friends and family had to say when I asked them what benefit (physically or mentally) they derive from nature.

My wife, Robin, says that the quiet of nature has a spiritual effect on her that cannot be replicated any other way.  Picture taken in Sedona, Arizona -- February 18, 2015

Tim told me that Vitamin N is his antidote for work and his cure for cabin fever!  Picture taken near Raystown Lake on the Allegrippis Trail System -- July 11, 2017

Matt says that surrounding himself in nature is the best way to clear his head.  Picture taken in Michaux State Forest -- July 25, 2017

According to Glenn, it's one of the few places where his heart can "red line" or "flat line" and he would be smiling either way!  Picture taken near Raystown Lake on the Allegrippis Trail System -- July 11, 2017

The Boss, Mike Alessandroni, says that Vitamin N is needed for his skin and his soul!  Picture taken at the Gettysburg National Military Park -- August 3, 2016

My son, Alex, says nature is the best drug because "it's natural!"  Picture taken in Point State Park -- October 27, 2017

Spending time outdoors and exploring the world around me is such an important part of my life and my identity.  Nature helps to calm my mind, stimulate my senses, and strengthen my body.  It provides relief from stress and adds to my sense of overall well being.  I'm happier and more productive when exposed to Vitamin N.  Is nature a drug?  Yeah...I think so...and I think I'm addicted.  If I've got to be addicted to something, it might as well be something that is good for me.
As far as I'm concerned...I can never get too much Vitamin N.

Last week I got my brother-in-law, Donny, out for a short walk and a healthy dose of Vitamin N.  He really enjoyed the view of York County from the observation deck at Rocky Ridge Couny Park -- October 26, 2017

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- October 29, 2017

VITAMIN N by Richard Louv

Here's the GARMIN maps and data from the rides featured in this post...

Interested in mountain biking or hiking some of the trails featured in this post?  Check out the TRAIL MAPS and TRAIL HEADS tabs on the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website.   

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit HIGHPEAKSHIKING.COM!


Friday, August 18, 2017


I can't remember the last time I spent an entire summer mountain biking in so many new places...on so many "new to me" trails...and on trails I hadn't been on in nearly a decade.  Over the past few months, I've done just that.  The biggest perk I get from my job (if you want to call it that...I get to teach history to kids) is time.  Time is the one resource that you can NEVER get back.  So, this summer...along with Mark, Glenn, Tim, Chris, and Matt...I've used my time mountain biking to explore, and re-explore, a variety of different places and trails.  I truly am blessed to have such great state and local parks and forests...populated with miles and miles of trails...just waiting to be ridden.  I'm equally blessed to have friends who share the same passion.  So (without any further rambling), here's some of the places that I, my friends, and my Stumpjumper have explored the past two and a half months.  Enjoy!


Mark told me that he would ride Stony Valley anyday of the week.  Even though it is "rail trail," it was one of the most visually stimulating rides of the summer.  While riding almost thirty miles on a rainy Monday, we explored the ruins of Cold Spring (a 19th century resort) and got to see Rausch Creek being diverted into limestone wells in order to purify the water.  

While riding the Stony Valley Rail Trail, Mark and I took a short detour to explore the ruins of  Cold Spring, a 19th century resort town, which is located in State Game Lands No. 221. -- June 5, 2017

The remains of Cold Spring Resort -- June 5, 2017

Rausch Creek being diverted into limestone wells to remove the acid in thewater caused by nearby abandoned coal mines. -- June 5, 2017


For our first Tuesday ride of the summer, Tim and I met Matt at Swatara State Park.  The ten miles we rode that day doesn't sound like a lot...but my legs always seem to know after I've ridden there!

Riding on loop D at Swatara State Park. -- June 6, 2017

Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, Matt Linnane. -- June 6, 2017


 I spent a week camping in Ohiopyle State Park with my son Alex this summer.  I had a blast riding the Sugarloaf trail system, Baughman Trail, and some super scenic sections of the Great Allegheny Passage.  Alex brought his GoPro and new drone along on the I managed to get some amazing footage.  The descent down Baughman Trail dropped approximately 800 feet in just under two miles!  

Taking a break at Baughman Overlook in Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 13, 2017

Riding Baughman Trail at Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 15, 2017

Crossing over the Youghiogheny River on the Great Allegheny Passage. -- June 15, 2017

Riding the Great Allegheny Passage in Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 13, 2017

About a mile from my campsite, I paused to take in the view of the Laurel Highlands around Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 15, 2017


I only made two trips to the Lakes this summer.  The first, with Mikey, Glenn, and Mark, was a fun mid-day ride with the guys.  My second ride at the lakes was a stop on my way home from Baltimore to turn my pedals and squeeze in five quick miles.

Fun ride at the Lakes with Mikey, Glenn, and Mark. -- June 22, 2017

With just a short window to ride, I stopped for a quick five mile loop around Lake Williams. -- August 14, 2017


My good friend Chris Keller started his own business this past year.  His new company is located just about a mile from my house.  Whenever his schedule allows, we head up to Rocky Ridge County Park and mountain bike a few miles.  

Ridin Fresh and Twisty at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- June 9, 2017

A super humid ride with Chris Keller at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- July 13, 2017


Okay...this one surprised the heck out of me.  When Mark told me there were trails in Harrisburg, I didn't know what to expect.  I surely didn't think I'd be riding 15+ miles of singletrack located right in, and around, the city.  Urban mountain biking at its best!  Thanks, SAMBA!

Harrisburg Green Belt -- July 26, 2017

Riding the trails along the Green Belt in Harrisburg, PA. -- June 27, 2017

Mark Lentz, Dave Raymond, and Glenn Medice on the Harrisburg Green Belt. -- July 26, 2017


What a day Mark and I had in Tuscarora State Forest!  We mountain biked 29 miles and climbed 4,000 feet through what seemed like a surreal tropical forest. 

Love this picture of Mark riding in Tuscarora State Forest. -- July 6, 2017

My Stumpjumper along a fire road in Tuscarora State Forest. -- July 6, 2017

What a day Mark and I had in Tuscarora State Forest. -- July 6, 2017


Tim's maiden voyage to ride the Allegrippis Trails!  I did my best to piece together a fun loop for the three of us.  Personally, Hydro Loop was my favorite.  It's the one trail that gets you super close to the water of Raystown Lake...and, like water, the trail just flows.  Loved it!

Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, and Glenn Medice on Hydro Loop. -- July 11, 2017

Riding the Allegrippis Trail System.  -- July 11, 2017


You'd think by now I would have the trails in Michaux State Forest memorized like the back of my hand...but not the case.  Along with Mark, this summer I rode more "new to me" trails in Michaux than I had since he and I first started riding there.  Ridgeline trail was amazing...but today the combination of Triple Pine and Astronomy Trails completely blew me a way.  

It wasn't all about "new" trails in Michaux this summer.  On our Tuesday rides, I did my best to revisit some of the trails that Glenn and I had ridden together almost ten years ago.  Three weeks ago, during our "Rockiest Tuesday of the Year," we ended on Bear Knob...which is super fun to ride.  I was stoked that everyone else seemed to enjoy it as much as I did.

My Stumpjumper on Ridgeline Trail in Michaux State Forest. -- July 31, 2017

Dave Raymond and Mark Lentz on Ridgeline Trail. -- July 31, 2017

The rockiest ride of the year.  Riding Bear Knob in Michaux State Forest. -- August 1, 2017

My bike on Bear Knob in Michaux State Forest. -- August 1, 2017

Last Tuesday ride of the summer.  Tim Sindlinger, Dave Raymond, Glenn Medice, Matt Linnane. -- August 15, 2017

Mark Lentz riding Campground Trail in Michaux State Forest. -- August 18, 2017

Mark Lentz and Dave Raymond.  Wrapping up the last of the summer. -- August 18, 2017

I can't remember the last time my mountain biking miles exceded my road cycling miles...but this summer that surely was the case.  As much as I like my road bike, mountain biking has always been my passion.  The past few months on my Stumpjumper with my friends have been nothing short of amazing. Summer may be over, but that doesn't mean the riding ends...there's so many trails that need to be ridden.

I ate so many post-ride (hike) ice-cream cones this summer...but my favorite, by far, was the Glen Dairy Bar in Watkins Glen, New York. -- July 20, 2017

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- August 18, 2017

Yes...that is a black bear about 30 yards in front of Mark and I in Michaux State Forest! -- July 31, 2017

Here's the GARMIN maps and data from the rides featured in this post...

Interested in mountain biking some of these trails?  Check out the TRAIL MAPS and TRAIL HEADS tabs on the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website.   

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit HIGHPEAKSHIKING.COM!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017


When I was a child, my parents often would take my brother and I to the water slides at Raystown Lake.  It was always something I looked forward to.  As an adult, I usually make the 2+ hour drive back to Raystown...not for the water slides (I'm not even sure if they are still there)...but to ride the Allegrippis Trail system on the northwest side of the lake.

Dave Raymond riding along Hydo Loop near Raystown Lake -- July 11, 2017

The most important thing I've learned on my four trips to ride Allegrippis is that...with more than thirty miles of trails, created as a series of stacked loops in a collaborative between the Army Corps of of Engineers and the International Mounain Bike Association, and designed specifically for mountain's super easy to get carried away!  Tim found this out first hand when, while riding Ray's Revenge, his tires kicked out from underneath him shooting him a few feet down the embankment.  It's not for a lack of warning...there are signs everywhere cautioning the rider...but I'll admit that as my bike rolled along I found myself easing off of the brakes and allowing the terrain to carry my bike along the perfectly laid out trails.  So...with a smile growing on my face, the trees flying past me, the trail passing underneath my bike, and an appropriate amount of caution in the back of my mind...I allowed myself to get a little carried away.  That's what riding is all about.

"CAUTION DIPS" warns riders on Ridge Trail -- July 11, 2017

Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, Glenn Medice taking a break on Ridge Trail just above Raystown Lake -- July 11, 2017

Tim Sindlinger (front) and Glenn Medice riding Hydo Loop -- July 11, 2017

A few miles out of our way...but a stop at Eat N Treats is a must after riding the Allegrippis Trails.  Glenn Medice at the window picking up his post ride ice-cream -- July 11, 2017

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- July 12, 2017
For more about the Allegrippis Trails be sure to check out my post GET A GRIP.

My father pointing my brother Jake (left) and I in the right direct while riding the water slides at Raystown Lake way back in 1986.

Here's the GARMIN map and stats from my ride on the Allegrippis Trails near Raystown Lake with Tim and Glenn...

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Glenn showed up to ride Michaux with Tim and I this past June with a button down short sleeve "hiking" shirt.  It was a new look for Glenn.  Gone were the bibs and super cool cycling jerseys.  He said he was going for comfort.  (Personally, I'm convinced his new mountain biking gear is doubling as his "teacher" gear!)  Let me be clear...I'm definitely not making fun of Glenn.  I have absolutely NO room to talk when it comes to mountain biking fashion (if you go back and read THOSE FIRST TRAILS you'll know exactly what I mean).  Glenn wasn't the only one who was sporting a new look last summer.  With the purchase of my "highlighter orange" Stumpjumper, I completely updated my mountain biking look and decided to move away from the red and black color scheme I'd been sporting the last few years. 

Showing off my green Brevard, NC t-shirt while riding Patapsco Valley State Park, Maryland -- October 15, 2016

Last summer marked the beginning of a new chapter for our I thought, like Glenn, I'd make a fashion overhaul.  Bag to baggies (super comfy gray and black shorts that could be worn with just about anything), a new florescent green helmet, and whatever t-shirt grabbed my fancy that day.  I don't worry about matching my bike anymore....but it's still ALL ABOUT THE COLOR.  As for the rest of the guys...Kristian loves sporting the camo shorts (and, for one ride in August, a new mohawk hair style)...Mark's sleeveless cycling shirts will be all the rage with the kool kids this summer...and Timmy wins the award for "MOST CONSISTENT FASHION" with his white tank tops.

Glenn riding the Allegrippis Trails in his button down dress...uh...mountain bike shirt -- August 2, 2016

I have always been jealous of Kristain's desert camo cargo shorts! -- October 15, 2016

Taking a break in Michaux State Forest.  The most consistent of us all...Timmy and his white tank tops -- June 28, 2016
Today is Timmy's 44th birthday!  Happy birthday, bud!

Mark's fashion is all about comfort.  Whatever works, my friend! -- July 26, 2016

Mikey is the "King of Kool Cycling Shirts"...but my favorite is his "I JUST WANT TO RIDE MY EFFIN BIKE" t-shirt!

So, with winter fading away...with Timmy's recovery from shoulder surgery winding down...with my back getting stronger and stronger after my last back surgery...with Glenn now in possession of his brand new mountain bike (we ALL saw that one coming)...and with more of Mark's cycling jersey sleeves left lying on his living room won't be long before we will be back out on the trails.  We might not be riding fast...but one thing's for sure:  we'll be riding in style.

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- March 26, 2017

Oh dear, God...this summer may be interesting.

GARMIN  MAPS and other DATA from the rides I featured:

-Michaux State Forest with Timmy and Glenn (June 28, 2016)

-Michaux State Forest with Mark, Glenn, Timmy, and Matt (July 26, 2016)

-Allegrippis Trails with Glenn and Kristian (August 2, 2016)

-Patapsco Valley State Park with Kristian (October 15, 2016)