Showing posts with label Bedford Springs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bedford Springs. Show all posts

Thursday, May 30, 2019


Spring is, believe it or not, is the most difficult time of the year for me to get out and mountain bike and hike.  A lot of factors...the inevitable rainy weather, muddy trail conditions (which end up closing the trails at the local county parks), and the end of the school year activities and field trips that all happen in April and May...are in play here and, especially last year, put a damper on the amount of time I'm able to enjoy the outdoors the way that I would like to.  I'm almost embarrassed to say that (for all the reasons previously listed) I didn't ride my mountain bike even once in May of 2018.  This Spring, thankfully, has proven to be much more "trail" friendly than last.

Yes...I took a pic of my bike surrounded by wildflowers (Dame's Rockets) at Lake Kain County Park. -- May 18, 2019

 My wife, Robin, and I have continued our commitment to at least one hike a week.  Rocky Ridge County Park is our default location to hike if we are pressed for time...but this Spring we've spent time hiking on the Gettysburg National Military Park, near the Bedford Springs Hotel, and at Nixon County Park.  Family is always welcome on our hikes...Alex has come on a number of them (most recently at Nixon Park)...but now we are able to include our nieces and nephew who, just recently, moved back to Pennsylvania from  Arizona.  Their energy is high and their imaginations are boundless...making our time together in the woods something extra special.  

Hiking at the Bedford Springs with my niece, Sophie. -- April 27, 2019

Hiking (and pretending to be Thor) at the Bedford Springs with my nephew, Isaac. -- April 27, 2019

Hiking at the Bedford Springs with Robin, Jackie, Sophie, and Isaac. -- April 27, 2019

Hiking the top of Big Round Top at the Gettysburg National Military Park with Robin. -- May 4, 2019

Exploring Union fortifications built by Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine at the top of Big Round Top at the Gettysburg National Military Park. -- May 4, 2019

Hiking and exploring the rock outcroppings at Nixon County Park with Alex and Robin. -- May 19, 2019

My mountain bike has made more than a few appearances over the past few months and so have some of my riding partners.  Just like for my hikes, Rocky Ridge makes a perfect place for me to ride after school if I'm limited on time (Tim and Chris have met me there for a few rides)...but I've also managed to ride some of my other "not so far away" destinations.  Back in April, Jay Zech and I made a trip to Harrisburg so I could introduce him to the super cool single track that makes up the Parkway Trail System.  Last week, Chris Keller and I explored the back side of William Kain County Park which includes the two drainage tunnels underneath Interstate 83.  I know I'm stating the obvious when I say that I love riding my mountain bike...and it was so refreshing to be able to get out the few times that I could and not have a repeat of last May.

One of the best perks of working at the bike shop is that I've acquired a whole  set of friends to ride with.  Jay and I have known each other for many's really cool  having him as a riding partner.  Dave Raymond and Jay Zech enjoying a Spring ride on the Parkway Trails in Harrisburg, PA -- April 19, 2019

Riding Trail #8 at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- May 3, 2019

Exploring a "not so often explored" section of trail at Rocky Ridge County Park with Tim & Adam. -- May 3, 2019

Saturday afternoon ride at Rocky Ridge County Park with Chris, Jay, and our young friend, Josh. -- May 11, 2019

About to enter the northern tunnel under Interstate 83 at William Kain County of the more unique rides in our neck of the woods. -- May 18, 2019

Chris Keller and I riding William Kain County Park. -- May 18, 2019
With the exception of the mass quantities of pollen that drive everybody around here crazy it has been a great Spring!  Everything is green, the wildflowers are in full bloom, and the temperatures are getting warmer and warmer.  The conditions alone aren't what has made this Spring so sensational,'s the family and friends that I've been able to enjoy it with.  Summer time is just around the corner and, if this Spring is any indication of what to expect, with it there are going to be plenty of trails to hike and bike along with plenty of family and friends to explore it with.  Here's to wishing for a safe, fun, and adventure filled summer everyone.  See you on the trails.

Hiking at Rocky Ridge and enjoying a wonderful dose of Vitamin N with my beautiful wife, Robin. -- April 20, 2019

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- May 30, 2019 

One of the numerous school activities that I'm obligated to during the month of May is our annual field trip to the Gettysburg National Military Park.  This year was extra special because it was the last I'll organize and plan with my mentor and friend Charlie Lenhart.  Charlie and I have been teaching together for the past 24 years.  At the end of this school year, Charlie will be retiring after 45 years of  teaching.  A retirement that is well deserved!  I will miss you everyday at school, my friend.  You can check out my tribute below.  --  David Raymond and Charlie Lenhart -- May 17, 2019

NMS 8th Grade Recognition Night -- May 23, 2019

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Here are the GARMIN maps and data from rides and hikes featured in this post.  #OptOutside

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Monday, December 31, 2018


There wasn't anything normal about 2018. It's been a year of extreme humidity, single digit temperatures, and more rainy days than I can remember in my lifetime.  Even on the "dry" days riding conditions were challenging,  at best.   Mud and water and more mud seemed to be the recurring theme of the the past year.  With the exception of a ride I took in Mesa, Arizona, I don't recall a single time this year when the trails were dry and dusty.   Regardless, the conditions didn't stop me (or my riding partners) opting outside to turn some pedals.  As a matter of fact, I rode (and cleaned my drive train) quite regularly and quite often.

My Stumpjumper nestled in low hanging clouds and resting on the sign in Michaux State Forest marking the border of Cumberland and Adams Counties. -- July 31, 2018

Throughout the course of 2018, I rode my mountain bike in, at least, sixteen different places...making my normal trips to places like Michaux State Forest, Swatara State Park, and Rocky Ridge County Park and returning to Patapsco Valley State Park and Camp Tuckahoe for the first time in a few years.  I also rode, for the first time, on the trails behind the Bedford Springs Hotel, the Bedford Heritage Trail, the Milton Hershey Medical Center Trail System, and in Shawnee State Park.  This year is the first year that I began to explore other riding options...using my mountain bike for road cycling when winter conditions just weren't cooperating.  Joining me this year were Mark Lentz, Chris Keller, Tim Sindlinger, Matt Linnane, Adam Zeigler, Ben Kelly, Brent Shirk, Mike Alicea, and my son, Alex.  No ride is a bad ride and all rides are fun in their own unique way...but the following ten rides stand out to me as the best of 2018.  I didn't list them in any particular order except that the ride I have in the #1 spot really was my favorite ride of the past year.  I wish a safe and happy New Year to all...and I hope to see all of my riding friends out on the trails again in 2019.  Enjoy!

#10. DESERT BIKE RIDE -- JUNE 10, 2018

On a brief visit to Arizona to see my brother and my nieces and nephew, I slipped out for morning ride (on my brother's 1990s Cannondale) in the Arizona desert.  The early morning temperatures had already reached 95 degrees and, about five miles out, I realized that my water bottle had fallen off of the bike.  Not willing to risk anything, I turned back for my brother's house.  This was, by far, the driest ride of 2018!

Taking a break during my morning ride in Mesa, Arizona. -- June 10, 2018

My brother's old-school Cannondale.  Superstition Mountain is visible in the distance. -- June 10, 2018



Alex and I didn't ride far...but any ride with my son is special.  The fact that it was also the last day of the school year made it even more memorable.  This is the only ride on my Roubaix that made my top 10 list this year.

Celebrating the last day of the 2017-18 school year with a road ride with my son, Alex. -- June 7, 2018



This late July ride in Michaux State Forest came the morning after a torrential rain (as did most of the rides this year).  The humidity was thick and the clouds were hanging extra low...completely surrounding the forest.  This ride included the best rock garden in Michaux, fun descents, twisty single track, and multiple stream crossings.

Taking a break after Tim, Matt, and I finished riding one of my favorite rock gardens in Michaux State Forest. -- July 31, 2018

The wet weather turned minor streams in treacherous crossings. -- July 31, 2018



So much of my childhood was spent at Shawnee State Park in Bedford County...but up until this past March, I had never ridden the trails there...making this "homecoming" ride super special.  I'm looking forward to going back and riding the trails in drier conditions.

I began, and ended, my first-ever ride in Shawnee State Park on Field Trail. -- March 30, 2018

This section of "trail" near Route 30 in Shawnee State Park was a massive mud pit. -- March 30, 2018

Field Trail overlooking Shawnee Lake. -- March 30, 2018


Mark showed me that not all "road" rides need a road bike.  Helping me channel my inner nerd, Mark took me on a super cool tour of York City to check out all of the old painted signs on the brick structures in the city.  Some were easy to read, like the Pullman's sign below, and some where not...but the ride ranks as one of the best of 2018.

Super cool graffiti and painted sign ruled the day. -- March 31, 2018

In the top right you can see the sign for York's Pullman's Automobiles. -- March 31, 2018



This year, the Winter Solstice happened to fall on the last day of school prior to Christmas break.  Because of my early dismissal from school, I was able to meet Ben Kelly at my house at 1:30 to drive twenty miles up to Harrisburg for a ride on the Parkway Trails.  Even though it was extremely muddy, this ride was my favorite ever on this trail system.  Ben and I rode as much as we could in the 2 hours we had before the sun set on the first day of winter.

Ben and I racing the sunset and enjoying a muddy ride in Harrisburg City. -- December 21, 2018

My Stumpjumper leaning on Harrisburg City graffiti. -- December 21, 2018

#4. BEDFORD SPRINGS -- JANUARY 13 and 14, 2018

My first two rides of 2018 were also the coldest of the year.  While visiting my father in Bedford, Pennsylvania,  I geared up for the single digit temperatures and headed over to the trails behind the Bedford Springs Hotel.  I had hiked these trails as a child...and as an adult...but this was the first time I had ever been there with my mountain bike.  The cold temps kept each ride down to about an hour in length, but the frozen landscape...and the coolness of riding someplace where I hiked in my youth...made these two rides some of the best of the year.

Pausing for a picture next to the frozen limestone spring near the Bedford Springs Hotel. -- January 13, 2018

Posing near Davey Lewis' Cave. -- January 14, 2018

Taking in the frozen landscape while riding the trails near the Bedford Springs Hotel. -- January 14, 2018



Matt came up with the idea of getting together for an "Ugly Sweater" ride...and hopefully it is a tradition we keep going.  Tim, Adam, Matt, and I got into the holiday spirit for what turned out to be the absolute muddiest ride of 2018.  The unrelenting rainfall turned the normally sturdy trails of the Hershey Medical Trail System into a peanut butter-like mess.  Very memorable!

First ever Ugly Sweater Ride.  Left to Right:  Matt, Dave, Tim, & Adam. -- December 2, 2018

Riding the Hershey Medical Trail System with my ugly sweater. -- December 2, 2018

This ride was, hands down, the muddiest ride of 2018. -- December 2, 2018


Brent and I have a tradition of heading out for a ride during the week between Christmas and New Years Day.  This year we made our way down to Patapsco Valley State Park.  I thought I had this place completely mapped out...but in the 2+ years since I was last trails have been built!  Valley View Trail is one of the coolest trails I've ridden in a long time!  I can't wait to get back there and ride it again.

Brent and I riding Valley View Trail in Patapsco Valley State Park. -- December 27, 2018

Taking a break near abandoned houses now located in the heart of Patapsco Valley State Park. -- December 27, 2018


My surreal solo ride in Ohiopyle State Park ranks as my favorite ride of 2018.  Alex dropped me off at the Sugarloaf trail head for the start of a crazy ride that took me around the Sugarloaf Area and then to McCune Trail.  The forest was completely engulfed by low hanging clouds and streams of water from the down pour that soaked the area the night before.  McCune trail, lined with enormous boulders, will be a must ride for me from now on.  I took Baughman Trail (which was, at that point, a flowing river) down the mountain to the town of Ohiopyle.  After pausing for some ice cream, I rode the Great Allegheny Passage to the the trail that acts as a connector between the GAP and Kentuck Knob Campgrounds.  The whole ride was so perfect...making it my favorite of 2018!

Riding McCune Trail in Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 21, 2018

The shear size of the boulders which lined McCune Trail in Ohiopyle State Park is amazing! -- June 21, 2018

My Stumpjumper at the base of the two-mile-long Baughman Trail in Ohiopyle.  The trail was literally turned into a small river from the rain that fell the previous night! -- June 21, 2018

Celebrating my ride in Ohiopyle State Park with an ice cream cone from the Ohiopyle General Store. Photo by Alex Raymond. -- June 21, 2018

Hanging my soaked and muddy gear from our cabin's railing to dry in the June humidity. -- June 21, 2018

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- December 31, 2018

The best ice cream stop of the year was after my final mountain bike ride of 2018.  Brent and I stopped at the Ice Cream Cottage in Arbutus, Maryland after riding Patapsco Valley State Park. Not only do they have some of the best ice cream...but the nice lady behind the counter makes amazing roast beef sandwiches! -- December 27, 2018

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Here are the GARMIN maps and data from my favorite rides of 2018.  #OptOutside

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


Wednesday, March 21, 2018


The earliest picture I have of me on a bicycle was taken when I was one year old.  It's of my father holding me steady on a ten speed bike.  I think it's safe to say that neither my mom, nor my dad, would have ever thought I would one day grow up to be an adult who would derive so much joy and inspiration from riding a bike.

As always...thank you to YOUR TRUE NATURE for the super cool bookmarks and magnets.  Your gifts and work continue to inspire me.

Hanging on the refrigerator in my kitchen is a magnet that the good people at Your True Nature sent me a few months ago.  It reads:  ADVICE FROM A BICYCLE.  Just one of a few gifts that they sent me after reading my post, OBSERVATIONS FROM OHIOPYLE.  The folks at YOUR TRUE NATURE also inspired me to write ADVICE FROM A SQUIRREL and, one of my favorite posts, ADVICE FROM A MOUNTAIN.  Decades of bike riding have taught me a lot of lessons. Some of those lessons were taught to me (thank you, Mark)...and some I had to figure out on my own.  Interestingly, many of them can be summed up in the seven phrases printed on the magnet hanging in my kitchen. Again, many thanks to YOUR TRUE NATURE for inspiring me with these your pieces of advice from a bicycle.  I hope you don't mind...but I added one more (and in my opinion...the best) piece of advice to the end of the list.  Enjoy!


To me, the key to biking...and to staying on track.  Figure out what you want to do, where you want to go, who you want to be...and go there.  The trails won't always be marked, paths will often diverge, and sometimes you'll have to make your own way.  Just keep your eyes on the trail ahead of you.

Just like mountain biking, in life there are often plenty of signs to help keep you on track.  Taken while mountain biking near the Bedford Springs Hotel -- January 13,  2018

Those signs can be easily missed if you aren't paying attention....sort of like the sign that diverted Baughman Trail (in Ohiopyle State Park) off to the right and away from the mud and muck that I ended up riding in.  --  June 15,  2017

No matter how hard you try to stay on track...ultimately, you'll come to a fork in the road.  Thankfully, All Trails Go Somewhere!  Mark Lentz in Michaux State Forest. -- July 21, 2017

To Glenn's chagrin...staying on track sometimes means inventing a new way enduring a cold stream crossing and an unauthorized trek through a construction site.  Glenn Medice riding at the Lakes. -- May 2, 2017


Trails, like life, don't always lead you where you want to go...but they always go somewhere...and that somewhere is often really beautiful!

I love this trail in Michaux State Forest.  It winds and curves through a freshly logged area of the mountain. -- October 30, 2016

This curve descends down a particularly beautiful area in Michaux State Forest that...for some reason...I've always called Bear Knob.  I think I saw the name on an old ATV map. --  August 1, 2017


My boss calls it, "Keeping Your Triangle Balanced."  Family, Work, Leisure.  We all can be guilty of focusing too much on one of those three things and neglecting the others.  Life, like riding a bicycle, is a balancing act.  Leaning too far in any one direction will knock you too the ground.

Making my way down Trail 7 at Rocky Ridge County Park.  In my opinion, one of the most fun and probably the most difficult trail in the park.  There is a rock garden about 2/3 of the way down the trail that I've never been able to make it through.  Way to go, Mikey Nardelli!  You're the only person I've ever seen ride it! -- November 3, 2017

This stupid log in Swatara State Park throws me off all the time.  The single log is damp enough for me to constantly slip off of it and the two perpendicular logs are annoyingly spaced just right to stop my momentum.  Tim, for some reason, has no issue with it.  Tim Sindlinger and Matt Linnane. -- June 6, 2017

The best rock at Rocky Ridge County Park!  Staying balanced on it is much easier than you would first expect. -- September 15, 2017

Matt Linnane dodging downed trees and staying balanced as he rides above Mountain Creek in Michaux State Forest. -- August 15, 2017


There are times in life, just as on a bike, that we need to put the brakes on and slow down.  Maybe we need to get our bearings...maybe we need to watch out for danger...or maybe we just need to stop and take in the moment.  It's okay to put the brakes on every once in a while.  Don't worry about your STRAVA.

Kristian and I putting the brakes on to admire the beauty of the Patapsco River in Patapsco Valley State Park, MD. -- October 15, 2016

Yeah...I'm that guy.  If the sign says "Walk Your Bike Across The Bridge" that's what I do.  Patapsco Valley State Park. -- July 1, 2016

This is one of Glenn's favorite pictures.  Glenn, Matt, and I took a break  on a well placed bench in Michaux State Forest. -- July 25, 2017

Yes....I will put the brakes on for snakes.  I hate snakes.  Thanks, Mark, for pointing it out.  Michaux State Forest. -- October 30, 2016

I will definitely put the brakes on for a black bear! Michaux State Forest. -- July 31, 2017


Someone once mentioned to me how surprised they were when they realized that I didn't just mountain bike "downhill."  Life is full of uphill climbs.  Actually, you'll spend exponentially more time and energy climbing up than you will riding down.  When you do get to ride down...go ahead and coast.
You deserve it.

Mark Lentz and  I coasting down a super slick single track that winds underneath the power lines in Michaux State Forest. -- October 10, 2016

Glenn Medice and I coasting down a trail in Michaux State Forest. -- August 15, 2017

Mark and Kristian coasting and chatting on a fire road in Michaux State Forest. -- October 30, 2016


Inevitably, things get tough.  Be the person who looks for solutions...not the person who just sees problems.  S**t happens...don't let it derail you.  There's always a way around, through, or over anything in your way.

Tim navigates this tree build-up in Michaux State Forest with greatest of easy. -- June 28, 2016

This tough spot at on the Parkway Trails in Harrisburg, PA didn't derail Chris and just made us backtrack a little bit. -- March 3,  2018

Love, love, love this picture of Glenn navigating Grave Ridge in Michaux State Forest. -- July 25, 2017


The saying goes..."We all have gears we don't use."  Use them.  They'll help you get out of the valleys.

I took this amazing pic of Mark as he started his climb up Trail 8 at Rocky Ridge County Park.  Climbs like this are the reason bikes have so many gears. -- January 26, 2018


My contribution to the list.  I don't think I would enjoy mountain biking even a fraction of the amount that I do if it wasn't for the friends that I share these experiences with.  Just over the past two years, I've had the honor of spending time (doing the things I love) with these people.  They are ALL so special to me and mean the world to me.  Thank you, all!

Mark Lentz and Dave Raymond on an epic ride in Tuscarora State Forest. -- July 6, 2017

Dave Raymond and Chris Keller on one of our many afternoon rides at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- July 13, 2017

Back row:  Tim Sindlinger, Glenn Medice, and Matt Linnane.  We took this pic at the end of Grave Ridge Trail in Michaux State Forest. -- August 15, 2017

Mike Alicea, Brent Shirk, and Dave Raymond on the Park Way Trails in Harrisburg, PA. -- December 28, 2017

Riding Patapsco Valley State Park with Kristian Hains. -- October 15, 2016

Dave Raymond and Mike Alessandroni riding near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. -- August 3, 2016

Taking an Easter Sunday ride with my son, Alex.  -- April 16, 2017

Riding with my very best friend of all...Robin!  -- April 9, 2017

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- March 21, 2018

I was one year old when this picture of my father and I was taken outside of my parent's apartment in Fishertown, Pennsylvania. -- 1974

Here are the GARMIN maps and data from a few of the rides featured in this post.   Happy riding!

Interested in 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 YOURTRUENATURE.COM!