Swatara Rail Trail

I wanted to check out the Swatara Rail Trail for quite some time – it is a mixture of rail trails and abandoned roads near Jonestown, PA. I saw the trail while driving home from another near by trail, the Stone Valley Rail Trail. Part of my research in checking out new trails is going on Google Maps to see where the trail starts, ends and what else is around it. I noticed at one end of the Swatara Rail Trail there was a KOA campsite and you could cycle (or walk) right from camp to the trail which really intrigued me. So I picked a weekend in August, packed up my camping gear, Kevin, JoJo and my nephew and we headed out for a weekend of adventure!

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Lackawanna River Heritage Trail

Kevin was invited to be in a wedding which was going to take place near Scranton, PA. When you are in a wedding, you typically have things that you do all day with the bridal party – and I didn’t know anyone else that would be attending this wedding. So I started looking for things that I could do close to the hotel that would take up some time until the wedding would take place. I thought about taking a tour of Scranton to see all the places The Office was filmed, except there are none. Then I noticed a bike trail really close to the hotel we were staying at – The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. BINGO.

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Bike Train: Jim Thorpe – White Haven PA

I was undecided what I wanted to do for my birthday weekend this year.  The weather hasn’t been the greatest lately so that took out camping.  I really wanted to go see some waterfalls, but a lot of places I looked up were either closed for the season or the trails were washed out due to all the rain we have been having.  Then something made me think about the bike train in Jim Thorpe.  After a quick search, I found out it was the last weekend for the year.  I gave Pocono Biking a call with serious doubts I would get any tickets.  They are a company we have used NUMEROUS times before for the shuttle, but never had a chance to take the train.  Either way, you park in Jim Thorpe and take the train (which runs about once a month spring – fall) or take a shuttle (which runs daily May – Oct and weekends only in April & November) to White Haven, PA.  Then you hop on your bike and cycle about 25 miles along the Lehigh Gorge Trail back to Jim Thorpe.

To my surprise there were a fed tickets available for the train!  I claimed tickets for as many family members as I could put in a car.  Bikes, trains, and waterfalls – what better way to spend a day?!

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Wine & Wheels

I noticed that my favorite winery was very close to the Schuylkill River Trail so I decided to see if I could get a group together to cycle to it.  I called it the Wine & Wheels bike ride, and although the trip was spur of the moment I had 8 people interested in joining in.  I picked the Brentwood trailhead which was a little over 3 miles away from Ridgewood Winery and told everyone to meet there.  Due to various reasons everyone dropped out except my friend Tracy.  We decided to go a little earlier because rain was expected in the late afternoon.  We also decided to meet at a spot further up the trail to make our ride a little longer – the day was so gorgeous that it was an easy decision to cycle the whole way there!

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Stony Valley Rail Trail

It has been a long time since I have hiked or cycled the Stony Valley Rail Trail.  My friend, Laura, was the one who first showed me this trail and we explored various sections – especially the abandoned town of Rausch Gap.  The Appalachian Trail also goes through this area so there are miles of hiking and cycling that can be done.  I have been looking for new places to take my nephew bike camping so Kevin and I grabbed our bikes one sunny day and headed out to see if there were any campsites near the trail that we could get to with our bikes.

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Bikepacking Trip – Day 2

If you missed day 1 of my trip – start HERE!  🙂

I woke up in Leesburg, VA, packed up my panniers, and headed out to the front desk to wait for the shuttle to take me back to the Ferry.  The 3 guys who were cycling the whole trail were on my shuttle again and we wished each other well as we got off the ferry and started the final portion of the trip to DC.  They told me they would be taking their lunch break at Great Falls if I wanted to join them.

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