Mountain Biking in Lehigh Valley

Adventure Around Every Turn on Hidden Trail Gems

The quantity of thrilling trails in the Lehigh Valley—and how close so many of them are to the Valley’s city centers—make this one of the best areas for mountain biking in the East Coast. Each is a hidden gem. Enthusiast riders enjoy sending the jumps on the brand new Jack O’ Diamonds trail at Trexler Nature Preserve, or the rocky goodness of Salisbury Walking Purchase Park. Newer riders flock to the flatter and smoother trails at Jordan Creek Park and Lake Nockamixon State Park.

Jump on the smooth asphalt path winding through SouthSide Bethlehem, past Bonn Place Brewing and Lehigh Pizza on your way to a hard-to-spot entrance behind St. Luke's Hospital. Or cruise along the bubbling Jordan Creek from downtown Allentown to the 270-acre Jordan Creek Park. Or, while visiting the Lehigh Valley Zoo, look up to the savannah-like hills and scan the forest for narrow dirt trails.

Hand-hewn mountain bike trails are everywhere, running through the Lehigh Valley’s parks and preserves. And on most days you’ll find cyclists of every age and ability spinning down these forest paths, enjoying the rewards of a hard effort and buzzing from the natural beauty surrounding them. 

Many of the trails have been built in the past 15 years by the Valley Mountain Bikers, a group of mountain bike enthusiasts who volunteer more than 2,000 hours annually maintaining these trail systems. 

The sport’s popularity is soaring and on some summer days trailhead parking lots are jammed with cars. But on most days, you’ll experience the Lehigh Valley’s most scenic areas with few distractions other than the blissful sounds of your bike rolling over pristine mountain trails. 

Where to Ride in PA's Mountain Bike PlaygroundA kid and an adult ride mountain bikes through Trexler Nature Preserve in Lehigh Valley, PA

Trexler Nature Preserve

4935 Orchard Rd, Schnecksville

Riding the jumps, drops, and high-speed turns of the Valley’s newest trail system at Trexler Nature Preserve is every bit as thrilling as a ride on Dorney Park’s Steel Force roller coaster. Don’t miss Jack O’ Diamonds—the trail is one of the country’s first with BMX-style jumps built on public land.

 

Jordan Creek Park

1375 Lehnert Rd, Whitehall

Practically hugging Route 22, the trails at Jordan Creek Park are ideal for beginners or experts. The narrow dirt single track dips and swirls around Jordan Creek, where you might steal a glimpse of a blue heron as you bomb along the trails.

Jacobsburg 26 Discover Lehigh Valley

Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center and State Park

400 Belfast Rd., Nazareth

At Jaconsburg Environmental Education Center and State Park, the 18 miles of dirt, grass, and gravel paths spiraling around the Bushkill Creek are great for casual riders looking for an easy spin.

A kayaker on Lake Nockamixon in Quakertown, Pa.

Lake Nockamixon State Park

Quakertown

Every inch of these smooth mountain bike trails was handcrafted by Valley Mountain Bikers’ volunteers. Even more impressive: The stunning lake views.  

A mountain biker gets some air at Salisbury Walking Purchase Park in Lehigh Valley, PA

Salisbury Walking Purchase Park

Salisbury Township

Tucked behind St. Luke’s hospital in Southside, Bethlehem, 11 miles of trails unfurl through nearly 500 acres of wild, remote-feeling open space at Salisbury Walking Purchase Park. The steep, rocky hillside makes these handbuilt trails popular with advanced riders, hikers, and trailrunners. 

Mountain biking trails at South Mountain Preserve Wildlands Conservancy in Lehigh Valley, PA

South Mountain Preserve

Emmaus

Emmaus may be the closest thing the Lehigh Valley has to a mountain town, and the trails rising from this hamlet are a playground for the adventurous. Huff your way to the top of South Mountain Preserve and you’ll pass house-size glacial boulders, take in views of the entire Valley, and be rewarded with thrilling descents back down.