Every once in a while I get the itch to ride fast, smooth, singletrack to counter the exceptionally technical terrain I find myself on most often.
Nockamixon State Park in Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, scratches that itch, and scratches it good.
What to Expect
What you'll find here is 10 miles of rolling, twisty singletrack that snakes through cedar and pine trees bordering 1,450-acre Lake Nockamixon. Vertical gain or loss is minimal and I’d classify the riding as beginner to not-quite-intermediate. Bona fide beginners are advised to follow the trail to the right which leads to an access road, then retrace their tracks to the parking lot. Under two miles, this is a rolling, mellow out-and-back that avoids log-overs, rocks and roots.
Looking for something a bit longer? Follow the trail across the access road where you'll encounter some steeper terrain and creek crossings. (Watch out for wet roots!) Make two lefts after the creek or take a right and then a left to go back in the direction of to the trailhead.
For the even more adventurous, start at the trailhead and hit both the northern and southern loops in one ride. Hang a right at fork number one to ride the northern loops (mentioned above) and a left to pedal the southern end, which boasts a more technical, rocky terrain, short but steep gully crossings and a stream crossing. Many mountain bikers, myself included, prefer pedaling the loops counter-clockwise.
What to Ride
Nockamixon is mere miles away from my hometown. So, naturally, I make a point to ride there whenever I visit. I keep a rigid, singlespeed 29er at my childhood home almost entirely for this reason. If you have one, it was made to be ridden here. You will fly over singletrack without a care in the world. I promise. Don't have a singlespeed in your quiver? I'm pretty certain you can bring any mountain bike here and have a good time.
It's worth mentioning that maintenance is top-notch at Nockamixon. Local volunteers put a significant amount of time into creating the trail system and they maintain it on a regular basis. Nice work, folks. This girl is proud to ride and recommend some of Bucks County's finest singletrack.
Off Road Hazards
Nockamixon State Park lists the following precautions on its website:
- The ten-mile trail bike trail can be hazardous.
- Some slopes are steep and there are rough surfaces and slippery areas.
- The trail is for riders equipped for off-road riding.
- Bikers ride bike trails at their own risk.
Keep in mind, this area can get B-U-S-Y. That said, I've ridden at Nox--as it's affectionately referred to--on days when loads of cyclists were there. Yet, the parking lot was the only place "overcrowded." The trail itself never felt uncomfortably busy.
Directions to the Trailhead
Located on Route 563 east of Quakertown and west of Doylestown, just off of 313. Gain access to the trail from the Haycock Boat Launch (2150 Mountain View Dr. Kintnersville, PA 18930). From the parking area, make a right onto 563. The trailhead is on your right after you cross the bridge. Road-side parking is reserved for people fishing. Another parking lot is located at the corner of Tower Rd and Fink Dr off of Rt 611. I can typically find a spot here without a problem.