In the far deep rural region of northwestern Pennsylvania lies the Allegheny National Forest.  The forest was established in 1923 and its main office is located in Warren, PA near the Allegheny River just down stream of the Kinzua Dam.  The dam completed in 1965 is one of the largest dams east of the Mississippi River and at 179 feet tall an architectural site to see.

The Allegheny River has been a recreational resource for the region for years providing opportunities for people to fish, boat, and paddle along the river.  If you find yourself in the region and are interested in a paddling trip or need help setting up a backpacking trip, we recommend you visit Allegheny Outfitters.  They are the areas best resource for outdoor recreation, especially paddling and backpacking.

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Kindzua Dam, photo courtesy Ellen Marie

Just upstream of the Kinzua Dam in the Allegheny National Forest a new  trail system known as Jakes Rock Trail is being developed.  This trail system is providing outdoor enthusiasts with another recreational opportunity, mountain biking.  The mountain bike specific trails at Jakes Rock were laid out, but not built by the IMBA affiliated, Trail Solutions trail company.

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When completed the trail system should be 30-40 miles in length according to Trailsatjakesrock.com .  The first 12 plus miles of trail was completed in August and this past fall I had the opportunity to ride the new single track!

The unique element that defines this single track for me is the large boulders you swerve alongside.  The trail is beginner to moderate in difficulty level, but the burms and boulders allow for more advanced riders to entertain themselves, as well.  The trail system provides for some great extended downhill riding and the climbs are all of a reasonable grade.  I found my hard tail single speed with front suspension to be a great bike for this trail system.  Mountain bikers if you find yourself in the far deep rural region of the Allegheny National Forest near Warren, PA do yourself a favor and check out Jakes Rock Trail System.  I look forward to getting back and seeing the next 10 plus miles of single track, which they are hoping to build and complete in 2017.

Author: Joe Moerschbaecher is owner of Pura Vida Adventures, a professional mountain guide service specializing in guided mountain biking, rock climbing, canyoneering, rafting and hiking tours in the western North Carolina mountains.  When not guiding he pursues and writes about his adventures throughout North America and the world.