North Park

Arguably the best trail system in the Pittsburgh area.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
31 km
Ascent
786 m
Descent
786 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
285 m
High Point
384 m
Gradient
North Park Map

North Park graces Pittsburgh’s crown of mountain bike trails as one of its richest and most beautiful jewels! This extensive network of singletrack offers a myriad of ride possibilities ranging from short and easy to long and challenging. The ride mapped here seeks to make the most of the trail system, but you could even construct a longer route than this!

Description

The trails within the network are quite varied. At North Park, you can find a few jump and berm-filled trails, and a few trails chock-full of blocky rocks, slick roots, and challenging chunder. But if I had to broadly characterize the singletrack at North Park, I’d say the vast majority is best described as classic, flowy cross country singletrack.

Some riders confuse the concepts of “flowy” and “flow trail,” so let me clarify briefly. Flowy cross country trails are relatively non-technical and offer a delightful swoop and flow through the forest. They tend to undulate up and down the hillsides, with grade reversals that serve both as entertaining kinesthetic mountain biking features and sustainable water drains. The corners pass quickly thanks to wide, sweeping turns that allow riders to maintain their momentum.

Classic flowy cross country trails are not, however, dominated by reinforced berms in the corners or machine-built jumps, rollers, and features. When you find these features placed on a hillside with a good downhill grade, then you get a true flow trail. While you will find a few flow features scattered in pockets around North Park, the majority of flow experience here comes from the delightful feeling of romping through the woods for hours on your mountain bike on fantastically-designed singletrack! And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

If you find yourself in Western PA, you’ve gotta ride North Park!

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Drops
  • Jumps
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

Guidebooks in this area