An classic tour of Rothrock's best mountain biking trails at Cooper's Gap.


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FATMAP difficulty grade



Other than the acclaimed [Allegrippis Trails]( at Raystown Lake, Coopers Gap is one of the go-to mountain biking destinations in central PA.

Less technical than most of Rothrock, you'll enjoy short and punchy climbs, fast and narrow singletrack, and mellow terrain that'll have you begging for more by the end of your ride! Portions of this route also follow an IMBA Epic Route, a designation titled to some of the best mountain biking trails across the country. If you're wondering what kind of bike you need for this ride, there is no wrong answer.

Hardtail, full-suspension, fat bike, or even a single-speed can all have their share of fun in Coopers Gap, though the latter might require you to push your bike up trails like Peep and Deer Tick.

The trails also tend to hold up well to rain, though you should still give the area time to dry after a heavy downpour.

The freeze-thaw cycles in the winter and spring can also produce muddy patches along the way, especially on Sassafrass. There are tons of ways to access Coopers Gap, but the most foolproof is to take US-322 east from State College towards Milroy.

Exit for Old US-322, turn right, then take Woodland Road to Coopers Gap.

This route is mapped where Shittaka trail crosses the dirt road, but there are plenty of other options for parking along the loop.

Though the road is unpaved, high-clearance or 4wd is not necessary.

Of the other *need to know* items, there are no restrooms or water in the area, or at any of the trailheads.

Cell reception is also very limited, so download the map to your phone or GPS device beforehand to make sure you know where you're going.

Hunting is also allowed through different parts of the year, so consider wearing blaze orange in the fall and winter and [contact Rothrock SF]( if you're curious whether you're in the middle of a particular hunting season. As this ride can be difficult to navigate and cell reception is limited, the route is as follows: Shittaka -> Deer Tick -> Beautiful -> Chicken Peter -> Peep -> Kettle Rd.

-> Sassafrass -> Sass-xx -> Coopers Gap Rd. Sources: