We have written a number of articles on riding areas in Pennsylvania, and the Rock Run Recreation Area is the newest. It opened May 2007.
The entire park is 6,000 acres of recreational fun. Currently in the first phase of construction, 50 miles of clearly marked trails for motorcycles and ATVs provide plenty of riding for a weekend of adventure. The area is fun now, with more acreage to be opened, adding more trails in the future. So the park will continue to draw riders back for a long time to come.
The trails offer a lot of diversity and great riding in the scenic Allegheny Mountains, past mining activity and different areas of vegetation.
You can be riding in a dark, dense, cool forest of tall trees, stopping at one of the small streams to relax and listen to the waterfall of a small stream.
The area was originally heavily mined for coal and clay. The old remains of some of the buildings, air shafts and other related mining related activities can be visited if you take time to look around.
Then you can take a trail that leads you through a large granite boulder field, left behind from the coal mining operation that closed down years ago. The views here are great.
Further down the trail you find a designated mud challenge pit. Here you can get as deep in the mud as you like, or just skirt the edge if your tires or ATV are not up to the challenge or you don’t have a winch handy just in case.
One nice feature along the trail, near the park entrance, is access to a snack shack/general store. Just park in the designated area on the trail and then get a snack.
The entire park has been designed to be fun and environmentally friendly. You will notice in several locations there are containment ponds that collect acid mine run-off. These were built to clean up the streams and improve water quality—a definite benefit to having a managed area. The containment ponds are easy to identify, and these are not mud pits, so stay out. Ride only the marked trails and you will have no problems.
In addition to the 50 miles of trails, phase one features a welcome center. Here you can buy riding passes.
A one-day individual pass is $15, a three-day pass is $37 and an annual pass is $120. If you ride as a family there is a three-day family pass for $89 and a annual family pass for $275. A family is considered two adults and two children. There is the option to add more children at $10 each.
Currently the park offers only day use, with no overnight camping, but camping will come in the next expansion.
Park rules require each visitor to check in at the welcome center and sign a release. Riders under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. No alcoholic beverages, firearms or illegal drugs allowed. Riders and passengers are required to wear helmets.
Rock Run is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. It's closed on Mondays.
For more information, call Rock Run Recreation Area at (814) 674-6026, send them an e-mail or check out their website at www.rockrunrecreation.com.