Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Back Mountain Trail extension

Friday, November 21st, 2008

After reading that they had extended the Back Mountain Trail, I decided to go check it out. It was a chilly day, around 30 degrees, with winds gusting to around 30 mph, and a few snow flurries falling. I was riding mostly uphill, and into the wind, and I had a tougher time with it than I expected.

Riding toward the trailhead

As I rode up and away from the city, and the Wyoming Valley in which it’s situated, I looked back and I could see dense but isolated clouds of snow falling on parts of the city. I wish I had gotten a photo, it was quite a sight. Flurries continued to fall all around me but aside from a few patches of snow here and there, the trail was clear.

Back Mountain Trail

The most accumulation I saw on the whole ride

I made good time, despite the wind and constant uphill riding. I reached the end of the part I had ridden before, and tried to find where the trail went. I knew it’d have to cross Carverton Road, but I was unsure where it went. Eventually I discovered that to get to the new section, you have to ride toward 309 on Carverton. The trail picks up right at the corner.

The beginning of the new section of trail

The trail parallels the road fairly closely for a while, so there is a lot of road noise, and it’s not as scenic as the older part of the trail, in this section. It’s also at roughly the same level as the road, whereas the older section is mostly significantly higher than the highway, to the point where you often can’t even see it. Still, I was happy to see this new section. It follows a creek for a bit that’s very pretty. And, looking back toward the valley you get a nice mountain view.

“A Walk In Progress”

Looking back


A view of the Exxon station

I really don’t mind that the whole trail isn’t scenic. It’s still a way of getting to the Back Mountain area without dealing with traffic. In fact, I like that first and foremost, it’s a trail that takes you somewhere.

One thing took me by surprise, though. There is quite a steep climb at one point — steep enough that I walked it. Now, I rarely walk any hill; that said, if I had had knobby tires, I would’ve ridden up. But I was on the Trucker, which has mostly-slick tires. This climb is not a huge concern, although I think it could be problematic even trying to walk it during the winter. I don’t know if there’s any way they could have avoided this, but for a family-friendly trail I’d say it’s a bit difficult.

Unexpected steep climb

At the top of the climb, the trail goes away and the ride becomes a marked bicycle route on residential streets. This is fine. In fact, I wish there were more roads around here that were signed as bicycle routes. Those signs can serve as a good reminder for motorists that bicycles use the road, too.

I followed the signs, which stayed on relatively low-traffic streets. I could have easily taken off and gone exploring these streets; at some point, I’ll have to do just that. It’d be a lot of fun. I guess I was in Shavertown at this point.

Fun-looking road


Run-down building

After following the signs for a bit, I found myself back on the trail, which now followed a creek, passed a pond, and went into a wooded area. The trail ended soon after that, and I wished it went further — the scenery was just starting to get really nice again.



Woods. If you look closely, you can see some snowflakes falling


Supposedly, this trail will go through to Lower Demunds Road sometime in the spring. And then further, after that; the ultimate goal is to have the trail go all the way to Ricketts Glenn State Park, which would be amazing.

I turned around to ride back and now had a tailwind and a downhill ride almost the whole way home. Now the pedalling came much easier, and it was a hell of a fun ride.


Trail, Exxon, mountains

Another steep part — trailhead by Carverton Road. Hopefully they’ll do something about this.

Construction — the crane was moving at the time. I have seen this from above, see it in the lower-left here.


Almost home

2 Responses to “Back Mountain Trail extension”

  1. furiousball Says:

    the Almost home shot is freakin great dude. what kind of filters or whathaveyou did you use for the black and white shot of the tire?

  2. Doug Says:

    Now that I’m forced off my bicycle to mend for the winter I think I enjoy your posts even more. It’s almost as good as being there on the ride.

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