Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Exploring the Back Mountain Trail

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

I have hardly ridden so far in 2009. I was sick for some time, and starting a business is proving to be more time-c0nsuming than I imagined. And with no commute, it’s hard to make myself do even short daily rides.

However, I did get out one day last week. I intended to ride to the end of the Back Mountain Trail and back, but I got sidetracked not long after I got on the trail. I saw a side trail that Sarah and I noticed when we hiked there, and decided to see where it went. I wasn’t really expecting much. Here’s a map of my ride.

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Looking up the side of the mountain


What I found was, the trail switches back and forth and climbs up the side of the mountain. There are a couple of offshoots that don’t go anywhere along the way, and the climb featured some loose rocks, tight turns, steep climbs, and overgrown sections.


The Trucker, on an overgrown side trail


The trail just kept going up. Eventually, I reached a clearing. I saw a couple of fire pits, and excellent views of surrounding mountains and part of Wyoming Valley, below.

Panoramic view from the top

My bicycle, on the edge

Trail heading the other way

My bicycle, by the power line tower

Notice the bike at the base of the tower

I also had a nice view of Bunker Hill Road, where I often ride. It’s a hell of a climb, and you can see most of it on the photo below. The road isn’t as straight as the line would have you believe.

Looking toward Bunker Hill Road

I explored a side trail, looking for other views of Bunker Hill Road. I had some luck, but hit a private property line and turned back.

Another view of Bunker Hill Road

Looking back toward the valley
from whence I came

Having exhausted my possibilities in that direction, I headed the other way. I was on a loose trail briefly, and then hit a gravel road. I soon figured out that it was going to meet up with Cliffside Drive, a familiar road that I knew I could easily take to a different part of the Back Mountain Trail. I enjoyed quite an exhilarating gravel road descent.

Power lines and wildflowers

Hitting gravel

Riding downhill on a gravel road

Looking back

More descending

I got back on the Back Mountain Trail, and rode to the end of that section. They were working on the steep hill at the end, putting in some stairs. That could make things interesting for those who ride the trail, rather than walking it. To be fair, I have had to walk that hill anyway as it’s steep and hard to get traction in the gravel. Still, stairs will only make it harder. I hope they are going to make some alternate accommodations for bikes.

What started out as a routine ride turned into a fun exploratory ride — and even though I wasn’t out for very long, I found a very cool new area. I will have to see if there are any other side trails that connect to the Back Mountain Trail.

4 Responses to “Exploring the Back Mountain Trail”

  1. furiousBall Says:

    i don’t know why, but i’ve always enjoyed riding power line trails. no clue, just do

  2. Mike Says:

    Good stuff. As always.

  3. Dave Says:

    Michael – zip me an email with your new email address. While you couldn’t tell it by looking outside, it’s going to be warmer weather soon and I’m going to want to share biking stories. I hope you and Sarah are doing great.

  4. Marty Says:

    Keep an eye out in spring along those powerline cut-outs for golden-winged and blue-winged warblers. Or is that just me?

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