Are you looking for a place to try out the best mountain bike you could afford? Then there’s probably no better place to do that other than in Blue Mountain Bike Park. This place has the scenic views but more importantly, it has the trails to get your adrenaline levels high and give you the experience of a lifetime.
About Blue Mountain Bike Park
Blue Mountain Bike Park is located in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains, in Pennsylvania. Here lies the highest vertical in the area, and you get a total of 25 trails where you can practice your skills, discover new places, and make new friends and share the passion for mountain biking and the great outdoors in general.
The great part is that this is a lift-serviced bike park so you won’t have to push your bike and waste precious time when you could use it to speed down the trails.
The trails take advantage of the natural landscape and provide challenging conditions for downhill riding. The trails use the terrain’s natural features so you’ll get to ride over rock gardens, loose gravel and rocks, tree roots, and other obstacles.
There are progressive features such as the drop-zone, there’s also a slalom course, but also pumptrack, features that help riders that visit the park for the first time to familiarize with the terrain and see what they’ll find in the park and could use for the rest of their vacation, whether it’s a single day, a week, or even longer.
What’s so special about Blue Mountain Bike Park, besides its amazing views and cool trails, is the laid-back community feeling that everyone gets there. Riders look out for each other and help each other, and true friendships are born here.
While this is not exactly an ideal park for beginners, it’s a great place for riders who have already learned the ropes of downhill biking. There are Intermediate and Advanced trails for everyone, and riders can adventure on expert runs such as Jambalaya, OCS,Formula, Moto, and of course, Miles of Smiles.
All these trails are quite steep and twisted, and expect them to be quite rocky as well. There’s also a newer addition called Night Train, although you’d best not heed the name and go out at night to ride it – you still need plenty of sunlight to ride any of these tough trails.
There are also some moderate trails such as King Tut and Wild Turkey, where you get to take things easier and get into shape before you try riding on the more challenging tracks.
You’d be glad to know that there is also a jump line where everyone can benefit from some fun air time. This jump line is called Ewok Village. There’s also a freeride trail called El Camino, which features lots and lots of berms, jumps, drops, and others that will make for fun rides for various ability levels, and the easy-go nature can allow riders to improve their lap times the more they try.
For beginners or warming up purposes, besides the drop zone, there’s also a skill-building area where you learn the essential techniques to help you conquer the slopes like a pro, as long as you practice and practice some more.
Packages and tickets
You can certainly bring your own bike and gear, but in case you don’t have all you need, you can always rent from the resort. You can rent a bike and pay for a deposit, or you can also rent equipment such as a downhill helmet or get the full package and such as a helmet and full body armor to stay safe and sound.
There are also packages aimed at beginners, where amateurs get a crash course into downhill riding. There is also the option to buy a package where you get several guided trail rides so you can learn the ropes in the company of someone who knows what they’re doing, and a few companions.
There’s also a bike service shop that could help you with minor repairs such as tube change, chain and tire replacement, derailleur adjustments, new housing and cables, and so on.
You can get an Early Bird Season Pass for a pretty hefty discount, although the Full Price Season Pass isn’t that expensive to begin with, considering that you’d get to enjoy loads of fun rides and share unforgettable moments with like-minded riders.
In case you don’t plan on spending too long there, you can also get Day Passes or other Lift Ticket packages.
Lodging and camping
There are various accommodation options available so you can pick the right ones for your needs and budget. There are lots of vacation rentals, hotels, bed and breakfast, and so on.
There is also a campsite where you can pitch your own tent and unwind, in the company of new friends or old ones. Each Blue campground can host up to six people, two tents, one vehicle, and you get access to showers, bathrooms, but also fire pits where you can build a campfire and enjoy a perfect end for the day.
There’s also a glamping option available for those who can’t live without the luxury, but then again, most hardcore riders would probably prefer the less pretentious accommodation options.
Then there’s also the Slopeside Pub & Grill where you can get some ice-cold beer and share your amazing achievements on the slopes but also enjoy really tasty and freshly cooked food to help you recover for another day of riding.
Opening season and closing
The early season usually opens starting with the middle of May and ends before June. Mid or regular season starts on the 1st of June and ends on the 1st of September, and there’s also a late or fall season that usually starts at the beginning of September and lasts through the end of October.
So what do you need to bring?
Before you head off to this place, you should make sure that you have all the gear you need. The first thing you’d need is a bike (duh), but in case you don’t have one, you can always rent one from the park rental and repair shop.
It’s recommended that you bring a full-suspension bike, as most trails are quite steep so chances are you won’t be able to enjoy much with a hardtail bike, regardless of how much travel the fork has.
As far as how much suspension you need, the more you have, the better. Forks with 100mm travel are probably not the best for the trails, so look for anything above 120mm. The rear shock should too have generous travel, as the steep and twisty trails are also full of rocks and loose dirt so you’ll need anything that can help you stay on the track and also have fun.
Wider handlebars would be a good idea, to make sure that you get more control on the slopes. Wide tires are also needed, and anything at least 2.35” wide should do.
Don’t forget to bring protective equipment with you, unless you want to rent this too. The most important is a downhill helmet. A road or XC-style helmet won’t do as it won’t offer enough protection in case of a crash.
A downhill helmet will offer proper protection for your head but also for your jaws and teeth (you wouldn’t want to lose them, would you?). You’d also need adequate goggles to prevent pebbles, rocks, tree branches, and other debris from getting into your eyes and causing inconvenience or worse, leading to accident or/and injury.
You also need at least one pair of full-finger gloves. Don’t even think about bringing fingerless gloves, as many downhill crashes tend to be quite nasty, and wearing the appropriate gloves can really make a difference between an ugly cut and some bruises.
Some armor would also be helpful, to offer protection for your chest, shins, elbows, and other parts you might want to keep safe.
Also, don’t forget to bring a small backpack where you can keep beverages, snacks, some mini tools in case you get a mechanical up the slopes, and other essentials.