If you enjoy riding a bicycle, Centre County is an outstanding place to live and/or visit. Whether it’s rolling backcountry roads, steep mountain climbs, technical single-track, or in-town bicycle paths that you seek, the greater State College area delivers. The links below will take you to detailed maps, descriptions, and cue sheets for a wide variety of favorite local road rides. While the information contained in these pages should ensure a successful ride, some prior familiarity with the Centre County area roads and trails will definitely help. You may wish to pick up the excellent Purple Lizard maps. An excellent and free map of the area can also be obtained from the Centre County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Finally, if you are lucky, you might be able to scare up a copy of Bike Rides From Beaver Stadium or Mountain Bike Madness in Central Pennsylvania, two excellent (but currently out of print) books by Scott Adams. Also, click here for Centre Region biking information.
Check out these routes:
Scotia Loop (33.3 miles)
Purdue Mountain Loop (25 miles)
Circleville Road Loop (18.5 miles)
Click HERE for more Centre County routes from Centre Bike
Additionally, Centre County hosts several bike races that offer fun and exercise for everyone from the beginner to the most advanced riders. Some to look for are:
Click HERE for more Centre County races from Centre Bike
Happy Valley’s culture of cycling has spurred everything from bike-centric business to active cycling clubs. Happy Valley’s bike clubs cater to both road riders and mountain bikers of all skill levels. The State College Cycling Club hosts several regular weekly rides, including everything from long-distance circuits to ‘slow and easy’ Thursday night rides. The Nittany Mountain Bike Association offers resources for off-road riders, like local maps and organized group rides almost daily, primarily departing from the Galbraith Gap area of the Rothrock State Forest.
To the benefit of local riders, the adventure-loving culture of Happy Valley has also spurred an insightful series of outdoor guides highlighting Central Pennsylvania destinations—Purple Lizard Maps. Produced by a team of cartographers and outdoor enthusiasts with ties to Penn State and Happy Valley, Purple Lizard creates detailed, outdoor-recreation oriented maps to locations in and around State College, including Rothrock, Bald Eagle, and Black Moshannon State Forests.
Happy Valley’s cycling-craze also means State College is sprinkled with several bike shops, catering to all sorts of riders. The Bicycle Shop—a local institution serving State College since 1946—offers an extensive selection of bikes, repair, and tune-up services, and organizes weekly rides for both mountain bikers and road cyclists. Downtown State College is also home to Freeze Thaw Cycles, a company started by two Penn State students who became exceptionally adept at refurbishing used bikes to sell to peers. The idea spurred a local cycle shop that now features both new and recycled bikes. And, when you want to get pampered after a day out on the trails, book your night’s stay at the Reynolds Mansion Bed and Breakfast. You’ll be glad you did!