You don’t have to look far to find a great riding area in Pennsylvania, and one of the best is Rock Run Recreation Area near Patton. At 6500 acres sitting on former coal mining property, it’s big, it’s got plenty to do for all outdoor lovers, and it can be challenging.
RIDING the ROCK
The name “Rock Run” very accurately describes this riding area as most of the trails are quite rocky, with some having boulder patches that will test ground clearances and skid plates. It’s fun to pick your way through the technical sections, but if that’s not your thing, there are plenty of easy to mildly challenging trails through the woods as well. On a hot summer day, a ride through the cool woods can be very refreshing. With over 140 miles of trails that are mapped, named, and color coded for level of difficulty, there is something for everybody and every skill level at this Allegheny Mountains playground. At the top of every hill you will find amazing views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. If you really want spectacular scenery, visit in the fall when the leaves change colors and nature puts on her own color show to rival any fireworks! There is more to Rock Run than just the trails though.
One of the more popular and hard to miss areas at Rock Run is the Mud Hole. Everyone who visits Rock Run Recreation will eventually wind up there, and even if you missed the signs that lead right to it, somehow riders still instinctively find it! Riders and spectators congregate here to watch others plunge in and try their best to plow through the muck to the delight and laughter of those watching safely from the sidelines. In other areas, you’ll discover fields with wildflowers, swampy areas where you might find a beaver, and wooded areas with moss and rocks to climb over. One of our favorite parts is the switchbacks which provide huge fun! The switchbacks become a form of addiction where you want to turn around and do them over and over again! From the more spirited and experienced to the beginner, Rock Run is a great place to play, and it also offers excellent riding for young riders to learn and improve their skills. Since off-road riding is an activity that goes hand-in-hand with family camping adventures, there is also plenty of camping available.
With over 350 campsites for everything from RVs to tents within its three campgrounds, Rock Run has the capacity to provide guests a great family experience and an opportunity to enjoy live entertainment at Rock Run’s spring through fall events. For many, it’s a trip they make several times each year! The three campgrounds are Saddleback, the Pines and the Red Oak. Saddleback is the main ground for RVs with lots of room to spread out while the Pines is a side step away with another 30 campsites for midsized campers and tents. Red Oak is in a more secluded area surrounded by woods and down the hill from the very modern Welcome Center. While a little more private and relaxing, it is perfect for small campers and tents. If you are there mid-summer during the dry season, the Red Oak is also less dusty being in a more remote and less traveled section of the park.
A SUMMER BLAST – Rock Run Ride Festivals
The two main events through the park season are “Rally at the Rock” which is going on its 10th year in September and “Third Annual Summer Blast.” These ride festivals offer live on stage entertainment, vendors at the midway so you can check out new products, factory demo rides, food, races, and competitions with prizes. Kids can even be part of a Youth Only Guided Ride! Events are found on Rock Run’s events section on Facebook. These smaller events are memorial rides, charity benefits, and rides by various organizations such as a ride for St Jude’s, and a Toys for Tots benefit ride. Yamaha, Polaris and other OEMS regularly attend events with demo rides and sponsor races.
If you and your family are new at Off Road, the park offers guided tours from the friendly Rock Run staff. They’ll provide you with an ATV, helmets, beginner orientation, and even refreshments on the trail! Passes and trail maps can be picked up at the welcome center, and maps can also be downloaded from Rock Run’s website. All trails at Rock Run are two way trails, so be aware around corners.
Some riding areas are so remote there isn’t much to support your adventure and you need to bring everything with you. Thankfully, Rock Run is only a couple miles out of the nearby town of Patton which makes it easy to venture into town for fuel, food, or even a place to stay.
We highly recommend the Schoolhouse Inn in Patton. It is an historical brick, two story building which was once the St. Mary’s Parochial School - now converted into spacious and Victorian themed apartments with full kitchen, living room and dining areas. It’s big enough for the entire family with easy access to restaurants, grocery stores and shops. The Schoolhouse Inn has a/c, sheets, towels and linens, self-service washer and dryer, everything you need for the kitchen, and cable TV & Wi-Fi. Just like Rock Run Recreation, the Schoolhouse Inn and the town of Patton are happy to help with your adventure and to make sure you and your family have a great time.
ROCK RUN SUMMER EVENTS
SUMMER BLAST - August 11 to August 14
RALLY at the ROCK - Sept. 23, 24, & 25
Rock Run Recreation
1228 Saint Lawrence Rd, Patton, Pennsylvania, 16668
The Schoolhouse Inn
901 6th Ave, Patton, Pennsylvania
City Hotel Bar & Grill
Description: Newly renovated restaurant & lounge offering lunch, dinner or a relaxing drink. Also our hotel offers 16 European style rooms
Prince Gallitzin State Park
Service: Lodging - Camping and cabin accommodations available.
Phone: (888) PA-Parks
111 Roosevelt Blvd., Suite A, Johnstown, PA 15906