SAMBA has partnered with the Michaux State Forest District on plans to implement a new stacked loop trail system suitable for beginner to intermediate level mountain bikers, as well as hikers and trail runners, in the northern end of the Forest. Currently designated as the Hearth Tender Trail System, it is expected to have three loops and will be all new trail construction, not affecting any existing trails. These trails will originate from a new parking area to be constructed on the south side of Old Railroad Bed Road about a 1/4 mile from its western terminus. The system will be bounded on the west and south by the Appalachian Trail and on the north by Old Railroad Bed Road. Two beginner loops will be located close to the parking area. An intermediate loop will extend for several miles around the ridge of the Pole Steeple vista to the east. Trail difficulty designations are based on other trails that currently exist in the area.
While the trail system is still in the planning and review process within DCNR, the District hopes to begin construction as early as this Fall. In addition to partnering with the District on the initiative, SAMBA has collaborated with the Friends of Michaux State Forest as well as the Mountain Bikers of Michaux (MBM) on the concept design and planning for construction of the trails. SAMBA has been working on this initiative since 2018 and we submitted a preliminary proposal to the District and officially partnered with MBM in 2019. We have worked with the District for the last three years on refining the route design to ensure the appropriate balance of recreation and forest ecology management objectives are achieved.
SAMBA will complete construction of the new trails adjacent to the Mechanicsburg Middle School this Fall which is intended for beginners and kids and will serve as a steppingstone for the Hearth Tender Trail area and the larger trail system within the Michaux State Forest, creating a ladder of progression for riders in the area. SAMBA is a 100% volunteer, 501c3 non-profit organization and we will need helping hands to put these trails on the ground. Watch for volunteer workdays hopefully coming later this year and please consider joining us for a morning in the Forest!