Rattling Creek Trail System (IMBA Epic)

The Rattling Creek Trail System is located near Lykens in northern Dauphin County within the Haldeman tract of Weiser State Forest and municipal properties owned by the Lykens Water Authority and the Williamstown Water Authority. The Susquehanna Area Mountain Bike Association (SAMBA) has been working as volunteer stewards for the trail system since 2012 and has been coordinating a large expansion project since 2017 which will more than double total trail mileage, provide trail access from Lykens, Wisconisco and Williamstown, develop trails within the Greenland tract of Weiser State Forest and establish a new Visitor Center in downtown Lykens!

The original 22 mile trail system features classic east-coast rocky and rugged terrain while the newer trails are slightly more flowy yet still peppered with challenging rock gardens and natural features. Typically, the original loop is ridden in a clockwise direction for continuity, however many of the trails are just as good or better when riding counterclockwise. Many trails run parallel to gravel access roads, but some trails pass through remote areas with no road access and there is very little cell phone reception within the trail system.

Maps should be downloaded here prior to arrival and riders need to be self-sufficient if planning to access remote trail areas.

Please remember:

  • Always wear fluorescent orange during hunting season at Rattling Creek Trail System.
  • Hunting is permitted 7 days a week at times.
  • Night riding is permitted – SAMBA highly recommends never riding alone at night and riders should always have a minimum of two lights.

The Rattling Creek Trail System can be accessed from several parking areas within the forest listed below,

Lykens Glen Park or via the new downtown Lykens Visitor Center with amenities in walking distance including Boyers Foods (grocery store), Dairy Queen and gas station. The visitor center is located at located at 535 Market St., Lykens Pa., 17048 and the nearby Carsonville Hotel is a local favorite spot for post-ride food & beverages.

East End Parking Lot: Powell’s Valley Rd, Halifax, PA 17032
40.544701, -76.689755

Minnich Hit Picnic Area: White Oak Road, Weiser State Forest
40.522539, -76.747647

Snowmobile Parking Lot: White Oak Rd, Halifax, PA 17032
40.544711, -76.758519


The Rattling Creek Single Trackers (RCST) were the group responsible for the establishment of the Rattling Creek trail system. This group was established as a labor of love for locals Keith Whitcomb and Mike Mace beginning in 1993 when they recognized the potential to expand trail riding opportunities in the Forest. RCST approached DCNR Forestry and gained approvals to re-open old, overgrown trails in the Forest in 1999. Public meetings held at Troegs Independent Brewing Co. engaged folks from Harrisburg to participate. After progress was made in the Forest, RCST expanded and included major contributors like Emory Ehrenfeld, Rick Brown & Jill Wiest. RCST then was able to gain approvals and began work to expand into the Lykens Watershed parcel and build Rattling Creek Trail (also known as Bunker Hill or Bridge Trail), Dock Smith, Hop Back and other classics. Some trails existed in the area including segments of Stone Cabin, Dry Run, Preserve Line and parts of Wolf Pond and Matter. Whitcomb proceeded to gain approvals to construct new trails and connect the segments. Work was completed in 2005 within the Haldeman tract of Weiser State Forest and Lykens Borough watershed. These classic trails still exist today with very little need for maintenance and serve as an anchor for the larger trail system being developed in the area. The wildly popular annual BASH event spearheaded by Rick & Jill, was held at Camp Muckelratz, and was established as the main fundraiser that supported efforts at the trail system for many years. SAMBA re-established the BASH in 2017 in the spirit of the original event which takes place every September.

The Rattling Creek Trail System was inducted as an IMBA EPIC trail system in 2011 and then expanded in 2022 from 22 miles to 27 miles. There are currently only 8 other EPIC rated trail systems on the East Coast.  Shortly after, RCST disbanded and SAMBA became the new stewards for the trail system, led by Shawn Withers who remained as the SAMBA trail liaison for several years and the Wolf Pond DH was built. Withers stepped down in 2017 and was replaced by local Josh Watts who immediately began to lobby for an expansion, enlisting SAMBA to assist with trail design and advocacy efforts. SAMBA began to explore expansion options in February 2019 and then partnered with Lykens Borough & Williamstown Borough, submitting design plans for Phase 1 of the expansion. Phase 1 included an extension of Stone Cabin trail and the construction of a new trail (Boundary) to add a new 5 mile loop on the east end of the trail system which was completed by SAMBA volunteers in Fall of 2021. Dave Pugh was added as co-trail director in 2022 and work began on Phase 2 began immediately afterward and continued until Spring of 2024. The new “Lykens loop” opened in April of 2024 which provided trail access from Lykens and a new 11 mile loop incorporating sections from Phase 1, a new climbing trail (Lykens Ladder) and a new 3 mile downhill trail (Reservoir Run), all tied to a new Visitor Center in downtown Lykens. Further expansion is planned for this area in the future. Phase 3 is in development for the Greenland tract of Weiser State Forest where SAMBA is working to gain approvals for 14 miles of new single track that has been mapped and flagged for DCNR Forestry approvals. SAMBA hopes to begin work on Phase 3 during 2024 and continue through 2025.

Once complete the Rattling Creek Trail system will be home to more than 50 miles of single track and countless miles of gravel and double track all connected into local towns and the Lykens Valley Rail Trail to hopefully establish the area as a major destination for mountain bikers and other trail users. SAMBA’s goal is to maintain, build, educate and ride in the spirit of the original trail builders and continue their mission at the Rattling Creek Trail System!



We will be posting and updating trail work days, rides, and social events. Any thoughts, concerns, ideas, etc can be emailed to:

Rattling Creek Contact


Ride On!!!


SAMBA BASH 2020 is on!

SAMBA BASH SEPTEMBER 17-20, 2020 Click Here for this years schedule of events! Register now to join in on the fun at Camp Muckelratz for the annual BASH in beautiful Lykens, Pa., home of the IMBA EPIC Rattling Creek Trail System. COVID led to the cancellation of...