Navigating the High Country

Another warm February day! 50 degrees and sunny! You couldn’t ask for more! While checking out this weekends weather, and since the roads are still covered in way too much salt, I decided to venture out and try a ride pretty far off the beaten path: the climb up the High Knob to the fire tower.

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I met up with Will at the Maple Run parking area on Rt. 402 in Blooming Grove Township. We turned right out of the parking area onto Rt. 402, and after a mile, we hung a left, hit the gravel, and immediately started to climb. The High Knob Road is a loose gravel surface, making it almost impossible to get out of the saddle on the way up. The road winds its way skyward for about 1.75 miles, and just as you think you’re at the top, the grade steepens sharply. Another quarter mile, and finally I can breathe.

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Fire Tower and Cell Towers atop the High Knob

At 2100 feet, the High Knob is the highest elevation in Pike County. The view is pretty darn good too! Now, time to descend through the loose stuff. The ride down was fantastic! A nice reward for a tough climb. At the bottom, we beared right onto Hobday Road, a more packed down gravel surface made for a smoother ride. After a few miles, Hobday turned into High Line Road. High Line is a road that seems to literally pull you as you swoop up and down, and twist and turn through the Pennsylvania State Forest.

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As we came to a 3 way intersection of gravel roads, we were met with a funky sign post, pointing you in the direction towards any one of the many hunting cabins that litter the State Forest. Intrestingly enough, DCNR has put in dozens of camping areas throughout the state forest, complete with fire rings and picnic tables.

We made a right on Hay Road, and followed it for about 1.5 miles through logging country. As the road went from hard packed gravel to 4-5 inch rip rap, we turned around and headed back to the intersection, where we took Pine Flats Road. We came to a creek that, aided by the recent rains, overtook the road. After a few more miles, we made a left on Rt. 402, and climbed our way back to the parking area. We talked of ways to connect this route to a few other gravel roads, making for a 50-70 mile ride on mostly gravel.

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