2021 Public Lands Ride: Two Ways to Participate!

Helena Kotala, Mapping Manager

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Public Lands Ride seeks to celebrate and showcase the wealth of public parks and forests across the Commonwealth, bringing awareness to public lands as an invaluable resource for us to protect and enjoy. 

In 2019, PEC hosted the inaugural Public Lands Ride at Black Moshannon State Park, bringing together participants from Pennsylvania and beyond for a day of exploring gravel roads and mixed surface trails. 

In 2020, a shift to a “virtual” version provided an opportunity to expand the lens of focus and provide mapped routes in a variety of different forests across the central region of the state, focusing on areas covered by our partner Purple Lizard Maps. Those six routes provided incentive and a challenge to participants to explore new places and push their physical limits if they so desired.

This year, we are excited to promote both an in-person event returning to Black Moshannon State Park on October 2, 2021, and the release of six new routes in different state forests to be ridden anytime. 

A note on COVID-19: 

As we head back to in-person events and responses to COVID-19 continue to evolve, PEC will be monitoring guidance from the CDC and others in order to have appropriate safety protocols in place at our events. These may vary based on the type of event and other factors and may include masking and social distance requirements, proof of vaccination, and/or other precautions. Please stay tuned as the event(s) approach and we will keep you updated.  Thanks so much for joining us!

Sunset on the Laurel Highlands route. Photo by Naomi Jarvis.

Save the Date for Public Lands Ride 2021: Black Moshannon State Park

The one-day, in-person ride is scheduled for Saturday, October 2, 2021 and will once again be based out of the beach area at Black Moshannon State Park. There will be three different route options — 25, 45 and 65 mile — with aid stations spaced about every 15 miles. For those who participated in the 2019 event, the routes will be similar to but not the same — mostly gravel roads with a few sections of grassy doubletrack mixed in. 


There will be camping available at the group campsite Friday and Saturday nights, and campsites and cabins are also available to rent via the state park’s reservation system. 

Registration will open on BikeReg on April 30. Stay tuned for more event details. 


PLUS: Six new routes to enjoy on your own time

Vistas galore on the Reeds Gap route. Photo by Jonathan Bompiani.

Based on the positive feedback we received about the 2020 “virtual” Public Lands Ride, we’ve decided to continue creating routes in forests throughout the state and are excited to bring you six brand new ones for 2021. We are currently in the process of scouting and refining them, and they will be released throughout the spring. The routes will mostly be in the 45-65 mile range, of course with the option to expand or cut short as you see fit. Stay tuned to the PEC blog and Public Lands Ride Instagram (@pecpubliclandsride) to check out these routes once published!

All routes will be published on the RideWithGPS platform, which can be used on the phone app and also allows for the download of various file formats to use on your bike GPS. We will also provide a route description noting any tricky turns, can’t-miss features and a general idea of what to expect. 

There is no fee to ride these routes — we just encourage you to share your experience with your friends and on social media (and don’t forget to tag us!). 


Fall colors at Black Moshannon. Photo by Margot Kaye.

Don’t forget, you can still enjoy 2020’s Public Lands Ride routes!

Though the opportunity to win swag has passed, the opportunity to explore the six routes we put together for the 2020 “virtual” Public Lands Ride has not! 

Links to blog post descriptions and RWGPS maps: