If you like to ride a bicycle, Centre County is an outstanding place to live and/or visit. Whether it's rolling backcountry roads, steep mountain climbs, technical single-track, or in-town bicycle paths that you seek, the greater State College area delivers. The links below will take you to detailed maps, descriptions, and cue sheets for a wide variety of favorite local road rides. These maps were developed with the generous support of the Centre County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
We maintain only a few of the available local routes on this page. If you're looking for a wide variety of rides and routes, take a look at the following links:
You can also visit our forums to ask other cyclists about their preferred routes.
While the information contained in these pages should ensure a successful ride, some prior familiarity with the Centre County area roads and trails will definitely help. You may wish to pick up the excellent Purple Lizard maps. An excellent and free map of the area can also be obtained from the Centre County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Finally, if you are lucky, you might be able to scare up a copy of Bike Rides From Beaver Stadium or Mountain Bike Madness in Central Pennsylvania, two excellent (but currently out of print) books by Scott Adams (no, not the Dilbert Guy).
A few words of wisdom about road riding in the Centre County area:
There are a multitude of fairly regular rides in the area of which you can take advantage. Note that that meeting times, days of the week, and paces are subject to change! Please see our events calendar for listings.
- While most of the roads in the area are well paved, some lack an adequate shoulder. Please exercise caution on these stretches!
- Be advised that some of the stretches in the rides described herein are signed at 45 or even 55 mph and that automobile traffic often travels faster than the posted speed limit. In the ride maps, particularly tricky sections have been marked. Note, however, that your tolerance, or lack thereof, of traffic may differ from the author's.
- This is rural Pennsylvania. You will run into the occasional and most likely unleashed dog which will invariably give pursuit. Generally, a stern (and loud!) 'NO' or 'STOP' will do the trick. If not, a squirt of water between the eyes (the dog's, not yours) is an excellent plan B. Those of you with poor aim and requiring a plan C should work on your sprinting.
- Many of the rides described below take you far, far away from civilization. Mechanical trouble at the apogee of your ride would be a serious drag. Please consider carrying, at the bare minimum, a patch kit, tire lever, spare tube, and pump. You may also wish to carry an adjustable wrench, a few allen keys, and a chain tool. While on the topic of what to carry, be sure to carry adequate water and food. Food stops have been noted on the maps and in the cue sheets, but an extra banana or bagel never hurt anyone.
- Note that State College has a short, but very definite 'rush hour' in the evening. Roads that see, on average, light traffic may be heavily used from 4-6pm. These include, but are not limited to, Whitehall Road, Fox Hollow Road, etc.
- Wave and say hello to the folks that you pass in the countryside. They are the ones who drive (and therefore pass cyclists) on the backroads. A little courtesy will hopefully be returned in kind.
- Always, always, always wave with all five fingers. You are an ambassador for the rest of us. Angry words and gestures only serve to make people more irate, and they'll take it out on the next cyclist.
Maps of Local Rides
Note that all rides begin from the parking lot of the Centre County Visitor's Center, located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Park Avenue and Porter Road in State College.