The 2010 Master Plan for Allegany State Park authorized the building of three new mountain biking/hiking trails. The WNYMBA has marked the new trails with orange flagging ribbon tied to tree branches and the trunks of small trees. This past April the WNYMBA started work on the one of these new trails – a loop trail starting and ending along the Ridge Run Trail, and using a portion of the old hiking trail between the Summit area and the Thunder Rocks parking area. The start and end points on the Ridge Run Trail are about 1 mile apart.
You can get download a gpx file of the new bike trail by left clicking and then saving this file: GPX FILE OF NEW BIKE TRAIL.
The new bike trail has not been completed. It is 3.5 miles long, consisting of about .5 miles along the old Summit to Thunder Rocks trail, about 1.5 miles of newly built trail, and 1.5 miles of unimproved trail marked only by faded orange ribbons on tree branches smaller tree trunks.
This map shows the ridge run trail in white, and the new bike trail broken into yellow for the portions that follow the old Summit to Thunder Rocks Trail, blue for newly constructed trail, and orange for the portions marked only by the faded orange ribbon on trees.
The northern junction with the new bike trail is 1.25 miles from the junction of the Ridge Run, Leonard Run and Christian Hollow trails, (and about 2.15 miles from the Summit parking lot taking the low road south of the Summit fire tower rather than taking the road to the Summit fire tower).
The start of the new bike trail at the northern junction with the Ridge Run trail uses the old abandoned Summit to Thunder Rocks trail ( click here for a guides about hiking the old abandoned trail: Hike from Summit Parking Area to Thunder Rocks Parking – Part 1 and Hike from Summit Parking Area to Thunder Rocks Parking – Part 2.).
It appears that the WNYBA did little or no work on the old trail, thus there is no signage and no new trail markers. The only indication of the start of the trail is a somewhat noticeable trail on the ground and an old faded yellow pain blaze on a tree. A gps with the waypoint may be needed to locate the start of the trail if you are not already familiar with the location (42.1055890, -78.6932270).
Starting at the northern junction of the Ridge Run Trail and the old Summit to Thunder Rocks trail, the new bike trail follows the old Summit to Thunder Rocks trail for a little less than two tenths of a mile. When the old Summit to Thunder Rocks trail heads southeast up the hill, the new bike trail heads to the left (east). This marks the point where the WNYBA started its work this past April. The new bike trail is very apparent on the ground. It loops around the hill that is climbed by the old Summit to Thunder Rocks trail.
The new bike trail rejoins the old Summit to Thunder rocks trail after another .75 miles. Again, the WNYMBA did not do any apparent work (other than a few cut down limbs) on the portion of the new bike trail that follows the old Summit to Thunder Rocks trail.
The two trails are combined again for about three tenths of a mile, after which the new bike trail makes a sharp turn left (east) away from the old Summit to Thunder Rocks trail. The new bike trail has been constructed beginning at this point so it is obvious on the ground.
In approximately .75 miles the improved portion of the new bike trail comes to an end. There are red and then orange ground flags marking the trail for about another two tenths of a mile, but after that you have to rely on your ability to spot orange ribbon tied to tree branches and smaller tree trunks. From this point to the southern junction with the Ridge Run trail is 1.35 miles on this unimproved trail. There is some blowdown to walk around or step over. You should not attempt to hike this portion without a map and compass, or a gps with the track on it.
The end of the new bike trail is at the southern junction with the Ridge Run is about 1 mile further south. The southern junction is also unmarked except for the orange ribbons marking the future location of the trail that can be seen in the woods if you are looking into the woods at that point. Again, a gps with the waypoints maybe needed to locate the southern junction (42.096364, -78.6947228). It is at the point where the Ridge Run trail turns west toward the new lean-to.