2021 Public Lands Ride: Two Ways to Participate!
By: Helena Kotala
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.
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
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!).
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:
About the Author
Helena Kotala came to Pa Environmental Council (PEC) in 2018 with an eclectic background in outdoor recreation, mapping, storytelling and environmental stewardship.
A 2013 graduate of Penn State University, she holds a B.S. in Geography and Geographic Information Systems. During her time at Penn State, Kotala worked as a field assistant in Alaska and Japan for the Vegetation Dynamics Lab, and completed a GIS internship with the Riparia wetlands center in State College. After college, Kotala pursued a passion for writing and outdoor recreation as a freelance cartographer, outfitter, and web editor for Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times magazines.
Based in PEC’s State College office, Kotala is an avid outdoor adventurer and local advocate for conservation and human-powered recreation in Central Pennsylvania and beyond.
About the PEC
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) protects and restores the natural and built environments through innovation, collaboration, education and advocacy. PEC believes in the value of partnerships with the private sector, government, communities and individuals to improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians. Learn more about the PEC’s vision, mission, and programs on their website. This article was originally published by the PEC on its website in April of 2021.
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