Broad Mountain is a 11.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.
First time in a long time I was on the trail, what a mess with the big rocks, terrible condition to ride, don't bother.
There's a big parking lot that is at the trailhead which can't be missed. We went here for a walk/hike. The path has large rocks which make walking sometimes uncomfortable and tricky, hiking shoes are recommended. About a mile down the path is the stream which if you stay to the right of the bridge turns into a path that follows the stream to a nice waterfall about a quarter-mile down. We went about a mile and a half on the path itself but never got any overlooks. Not sure how far into the path from the trailhead the overlooks are. We were at the path around 4 o'clock and for the most part where I was in shade.
Not a great MTB trail for all the reasons in Ryan's review, and especially considering what else is available around Jim Thorpe. I'm sure the fist-size gravel is for erosion control, but it seems overdone in places. It probably accounts for less than 5% of the trail, but you'll spend a frustrating 10% of your time on it. Also, the north-south connector between the two main east-west legs was impassable due to mud, and there wasn't an abnormal amount of rain recently.
So why five stars? First, it's on state game lands, bought and paid for by hunters, so I have a hard time complaining that it's not ideal for my purposes. Second, I wasn't shooting for any KOMs, just meandering around, hiking to the falls, and taking in the awesome lookouts. I camped out (free, no permit required http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/public/documents/document/dcnr_20030820.pdf ) and spent the next day tooling around the Gorge, Flagstaff Mtn, and Mauch Chunk. Helluva time overall, just know what to expect.
The trail I rode for years has been destroyed the trail has been covered in large loose gravel and the stream crossings have been covered with bridges aside from the overlook there is not one redeeming quality for a once perfect two hour ride.
This was the first time mountain biking the Broad Mt Loop. The weather was near perfect. Clear skies and in the mid 50's. I used the map linked to this review to find the various lookouts. The ride is about 2 hours depending on how long you visit the lookouts.
The trailhead is at the top of the (2nd knoll) mountain on the right hand side. Their are 2 other parking areas once you reach the first knoll. Once you reach the 2nd knoll which is the very top of Rt 93, you will see a fairly large dirt parking area on the right. This is the trailhead for the map linked on this review.
The trail is mostly double track dirt and stone roads. I prefer single track myself, but it makes for a nice scenic ride and is not a strenuous ride.
The 2 lookouts mentioned on the map (at 4.2 and 5.1 miles) have a lot of trees, so it's hard to get a good look at the gorge or take any photos.
The lookout at 5.7 miles is perfect. A great place to take photos.
The only area I encountered any issue was the creek crossing. It was very sandy and deeper that expected, so my feet got soaked in the creek. Fine for the summer, but not so good if you're in colder weather. There's a few photos I saw posted that show this small creek.
You will cross a 2nd creek but that has a brand new wooden bridge over it. From the wooden bridge you just follow the stone road straight ahead all the way back to Rt 93. This is the first parking area that you passed when you drove to the trailhead parking entrance. So you will have to pedal up Rt 93 back to the trailhead. Roughly 1/4 or so but Rt 93 has a very wide shoulder to bike on.
Hope this helps. Safe and happy Mt Biking!