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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Brady's Run County Park Trail Guide

Brady's Run County Park holds refuge to some of the best mountain biking close to Pittsburgh. Mile-for-mile Brady’s has more climbing than any other ride in the immediate Pittsburgh area, making even a short ride feel longer than it actually is. This is the place to go to hone those climbing legs.

The trail system boasts fantastic single and double track – every inch being fun and 100% rideable. The trail system here has a split personality – with two very different character trail types at one venue. The main loop - comprised mainly of the Trail North and Trail South - is single and double track with valley-side traverses, nice challenging climbs and steep descents. The south-western portion of the park is flatter and contains a maze of twisty single track with many log obstacles.

The single and double track of the Trail North and Trail South – as the names suggest – traverse the north and sides of the valley – making a nice loop that is best ridden clockwise. Due to the steep valley sides these trails are remarkably well drained and rideable shortly after a heavy Pennsylvanian down pour. The descents back to the valley floor are steep and fun.

The south-western portion of the park consists of great windy trails with nice log obstacles. The maze-like nature of these criss-crossing trails makes it very easy to get temporarily lost. One way to access these trails is to climb one of the nicest climbs in the park via the Wildwood Loop.

The trails are multi-use and probably get more horse traffic than mountain bike traffic, so be aware of our equestrian friends. The horses can chew up the trails pretty good, especially if the trails are wet, but it’s not long before the trails are again pristine.

Month of Mud a grassroots race series, celebrating over 21 years of mountain bike and cyclocross racing in Western Pennsylvania holds a mountain bike race here. Of those 21 years, Brady’s has featured in the multi-venue line up 18 times.

36 miles/40 minutes

Trail Map

Suggested Routes
Short Loop with Plenty of Climbing
Map Link
North Valley Side
Start at the parking lot by the playground at the western end of the park. Ride across the grass past the playground equipment to the metal foot bridge that crosses the creek. Climb the Trail North until it intersects a paved road. At this point - rather than crossing the road and continuing on the washed-out portion of the Trail North - turn left on the road for a short stretch, around the right-bearing bend to the Logstown Trail on the right. Follow the Logstown Trail until it skims arboretum loop pavement. At this point head kind of straight on a very short connector trail and turn left at the "T" to get back on the Trail North. Now follow the Trail North on undulating double track pass a few turn-offs on the right. Along the way the trail turns to the right a couple of times at drainages cutting down the valley side. You will now start to climb gradually until you reach the steepest climb on the trail. This narrow single track traverses the steep valley side - rising all the way - and ends with the trail turning to the right down and up a very short drainage gully. Here the trail climbs again, in a very short distance take the right hand "Y" in the trail to wind your way up a few gentle switch-backs to the road. Cross the road to catch the trail winding through the woods to intersect the road to the ball fields. Again directly cross the road to stay on the Trail North. In a short distance the trail bends to the right (ignore the faint trail that goes left here). Follow the Trail North on nice single track until the trail turns to a logging road. Follow the logging road down hill and take the obvious trail that continues up a small bank on the right. Follow the trail (still Trail North) for some time passing three trails that come in from the right. Just stay on the main trail. Start heading down and ride a very narrow ridge and finally to a VERY steep (be careful) last section of trail that takes you down to the Walkers Trail at the eastern end of the park.

South Valley Side
Turn right on the main park road and turn left into the recycling center. Ride past the center, keep going straight and take the road up the hill around the cable gate (cable gate sometimes open). Follow this road until it turns sharply left. Instead of turning left take the gravel road bearing slightly right. Follow this for a short way to single track coming in from the left (Trail South). By a large gully on the right you will see a log bridge that crosses the gully. The trail to the right here is the continuation of the Trail South. Do not take this right hand turn on the Trail South but instead keep climbing on the main trail taking it all the way to the top and taking the last single track coming in from the right. Follow this trail up hill then down, when you come to a two-way intersection take the left turn and continue down hill on the trail. Again stay on the main most obvious trail ignoring a trail that comes in on the right near a large log. At this point you have re-joined the Trail South. Follow the trail taking a couple of switch-backing detours to avoid two steep washed out parts of the trail (not to worry if you miss these detours you'll end up in the same place, you would have just missed a couple of extra pieces of great single track!). Follow the Trail South until it intersects gravel double track. Cross the double track and continue on single track that takes you down a very very steep section of trail (be careful - it's very steep). This takes you to a paved road (South Drive) where you will turn left. From here you will be able to see the playground parking lot where you started.

Month-of-Mud Race Course (2008)
Map Link
To get a tour de Brady’s - ride the 2008 Month of Mud race course. If you want to beat the person who came first in the Expert Men category in 2008 then ride this 10.4 mile (climbing 2,500 feet) in under 59 hour 17 minutes. This one is a little tricky to describe. It's a lot like the first description with a couple of detours, including a detour into the maze-like south-western trails. Do your best and follow the map. Good luck - sometimes getting lost can be fun!

Trail guide by Simon T


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  2. Is there anywhere (facebook, twitter, etc) that provides condition updates for here or Moraine?

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