Summit County Bike Trails: Blue River Pennsylvania/Indiana Loop |

Summit County Bike Trails: Blue River Pennsylvania/Indiana Loop

Daily News staff report
A rider heads in to a switch back on the course during the Summit Mountain Challenge's Pennsylvania Gulch Grind.
Daniel Dunn / Special to the Daily |

By the numbers

Distance: 13.5 miles

Rating: Moderate-more difficult

Time: 3 hours

Elevation: 9,600-11,200 feet

Type: Loop, trail, dirt road

Season: June to early October

The meandering Blue River Trail is a great option for polishing singletrack skills and can be combined with a rugged jeep road that explores two scenic drainages.

Know Before You Go: The Blue River Trail is entirely on private land; the landowners have kindly allowed access. Do not leave the designated route; you will be trespassing and jeopardizing future access. Expect other users on this popular trail. Less-skilled riders may want to pedal only the Blue River Trail, which can be ridden as an out-and-back or made into a loop by using the highway. Although the trail is usually dry by early June, the upper loop won’t be snow-free until later in the month.

Parking: From I-70, drive south to Breckenridge on Highway 9. Turn right at the stoplight on the north end of town onto North Park. Drive by City Market and park in one of the large lots located on the left side of Park Avenue.

Description: Pedal back out to Main Street. Turn right and follow it a short distance. Turn left on Boreas Pass Road and climb to the first switchback. Bear right onto a gravel road near a cabin — you’re now on private land for the next 4.5 miles. Access the trail on the right, just before a gate. Ride along a fence line and around the edge of a meadow. The trail swings left and, after some climbing, travels along an old ditch. Cross below a sometimes dry pond, veer right and climb along the left side of a draw, passing several side trails. Drop to a fence and connect with the paved Indiana Creek Road at about 2.7 miles. Turn right and descend briefly until connecting with the trail again — identified on the left side of the road by a sign. Follow the right fork of the trail down to the creek. Please ride through, not around, small muddy sections. If the trail is really muddy, choose a drier or more durable trail to ride. Connect briefly with a paved road, then get back on the trail that continues up a slope to the left on the other side of the creek. Merge with a fork from the left, continuing straight. Ride along a level but very narrow section of trail that follows an old ditch. Drop onto a main dirt road in a Blue River subdivision at about 4.2 miles. To avoid the upper loop, either return as you came or follow Blue River Road as it winds through a neighborhood and out to Highway 9, which you can follow back down to Breckenridge. To complete the entire ride, veer left and ride past some houses. Turn left on Royal Drive, Regal Circle and Coronet. Climb, switchbacking right past some houses. At the large turn-around, get on the narrow jeep road on your left that heads into the forest. It switchbacks right, ascending steeply at first. As the road reaches a narrow valley, it levels a bit. Pass a few faint spur roads and reach a junction at roughly 7.4 miles. Turn left (the right fork climbs steeply to dead-end farther up the valley). Switchback up to the ridge and another junction. Turn left — the spur road follows the ridge, climbs over the Continental Divide and drops steeply to North Tarryall Creek. Descend to a meadow and cross Indiana Creek — a challenging wade until mid-summer — at about 8.9 miles. At the junction, veer left — the right fork climbs to connect with Boreas Pass Road — and continue descending. The road and stream are one for a while; look for trails on the right to bypass this segment. Descend, crossing onto Spruce Valley Ranch property and passing the private firing range. The road eventually becomes paved. Pass a stable and descend on the main road for another 0.7 miles. Look on the right for a fence and the Blue River Trail. Retrace this route back to Breckenridge.

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