This week we'll start at the Conewago Trailhead on PA Route 230 between Middletown and Elizabethtown. We do this ride a few times every year and it is a favorite of many riders. There is an old abandoned Getty Gas Station adjacent to the Conewago Rail Trail parking area that is used for overflow parking. Let's meet and park at this Getty Station so we can keep everyone together and avoid confusion with the trail users.
We will then take some scenic, paved backroads to Mt Gretna, take a short break, and return to our vehicles via the Lebanon Valley and Conewago Rail Trails. Total distance is about 25.5 miles with 13.5 miles on paved country roads and 12 miles on rail trail. Pace will be 11.5 to 12.5 mph on the paved roads and 10.5 to 11 mph on the trails. Road bikes and hybrids are best suited for this ride. The trail is mostly fine, hard packed gravel, but occasionally (not always) there are a few rough areas. Road bikes have never had any difficulty with the trails, but if you don't like to ride your road bike on hard packed gravel, you should use a hybrid. Mountain bikes will also work if you can ride it about 12 mph on normal pavement. We should be back to our vehicles by 11:30 am.
It isn't a difficult ride with only one significant hill in the beginning when everyone is still fresh and then the return trip on the trails is mostly flat to slightly downhill. It is supposed to be warm Saturday, but the trail section on the return trip is tree lined with lots of shady areas.
Directions: From Harrisburg area, take I-83, merge onto I-283 south, then PA 283 east to the Toll House Road/PA 230 exit, then take PA 230 east toward Elizabethtown. Go past Saturday's Market on your left and then past the Par Line Golf Course. Watch for the old abandoned Getty Station on the left and park there. A lot of our regular riders have said it doesn't take any longer to drive to this location than to Memorial Lake. Its just sounds like it's farther.
Call or send me an email if you have any questions. In the event of rain, I will send a cancellation email message no later than 7:30 Saturday morning. If the weather is questionable, check your email messages or call me before you leave home. I think you will like this ride and hope you can make it.