Location: North Harmony State Forest – Panama, New York 14767
Distance from That Was Exciting Office: Erie P.A. : 27 miles / 33 minutes
Total distance: 15.4 km / 9.5 miles
Total Time: 2 hours 15 min. (including exploring and breaks)
Max height of terrain: 587m
Min. height of terrain: 466m
Riders/Adventure Crew: Sean and Adam
Mountain biking in our area in December?? Hell Yeah!! Since we are having unseasonally mild weather why not get out and about for a small adventure. Not far off interstate 86 (Southern Tier Expressway) in Chautauqua County New York is a group of state forests. This awesome park system is only 30-45 min. from Erie P.A. and 30 min. from Jamestown N.Y. A 24-mile hiking/biking trail runs north to south from Chautauqua Gorge State Forest to Broken Straw State Forest. We targeted North Harmony State Park as our location to explore, it is situated near the middle of the Westside Overland Trail and is one of the larger parks in the system at 2,561 acres. We found a perfect spot to park off of Snake Forest Road right at a trail crossing. The trails are nicely maintained easy to ride or hike and are marked clearly. We were pleasantly surprised with the lack of mud and how clean and dry we end our ride. There are many little creek crossings and well-built bridges along the trail.
In one area the trail opened up to a hidden camp spot that will defiantly have us staying over in the future. The Camp spot had Shelters, outhouse, fire area, and a pump style water well. As if that wasn’t enough it also was overlooking a majestic pond.
Along our ride we stopped for a snack and enjoyed the peace of being away from the everyday noise. With its great trails, camping spots and picnic areas the North Harmony State Park is worth a visit.
Other things to do close by are the Panama Rocks scenic Park, Chautauqua Institute, and Southern Tier Brewing Company. If you’re headed back towards the Erie area follow Bailey Hill Road towards Finley Lake and stop by Pine Junction for lunch or dinner. We grabbed a quick lunch here a cup of homemade soup and a burger really hit the spot. Over all a great adventure.
And……..That was exciting!!!!
Sean’s Tip – Pack a lunch or some snacks and find an awesome picnic spot. There are several good spots to take a break.
Fred J. Cusimano Westside Overland Trail
North Harmony State Forest – Panama, New York 14767
I have parked conveniently off of Snake Forest Road a few times now. You will see the trail sign.
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