This is a route submitted by an Alumnus, Tom Robson ’11. He says that “Though fairly difficult, rides there showcase the most beautiful part of valley. Its got quiet roads, history and nature; it’s definitely worth exploring by bike. I would recommend taking Centerville Rd. (233) South, heading east through Pine Grove, then heading north through Mt. Holly Springs. This was my go-to ride back when I was riding in the area.” You can use this ride to access both Pine Grove’s Pole Steeple Trail or the Appalachian Trail, whose middle point (between Maine & Georgia) is in the Park.
Follow Walnut Bottom Rd (PA 465) southwest & out of Carlisle for approximately 7 miles. When PA 465 ends and PA 174 West continues, continue on Walnut Bottom, then make your first left onto Lebo Rd. Cross the Norfolk Southern tracks, then continue across Pine Rd onto Leeds Rd. Follow for a bit, then bear left onto Point Dr when leeds bears right. Then bear left onto Centerville Rd (PA 233 South). Follow across the mountain to the intersection with Pine Grove Rd. You can dow hat you want from here, but I’ve described following the park’s bike trail, so turn right onto Pine Grove Rd (PA 233 South), then turn immediately left onto Bendersville Rd. On your left will be the Appalachian Trail Museum. Make your first left, then follow the Bike Trail (on the left) through the park and around the lake, where it will end at Pine Grove Rd. Turn right onto Pine Grove. At the end, turn left onto Carlisle Rd (PA 34 North). Carlisle Rd ends at JCT 94. Turn left on S Baltimore Ave (PA 34 North). This will take you through Mount Holly Springs, onto the Holly Pike, and back to S Hanover St in Carlisle.
While I have personally never ridden this ride, I would recommend this ride only to riders who are comfortable with long distances and long, steep climbs. The climb up South Mountain on Centerville (PA 233) is 3 miles long and will bring you up nearly 600 feet to a high point of 1236 feet. I would also advise caution to riders on Walnut Bottom (near I-81), Centerville (on the climb) and PA 34 for truck and other heavy traffic during rush hour times. Tom says “when descending towards Mt. Holly (North on 34) be very careful crossing the train tracks [before you enter Mount Holly Springs]. They cross the road at an awkward angle and could potentially catch a wheel. I would recommend cyclists “take the lane” here. Although drivers will protest, it’ll keep everyone much safer.” Prepare yourself for this ride, as there are few services between Walnut Bottom and Mount Holly Springs (following the route guidance).