Pennsylvania: Dusty Adventure Trails
Three years ago, I crossed Pennsylvania from north to south following the Mid-Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route (MABDR), published in the RoadRUNNER 2020 Special Collector’s Edition. The journey revealed the wild beauty of eastern Pennsylvania and I developed a taste for more of such adventures. After a two-year lockdown, I looked for new rides and stumbled upon CPAAT—the Cross Pennsylvania Adventure Trail.
This route traverses Pennsylvania from east to west and then back again on backcountry roads and off-road dirt tracks. It’s quite similar to BDR in its nature, but it’s not an actual BDR route. CPAAT was founded by Arthur Wojcik, a passionate ADV rider who one day decided to put together a fun and challenging route using his knowledge of his home state. He then published the route for free on advrider.com.
Our riding group on this journey consisted of friends with whom I’ve been riding together for years. There was Al on a KTM 1190 Adventure, Mark on a Suzuki V-Strom 1000, Sean on a KTM 790 Adventure, Bill on a Yamaha WR250R, and yours truly on a Triumph Tiger 800 XCx. The Tiger started its life as a RoadRUNNER project bike (see Feb ‘16).
Day 0—‘Welcome to PA, Pursue Your Happiness’
I rode from my hometown of Fair Lawn, NJ, northbound through SR 97’s Hawk’s Nest along the Delaware River in New York. It’s a route I’ve ridden numerous times but it’s always enjoyable with spectacular vistas of the river and its canyons. The group gathered from different locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey at Karl’s cabin in Lake Como, PA, near the start of the track. Karl is a long-time friend that was gracious enough to open his hunting cabin to us. Upon my arrival, an overprotective beaver in the adjacent pond made sure that we all knew who’s the boss by slapping his massive tail on the water. In the quiet Pennsylvania woods, there was a very different vibe compared to the suburbs we live in.
Motorcycle & Gear
2015 Triumph Tiger 800XCx
Helmet: Bell SRT-Modular
Jacket: Leatt 5.5 Body Protector, Firstgear Kathmandu
Pants: Leatt Moto 5.5 Enduro Pants, Firstgear Kilimanjaro
Gloves: Fox Bomber, Rukka Ceres GORE-TEX
Boots: Belleville 700 Waterproof Duty Boots
Luggage: Happy Trails Teton 7.5 Panniers, SW-Motech Bags Connections EVO City Tank Bag
Comm System: Cardo Packtalk Edge
The day ended with a delicious dinner at River Run restaurant, located in West Branch Angler Resort, famous for its fishing locations on the West Branch Delaware River. The sun dyed the horizon purple and gold as it set behind the mountains. Tomorrow was going to be an exciting day!
Day 1—Rolling Backcountry Farm Roads
Early on a chilly and foggy summer morning, we headed out to the start of the track, located near Narrowsburg, PA. A series of backcountry roads were interconnected with dirt roads that passed through different State Game Lands. The heavy rain that fell the night before made sure that the dust was under control, but as the day warmed up, the fine clouds billowing from the road became very prominent. The first day was calm, flowing through numerous hilly farms and fields with pastoral backgrounds that could be easily mistaken for central European countryside.
Large open fields extended to the horizon, mixing yellow and green crops with a backdrop of blue-green shades from the mountains and forests. There was very little traffic, but we had to watch out for tractors and animals. We ended up spotting hundreds of deer, and one of those encounters was a very close call inches away from disaster. Even at slow speeds, a large deer is a major threat, so we kept alert and continuously scanned the fields on the sides of the roads.