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ROTHROCK GRIT Gravel Grinder

June 11, 2022

The Rothrock GRIT Gravel Grinder is a bike race over the rugged ridges of Rothrock State Forest with all race proceeds donated to our local community.

Ride it. Race it. Enjoy the Forest!    REGISTER NOW

If you have any questions about the race and the following information, please contact Tanya Hampton t.rissmiller@hotmail.com.

What is your level of GRIT?

Select from 25 miles, 49 miles, or be the GRITTIEST at 65 miles.

This race is for you, whether your goal is to be the fastest, push your personal limits, or just have fun and enjoy the beautiful views of nature on a supported ride.

Since our goal is to provide a large women’s field and support equality in racing, we are reserving half of the 400 spots for women registrants.


Rothrock Forest, one of the largest forests in Pennsylvania, is named after Dr. Joseph Trimble Rothrock, the Commonwealth’s first forestry commissioner. He is recognized as the “Father of Forestry” in Pennsylvania.

The 96,975 acres consist of rugged, rock-strewn ridges that typify the ridge-and-valley region of the Appalachian mountains. Chestnut oak and a mix of pine, maple, and birch with patches of mountain laurel grow on the ridges. In the bottom-lands, you’ll find cool, clean streams shaded by centuries-old hemlocks and rhododendrons. Rothrock is known for its awe-inspiring vistas, extensive network of trails, and intriguing natural areas. 

The recreational trail system around the Galbraith Gap and Tussey Mountain areas are very diverse and serve as a recreational hotspot due to their easy access and proximity to State College. You can be hiking or biking on several trails within minutes of entering the state forest.

Please keep Pennsylvania beautiful and keep our forests litter free; do not damage trees and other plants and observe but do not disturb wildlife.



Tussey Mountain serves as the start and finish of the race.

The fun center provides family-friendly options including go-karts, mini-golf, a skate park, batting cages, and catch and release fishing. There is plenty of parking at the ski-lodge for our guests and race team to set up.

Laurel Run Road

Mile 1–10

Laurel Run Road is your first gravel switchback climb. It is also includes your first descent which is 7.5 miles long. With only one right-hand bend in the first half mile, you can stay relaxed, take advantage of gravity, and fly downhill. This fast downhill is exhilarating - you’ll pass several hunting camps and secondary roads on the way to Whipple Dam. 


Mile 10.5

Whipple Dam has a 300-foot beach that is open from late-May to mid-September. A dressing room, beach volleyball court, and boat rentals are at the beach. Historically, charcoal was produced in this area for use in the iron furnaces. The dam supplied water for the operation of an “up and down” sawmill and was later turned into this charming recreation area.

As you finish your Laurel Run descent, you can see the dam on your right. All that downhill was fun, but now it’s time to head back up the ridge, bear left at Greenlee, and start back up the mountain.

Greenlee and Beidleheimer

Mile 11–16

Greenlee is your second gravel climb of the race and is 5.2 miles long with 857 feet of climbing to the intersection of Gettis Ridge Road.


Mile 16–19

Here you are challenged with one of the most gnarly Jeep road-climbs a gravel bike can handle. The surface is a combination of gritty, chunky, and rocky terrain that will require personal grit, power, and bike-handling skills. This “road” takes you to the top of the ridge. You got this!

North Meadows Descent

Mile 19–21

Time for a much needed rest as you descend to Support Station 1. This is a fast double-track section, so watch out for small, loose gravel. 

Support Station 1

Mile 21

Penns Valley Pedal and Pints welcomes you to Support Station 1. Top off your water and grab a snack before your big descent down the back side of the mountain.

If you reach this support station after 1:00 PM, you are not be permitted to continue and will be directed to take Bear Meadows Road back to the start/finish.


Alan Seeger has a paved road that winds under majestic towering Eastern Hemlock, White Pine, and Yellow Birch trees.  

The Alan Seeger climb is notorious in the forest, reaching a 34% incline in the first half-mile, with an average incline of 7%.


Seeger Loop finishes off descending Coopers Gap Road and spits you out onto Stone Creek Road where you bike alongside the alluring Standing Stone Creek. 

An unmanned support station is located at Penn Roosevelt with plant-based foods and a well-water pump. 

Penn Roosevelt Park is in an isolated area of the Seven Mountains region known as the Stone Creek Kettle. Camping is available at Penn Roosevelt equipped with fire rings, picnic tables, pit toilets and potable water.  The small lake has native brook trout and the stream below the dam is stocked in the spring. Wading is permitted in the lake and stream; swimming is not.


A few miles of dirt trails await you here with a 2.5-mile trail around the lake. Several bridges keep you dry, but you will encounter three stream crossings. Two of the crossings require you to dismount (unless you have rad skills); the middle crossing is rider’s choice! These crossings can be tricky depending on the water level and recent rainfall, so use caution as the large stepping stones may be slippery. 

Swimming is not an option here, but catch and release fishing is allowed.


Members of the Cheers Gears and Beers Mountain Bike Club will greet you at Support Station 2. They are a motivated group of passionate bikers ready to provide you with nutrition for the last segment.


4,886 acres provide an extensive, undeveloped area of mixed-oak forest. Thickhead Mountain Wild Area starts on gravel and gradually changes to double-track, then grassy single track. 

Here is where you experience THE WALL!  It’s only .38 miles, but with a 12.7% average incline and reaching up to 35%, you will be wishing for more gears!

Two local riders hold Strava segments here - Jeremy Frank at 3:31 and Bri Bair with 4:55.


Here's your chance to claim the throne at the top of Thickhead mountain!


This portion of Detweiler Hollow supports old growth White Pine and Eastern Hemlock with dense rhododendron. 

This downhill of double and single track can be rocky, bumpy, and sketchy in spots, so be careful and stay safe! If you are riding within your limits, obstacles will never surprise you. If you happen to have a flat, The Bicycle Shop provides mechanical support at the bottom of the descent.


Bear Meadows Natural Area contains 890 acres surrounding a fern wetland. Black Spruce, Red Spruce, and Balsam Fir border large areas of highbush blueberry. Bear Meadows is recognized as a National Natural Landmark.

Expect a fast finish with several miles of pavement at the end with a total of 4 downhill miles to the start/finish area! 

All roads are open to the public. Please follow the rules of the road at all times, especially as you get closer to the start/finish. You will notice more park visitors as you get closer to this area.

Read the rules

Rothrock GRIT provides you with:

  • A fully marked course

  • Well-stocked support stations

  • Cash awards to top 3 female and male GRITTIEST riders 

  • Celebratory grab and go beer at the finish line

  • Finisher’s award

  • Specialized merchandise raffle for racers 

  • Strava QOM & KOM segments - gain bragging rights and win swag

Gritty, Grittier, Grittiest

You’ve got GRIT no matter what, but in order to be the grittiest you must go the full distance.

GRIT - Tackle the first two climbs and 25 miles.

GRITTIER - 49 miles and 5,000 feet of climbing

GRITTIEST - Complete all 65 miles and 7,500 feet of climbing to stake your claim as the GRITTIEST rider of the day!


Our race would not be possible without the hard work of local volunteers and devoted recreation groups. Please thank our volunteers when you see them on course!  

Be sure to respect the forest and take your trash with you. Do your part to ensure future events are possible. Remember, this forest belongs to everyone!



5-8:00 PM JL Farm and Cidery 

3392 Shingletown Rd, State College, PA 16801.


7:00-8:30 AM Packet pick up

9:00 AM Race Start for all race categories (Grit, Grittier, Grittiest)

1:00 PM is the cutoff for Support Station 1 (mile 21)

3:00 PM is the cutoff for The Bicycle Shop Mechanical Support (bottom of Detweiler Road)

7:00 PM Course Closes

A ten (10) hour time limit will be enforced. To be an official finish, you must finish by 7:00 PM.

Rider safety is important and time cutoffs will be strictly enforced.


Ride with GPS  link

Ride with GPS link

Ride with GPS  link

Ride with GPS link

Ride with GPS  link

Ride with GPS link




Register now

When you register please let us know if this is your first gravel event.

We want to recognize you at the event and encourage you and your grittiness!