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Pedaling your way to fitness


Expert blogger Lindsay Vogt is a Senior Health Management Consultant with Capital BlueCross.

As a health coach, I find that when people discover a fitness activity they enjoy, they have much more fun. For me, it’s mountain biking. Hitting the trails is something I look forward to! It’s not only a great work out, but a perfect way to enjoy the nature and beauty of central Pennsylvania.

We have some of the best trails in the nation, right in our own backyard. Bikers can experience log and rock hopping and plenty of water-crossings. Here are some tips if mountain biking is something you want to try:

  • Beginners who want to start slow on flat, wider trails should consider a nearby rail-trail. Some of my favorites in central Pennsylvania are the Swatara Rail-Trail and the Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail. They are also very family-friendly. 
  • Beginners and intermediate riders who want to hit the single-track should try the Governor Dick trails near Mt. Gretna and Swatara Gap in Lebanon County. 
  • Here are some great resources to search for trails:
    • Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources:
    • Susquehanna Mountain Biking Association (SAMBA): 
    • Mountain Bikers of Michaux: 
    • International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA):
    • Local bike shops are also a wealth of information. They tend to have very knowledgeable staff and technicians.

Always wear a road ID bracelet or carry ID with you, and bring water and energy bars or snacks. It’s not uncommon for a two-hour bike ride to turn into three or more due to bike trouble or a wrong turn on a trail. Some trails are not always well-marked, so be sure to plan ahead or talk to people who know the trails.

Most of all, have fun! Mountain biking is something you can enjoy with friends or the entire family. You might find yourself hooked, just like me!

Lindsay Vogt is a Senior Health Management Consultant with Capital BlueCross and has over 17 years of experience in Public Health and Health Education. Prior to joining Capital BlueCross, Lindsay worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Office of Public Health Preparedness.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Va. and a master’s degree in public health from Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Loma Linda, Ca. Lindsay is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Morocco 1998-2000) and is a Certified Health Education Specialist through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. In her free time, Lindsay enjoys trail running, mountain biking, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.