Bear Creek's Blog

Whether you are searching for family-friendly things to do, wondering if you should buy or rent ski eqiupment, or looking for tips on wedding venues, our blogs cover a variety of topics and aim to provide the most accurate and comprehesive information.

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Best Mountain Biking Trails in Pennsylvania

Arialle Hess  
Attention all riders! Whether you’re new to the area or just looking to shred up some of the best mountain biking Pennsylvania has to offer, we have compiled a list of the top favorite places our team loves to shred. From state forests and county parks to mountain resorts and bike parks, every beginner or expert can find a new niche in their mountain biking repertoire. 
 
From fun and flowy, to chain-shaking gnar, there is a trail for every type of rider out there. Whether you are a beginner or pro racer, our list of best places to shred includes a diverse compilation of trails that a variety of riders can enjoy.
 
Grab your gear and pack the car because you are going to want to hit up these best mountain biking trails in Pennsylvania this summer.
 
Listed in no particular order are our favorite PA trails:
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Trexler Nature Preserve

Schnecksville, PA

VIEW TRAIL MAP

Starting off the list is Trexler Nature Preserve. It is a top favorite because of its super fun trails and, of course, the stunning views from the top of the ridge. Trexler consists of cross-country single track with lots of flow, berms, switch backs, and everything in between. The trails are also well maintained by a group of outdoor enthusiasts.
 
Trexler has gained popularity over the past two years, so this is definitely a ‘must-ride’ this summer.
 
If you’re planning your next ride at Trexler Nature Preserve, park at the North Range lot.
 
Editor’s Tip: Did you know that the preserve is made up of more than just bike trails? Check out the Lehigh Valley Zoo, sightsee some bison, or hike the border trail and watch a sunset from the lookout.
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South Mountain Preserve

Emmaus, PA

VIEW TRAIL MAP

Next up is multi-purpose South Mountain. Ride here and chances are you will meet a local Emmaus shredder, pass a few dog-loving hikers, or see someone bouldering.
 
The bike trails consist of intermediate to advance single track with some double track power line connector trails. The favorite trail of some of the Bear Creek team members is ‘Bug.’
 
If you’re planning your next ride at South Mountain, parking is easily accessible from Boroline Park.
 
Editor’s Tip: South Mountain is close to in-town Emmaus. Just a few more pedal strokes will land you at some awesome post-ride spots: Armetta’s for delicious pizza, Funk or Yergey’s to crack a cold one and enjoy eats from a local food truck.
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Bear Creek Mountain Resort

Macungie, PA

VIEW TRAIL MAP

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention our own backyard. For Bear Creek employees, the trails on our turf are important to us. As fellow mountain bikers, we ride our own trails daily and we welcome all to come out and experience them.
 
Our trails consist of rugged singletrack and doubletracks with plenty of rocks and a few bridges. All trails are cross-country oriented and maintained by our professional staff. We do not offer lift service or "downhill" trails.
 
The trails service beginner to advance riders and are free for hotel guests and Season Pass Holders. Day guests must purchase a trail pass for $15. The trail pass allows usage of the trails for the entire year.
 
If you’re new to mountain biking, bike rentals are also available at an additional cost: $30 per person (2-hours).
 
If you’re a seasoned rider, challenge yourself at one of our many bike races hosted throughout the summer months.
 
If you’re planning your next ride at Bear Creek to do some PA mountain biking, the trail head is located right off of parking lot 1D.
 
Editor’s Tip: Bear Creek has two on-site restaurants for post-ride eats, plus a hotel for a weekend mountain bike trip.  
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Mount Penn Preserve

Reading, PA

VIEW TRAIL MAP

Heading East you will find yourself in the depths of Berks County. Mount Penn is known for many things, and we think their mountain biking trails makes the list. Home to previous Duryea Downhill race, these trails are rated intermediate to advance and attract riders from all over the state.
 
Aside from the challenging single-track terrain, there is nothing better than a trail system that has a great spot for a quick snack attack. After a hill climb, refuel while you overlook the city of Reading from atop the mountain.
 
If you want to explore more trails in Berks County, visit BAMBA.
 
Editor’s Tip: Sightseeing …

Where to Find Live Music and Support Local Musicians in PA

Arialle Hess  
Summer is right around the corner, which means calendars are filling up with food, music, and art festivals. Many cities host annual events that celebrate local traditions, as well as welcome new ideas that bring a culturally diverse audience. One of the many ways to celebrate time gone by as well as foster the future is through music. The cities within Lehigh and Berks Counties host annual music festivals that bring together generations of musicianship. From traditional to contemporary, eastern PA is filled with a variety of rhythms and sounds. If you are looking where to find live music near you, read more to find out how to spot some local artists at Bear Creek this summer.
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Free Outdoor Concerts at Bear Creek

  • Every Third Thursday at 7pm
What’s better than a live musical performance? A FREE live musical performance, of course. Throughout the summer months, Bear Creek hosts free outdoor concerts. All are welcome; no need to be a hotel or restaurant guest to attend. On these free concert nights, guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets to camp out on the grass while they listen to artists of the night.
 
As part of the Music Under the Stars event, Bear Creek hosts these free concerts every third Thursday of each month from 7-10pm. The event is always family-friendly and suitable for all ages. Guests are welcome to walk around the resort premise and dine at the signature restaurant, The Grille, where they whip up a chef’s selection of BBQ specials.
 
You can also find free performances on select weekends. This year the locally acclaimed group, Frog Holler, will be headlining the Sunday Night Concerts.
 
View the entire performance schedule here.
 
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Live Performances at Bear Creek

  • Every Thursday from 6-9pm
If you like to search out hidden talent at local spots, then Music Under the Stars at The Grille is the spot to be. Every Thursday from 6-9pm, the restaurant brings in local musicians who provide musical accouterments for the evening. The Grille’s revamped menu has gained much attention, but the scenery and musical ambience sets the stage for this summer-long schedule. Each week features a different act ranging from solo acoustics to duos and trios.
 
Come on out on Thursday evenings to support your local musicians and enjoy some delicious food!
 
View the entire performance schedule here.
 
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Bear Creek Mountain Resort Summer Vacation Itinerary

Arialle Hess  
Peaceful mountain scenery, culture and music festivals, amusement parks, and tons of outdoor activities are just some of the reasons Bear Creek Mountain Resort makes a great vacation destination in eastern Pennsylvania. Located on the outskirts of Macungie, the resort is just a short drive from all the activities in both Berks County and the Lehigh Valley.
 
If you are looking to make your next family vacation in PA, Bear Creek has an on-site hotel that makes it easy to access local events and activities in both counties. Booking a room at The Hotel at Bear Creek gives you access to great outdoor fun both on and off the resort premise. This year, the resort is adding a few new activities that you will want to add to your vacation itinerary.

The Resort

Bear Creek has big plans to turn the ski slopes into a summer mountain vacation destination once again!
 
Currently in the works is the return of the very popular mountain slip n’ slide, Slide the Slopes. Last year was the debut of the world's longest inflatable slip n' slide and it was a huge success, drawing in people from various parts of the county who needed a place to cool off during the heat of summer. This activity will to return to Bear Creek July 7th - August 14th. If you missed out last year, put this one on your bucket list. Weave down your favorite ski runs in a water tube - Tickets are on sale now!
 
New for 2022 are off-road Segway Tours! This 2-hour tour lets you experience the resort from a new angle. The tour includes all equipment and safety training. Have a blast seeing the various parts of the property through wooded trails.
 
Guided Mountain SXS Tours will also make their yearly debut in early summer. The resort has upgraded its SXS vehicle to now seat 5 guests; allowing more of your friends to join in on the fun.
 
Hotel packages are a great way for guests to take advantage of all the resort has to offer. If you’re looking to stay on the resort’s premise, the

Things to do this Summer at Bear Creek Mountain Resort

Arialle Hess  
As the warm weather starts to settle in, summer events in PA are starting to fill up people’s planners once again. With plenty of outdoor space for activities, Bear Creek is excited to invite guests onto its property to experience some of the newest attractions. So, if you’re looking for things to do, Bear Creek has a calendar full of festivals, weekend-warrior events, and daily activities that are great for getting out of the house during the week.
 
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Outdoor Concerts

The local-favorite live musical performances on Thursdays return this year. Starting on May 19th, Manatawny Creek Ramblers will be kicking off Music Under the Stars FREE community concert series that will last throughout the summer. This outdoor FREE concert takes place every third Thursday of the month, along with select Sundays, from 7-10pm. There is also live music on the calendar on every other Thursday evening from 6-9pm at the resort’s signature restaurant, The Grille. Each week the restaurant will have outdoor dining available with weekly food specials for you to grab a bite if you want dinner and a show.
 
The Sunday night concerts are brought to you by Frog Holler, who will also be hosting a FREE Drive-In concert on Saturday, May 28th from 7-10pm.
 
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Festivals  

Festivals are finally back in action! Sitting upon 330 acres of mountain landscape, there is plenty of room at Bear Creek to host festivals all year long.

Wine Festivals 

Many folks have attended wine festivals in PA in previous years, and Bear Creek’s festival was a bucket-list destination among them. This year, the resort will contribute once again to the sipping soirees with a Spring Wine Festival on Sunday, April 24th, a Summer Wine Festival on Friday, July 22nd and a Harvest Wine Festival scheduled for Sunday, November 20th. Tickets are $30 per person. Your designated driver can also join the festivities sans alcohol for $5.

Cigar & Spirits

Join us for an evening of cigars and spirits featuring a wide selection of Cigars International’s finest selection. This event will take place on Friday, July 8th from 6-10pm. On this evening you can expect cigars paired with an assortment of tastings from distilleries, wineries, and breweries, plus local delicious food and music.
 
View the Cigars & Spirits webpage for ticket pricing.

Berks Fiddle Fest

It’s official! The Berks Fiddle Fest will return to Bear Creek on Sunday, September 18th. Last year was the kick-off year to this event being hosted at Bear Creek. The Berks Fiddle Fest will be an annual event every September at the resort, with hopes of expanding to a multi-day event. This year the event is featuring the same great entertainment and musicianship, but with the addition of an open mic! Sitting on the edge of both counties, Bear Creek hopes to attract additional guests from the Lehigh Valley.
 

Wedding Venue Booking Guide

Arialle Hess  

Wedding planning can be fun and exciting, but the decision making can be overwhelming.

Perhaps the biggest decision is choosing the right venue. Viewing the venue is a must, but there is also other key information you should gather before making your decision.

The first step is setting up a site tour. On the site tour you should not only visualize your big day, but also take note of all the venue has to offer to see if it can meet your needs and fit your budget.

This guide will take you step by step and help you to book a wedding venue that checks all the boxes.

Booking a Tour: How to get started

Scheduling a wedding site tour is quick and easy. Most venues are listed on major wedding websites, or they can be contacted using their business website.

The Bear Creek Wedding Sales team can be contacted via the website contact form, The Knot, Wedding Wire, or by calling the resort at 610-682-7100.

Once you contact Bear Creek to schedule a tour, the staff will respond within 24 hours and electronically send you a wedding package. This provides you with a general overview of the banquet space and costs.

Preparing for the tour

If the venue does give you any information prior to your tour, it is vital to look it over thoroughly; preparing any vital questions you may have.

The main purpose of the tour is to take in the aesthetics, so you want to make sure you have all key questions and concerns already thought out and written down.

Tip: Book a weekend tour if possible. This allows you to see other setups live. Bear Creek operates year-round and ski lodges convert into elegant ballrooms. See the beautiful transformation for your own eyes.

Taking a Tour: What to note while viewing the venue

Most venues are allowing in-person site tours now. Virtual site tours are just as valuable but physically putting yourself in the space will help you be able to visualize your big day.

At Bear Creek tours are about 1.5 hours where you will see each space as well as meet your coordinator, who will be assisting you all the way up to your special day.

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Viewing Reception Rooms

Taking note of ballroom capacity ensures there is enough room for not only your guest count, but additional items you may want to add such as a candy bar, dessert station, or photo booth.

Bear Creek has three ballrooms that can accommodate various size functions. Even if you are still in the planning stages, it’s worth mentioning to the coordinator any extra space that might be needed; they have worked with enough room layouts to provide you with valuable feedback.

Most venues also keep photo books on hand from previous weddings. Ask your coordinator to look through them. They may help refine an existing idea, or even spark a new one.

Tip: Take note of the venue’s natural décor. Many venues already have a certain aesthetic and feel to them. Keeping your wedding décor …