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Pine Creek Rail Trail (PA)

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Pine Creek Rail Trail (PA)

Old 10-19-19, 08:18 PM
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AU Tiger
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Pine Creek Rail Trail (PA)

Several years ago I spent Columbus Day riding a beautiful stretch of the Pine Creek Rail Trail (north central Pennsylvania), and I finally got back up there with my family today. The entire trail is over 60 miles, but I've found the norther third of it to be the most scenic. We had my one-year-old in tow with us today (literally, in a trailer), so we only went 8.5 miles before turning back around, but it was still a gorgeous ride. Figured I'd share a few photos of the ride.











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Old 10-19-19, 09:32 PM
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The scenery is outstanding in that area. My uncle has a cabin in that area in Germania and the rail trail isn't too far away. My other uncles cabin is right off route 6 outside of Wellsboro and as a kid i could just walk across whats now the rail trail and fish in Pine Creek. Really is a beautiful area for sure. My wife takes are granddaughter out in a cart that we bought to pull behind her bike. It's a neat setup.
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Old 10-20-19, 08:45 AM
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I really enjoy this trail. Am bummed that I am not going to make it up this year to see the fall foliage. It looks like some great colors out this year compared to last fall when I rode it. The northern tier is mostly much more peaceful since it's not next to the road on the southern half.

My family still lives up in the general area. I used to go to a college close to Jersey Shore, (LHUP).

It's a great area, wish there were more jobs in my field that I could have stayed.
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Old 10-20-19, 01:08 PM
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Thanks for the pics!! Used to live in northeastern MD (Hereford) and rode many of PA's rail-trails with my best friend, who still lives in PA. Now that my wife is also retired, I've given thought to moving to PA, had a blast on the many rail trails and mountain bike trails that PA has to offer.
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Old 10-20-19, 02:32 PM
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AU, in a thread a while ago when I was just looking for a bike to buy, you had mentioned the Pine Creek trail. That is when I started looking at doing it. Thank you for mentioning it when you did. Well I had made plans a while ago to ride this trail and we did on the 15th and 16th. What a beautiful trail to ride. I have been riding rail trails most of this summer, but the Pine creek trail was the best by far. We started at Marsh creek, and rode about 27 miles to Slate Run, taking our time. We spent the night at Hotel Manor which is a very nice place to stay about half way down the trail. Its sits right on Pine creek, and has a deck to sit on to dine. They also have a wide selection of bottled beer, which is rare for a place in the middle of PA Grand Canyon. The first day was sunny and beautiful. The second day to Jersey Shore we got a start early due to rain in the forecast. We made it all but the last five miles, and had to put the rain gear on. It was just mile after mile of great scenery. The upper half is the most scenic, But the lower part, all but maybe the last 8 miles is more scenic than most any other rail trail. We had Pine Creek outfitters dive our car to Jersey Shore so it was there when we got there. I can't wait to do this trail again. Maybe in the spring when the mountain Lurel is blooming, and again in the fall. They say this trail is rated top ten in the nation, but I think it would be hard to find one I liked better. Its very well maintained also. The 55 miles we rode. We didn't even encounter any washed out areas, or ruts. If I get my pictures from my hone to my computer, I'll post a few also.
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Old 10-20-19, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by wyd View Post
The scenery is outstanding in that area. My uncle has a cabin in that area in Germania and the rail trail isn't too far away. My other uncles cabin is right off route 6 outside of Wellsboro and as a kid i could just walk across whats now the rail trail and fish in Pine Creek. Really is a beautiful area for sure.
Yep. Even just driving up Route 15 north of Williamsport is a treat this time of year.

Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
I used to go to a college close to Jersey Shore, (LHUP).
The entire PE department at the high school where I teach are graduates of Lock Haven. Apparently it has a really good program for PE teachers.

Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
Thanks for the pics!! Used to live in northeastern MD (Hereford) and rode many of PA's rail-trails with my best friend, who still lives in PA. Now that my wife is also retired, I've given thought to moving to PA, had a blast on the many rail trails and mountain bike trails that PA has to offer.
We definitely are spoiled with all of the great rail trails around here.

Originally Posted by Alzerbster View Post
We had Pine Creek outfitters dive our car to Jersey Shore so it was there when we got there.
That's pretty cool. I wasn't aware of that option. I may have to do that sometime.
Originally Posted by Alzerbster View Post
They say this trail is rated top ten in the nation, but I think it would be hard to find one I liked better.. If I get my pictures from my hone to my computer, I'll post a few also.
I agree - it's my favorite as well. Would love to see your pics.
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Old 10-21-19, 07:44 AM
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This is Hotel Manor in Slate Run, which is about half way down the trail, from Asonia to Jersey Shore.


Pine Creek outfitters will either pick you, and your bike up anywhere along the trail, and take you back to where you parked, or they will drive your car to any specified area along the trail. Pine Creek Outfitters is located in Asonia.
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Old 10-21-19, 07:53 AM
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Not sure why those photos are so large on the screen. Guess I needed to do something different. I agree we are spoiled here in Pa with all the great rail trails to ride. Parts of the Allegheny Passage are very nice. Especially Connellsville to Rockwood area that includes Confluence, and Ohiopyle. North along the Allegheny river also offers some nice trails. I lived in Western Pa. all my life, and never was that aware of the rail trails within a couple hours drive of me, until I bought a bike.
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Old 10-21-19, 07:59 AM
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When you post photos here in "magazine cover style" (AKA portrait) they display really big. I've learned that if you have a really dramatic photo to post here, that's the best way to hold the camera.

Gorgeous pics BTW, nice colors. We can only wish for rivers that big in most of California. I've never been to PA, but it looks a little like Oregon to me.
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Old 10-21-19, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Alzerbster View Post
Not sure why those photos are so large on the screen. Guess I needed to do something different. I agree we are spoiled here in Pa with all the great rail trails to ride. Parts of the Allegheny Passage are very nice. Especially Connellsville to Rockwood area that includes Confluence, and Ohiopyle. North along the Allegheny river also offers some nice trails. I lived in Western Pa. all my life, and never was that aware of the rail trails within a couple hours drive of me, until I bought a bike.
I really like those - especially the ones that show the creek winding back and forth. In the section we rode Saturday the bends are broad as opposed to snaking. And seeing your shots from bridges made me realize that there were no bridges across the creek from Blackwell on up.

As far as the photos being so large, I've learned to resize mine before posting here. I use Adobe Lightroom for editing, and I just export them with a maximum dimension of 600 pixels if I plan to upload them here.

You mentioned the GAP. I rode a short section of that several years ago while visiting Ohiopyle State Park. Would love to get back over that way and do more of it some time.
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Old 10-21-19, 12:39 PM
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AU, yes I'll have to practice my picture posting. There were two steel structure bridges south of Blackwell.

As for the GAP, any area from Connelsville to Cumberland Maryland is pretty nice. I especially like the section from Confluence to Rockwood. It snakes along the Casselman river which is very nice. Just north of Meyersdale is the Viaduct which is a span built in the early 1900's. Its a little over 1900 feet long, and 100 feet high. Then south of that, past Meyersdale is the continental divide and just before the Mason Dixon Line is the Savage tunnel, and a great overlook. From there on to Cumberland is all down hill, and a very nice easy ride. Its a pretty good grade, and would be a heck of a workout to pedal that from Cumberland to the divide.

Not sure which part of Pa you are from, but another trail I really liked was the Allegheny river trail which runs from Emlenton just north of I-80 to Franklin, and is mostly all asphalt. It includes two tunnels you need a light for. The Rockland and Kennerdale tunnels. The whole trail is 26 miles long, but a nice ride is just through the Kennerdale tunnel and back to Emlenton. Which would be around 30 miles round trip.
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Old 10-21-19, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Alzerbster View Post
Not sure which part of Pa you are from, but another trail I really liked was the Allegheny river trail which runs from Emlenton just north of I-80 to Franklin, and is mostly all asphalt. It includes two tunnels you need a light for. The Rockland and Kennerdale tunnels. The whole trail is 26 miles long, but a nice ride is just through the Kennerdale tunnel and back to Emlenton. Which would be around 30 miles round trip.
I'm in the Susquehanna Valley in central PA, so that looks like it would be about three hours from here. We like to incorporate bike rides into our travels, so I'll put that on the list for some time when we spend a few days over that way. The tunnels sound fun. We've done trails with short tunnels, but never any that were nearly that long.
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Old 10-24-19, 01:38 PM
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Just did the whole trail on Columbus Day. Bike club I belong to rented a handicap bus (room for bikes). We met at Jersey Shore and the bus took us up to the head of the trail. Great idea! Real bargin at $30.00 bucks. Wonderful weather and day. Including a monster Italian Sandwich at the half way point. Here's a few more pics.



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Old 10-24-19, 04:13 PM
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ALD, The picture with the big rock, is that the rock that is refereed to as rattlesnake rock. Guess we rode past that and didn't see it.

In your first photo the trail beside the bike trail is used by a business near Asonia that offers horse drawn covered wagon rides a few miles down the trail.

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Old 10-25-19, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Ald1 View Post
Just did the whole trail on Columbus Day. Bike club I belong to rented a handicap bus (room for bikes). We met at Jersey Shore and the bus took us up to the head of the trail. Great idea! Real bargin at $30.00 bucks. Wonderful weather and day. Including a monster Italian Sandwich at the half way point. Here's a few more pics.
That's a great way to do the whole trail.
There's a train service that does something similar for the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail that runs between Jim Thorpe and White Haven.
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Old 10-25-19, 11:41 AM
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A while ago I was looking at going out and doing the Lehigh Gorge trail. There is a service where the train will transport you and your bike to White Haven then you ride back down to Jim Thrope. Its around 24 miles, and biking toward Jim Thrope is around a 1400 feet drop in elevation over the 24 miles. Was planning on doing the train ride up and bikeing the trail back down, but a couple weeks ago I read about where the company that owns the train and rail was going to pull out of the business of giving train rides, because the government of Jim Thrope decided they wanted $100,000 in taxes from the rail service. From what I read I don't think those decisions are final yet, but I think it would be a big mistake by the Jim thrope government to stand firm on wanting the tax dollars. Here is a link to an article. There are other articles if you google this. Just like any government. they always get to big and are always looking for ways to get money out of peoples pockets in the form of taxes.

https://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-...4qa-story.html
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Old 10-25-19, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Alzerbster View Post
A while ago I was looking at going out and doing the Lehigh Gorge trail. There is a service where the train will transport you and your bike to White Haven then you ride back down to Jim Thrope. Its around 24 miles, and biking toward Jim Thrope is around a 1400 feet drop in elevation over the 24 miles. Was planning on doing the train ride up and bikeing the trail back down, but a couple weeks ago I read about where the company that owns the train and rail was going to pull out of the business of giving train rides, because the government of Jim Thrope decided they wanted $100,000 in taxes from the rail service. From what I read I don't think those decisions are final yet, but I think it would be a big mistake by the Jim thrope government to stand firm on wanting the tax dollars. Here is a link to an article. There are other articles if you google this. Just like any government. they always get to big and are always looking for ways to get money out of peoples pockets in the form of taxes.

https://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-...4qa-story.html
I hope they don't stop operating the train service. I would like to do that sometime.

Several years ago I rode the entire trail from Jim Thorpe to White Haven and back. It's a nice ride, but typically after I hit 30 or 35 miles I'm ready to be done. Strava shows that one was 45 miles, and I remember being really tired by the time I got back to my car. The roughly 1% grade does help heading south, but I think I'd enjoy it better taking the train north.

I hope they can work something out in order to keep it going.
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Old 10-25-19, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by AU Tiger View Post
I hope they don't stop operating the train service. I would like to do that sometime.

Several years ago I rode the entire trail from Jim Thorpe to White Haven and back. It's a nice ride, but typically after I hit 30 or 35 miles I'm ready to be done. Strava shows that one was 45 miles, and I remember being really tired by the time I got back to my car. The roughly 1% grade does help heading south, but I think I'd enjoy it better taking the train north.

I hope they can work something out in order to keep it going.
I hope they can work that issue out also. How does that trail compare in scenery to Pine Creek? I really want to do that trail sometime. Train or no train. Its not going to be until next year now. Likewise after 30 to 35 miles I'm ready to get off a bike seat. That is why I try to pick trail rides between 25 and 35 miles long. Anything longer it isn't fun for me anymore, and if it isn't fun anymore I'm ready to quit. 38 is the furthest I've done at one time on a rail trail. My last two rides, Pine creek and part of the GAP, I have rode part of it where it has been pretty windy, and both times the wind was heading the opposite direction I was going. Riding into the wind really kicked my butt. Especially the last ride where the whole 15 miles back, was riding into the wind. I thought I was in pretty good biking shape by now, but my legs took a couple days to recover after that.

AU, Not sure how far you are from Brookville, but have you ever ridden the Redbank trail that runs from Brookville toward the Allegheny at East Brady? That was another trail I had wanted to do this summer, but didn't get to it. I think its 42 miles.
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Old 10-25-19, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Alzerbster View Post
How does that trail compare in scenery to Pine Creek? I really want to do that trail sometime. Train or no train.
I think the scenery is better along the Pine Creek trail. Even though it follows the river, the Lehigh Gorge trail has very limited water views. Most of the time the trees are too thick to get nice open views. To get any decent photographs you have to stop and take little short trails to the openings. Don't get me wrong - it's a great trail. But I like having beautiful views on the bike without having to stop and get off.

One thing that is fun about the Lehigh Gorge trail is being able to hear and occasionally see the white-water rafters and kayakers. It's probably the best river in eastern PA for that type of thing.

Originally Posted by Alzerbster View Post
Riding into the wind really kicked my butt. Especially the last ride where the whole 15 miles back, was riding into the wind. I thought I was in pretty good biking shape by now, but my legs took a couple days to recover after that.
Yeah, I often say that wind is worse than hills. It was really bad on a couple of my rides this week.

Originally Posted by Alzerbster View Post
AU, Not sure how far you are from Brookville, but have you ever ridden the Redbank trail that runs from Brookville toward the Allegheny at East Brady? That was another trail I had wanted to do this summer, but didn't get to it. I think its 42 miles.
I haven't ridden that one. It's several hours from here. Looks like I need to do a rail trail tour of western PA. =)
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Old 10-27-19, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Alzerbster View Post
ALD, The picture with the big rock, is that the rock that is refereed to as rattlesnake rock. Guess we rode past that and didn't see it.

In your first photo the trail beside the bike trail is used by a business near Asonia that offers horse drawn covered wagon rides a few miles down the trail.

Yep. That's the rock. You need to dismount and go down a little trail to see it. Little further down you can walk to it and on it. We were fortunate to have a few veteran trail folks on the ride to act as guides.
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