Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Biking The Pine Creek Rail Trail

We've been wanting to bike this path for years, but never quite work out the transportation/shuttling/free day to do so.  This fall we decided to take a day and do just part of the trail.  We didn't feel like doing 60 miles, but 20 sounded like a great idea.  

A map of the entire trail can be found here:
My  public google map with the stops marked

We found this chart of times and distances on the Pine Creek Outfitters website:

Ansonia to Blackwell : The Canyon

17 miles (2.5 - 3.0 hrs)

to Rattlesnake Rock is 19 miles (3.5 hrs)
to Cedar Run is 23 miles (4.5 hrs)
to Slate Run is 29 miles (5.5 hrs)
to Waterville is 44 miles (7-8 hrs)
to Whitetail is 55 miles (8-10 hrs)
to Jersey Shore is 57 miles (8-10 hrs)
Starting at Wellsboro Junction gives you an additional 7 miles (1 hour)

Coordinates for Rattlesnake Rock - N 41° 32.440 W 077° 24.324
Directions - 180 to 15 to 414 west

At Rattlesnake Rock

 The Rattlesnake Rock Parking Area:

 There is a short trail off the bike path that takes you down to Rattlesnake Rock.  We walked down while waiting for the shuttle, and saw this eagle take off right over our heads..  unfortunately, I had the short lens on my camera, but it was stunning to watch.

 Standing on Rattlesnake Rock - we didn't see any rattlesnakes this time.
 This section of the trail, from Ansonia to Blackwell, does not have any cell service. There are a couple of emergency phones along the way.


We decided to use the Pine Creek Outfitters shuttle.  They picked us up at Rattlesnake Rock at 10am, and drove us to Darling Run.  I expected to go to Ansonia, and technically Darling Run IS in Ansonia, but it's 1.7 miles south of where I expected to start.  It cost us $40 for the two of us, and it was about a 35 minute ride.

The Darling Run Parking Area:


 This building was closed, so I do not know what is inside...

The shuttle arrived for us at 10:05. We arrived at Darling Run (Ansonia) at 10:40.  Started out on path at 10:50


About 2 miles in, a dcnr truck drove up, picked up a woman coming towards us, flat tire.  This section of the trail is double wide, with horses allowed on the right and bikes on the left.  We saw a lot of parked vehicles on the horse section of the trail.  



When we got to the bridge at the turkey path (you can hike up the path to see the waterfall) we met a couple that had just gotten married the week-end before.  They first dated 55 years ago!  They dated, then broke up.  Both of them were married and widowed twice in the past 50 years.  They met up again this June at an alumni celebration, and hit it off, and were married this past week-end.  I love meeting people on trails like this.  

While chatting with them, we noticed this porcupine wandering along.





There were sections of the trail where the leaves had turned more than others. The entire ride was gorgeous, you are right along the water for most of the ride through here.  It smelled like fall.  Leaves blew over us..  it was a beautiful day.

We couldn't decide what these markers are - there are a few of them along the path.





We stopped for a picnic lunch at Tiadaghton at 12:30. It used to be a small town, there is a nice marker here with information.  There is also a pump for water, and it's a camping area - tents only - open field with picnic tables and fire rings. It's a nice area.








Coming into Blackwell, I turned around to photograph this sign:




Miller's Store is right off the path - you can see it just to the left of the path.  We stopped in, around 1:30 for some sodas.


From Blackwell it is less than 2 miles to Rattlesnake Rock.  There is a parking area in Blackwell, but it's designated more for fishermen, they recommend that those biking the path park at Rattlesnake Rock.

All told, it was just under 18 miles, in under 3 hours.  And that was with many stops - for a picnic lunch, to chat with the couple we met, for countless photos, for sodas at Miller's store.. We could have easily done this section in much less time. 

I highly recommend doing this path - at least this section!  We plan to do the entire trail at some point, working at it section by section for now, and eventually doing it all in one straight shot.  I think we can do the entire trail in less than 8 hours, easily...

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Assorted Notes copied from message boards and online forums:

"Two places you need to stop at are Millers General Store in Blackwell, One dollar a scoop Ice Cream cones and Cedar Run General Store has great burgers."

"the southernmost trail entrance at Jersey Shore is NOT on route 220. It is on Railroad Street. To get there you need to do the following:
Going North on Route 220, take a right onto Route 44 Main Street into town. Take a right on Alleghany Street and then a right on Bridge Street. Then take a left at the next light onto Railroad Street. The trail entrance is on the left. When you get to the parking lot there is a surprise waiting for you: a New York Central caboose! "


"The northern end of the trail (Wellsboro Junction to Ansonia) has marshes, fields, and farmhouses. From Ansonia to Blackwell, the trail runs through the deep, forested canyon; other than a few cabins, this area is totally uninhabited. From Blackwell to Jersey Shore, the trail roughly parallels PA Route 414 and PA Route 44. It passes through several small hamlets and has trailheads at regular intervals. "

"The 16.5-mile section between Ansonia and Blackwell is the most beautiful part in my opinion."

"There is a small store near the Wellsboro Junction trailhead. South of there, there are no stores or vending machines until you reach Blackwell. From Blackwell southward, most of the tiny towns have a general store or restaurant where basic necessities can be purchased. "

"Cell phones do not work along most of the trail due to the deep canyon and rural area. Some (but not all) of the trailheads have phones."

2 comments:

  1. My Grandfather was Raymond E. Lloyd and he had a farm across from the rail road at rattlesnake rock. The bike trail is that rail road bed. Just down the creek was the Woodhouse farm and a good fishing hole. The large hill toward the west is called Lloyd point and the orginal farm went that high. We used to grow potatoes on the flats south of the Rock and Turkeys west and above the rail road. You will find odd coloured wild turkey's in the area because of the domestic white turkeys tended to escape and mix with the wild turkeys.There is a natural spring about 1/3 the way up Lloyd point and I beleive I am the last person on earth that knows its location. There is a stream that follows the west rim trail that we used to call Lloyd creek and it used to be full of natural brook trout up to 12 in long that I used to fish a lot.Near the top of west rim trail is an old flagstone quarry that covered a massive vein of coal that we used to use in the house.

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