Pennsylvania`s Pine Creek Trail Was Described By "USA Today" As One Of The Ten Great Places In The World To Take A Bike Tour
The Pine Creek Rail Trail is a 65 mile (105 km) long multi-use trail in the Appalachian Mountains of northern Pennsylania.
Built on part of the old New York Central Railroad, the trail has been topped with crushed limestone and is generally flat with only gentle gradients. This makes it ideal for bikers, hikers and horseback riders during the summer and for cross country skiers during the winter .
Part Of The Trail
The trail runs in a generally north to south direction, with the northern end starting close to the intersection of Pennsylvania Route 287 and U.S. Route 6, three miles north of the town of Wellsboro. It ends, 65 miles (105 kms) later, at the town of Jersey Shore.
In between, the Pine Creek Rail Trail passes through some of the most stunning country in the eastern United States, including Pine Creek Gorge which is often called the "Grand Canyon of Pa."
After leaving its northern terminus, one of the first places the trail reaches is the village of Ansonia.
In this area there are three vehicle access points but for the next sixteen miles of its length there is no access by road. This is because the trail then runs along the bottom of the Pine Creek Gorge.
South of Ansonia the Pine Creek Trail passes between Colton Point State Park to the west and Leonard Harrison State Park to the east, both these state parks are also part of the Tioga State Forest.
Around this point the gorge is about 800 feet (240 metres) deep but further south it gets deeper still, reaching its maximum depth of 1450 feet near the town of Waterville.
Pine Creek Gorge. The Trail Can Be Seen Running Close To The Creek
The next town the trail reaches is Blackwell. The stretch between Ansonia and Blackwell, through the wonderful Pine Creek Gorge, is extremely remote and the only facilities of any sort are at the Tiadaghton Campground.
However, the Pine Creek Trail south of Blackwell is far less remote and has numerous access points, campgrounds and comfort stations, it also parallels two traffic routes.
Pine Creek Rail Trail North Of Waterville
The first is Pennsylvania Route 414 which runs close by for about 15 miles until it ends near the town of Waterville. Pennsylvania Route 44 then takes over and runs beside the trail for the final 17 miles before reaching its southern terminus at the town of Jersey Shore.
The trail crosses both the Pine Creek and the highway at a number of points in its journey.
A number of other hiking trails intersect with the Pine Creek Rail Trail including the Pennsylvania Mid State Trail. It also passes close to the Black Forest Trail which is in the Tioga State Forest just south of Blackwell.
A Wagon On The Pine Creek Rail Trail (Photo by Fishhawk)
Riding this 65 mile long trail, or even a section of it, will be something to remember for a long time.
As well as enjoying stunning scenery you are likely to see plenty of wildlife as bears and white-tailed deer live in the woods, while hawks, geese and possibly eagles soar overhead.
History is also in evidence as during the Great Depression the Civilian Conservation Corps built roads, trails and bridges in the area and their work is remembered with a sign located near the Darling Run Access just south of Ansonia.
For a superb map of the Pine Creek Trail, showing all the access points and facilities, just click here.