Johnstown, PA Atv Trails and Maps

864 Reviews

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Recent Trail Reviews

Lower Trail

Lifts my soul

June, 2024 by cfbaggett

I've lived in Boalsburg, PA for 10 of the last 13 years and have probably ridden the full 32 miles, there and back, of the Lower Trail nearly 100 times. It's because of this trail and the Pine Creek Rail Trail that I have fallen in love with rail trails and Pennsylvania. I won't repeat everything that has been said in other reviews, but I want to say a few things that have not been said and/or emphasized. These things are not necessarily unique to the Lower Trail by any means, but I promise you they can all be experienced on its path.

1) The Lower Trail is very remote, and this revives the soul! To get to any of the trailheads you are "forced" to drive through fertile farm fields, surrounded by majestic, ancient, and time-worn ridges. There's not a city in sight! It doesn't matter if you are coming from Altoona, State College, Huntingdon, or afar, you can't help but relax and let it all go on the drive there. Roll down the windows and enjoy Central Pennsylvania in all of its glory.

2) It's history, and this inspires! Native Americans forged this trail along the Juniata; the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Canal channeled its way through the ridgelines here; the Pennsylvania Railroad took a shortcut through the gorges to bypass Tyrone when traffic was heavy; Amelia Earhart spent her weekends in Williamsburg; there are hidden locks, loading docks, and long lost railroad bridges over the Juniata with only a few stacked stones of abutments left. Just think, Charles Dickens spent time on this trail as he was pulled upstream on a canal boat by a team of donkeys. He wrote fondly about this trail!

3) There's a river, and you can kayak it! It's called the Juniata! Leave your bike at Alfarata or Mount Etna Station, drive your kayaks to Williamsburg, kayak downstream along the Juniata back to your bike, and bike ride back to your car. You get the drift? You can spend a whole day biking and kayaking along this magnificent corridor. There's something incredible about paddling your boat under ancient railroad viaducts while navigating occasional rapids and waving to bikers on the trail as they ride by!

4) Human diversity abounds! Infants to retirees frequent this trail all year long. There are strollers, tricycles, gravel bikes, mountain bikes, street bikes, electric bikes, scooters, one-wheeled skateboards, recumbents, horses, and folks using their good old-fashion two feet. But, it's never too crowded, and everyone is so kind and courteous. The trail is wide enough to pass safely with a soft ding of a bell or a quick verbal cue of on your left. You can ride fast or slow, lazily or with determination. There is an in fact an 11 mile stretch with zero road crossings. Imagine the time trials one could ride! Or you can slow down and take it all in.

5) Natural diversity envelops you! Foliage and fauna, marmots and birds. My most memorable moment with nature occured while kayaking and a bald eagle on July 4th stayed with us for about a mile. Continually swooping past us, about 10 feet over our heads, gazing at us as he passed, perching in a tree just in front of us, and performing this dance over and over again.

My apologies if this review is a bit personal. The Lower Trail is truly a hidden gem. It's shaped me and my family - kept us sane and whole, and I give so much thanks to those who had the vision to make this trail a reality. There's nothing that gives me greater joy than when I ask my teenage daughter each spring if she'd like to go on a bike ride with me on the Lower Trail, and her eyes pop open and she enthusiastically says yes.

Armstrong Trails

A pleasant ride with historic artifacts

June, 2024 by bruceamiller@comcast.net

A friend and I rode the Armstrong Trail out and back from East Brady to Kittanning in June 2024. Temperatures were in the 90s with some humidity. Fortunately a fair amount of the trail had full or partial shade, even in the middle of the day.
On this stretch the trail surface is good, mostly packed dirt with occasional small or medium stones. At the north end of Kittanning, the pavement was quite rough from tree roots in places. At times the trail narrows to a track when coming to a crossing road.
The trail mostly follows the wide Allegheny River, a change from other regional rail-trails which follow creeks or small rivers. On the trail are a magnificent coaling tower at Redbank, a railroad turntable at Phillipston, and several locks and dams.
The trail passes through several towns, and past clusters of trailers and houses used as summer/weekend retreats. Their boats and jet skis were in use on the river.

Lower Trail

June 2024

June, 2024 by jpcvt135

Rode this trail on a Tuesday morning in June, starting in Alexandria. The parking area is easy to find and has a bathroom. I encountered maybe 10 or 15 other people/groups in about 2 hours, mostly cycling with an occasional runner/walker. Lots of benches along the way with an occasional bathroom at other parking areas. The first 11 miles is all shaded with no road crossings, flat, and very peaceful once the trail veers away from the road after a mile or so. It is well maintained (didn’t see a single piece of trash), the surface is nice for cycling, and while the asphalt section had some bumps from tree roots, they were well marked. I turned around shortly after Williamsburg (about 12 miles) due to the heat, but will absolutely be back to do the entire trail. HIGHLY recommend.

Accordion

Hoodlebug Trail

Good warm-up trail

June, 2024 by bruceamiller@comcast.net

A friend and I rode the Hoodlebug Trail in June 2024. Temps were high 80s; humidity was moderate.
Good: mostly paved and shaded; nice picnic shelter and bathroom at Saylor Park.
Not so good: trail is close to a noisy highway, and becomes a narrow dirt track with some not-so-obvious direction just before Saylor Park.
Other reviewers mention the Sheetz along the trail for food or hydration, as there is nothing close by Saylor Park.
Bottom line: The Ghost Town or other area trails are quieter and much more interesting.

Ghost Town Trail

A great history ride

June, 2024 by bruceamiller@comcast.net

A friend and I rode the Ghost Town Trail from Blacklick (Saylor Park) to Nanty Glo and back in June 2024. Temps were in the low 90s with some humidity.
The trail surface is generally good - mostly packed dirt with occasional gravel spots. Between mileposts 20 and 21 there was a washout on half the trail. The other half has ravines and requires caution. Orange cones mark the damage.
The trail is uphill virtually all the way from Blacklick to Nanty Glo. Several sections are steeper than others. Plan to spend more time riding west to east.
The trail has frequent historical signage and some photos at the sites of the 9 ghost towns. We enjoyed reading the signs' text. Unfortunately in most cases there is nothing to see (no foundations or chimneys). Several coal seams are reminders of the mining.
The trail is very rural, and reminded us of the Katy in Missouri. It is important to carry hydration and food, as we saw no place to buy food until Nanty Glo. All restaurants in town were closed at lunchtime Monday, so we bought snacks at the RiteAid.

Lower Trail

Made in the shade

June, 2024 by bruceamiller@comcast.net

A friend and I rode the Lower Trail in June 2024. Temps were in the low 90s; it was humid. Fortunately the trail is very well shaded. The section from Alexandria to Williamsburg is nearly flat and mostly 2-track well-packed dirt. The last 3 miles are paved asphalt. The pavement used to be rough. It's much better now, with occasional tree root bumps.
The trail has LOTS of benches and several picnic shelters. It's quiet so we heard a variety of birds. En route we chatted with Mike, a local who's a trail keeper. We also encountered a local who was removing invasive species along the trail.
The only disappointment was the Lower Trail Creamery in Williamsburg. We (and another couple) saw an employee enter the Creamery at 11:30am. We knocked on the door and asked if we could be served soon. We were told to wait until the posted noon opening. Very disappointing on a hot day!
Years ago when we first rode the Lower Trail, we would only see one or two riders or walkers. Today there were 10 vehicles in the Alexandria parking lot. Mike said the parking lot fills up on weekends.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

We parked at lock 38 by Shepardstown. Trail is well maintained and gorgeous. Many bikers, runners and walkers out.Note it is a trash free park.

June, 2024 by roberta.harte

We parked at lock 38 by Shepardstown. Trail is well maintained and gorgeous. Many bikers, runners and walkers out.Note it is a trash free park.

Lower Trail

A Great Trail…

May, 2024 by bespo09

Always a favorite trail as it’s close to State College, PA, I rode it again yesterday with friends. Scenic and really well maintained, the trail offers a little bit of everything. Thanks and appreciation to those who maintain the trail—especially at the picnic area.

Great Allegheny Passage

Definite Bucket List Ride

May, 2024 by d_morris

One of the top 10 bucket list rides in the US, easily. And when combined with another, the C&O Canal, you can cycle on dedicated bike paths for 330 miles from DC to Pittsburgh. The 150 miles of the GAP ribbons through pristine forest, past former railway towns being resurrected by all the cycling tourists using the trail.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Awesome Nature Rides

May, 2024 by d_morris

Whether a multi-day ride from DC 180 miles to Cumberland or individual day rides along the tow path next to the C&O canal, this trail is awesome. And now that much of it has been resurfaced to be crushed granite rather than just dirt, muddy rides will no longer be a problem after and during rains. One of the top 10 bucket list rides in the US, easily.

Great Allegheny Passage

Map falls short navigating out of Pittsburgh

May, 2024 by amygerney

This trail map does not show how to navigate out of Pittsburgh… specifically the first few miles with a notable gap across Smithfield Street!

Roaring Run Trail

WHat an amazing trail we did roaring run into furnace rock loved it. Starts off very simple then head into furnace rock is more wooded

April, 2024 by stephfab99

WHat an amazing trail we did roaring run into furnace rock loved it. Starts off very simple then head into furnace rock is more wooded

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