Bald Eagle Valley Trail


5 Reviews

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Bald Eagle Valley Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: Clinton
Length: 5.8 miles
Trail end points: Castanea Train Station (Castanea) and Spook Hollow Rd & Falcon Bridge (McElhattan)
Trail surfaces: Boardwalk, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 10440848

Bald Eagle Valley Trail Description

Bald Eagle Valley Trail, formerly known as the Clinton County Rail Trail, offers a pleasant crushed-stone pathway along scenic Bald Eagle Creek and the West Branch Susquehanna River. As you pedal or walk along this former railroad bed, look up in the trees for the bald eagles which like to nest in the area.

The trail, which will one day span 11.5 miles, is being constructed in six phases. In 2018, the first phase opened and, in 2019, the second phase opened. The trail now totals 5.5 miles in two disconnected segments: a section from the Castanea Train Station to Youngdale Road in Wayne Township (3.5 miles), and a section in McElhattan between McElhattan Drive and Spook Hollow Road (2 miles). In 2023, a pedestrian/cyclist bridge spanning the Susquehanna River opened at the eastern end of the McElhattan section. Extending the route by about 0.3 miles, the revitalized former railroad bridge is known as the Falcon Bridge and includes an ADA-accessible switchback ramp connecting it to the trail. Currently, the route ends with the bridge on the northeast riverbank.

The next and fifth phase will continue the trail northeast through Clinton County and will provide a link to the popular 62-mile Pine Creek Rail Trail at its Jersey Shore Trailhead in neighboring Lycoming County. Phase 6 will connect Castanea and the city of Lock Haven. 

Parking and Trail Access

For the western segment, a trailhead with a parking lot and restrooms is located at the Castanea Train Station (201 Logan Ave, Lock Haven). For the eastern segment in McElhattan, you'll find a parking lot at both ends of the trail. Visit the TrailLink map for detailed directions.

Bald Eagle Valley Trail Reviews

Can't wait until this connects to the Pine Creek Trail

I'm rating this trail for its future potential more than its current condition.

The two segments that currently exist are nice enough, and the trailhead in Castanea is great. The existing trail segments are well-maintained with decent scenery as they follow close to Bald Eagle Creek and the West Branch of the Susquehanna. They can also easily be connected by traveling a couple of miles on quiet roads in between.

When complete, this trail will effectively become a roughly 10-mile extension of the spectacular Pine Creek Trail, creating a continuous path from Lock Haven nearly to Wellsboro.

I spent a few days bikepacking to, from, and on the Pine Creek Trail in early October 2023, and I attempted to use the existing parts of the Bald Eagle Valley Trail since they were more or less along my route. On my way to Pine Creek I took the existing trail segment east from Castanea and then took the roads to the beginning of the second trail segment. I then rode the second trail segment and crossed the (fantastic) bridge over the West Branch of the Susquehanna. After studying maps and satellite images, I thought that it might be possible to exit the trail from the eastern end and continue on a local road toward Jersey Shore. However, the improved trail ends abruptly after crossing the bridge over the West Branch, and I found that there was definitely no way to access any road from this point (especially with a loaded touring bike). The banks on either side of the trail fell away steeply and were thick with brush, and the adjacent land was posted private property. The old rail bed obviously continued east from this point, but it was too overgrown with weeds to ride. I had to backtrack the second trail segment to the bridge on McElhattan Drive in order to cross the West Branch and continue on my way.

I really look forward to the day when I can hop on this trail in Castanea or Lock Haven (or maybe someday even further south?) and travel all the way to the beginning of the Pine Creek Trail in Jersey Shore...

Nothing special

We rode the western section of the trail, most of the time there is constant noise from the nearby highway. The trail is well maintained but the stone surface is rough compared to many of the stone trails we have ridden. Much of the trail was in full sun, which on a cool day in October was okay. Also the rest room (portable toilet) at the train was closed and a sign read, "Closed for spring cleaning".

Good ride for a flat lander

Good ride for a flat lander from OK with wiener dog in toe. Short but very pleasant!

Nice trail!

I am always looking for places to ride / hike so I checked this one out 5/10/20. It is a scenic trail along the river. It is a great trail for young ones because it is well maintained, no big ruts to navigate. I am excited to take my grandchildren here soon!¿¿


Nice and easy ride.

Rode this trail yesterday. Very nice and well maintained trail. Mountain, river and farmland views. As of now it is 2 segments for a total of 5.5 miles. Will be a great trail once all segments are completed and connects with the Pine Creek Trail.

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