- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
The David S. Ammerman Trail rolls through Pennsylvania coal country for nearly 11 miles between Clearfield and Grampian, skirting the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and two of its tributaries. Originally dubbed the Clearfield to Grampian Trail, the path was renamed in 2011 to memorialize local resident David S. Ammerman, who played a huge role in getting the trail built.
The trail runs in the old railbed of the Tyrone & Clearfield Railroad, which extended to Curwensville in 1874 and Grampian after that. The Pennsylvania Railroad leased the line to serve the extensive lumber and coal industries in the Appalachian Plateau. More than 100 years later, Ammerman, a local attorney, pushed the idea of using the unused railway as a recreation corridor. The Clearfield County Rails to Trails Association subsequently bought the unused right-of-way from Conrail in 1992 and completed the first trail segment in 1996.
The crushed-limestone trail runs slightly upslope from Clearfield to Grampian, allowing bicyclists to coast long stretches downhill from Grampian. With Curwensville situated about halfway, there are many opportunities for enjoying refreshments or for picking up provisions for covered picnic tables.
At the trail’s eastern end, early settlers near the West Branch of the Susquehanna River named the town Clearfield for the open spaces in the woods where bison browsed and American Indians had farmed. The village, originally named Chinklacamoose, had been settled for more than a thousand years. It was located along the Great Shamokin Path that connected tribal settlements on the Susquehanna and Allegheny Rivers.
The path stays close to Clearfield Curwensville Highway for the first 1.5 miles before it enters a more wooded stretch alongside the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. An early canoe route through the Appalachians, the river was later used to float timber downstream from clear-cutting operations. At 3.4 miles, a renovated railroad bridge spanning the river offers views of the watercourse and surrounding woods.
As you enter Curwensville at 5 miles, the West Branch turns south, but the trail follows its tributary, Anderson Creek, a popular kayaking stream. As the trail crosses Filbert Street, it passes by the Curwensville Feed Store (look to your right), an old Pennsylvania Railroad depot. During the same 1889 storms that caused the Johnstown Flood, floodwaters lapped at the depot’s foundation. On the way out of town, you’ll pass a former brickmaking plant now used to make cement for high-tech applications.
The trail gets a more remote feel after Curwensville. The route crosses Anderson Creek twice and then follows a still smaller tributary, Kratzer Run, through a forest that becomes denser. In about 5 more miles, you’ll reach Grampian, named after the Grampian Mountains of Scotland. From here, it’s all downhill back to Clearfield.
To reach the trailhead in Clearfield from I-80, take Exit 120 to PA 879/Clearfield Shawville Hwy. Head south, and go 3.7 miles. Turn right onto Spruce St., go 0.2 mile, and turn left onto Chester St. Go 0.2 mile, and turn left onto Linden St. Look for trailhead parking immediately on your left.
To reach the trailhead in Grampian from I-80 E, take Exit 97 to US 219 S toward DuBois/Brockway. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for US 219, and merge onto US 219 S. Go 0.2 mile, continue on US 219 S, and go 2.2 miles. Turn right onto Liberty Blvd., go 0.6 mile, and continue onto US 219 S. Go 15.9 miles, and stay straight on PA 729/Grandview Road. Go 300 feet, and look for trailhead parking on the left.
To reach the trailhead in Grampian from I-80 W, take Exit 120. Turn left onto PA 879 W (signs for Clearfield), and go 4.3 miles. Turn left to stay on PA 879 W, go 9.9 miles, and turn left onto Grandview Road. Go 300 feet, and look for trailhead parking on the left.
A new gravel parking area has been availed on Arnoldtown Road (36 Arnoldtown Road).
Traillink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails conservancy
(a non-profit) and we need your support!