Oil Creek State Park Trail

Pennsylvania

Oil Creek State Park Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: Crawford, Venango
Length: 9.7 miles
Trail end points: Allen St. nr. Bank St. (Titusville) and Petroleum Center Rd. at Russel Comers Rd. (Oil Creek State Park)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017033
Trail activities: Bike, Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Oil Creek State Park Trail Description

The Titusville and Petroleum Center Railroad had one major purpose when it was built in 1863: to transport oil. Oil was discovered in Oil Creek Valley in 1859 by Colonel Edward Drake and William Smith. Almost overnight, towns such as Titusville, Miller Farm, Pioneer and Petroleum Center blossomed as opportunists rushed to get rich from the Great Oil Dorado. The oil boom ended in 1871 almost as quickly as it began.

When the once-boisterous towns died, the railroad hung on. Through a series of mergers, it became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system in 1900 and fell into disuse in 1945. Connecting routes for bicycle and pedestrian use between Oil Creek State Park and the Samuel Justus Recreation Trail were signed and completed in 2010.

Few reminders of the thousands of people who once occupied the Oil Creek Valley remain. Today, the valley is home to hemlocks, beaver ponds, trout streams (outstanding fly-fishing) and waterfalls. The only evidence of the intense oil drilling that once went on here is the occasional well head.

The Oil Creek Trail has a flat, easy surface and is suitable for users of every level. Oil Creek State Park has 52 miles of hiking trails with camping shelters and 20 miles of cross-country ski trails. Picnicking, canoeing, fishing, bicycle rentals and other facilities, such as restrooms, food and lodging are available in the nearby town of Titusville.

The Oil Creek & Titusville excursion train, known locally as the OC & T, runs through the park. Stay awhile and take a train ride back 150 years into the heart of the country's first oil fields. Every August the Oil Festival arts and crafts show offers lots of fun, food and unique sights that highlight the area's history and local culture.

The northern end of the Oil Creek State Park Trail connects to the Queen City Trail, which continues to Titusville.

Parking and Trail Access

For the south trailhead, take the Route 8 bypass north around Oil City and continue 3 miles. Turn toward Petroleum Center on State Route 1007 just after Route 8 crosses Oil Creek. Continue 3 miles to the junction of State Route 1007 and State Route 1004. Turn right on State Route 1004 and cross Oil Creek. Parking is 0.1 mile ahead on the left.

For the northern trailhead at Drake Well Museum, take the Route 8 bypass around Oil City and proceed 14.4 miles north along Route 8. Turn right at the light on Bloss Street. If you reach the junction with Route 27, you have passed Bloss Street. Continue a little more than 0.75 mile to trailhead parking on the right before the bridge.

Oil Creek State Park Trail Reviews

We loved everything about this trail. Well maintained,(a tree had fallen across the trail and as we were riding back to our car , the rangers were already on their way to clear it) great scenery, even a rest room mid trail.

Rode the trail on July 3, 2016. Started at Oil Creek State Park and rode to Titusville. The trail is well paved with many historical signs to read. The trail is along Oil Creek and through the woods. It ends at Drake Well Museum. We were caught by surprise that admission was $10 per person. We did not have enough money. The bike trail does continue beyond Drake Well under a different name. If you are into history, this is a great trail to ride. The ride back to Oil Creek State Park is a little easier as other reviewers have stated.

We rode the last Saturday in October (2014). This was our second time on the trail. Last time was over the Summer. The scenery was different this time. Saw new and pretty sights.
We parked at the Oil Creek State Park Office in Petroleum Center. We biked to Drake Well and back. Also took the side trail the Queen City Trail. Last time we did the trail the reverse direction.
What we learned this time......start in Petroleum Center and go North to Drake Well which is also uphill. Better going uphill when you are fresh. The ride back to the car was all downhill. We're learning!
Leaves changing, nice Fall day.

Accordion

We parked at the Drake Well parking lot and rode the trail South to Oil Creek State Park, I guess through Oil Creek State Park. From the parking lot you climb uphill about 1/10 of a mile, then it's downhill grade. The trail follows Oil Creek. Very shaded, so if you want to work on your bikers tan, this isn't going to be the trail for you. The trail is nice seems to be narrow though. On the one side is a hill, on the other is a cliff. Down in Petroleum Center there is the Oil Creek State Park office with drinking fountain and flush toilets. There is one section of the trail that goes under a railroad bridge. And if you go to fast, you may lose control and wind up in the creek. There is nothing to stop you other than some "tape". I think at one time there was a fence there and they are probably going to build a new one. Mike and Vicki

My beautiful girlfriend and I rode the entire trail, round trip, starting from the parking lot of the Caboose Motel in Titusville. This actually took us along the three mile "Queen City Trail", unbeknownst to us until later.
It was a partly cloudy day which made for a somewhat chilly ride in mid September, but it was well worth it. There are many trailside picnic tables to stop and rest, or lunch at. We were lucky enough to see the Oil Creek sightseeing train pass by at a crossing near the southern end of the trail when we stopped for lunch.
We spent two nights at the Caboose Motel and dined at the Blue Canoe in downtown Titusville. Both of which I recommend.

This is a wonderful trail. It's not perfectly flat, but rather seems to have a slight upgrade from the park entrance to Titusville. Chances are you won't notice it much, as the scenery and wildlife will keep your attention. Lots of photo opportunities. Beware though, the day I rode the trail, I encountered bears (black bears?) twice: once a mother and her 2 cups were just a few feet off the trail (they ran up the hill when I got close), and at another point some teenagers stopped me to warn me about a bear that was running on the trail up ahead of them.

Will definitely do this trail again if I'm in the area.

Rain shelters, fabulous! I almost wished it rained. Perhaps more signage is needed at the Titusville trailhead, i missed Drake's oilwell. Other than that, a great trail.

The wife and I rode the trail on Sept 11 2011. We started from the State Park and rode to the end of trail and beginning of "share the road". It was a gentle uphill ride to the road. Very isolated and quiet. We passed 4 walkers and 4 bicyclists total in the round trip. Also saw tons of chipmunks, 1 large owl and 2 deer. The surface is paved and in excellent condition. Round trip, we rode 22 miles and rate this trail very high.

"Nice paved trail with lots of history around the valley it's in. Good place to spend an afternoon, you can ride your bike, hike, have a picnic, ride the train and visit the oil museum.

Drove from Altoona to check it out, rode the trail and went to the oil museum. Trail has lots of historical markers along it, seems like I stopped every 1/2 mile to read them, lots of stuff I didn't know about oil history. Checked out the tourist train that runs parallel to the trail on the other side of the river. Having the museum right near the trail made the ride more interesting. Museum has machinery from early oil operations outdoors along with a recreation of the drake well. Main museum building has artifacts and photographs as well as small working models of how oil wells operated. Seeing the wagon they used to transport nitroglycerine in along dirt roads was a real blast."

Trail was great. The only problem was that we didn't know that hunting was permitted in the area.

The Oil Creek Trail can be appreciated by anyone. I cycle on the trail several times a year... FALL is the greatest... the children enjoy it... The serenity and beauty of the trail is great.

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