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One of the premier rail-trails in the Northeast, the Pine Creek Rail Trail in Pine Creek Gorge offers travelers a spectacular 62-mile journey through the area commonly referred to as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. With numerous trailheads, comfort stations, campgrounds, and small towns along the route, the well-maintained trail is ideal for an afternoon excursion or a longer trek. The trail is finely crushed limestone best suited for hybrids or mountain bikes.
The Jersey Shore, Pine Creek & Buffalo Railroad began operating here in 1883, carrying timber to sawmills in towns along the floor of the gorge. The railroad also transported coal north to New York State. The last freight train passed through in October 1988. A few of the old stone mile makers from its railroad heyday still appear along the trail, and interpretive panels about the region’s railroad and logging history can be found at the Darling Run and Tiadaghton trailheads.
For railroad buffs, Tioga Central Railroad, a still-active line heading north from Wellsboro Junction, offers seasonal excursions to Lake Hammond and the outskirts of Corning, New York. Its train station lies across the street from the northern terminus of the rail-trail.
From Wellsboro Junction, the rail-trail heads south to Jersey Shore with a barely imperceptible slope downhill from north to south. The route traverses Tioga and Tiadaghton state forests, which offer numerous hiking trails to complement a bike trip on the rail-trail.
For nearly its entire length, the trail hugs Pine Creek, offering great views of the water and dramatic rock outcrops, and providing access to whitewater rafting, kayaking, and canoeing in the spring. Fishing, especially for trout, is another popular use of the creek. You may be lucky enough to see an eagle, osprey, coyote, or even a black bear on the hillsides adjacent to the trail. Other wildlife can also be spotted in the gorge, including deer, wild turkeys, herons, hawks, river otters, and beavers.
Horseback riding is allowed on portions of the trail. To use the hard-packed dirt path beside the trail between Ansonia and Tiadaghton, equestrians should park at the Ansonia trailhead. Here, you can also catch a horse-drawn wagon ride which goes down the trail for a few miles and then back to the trailhead.
There are many other access points along the route. Several access points with parking are located south of Blackwell along Route 414. The parking lot at Rattlesnake Rock is a popular drop location for canoe and bicycle shuttle services. Another large parking lot is located at the southern end of the trail just north of Waterville.
To reach the northern trailhead from US 6, where it meets PA 287 north of Wellsboro, turn left to travel north on PA 287 and then turn left on Patten Road. The trailhead is on the left beyond the ice cream shop.
The reach the southern trailhead from US 220 in Jersey Shore from Lock Haven, take US 220 and exit at Thomas Street; at the top of the hill, turn right at the stop sign then head down hill to the first traffic light. Turn right onto Railroad and go two blocks; the trailhead, restrooms, and parking lot is on your right.
From Williamsport to Jersey Shore, take US 220 and exit at Thomas Street; go up the ramp to the stop sign, turn left, go over the overpass and proceed down hill to first traffic light; turn right onto Railroad Street and go two blocks to the trailhead on your right.
There are numerous other access points along the trail's route.
With 63 miles of compact gravel on a gentle uphill grade from Jersey Shore to the end near Ansonia, this is one of my top 3 favorite trails I've ridden on to-date. The first 35 mile, from Jersey Shore to Blackwell have about 4 or 5 villages with general stores that offer you a place to stop and grab cold drink or something to eat. They also have restroom stops along the trail in-between. After Blackwell, heading north, the 2nd half or the trail, there's no village stops until you reach the end near Ansonia and there's a limited number of restrooms available.
Book a room at any of the quaint motels in the area and wind your way through some of the best scenery the Grand Canyon of PA has to offer, especially in the fall.
As locals, we've explored all segments of this trail. One of our favorite rides was a two-day trip along the entire length. We started early at the norther terminus just outside Wellsboro. About twelve miles into the trip is Leonard Harrison State park. The Turkey Path trail there is a great 1.5 mile hike straight up the canyon for great views. We ended our first day at Cedar Run, the mid-way point on the trail. The Cedar Run Inn is a nice B&B, clean and comfortable. The 2nd day was a steady ride the remaining 31 miles with an early lunch at the Waterville Tavern, right on the trail. Beautiful ride. Take water/drinks and snacks in your panniers.
I’m local and I ride the trail a lot. So much so, that I wrote a guidebook about it so that others could know what I know about it.
Its a beautiful, pristine, 62 miles of sheer pleasure. The trail is kept in tip top shape by Pennsylvani’s Department of Natural Resources staff.
Come ride here. You will be impressed.
I recently moved to PA and wanted to ride this trail that I have heard so much about. I did a two day ride on May 1 and 2 riding from Jersey Shore to Wellsboro Junction on day 1 and back on day 2. I noted the Tale of Two Trails in the headline since the trail from Jersey Shore to Wellsboro is essentially 62 miles uphill with the grade rolling between 1 and 3 percent the entire way. The grade by itself wasn't that big a deal but on May 1 there was a 10-17 MPH wind in the face the entire way. At 71 years of age it was tiring. Having said that, the ride goes alongside Pine Creek for much of the route until one nears Wellsboro Junction. There are many beautiful homes, lake views, mountain views, fishermen views, old railroad and telegraph remnants to keep ones eyes and senses occupied. There are also Comfort Stations about every 5 miles for the first 30 miles and then they really thin out. There is also an old pump for water along the trail from the Jersey Shore trail head at one of the Comfort Stations but I don't remember how far along it is. There is also a 1" PVC pipe with water sticking out of the hillside along the way but since I didn't know what it was, I just passed it up.
I should note that the trail map shows a lot of towns along the route. Don't be fooled. They are clusters of a few homes with no outlets for water or food. The one exception is an ice cream shop about half way but I didn't stop so I don't know the days or hours of operation.
Once you arrive at the trail head at Wellsboro Junction you are close to a small ice cream/convenience store which came in handy to obtain a cold beverage. The trail does not go into Wellsboro but stops 5 miles out of town. So I had another 5 miles to ride on well traveled roads that are not marked to get you into town. The bigger issue was remembering the route out of town back to the Trail Head since there are a few turns along the way. Everyone in town told me that the rail is going to be extended into town eventually but no one seemed to know the exact time frame.
There is an old train station near the trail head where visitor excursions are run. I didn't learn any of the details but saw a GN diesel, Pullman passenger cars and other rolling stock at the station. You may want to check it out and go for a ride.
Wellsboro is a quaint town and I had dinner at Wellsboro House, a micro brewery. I don't drink but the people were great and so was the food. (I can recommend the house made peanut butter pie!)
The ride down the trail back to Jersey Shore on day 2 was much easier. There was a wind from the SW at 10-15 mph so on some of the zig zagging of the trail there was a very strong head wind at times but it wasn't all day as it was on day 1. I always find it interesting that I see different things based on the direction I go on the trail. Day 2 had some very interesting photo ops and vistas. I should also mention that the first 25 miles or so out of Wellsboro are reasonably isolated with few rest stations and no options to stop at a convenience store as you have leaving Jersey Shore, so be sure to have some food and plenty of your preferred beverage to get you through this section.
A great time and I highly recommend it.
Such incredible views and scenery that you and your bike might wander right off the trail if you're not careful (I came close to doing this at least 3 times). I spent 3 days riding this trail in October, logging 95 miles. The only part of the trail that I did not cover was the southernmost 8 miles. This was my first visit, and certainly won't be my last. Rural, peaceful, away from it all. Trail surface is excellent and well-maintained. It is very flat, and you can expect to pedal most of the time.
Watch out for the biting flies along the Pine Creek bike trail.
Need to ride 10 mph to keep the flies off you.
Did about 12 miles of this trail from north to south from the trailhead in Ansonia. Beautiful scenery from a well maintained trail with campgrounds available if desired. I will be back to do the entire trail with a few friends in the spring!
Stunning, serene, smooth. Biked this trail in three days, with round trip rides, in late June. Gorgeous rhododendron, day lilies, and other blooms along the trail. Very few road crossings. Wonderful.
I rode the entire trail from Wellsboro Junction to Jersey shore and back over Labor Day weekend. The Pine Creek Gorge is immaculately maintained even with rain on my ride I didn't experience any sections that were rutted or riddled with mud pools. There are clean bathrooms every 4-6 miles as well as multiple access points to create your own ride length. The trail is very tightly packed gravel, it almost seems like asphalt at times. There are no hills but you will be riding against an almost imperceptible grade going from Jersey Shore to Wellsboro. Even with it being a holiday weekend I didn't find the trail too busy and most riders were friendly and considerate.
The first 26 miles from Wellsboro Junction to Blackwell includes the entire PA Grand Canyon. This area has varied scenery but no places to get supplies right off the trail so plan accordingly. The next 25 miles from Blackwell to Waterville has many general stores all of which offer good food, basic supplies and plenty of rustic souvenirs. The last 10 or so miles from Waterville to Jersey Shore offers a few bathrooms and a nice finish to a long ride but no supply stops. Cell service is sporadic at best so plan on not having any until you get to the last 5 miles of the trail near Wellsboro or Jersey Shore. Overall it is a perfect ride.
My son and I rode the trail together August 13th and 14th 2017. We parked the van with our two bicycles at the Jersey Shore parking lot at about noon on the 13th and biked to Waterville for lunch. It was then an easy bike to Hoffman's Camping Area where we set up our tents early. This campground was simply gorgeous and we shared it with one other camper. The sites are grassy, level, have shade, picnic tables and fire rings. The restroom was very clean. The water pump worked and because the sign said the water was not frequently tested, we put it through a Sawyer filter before we used it. The water tasted good. About 3 am, a coyote made a howl in the campground adding a bit of excitement as it woke us both. The next morning we broke camp and rode to Tiadaghton Campground turning around there to head back to Jersey Shore. The ride back to Jersey Shore was wonderful. The scenery was perfect, and we saw wildlife all along the way. Highlights were an eagle, 4 rattlesnakes, and a black bear loping across our path just past Waterville.
The trail is flat and very well maintained. My son, who has ridden the Dirty Kanza race (200 miles in one day on 4 wheel drive gravel roads in the Kansas flint hills) chose to ride on road tires instead of hybrid tires. He said they worked just fine. I was riding a hybrid set of tires, and they were perfect for the trail conditions. Unless the weather has been bad, almost any bicycle tire would work.
I would rate this as the best bike trail I have experienced.
My wife and I decided to do a short get-away to Gaines Pa. and ride the Pine Creek Trail. We rented a small house about 8 miles from the Darling Run parking area. One day we rode about 8 miles to the north end of the trail and then we found a really nice paved road just past a local produce store to put in some really pleasant miles on some paved road. The following day we headed south for about 12 miles and took in the scenery along the Pine Creek. The scenery is beautiful and the trail is great. We both had road bikes with 700x25 tires and it's absolutely fine for that in case your concerned. There was hardly anyone along the trails both days and you can really relax and just pedal along. If you want to ride at a good pace it's quite doable for training or leisure. The trail is described as gravel, its pretty hard packed and great to ride you don't need a mountain bike to do it. The southern direction is in the Pa. grand canyon, heading north you can see further to the horizon and view nice farm land. There are some good places to eat in the area I highly recommend the The Burnin' Barrel Bar along Route 6 just before the turn off to rt 362 that goes to the Darlin run parking area. They have probably the best food in the area. If you love chocolate you have to check out Highland Chocolates in Wellsboro. If your into woodworking you need to checkout Irion Lumber too. I think the entire area is just fantastic and beautiful.
We love this trail and have completed every mile at least twice. The trail is crushed stone and maintained with excellence and very minimal grade change. Last summer, 2016 my husband and I rode each part approx 12-17 miles in one direction and then back to our parking spot making many nice 25-35 mile rides . There are many trail parking areas along the way. Jersey Shore PA trailhead is a great starting point, Waterville and Blackrock are also good parking areas. The views all along the way on the Pine Creek are simply beautiful. The trail follows right next to the Pine Creek crossing nice bridges back and forth over the creek. We have seen amazing wildlife! Big birds, rabbits, chipmunks, deer, ducks, snakes and one bear. Never too windy and mostly shaded all the way. We have encountered horseflies south of the Grand Canyon of PA but only where the trail allows horses on a separate shared trail. Again, the maintenance crew clears debris and smooths the trail regularly. This is our Favorite trail even over the Katy and GAP.
love this trail! I'd put it in my top 3. we started at the Jersey shore end and went 15 miles, just a little past Dry run and then turned around. about 30 miles all together. scenery was beautiful, trails were great. saw 2 black snakes and 1 rattlesnake..yuk!! we've already talked about coming back and riding the rest of it..the fall would be beautiful!!
We rode this trail on 3 different days. Friday 10-14 we started at the northern end off 287 north of Wellsboro and rode to mile marker 10. The following day we parked at the Ansonia lot and had Pine Creek Outfitters pick up our vehicle and drop it off at our destination in Waterville. It was a great service and our truck was waiting for us when we got there. The 3rd day we parked at the southern area and rode the portion from Jersey Shore to Waterville access area. The area is so pretty and the leaves were just starting to peak. I really enjoyed this trailand the condition is fantastic. There are plenty of rest stops along the way and even quite a few general stores. Cedar Run has a really beautiful store. The only trouble we encountered was just south of Blackwell street traffic is directed onto the trail due to a road construction project. All the vehicles that passed us were very considerate. Kudos to everyone's effort to keep this trail in really good condition
A really enjoyable trail with lots to see. I rode on the Pine Creek Trail for three days and found there is lots of scenery and picturesque places along the trail.The only problem is I was able to only find one snack / drink stop along the 40 trail miles that I covered in Blackwell PA next to the trail. Be prepared there are not many places to buy food and I only carry what I can fit in my pockets. Make sure you go see the Grand Canyon of PA also it is really nice especially with the fall colors.
This is a very nicely maintained trail. Very busy also! I only covered ab0ut 2 miles but it was well maintained and nice scenery. looking forward to going back and exploring more!
My wife and I rode the southern end of this beautiful trail today. Started at the caboose in Jersey Shore and rode the 11.5 miles (according to my GPS) to Waterville for lunch and a few adult beverages on the patio at the Waterville Tavern. The trail is immaculate, probably the smoothest rail-to-trail I've been on. There are markers every mile, lots of benches, well placed restrooms, wonderful bridges and great scenery.
There were a surprising number of crossings, but only two across double-lane roads. The gates are well marked and very easy to navigate.
The lunch was fantastic, the Waterville Tavern is a great stop, they even have a bike rack.
We will be returning to explore the other 51 miles of the trail.
The trail is perfect for those looking to log miles and get exercise. The only negative that I have found is that groups don't seem to follow bike etiquette. I constantly got slowed down by people riding side by side, instead of single file. I love the canyon, if you enjoy wildlife, I.e. deer, bear, eagles, raccoons, rattlesnakes, and many songbirds!!! Trail is a must ride!!
I've ridden a lot, but this is amazing. After the first few miles you will see few people, but the trail is perfect for miles! Went 30 miles north to Pettecote campground, stayed overnight then came back. Next time I will come down from the north. This is a must-ride!
I wanted to ride pine creek last year and finely got there 6/10/16. The trail is very well compacted. I read a review on someone on slicks, so I put a pair on. I was going for a endurance ride wanted to do my first ever 100 miler. Was a good choice with the slicks trail was very smooth and dry. Nice scenery along the creek saw some nice size trout, couple deer with fawns. Really nice trail. I started in Jersey Shore and ended up with a 102 total mile ride. Next time I'm going the all the way. O and there were very friendly bikers all along the trail.
My wife and I spent two days on the Pine Creek Trail. The first day we road up and back from Waterville to Ross Run (23 miles). The second day we had Pine Creek Outfitters shuttle us from Rattlesnake Rock to Ansonia and we biked back to our car (19 miles).
The trail is very well maintained and smooth. I didn't see one pothole. There is a slight 2% downhill grade from Ansonia to Rattlesnake Rock which made the trip a little easier for us.
The scenery is amazing. This is one trail that lives up to it's billing.
This is my favorite rail trail and I love it so much I wrote a guidebook to it. The Pine Creek Rail Trail Guidebook tells you what you want to know about riding or hiking this highly acclaimed trail.
Very level trail with nice scenery along the way. The trail follows the river for most of its length. Not many interesting features, such as bridges and tunnels like the GAP trail - more of a bucolic meandering along a river bank. We rode north to south and set out to ride the entire 61 mile length but only made 35. The gravel requires more effort than asphalt, and the fact that it is almost completely level requires non-stop peddling, which gets tiring. You never have an opportunity to give your legs a break. Mileposts make it easy to track your distance.
Temps 52-56, sunny and pretty deserted. Leaves a bit past peak. Nuts everywhere - acorns, black walnuts and chestnuts. Saw a bald eagle. Started just north of Jersey Shore, biked about 7 miles and returned. Rest stop had a cool hand pumped well and restrooms. Old railroad bridges with wooden decks, when wet are slippery. Don't stop on one with your front brakes - ask me how I know. Drag your feet.😵 Our second time here.
Rode the length of the trail both ways on 9/26 and 9/27 on my road bike with 23mm tires. In some very minor sections of the trail before or after intersections is the gravel a little deeper that you could even see my tread marks (it was very dry).
The trail is beautiful and has terrific views of the stream and mountains. Saw many deer and turkey.
There are numerous gates before and after intersections that slow your progress but do not require you to dismount. These do limit your average speed if you are projecting your arrival time.
There are at least 3 places to stop and get refreshments and many bathrooms.
I rode from the trail head on the northern end to the town of Wellsboro on the road. It was new blacktop,relatively flat with a wide berm (about 3 miles).
Finally made it to Pine Creek Rail trail on Sep 26th. Could not have had better weather conditions!! Parked at the rail head in Jersey Shore and set out about 1030. Trail was pretty busy with riders and walkers at the start. Leaves are just starting to turn with just patches of fallen leaves sporadic on the trail. I was riding a hybrid bike with wide tires which was perfect for this trail of crushed compacted stone. Stopped at a store (Wolfs?) about 27 miles from Jersey Shore. Awesome subs and the people were great. Continued till I hit 50 miles and turned back only to get a flat tire. Foolishly I failed to bring a spare, no repair kit or pump. Walked for about 2 miles when I met a guy from Virginia who was biking and camping and had a repair kit. 20 min later I was patched up and moving. If you are planning on doing a long ride make sure to bring a spare or repair kit. I stopped at Millers store but they did not have any tires. Regardless of the flat it was a great day, great trip and with great views.
Really really awesome trail. Absolutely beautiful scenery. You couldn't ask for a better lace to exercise or relax
I just rode this trail on 8/28, rode the entire length to mile marker 63 in seven hours. This is a beautiful trail, one of the best in Pa., beautiful scenery and wildlife. I saw a black bear near mile 14. Comfort stations well spaced and for the most part clean. Pack enough water and snacks, very few places to stock up. I only found two places where I had a degree of cellphone service.
A group of 6 of us rode Recumbent Trikes with narrow, 100 psi tires, the full length of this trail in 2 days. Our first time on crushed limestone! It was OK, but I would have given my first born for pavement !! We averaged about 2 MPH slower than we would have done on pavement. I would say this is the 2nd best trail I have ever ridden, after the ART. I would definitely do it again, but with Big Apple tires. Many animals along the way, deer, bald eagle and 2 bears sightings along with many small animals. ..NO SNAKES .. Great scenery !!
My wife and I rode the trail on July 27 and July 28, doing about 30 miles each day. We started at the Pine Creek Outfitters where we left our car and scheduled a Jersey Shore pick-up with them on Tuesday afternoon. One mile from the Outfitters is access to the rail trail along Pine Creek.
The trail itself is finely crushed limestone, well packed and in excellent shape. We have road bikes with thin 25 cm tires and were comfortable riding all sections. Our pace was an easy 11 mph giving us lots of time to take in the views, stop at well placed historic markers and information aides. There are clean restroom stops, picnic tables, benches, and state camping sites along the way. For those so inclined, you are traveling along a premier trout stream, so you might want to carry some gear. The state of PA has done an outstanding job on the entire route.
We spent the afternoon/evening at Slate Run, staying at the Hotel Manor and enjoying a great dinner on their deck. Chef Mark is to be commended at doing so well in such a remote location.
I rode the trail for the first time this past July 25, 2015. I started in Jersey Shore to a point between Slate Run and Cedar Run. About 62 miles round trip. I cannot wait to go back and ride the rest of the trail. The Wolfe's General Store was a blessing, I was able to refill with refrigerated water and some additional carb snacks for the return. Comparing with the D&L Trails (my every weekend stress relief ride)Pine Creek is cleaner, very convenient comfort stations at every 8 to 10 miles...not sure if it is the same north of Blackwell (I'll find out next time), well maintained trail. A hidden gem. Despite the 2.5 hrs to get there from the Lehigh Valley...a trip well worth! Next time I'll be camping along the trail at one of the campgrounds closest to Cedar Run...it will be another 62 miles round trip and I would like to start at sun up for a chance to see some wildlife...
We spent two days riding the Pine Creek Trail and stayed in Wellsboro at the Canyon Motel, very convenient to the trail and close to downtown so we could take in some sights after biking. We rode from mile marker 9 (Darling Run) to 17 (Tiaghton Camp) the first day out and back, little bit tough for us coming back up the grade, it is not extreme but we were tired and it was really hot. This section of the trail and very shaded which was certainly welcome The next day we rode from mile marker 9 (Darling Run) to 1 (Butler St Access), uphill while we were fresh, had lunch at a Farmers Market on Butler St near the temporary parking lot for the trail. They have the best blueberries we ever tasted!! This section of the trail is not as shaded so we were glad it was cooler and there were more clouds that day.
Just completed 75 miles on this gorgeous trail. We used Hotel Manor in Slate Run as.our overnite stay. Great place with delicious meal. Seen many deer along trail. No snakes or bears. We rode 35 miles first day and 40 miles 2nd day. Treated ourselves to ice cream in Blackwell and also enjoyed our visit to Wolfes store in Slate Run. The trail condition was perfect and the weather was beautiful. Definitely will be coming back in the Fall to enjoy the spectacular color along the trail. July 11-12 2015l
We too rode the trail from Ansonia to Jersey Shore in two days over Memorial Day and loved it! Wonderful trail for anyone in your party that is not a regular bicyclist. We stayed at a b n b at Cedar Run but there are very nice campgrounds on the river in the same vicinity. Most of the trail is quiet and free of road noise and the villages you pass through are tiny. Absolute gem!
Rode the trail from Ansonia to Slate Run then down to Jersey Shore in 2 days, used Pine Creek outfitters for shuttle, very efficient. The scenery was spectacular, rhododendron and fragrant honey locust blooming, eagles and deer, the river dotted with fly fishers and colorful kayaks. Road bikes would be OK but most folks had hybrids or mountain bike,some recubents and tandems even. One of the best trails ever, smooth and well-maintained. Ice cream, water and clean bathrooms along the way and fellow trail users were friendly. Will return again.
We started at Cedar Creek Inn, a quaint (as in shared shower) B&B, which is just about halfway. Rode south the first day to Waterville and back on hybrid and road bike. The stretches with new gravel were a bit difficult, as we are so spoiled by Allegheny Valley and Sandy Creek, but the majority of the trail was very rideable on either bike, if not the asphalt we are used to. The scenery was beautiful and varied, and the trail was in good condition. After a fantastic dinner at the B&B and a great breakfast the next morning, we rode north and felt as though we were on a different trail. The surface was much more packed down and easier to ride. The canyon was beautiful, the scenery lovely and picturesque, and the large rattlesnake in the middle of the trail was definitely more afraid of us. We rode to just above Ansonia, where the trail comes out onto the flat and seemed to be the newer gravelly surface. All in all, 92 miles and a wonderful two days. Next time, we will call ahead to the Cedar Creek Inn to hopefully get one of the four rooms with ensuite baths, but even without, it was still a fun place to stay and a great trail to ride north.
We are from the Pittsburgh area and the GAP trail is our home trail in fact we have done the trip to Washington 2 years ago. We love riding all of the trails in Western PA There are about 12 other ones besides the GAP trail that are long enough for a full days ride. We have done this trail twice now staying at the Petticoat Junction camp ground doing the south in one day and the north end the next. We saw lots of wild life, the deer are use to people as we would pass by them on the trail they would just continue eating paying us no mind. In fact the second time we stayed at the camp ground I had to walk up to the bathroom at night so I had the flashlight pointed on the road so I would not trip when I got close enough for the bathroom lights I lifted my head up and looked around and saw a buck on the trail and then realized I was surrounded by 6 doe. Deer are not the only animals we encountered of course the pinnacle of the trip was seeing a bear but we also saw many birds including blue hereon and Bald Eagles. If you are there in the spring or fall where we have could nights but warmer days be prepared for the snakes who like to warm themselves on the trail. Mostly non-poisonous but there were some Rattle Snakes but we found the Rattle Snakes to be shy and less aggressive than black snakes. It is a trail you will always remember and want to comeback too. We are experienced riders my husband and I do between one and two thousand miles a year and this is one we look forward to every year.
My wife and I love this trail because of the scenery, wildlife and the trail condition. We generally ride the section from Ansonia to Blackwell in spring and in the fall. Colorful birds are plentiful in the spring, especially Baltimore orioles and scarlet tanagers. We usually spot a bald eagle or two along the creek.
We're heading back in a couple weeks and look forward to another special ride,
Rode one way from Wellsboro to Jersey Shore. Great trail. Trail is closed till September 20th 2014 for gas line work mile marker 54 to 58. Had to bike on rt 44 to complete the trip. We camped at black walnut bottom 63 miles in 6 hours. Ready to do it again!
I've enjoyed riding this trail, and have been on it maybe 10 or so times. The new surface on parts of the trail make the riding slower and more effort, even with a road bike's thinner tires, which to answer a rider's question, yes road bikes work well on this trail. The Wellsboro Junction to Darling Run section has new surface which is OK, but does not have the good crushed limestone surface. I hope they'll go back to the better material to resurface. email@example.com
My two daughters, 12 and 10, and I, just took our second overnight trip on the Pine Creek Trail. The first one we took was in August 2012 and we just took another one this past weekend, 2-3 August, 2014. It is a great trail, especially for kids. We rode from Ansonia to Jersey Shore and all used mountain bikes. They work very well on the crushed limestone trail. We started out at the Ansonia trailhead, where we left our car. The Pine Creek Outfitters drove our car for us down to the Jersey Shore, so it was waiting for us when we got there on Sunday.
The first day we rode about 23 miles to Cedar Run Village. We went through the Pine Creek Gorge and the scenery is great. We rode at an easy pace and it took us about four hours to get to Cedar Run. The only town/village you pass through is Blackwell. There is a small store there that sells drinks, snacks, ice cream, etc. We stayed at the Cedar Run Inn, where we had dinner and breakfast, the next morning. The room was very clean and the food was good. There is a general store across the street from the inn, which will let you stock up on snacks. They also had ice cream, which made my daughters happy.
The second day we did the remainder of the trip which was about 32 miles or so to the Jersey Shore. Unfortunately for us, it rained on and off the second day. It was drizzling when we left Cedar Run but at times was a downpour. We had rain jackets with us, which helped. Even with the rain, the scenery is great and we in good spirits. We stopped in Waterville for lunch at the gas station/store/deli. They have a covered porch outside, where you can eat their very delicious subs. When we got to the Jersey Shore our car was waiting for us. They have a caboose there from the old railroad, which is good for pictures.
Over all it was a great trip, even with the rain. The trail is wide, well maintained, and easy to ride on. All the other people we passed were very pleasant and followed good bike etiquette. If you have kids that like to ride bikes, don’t be afraid of doing an overnight trip. There is also an inn at Slate Run Village, which is a little farther south than Cedar Run, which will allow you to ride about the same amount of miles each day. We plan to do the trail again next year.
We have both Hybrid and carbon fiber road bikes.The trail is a fine crushed stone which would allow you to ride either. There are some soft spots near the road crossings which could be a bit difficult on a road bike. We rode our Hybrid bikes July 4th weekend. I was glad we didn't ride our road bikes as Hybrid were quite dusty and dirty from riding on the gravel. We rode from Blackwell south, which we like better than heading north towards Wellsboro. Hope this helps. Great trail, beautiful setting.
Rode this trail 7/13/2014. Did a round trip starting at Whitetail and rode to dry creek convenience stop, 23 miles total. Saw flock of common mergansers, three deer, one with a fawn and a heron. Was a great ride as this trail is in great condition with recent felled trees cut up and removed from riding areas. Can't wait to continue to explore the rest of the 62 mile trail
We rode 44 miles of this trail (Ansonia to Waterville). The nice folks at Pine Creek Outfitters (in Ansonia) drove our car down to the Waterville parking area. That allowed us to bike a bigger section of trail, instead of having to do an out and back. It was well worth the fee. We went on a weekday and there was very little traffic on the trail.
I am hoping to ride the entire length of the trail soon. I would prefer to ride my road bike rather than the mountain bike, but wanted some opinions of which is more appropriate from experienced riders. Thanks for any advice.
We rode this trail from the north end, down 20 some miles. We had the Pine Creek Outfitters take our car downstream for $50 so we didn't have to back-track or ride uphill. Our SIX YEAR OLD rode her own bike and made the 20 some mile trip with no trouble at all. It was a picture perfect day. We love the Pine Creek Rail Trail!
We completed a three day ride, camping at Cedar Creek's Petticoat Junction campground both nights. Dinner at the Cedar Run Inn was excellent and we were able to arrange for breakfast there as well. The trail was clear of debris and the surface was hard. The only downside of the ride was the cold and wind. Unfortunately we failed to spot any wildlife, but the streams feeding into Pine Creek were quite picturesque. This was one of the best rail trails I have had the pleasure of riding.
Great trail. Stayed at Pettecote Jct. campground in Cedar Run is a centrally located for out and back rides. The owners of the campground are very nice and campsites along the creek are perfect for tents or small trailers if you don't need electricity. Inns and ice cream shops are nearby.
Very good trail surface makes riding easy and trail signs provide historical perspectives along the route.
Stop at Blackwell for ice cream as a treat. Cedar Run also has ice cream on weekends.
Rode the trail in segments Thursday through Sunday, mostly out and back except for one day from Ansonia to Cedar Run then a pickup by Pine Creek Outfitters. While some others commented on discourteous riders, we ran into none. Everyone, even little kids, observed proper trail manners. I had one flat and two couples riding by stopped to help. Used his co2 cartridge to fill my new tube so I did not have to pump forever. I'll pay it forward! We've ridden many rail and canal trails in NY, NJ, PA--take the motorhome and off we go on weekends. This one is tops--wide, flat, superb surface and outstanding scenery. And the sandwiches in Waterville are good too! If you have not ridden it, put it on the must do list.
I rode this trail Sunday and Monday the 29th and the 30th of September. I parked at the Waterville parking lot and rode to Wellsboro and spent the night. Monday I rode back to Waterville. I have never encountered so many rude riders on Sunday. On three occasions I had to motion or yell at oncoming riders to keep right. I even put on my blinking headlight hoping to avoid oncoming rider. This is not my favorite trail as there are no towns to visit along the way.
I stayed at the Wellsboro Lodge, in an outside room what a dump. The inside of the hotel was beautiful and the free breakfast was very good. Ask for an inside room or stay some where else.
Wellsboro is very cute little town.
My wife and I just spent four days on this trail. We have ridden many rail trails and this one has to rank in the top 3 or 4. Beautiful scenery, great surface, nice little towns for food and ice cream and abundant wildlife (including rattle snakes). I want to go back now!
My wife and I take our bikes everywhere we go and plan most getaways around exploring new rails to trails. We ride thousands of miles per year and have explored trails from South Carolina to Connecticut. Unfortunately, we live 30 minutes from the Pine Creek Trail making it our home trail. We have found only a few other trails that even come close to matching the overall quality and experience of biking along Pine Creek. From the width, grade and surface of the trail to the access points, vistas and wildlife, this trail is the premier example of a rail trail ride. Our advise to newcomers is this: ride the rest, then ride the best. The Pine Creek trail will spoil you rotten!
We rode from Slate Run to Cedar Run 11/10/2012. Beautiful weather a little chilly. Awesome views and great trail conditions. Only road 10 miles round trip. Was a nice ride. Will do again. Marker
I tried this trail last year, on the way home from the Great Allegheny Passage, in a heavy rain wearing a poncho. No fun, to say the least. I gave up after about 15 miles. Went back this year, and with the exception of a two hour rain (this time i hid under a kiosk), the ride was perfect. Starting at Slate Run, i went south to Jersey Shore, then the next day, i did the northern half (not bad for an old man). The scenery is great. The trail surface is superb, probably the smoothest unpaved trail i've ever been on. A disappointment of the GAP trail was the lack of bridges; Pine Creek has a fair amount from Blackwell south. Saw a bear. It could use a better set of signs to the northern trailhead, but that's the only complaint i can think of. Maybe a few too many clueless tourists who don't know about trail etiquette, but a bell helps with that. A great trail, definitely hall of fame.
This is one awesome trail. I've ridden some parts of it on the sections around Waterville and south. But I had always wanted to do the entire thing. So we left my vehicle at Jersey Shore and then my wife dropped me off at the beginning in Wellsboro. The trail is in great shape. I used my hybrid bike, but if you had heavier, puncture resistant tires for a road bike you could probably use that too. My goal was to see how I could do time-wise with the entire route and I am happy with how I did. I had 2 close calls today though. One was with a turkey who decided to leave the side of the trail just as I was coming along. The second one was with a young girl riding with other kids who wasn't paying attention and I rode off the trail to avoid her. It just seems like so many people when on these rail-trails act as if they are the only ones on it. Twice I had two adults stopped in the trail with their bikes and I had to say something to get them out of the way. I just don't understand where people's consideration of others has gone. Again, this trail is great. You just have to be on your toes for those who don't pay attention or just don't care about others using the trail.
Did two runs in two days, both started at blackwell, and continued south for around 15 miles and 17 miles on consectutive days. Just an absolute scenic route, i've been north to the canyon and ansonia, lovely either way. Saw deer, foxes, snakes, etc. Just wonderful to watch nature at its fines, plus getting in a great workout. The highlight of the ride was by far was seeing the timber rattlesnake crossing the bike path on the way back on the second day. I had gone about 27 miles and did not see any snakes of any kind, then boom, i saw a garter, another garter, then boom, the beautiful timber rattler was crawling on its way. Everyone kept their distance, took their photos and let it be. Bunch of other people had scene some too that day. Just a great ride for everyone.
I did this great trail from Jersey Shore to Wellsboro Pa and back staying in Wellsboro over night, please read tjwagners review from August of 2011 as JT did a great job with lots of great information. There is ample parking at the Jersey Shore Railroad Street trail head with nice clean restrooms. If you are going over night the local Police patrol the parking lot. The elevation at Jersey Shore is 655, Slate Run 715, Blackwell 875, Tiadaghton 1150 and the Wellsboro trail head is 1195. so there is not much of a grade on your trip north. Two places you need to stop at are Millers General Store in Blackwell, One dollar a scoop Ice Cream cones and Cedar Run General Store has great burgers. I did run into Jack Freeman a trail volunteer that has a passion for this trail and was a great source of information. The surface of this trail is the very best that I have ever been on, it is crushed limestone and is in great shape from end to end, the night between my round trip we had a number of thunder strom's come though over night and my ride back did not see any standing water. From Blackwell ten miles north DCNR has put down a new layer of Limestone that is outstanding and a few Locals told me that the plain is to re do the whole trail. There are Seven very nice Restrooms along the trail with two others under construction. You will need sun screen as there are a few long stretches with no canopy at all. I did this on my trusted old Mt Bike with a Town and County tire but as smooth as this trail is you sure could do it on a road bike with no problem. The DCNR has a great map that has distance in miles from one point to an other and has a lot of information. There are mile markers each and every mile, park benches along the way. If you live with in the North East or Mid Atlantic you need to put this trail on your must do list.
Arrived May 29th 2012 did the entire trail with some repeated areas for a total of 100 miles in a weeks time.Saw Mother Bear with two cubs crossing the Pine Creek and was able to get a video of it.Saw lots of Deer with fawns,numerous birds was hoping to see a eagle but did not.The trail condition very good concidering it rained alot that week. Would definately recommend this trail and will be coming back to it in my future biking.
This was my first trip on this beautiful trail, but by far NOT my last. What a beautiful trail. We started out from Jersey shore at 9:00am in about 48 degree temps so it was cool, but by the time we rode a bit we were nicely warmed up. We managed to get as far as the Jersey Mills post office and then decided to head back. My friends were a bit less experienced riders and began feeling the ride. On the way out and back we stopped at several lovely locations that afforded us spectacular views. This trail is absolutely worth riding.
I'm fortunate enough to live just a few miles from this gem of a trail, and I enjoy biking it regularly. The trail is very clean, well maintained, and extremely beautiful. I've traveled to many rail trails all over the US, and I still haven't found one better than this.
The trail is maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). The northern end is about 3 miles from Wellsboro. From there, it runs generally southward through the Pine Creek Valley (better known locally as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania). The section from Ansonia to Tiadaghton is open to horses. In the winter, the trail is open for cross-country skiing.
The northern end of the trail (Wellsboro Junction to Ansonia) has marshes, fields, and farmhouses. From Ansonia to Blackwell, the trail runs through the deep, forested canyon; other than a few cabins, this area is totally uninhabited. From Blackwell to Jersey Shore, the trail roughly parallels PA Route 414 and PA Route 44. It passes through several small hamlets and has trailheads at regular intervals.
Packed gravel. Occasionally, some washouts after heavy rain, but it should be manageable on any standard bicycle.
Very beautiful views of Pine Creek and the rugged canyon. The 16.5-mile section between Ansonia and Blackwell is the most beautiful part in my opinion. The state has recently erected signs explaining the history of the area and some of the plants and animals there.
Deer, hawks, geese, and ducks are seen regularly along the trail. Bald eagles live in the area and are a rare treat to see. Bears and rattlesnakes are occasionally seen along the trail but do not seem to bother people.
Trailheads are spaced at regular intervals. Most offer ample parking, outhouses, and water pumps. Camping is restricted to limited areas and requires a DCNR permit in advance.
Trail slopes gently downhill from north to south (i.e. Wellsboro is at the high end / Jersey Shore is at the low end). If you want to do a one-way ride, ride south and get picked up. Pine Creek Outfitters near Wellsboro offers shuttle services.
Bring enough water for the duration of your trip. Although most of the trailheads have pumps, I find the water tastes very metallic (due to the old metal pumps).
There is a small store near the Wellsboro Junction trailhead. South of there, there are no stores or vending machines until you reach Blackwell. From Blackwell southward, most of the tiny towns have a general store or restaurant where basic necessities can be purchased.
Cell phones do not work along most of the trail due to the deep canyon and rural area. Some (but not all) of the trailheads have phones.
This was my first bike ride on this trail. The family and I walked a couple miles of the trail up on the north end by Ansonia last year. It is a great trail if you are looking for an easy ride with low traffic, hardly any grade to speak of and wonderful views. I can't wait to explore more of it. I was combining a nice cardio workout and a trail ride into one so I did push pretty good up and back. I stopped at Waterville and ate my lunch that I had packed along while watching a helicopter drop the geo-boxes for gas exploration. That helicopter pilot was border-line crazy the way he/she was flying it. Made for good entertainment while eating. The next time I'll try to bring someone else along to go in the Waterville Inn for a sandwich and a cold one. On the way back I saw a nice big black snake crossing the trail. I had a squirrel playing chicken with me; I think I just touched his tail with my front tire. I've been spreading the word about this awesome trail to friends and coworkers. It is a wonderful trail for a nice leisurely ride. It sure is nice not having to worry about traffic. I only wish I had a trail like this a little closer to home. Maybe some day.
Its the best.
RIDING THE PINE CREEK TRAIL IN THE GRAND CANYON OF PA
BY PAT CODISPOTI
I can’t remember the exact year that my husband and I began riding mountain bikes. I do know that we were close to 50 and are much older now. We have taken many day trips on bike trails throughout New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, DC, and PA but the most exciting are those off road trails that require a couple days or more to complete.
Our first “overnight trip” was on the Erie Canal Trail beginning in Lockport. We rode to Rochester and picked up the Greenway trail heading south to Mt Morris where we ended this trip. Our second trip was on the Ohio Erie Canal trail from Bolivar, Ohio north to Cleveland, a three day 100 mile trip. The 184 Mile Chesapeake & Ohio Canal trail was our third adventure. We started in Cumberland, Maryland and finished our 4-day trip in Georgetown. The fourth overnight trip was the Allegheny Highlands Trail from Cumberland to just south of Pittsburg, PA (121 miles). This trail now connects to the C&O Trail but was not open the year before. We also rode the Old Erie Canal Trail from Dewitt to Rome and back, (a 72 mile round trip) and last year (2009) we rode the Greenway from Genesee Valley Park in Rochester to Cuba, approximately 90 miles on and off the uncompleted trail.
The Pine Creek Trail is our 7th multi-day biking endeavor. About 15 years ago we took a day and rode the Grand Canyon of PA Trail 20 miles south and 20 miles back beginning and ending in Darling Run. To my knowledge this was the only portion of the Pine Creek Rail Trail completed at this time. I remember the trail being incredibly scenic and cringing at the many rattlesnake warning signs along the trail! In 2001 this portion of the Pine Creek Trail was named as one of the top 10 bike trips in the WORLD by “USA Today”! I also remember being very tired after riding the 40 miles in one day…. Seems like a short trip since we just finished riding 62 miles the first day and 58 the second day on the now completed Pine Creek Rail Trail.
Our recent adventure on the now 62 mile long Pine Creek Rail Trail began in the middle at Slate Run Village. We drove to Slate Run in the morning (an adventure in itself since Slate Run is off the beaten path) and began our ride at about 9:00 AM north towards Wellsboro.
Since we would be riding back to our car, we were lightly packed with rain gear, lunch, bike necessities, and our camelbacks loaded with water. Generally we carry overnight necessities, adding weight and making the trip a little more difficult.
Although we were actually riding uphill, the grade is only about 2% and barely noticeable. The surface, hard packed crushed gravel made for easy peddling. The morning was reasonably cool. We were enjoying the scenery and stopping to read the few signs along the trail. Our first stop was at the Rattlesnake Rock Access Area and Comfort Station. There are apparently a lot of rattlesnakes in this area and it was only a little further along the trail that we saw our one! We actually rode right past a 3 footer resting along the side of the trail. We would not have seen one at all but for the fortune of meeting up with a DCNR worker who had spotted another rattlesnake up in the rocks. That snake was up too high to see well but we did get a good look at the skin he had just shed. The DCNR worker told us that we had just passed another snake along the trail and walked us back about 50 feet. And there he was… a black timber rattler. If I can believe the warnings along the trail, the timber rattler is rather docile and will not attack unless provoked. Although I did get a picture, I did not venture too close!
Once you get to Blackwell, this portion of the trail is called the Grand Canyon of PA. This is the portion that USA Today rated as one of the top 10 bike trips in the world. It must be breathtaking in the Fall. You are riding along Pine Creek with Mountains on both sides. There is NOTHING along this segment of the trail except remote campgrounds, hiking trails, and a few cabins along the side of the creek. On the way back, we did discover a bike rental in Blackwell where you could buy Gatorade and snacks but that was it!
We must have met 40 or more groups along the trail. Most were on bikes. We did see a few kayaks but in August the water level in the creek was low. We were pleased to see so many people enjoying the trail. This trail is the best constructed and maintained off-road trail that we have experienced.
The northern most terminus is at Wellsboro Junction. After Darling Run, however, the trail leaves Pine Creek and follows Marsh Creek. This portion is much less scenic so we actually turned around in the Village of Asaph (we explored Asaph but nothing and nobody was around) to begin the trip back to Slate Run. By then we had ridden 31 miles and the temperature was in the low 80’s.
We stopped at Darling Run for a late lunch and rest. Darling Run is one of the better access areas with clean comfort stations, an information hut and plenty of parking. If you were just riding for the day, I would suggest that you begin here. Between Darling Run and Blackwell there are several comfort stations but no access areas. As I stated previously, this area is isolated. There are no “real” roads coming in or out.
Cedar Run was one of several quick stops on the way back to Slate Run. The Cedar Run Inn was charming and would have also been a good option for our overnight stay. In Cedar Run, there are cabins along the creek, a beach area, a county store and the Inn. After Cedar Run it was only about 5 more miles to the Manor Hotel in Slate Run where we stayed the night. Hotel Manor is in the middle of nowhere but we had a comfortable room, a hot shower and a good meal on the deck of the restaurant overlooking Pine Creek….. All the essentials after 62 miles on a bike!
The next morning after breakfast at the Hotel Manor, we headed south to Jesery Shore. The southern portion of the trail took us through more little villages but it is still quite remote. The trail continues along Pine Creek and runs adjacent to Route 414 and 44. There are a lot of seasonal homes and cabins along the creek. Some are surprisingly high-end with tennis courts in the back yard and beach areas along the creek. Once again we met a lot of people (and dogs) enjoying the trail either on foot or bike. There are more access areas and comfort stations along the southern route but not a lot of opportunities to purchase food or water. Although we continued to search for rattlesnakes, we never saw one after the first day!
Our first major stop was at Waterville, the most populated village along the trail. We took a “coffee break” at the Waterville Inn. The Inn is actually a restaurant and bar but the innkeeper was kind enough to offer us coffee. We agreed to stop there on the way back for lunch. He indicated that they stay busy in the winter with snowmobilers and in the spring with fishermen as well as bikers and campers in the summer.
Once you are within about 5 miles of Jersey Shore, the trail once again leaves Pine Creek and is much less scenic but when you reach Jersey Shore, you are greeted with a state-of-the-art comfort station and other historical information on the development of Pine Creek Valley. We rested here for about 10 minutes and then began the most grueling part of the trip. By then, your seat is NOT comfortable (not that is ever is) and your legs are beginning to feel heavy.
We did stop for lunch in Waterville. We split a sandwich but honestly, neither of us was hungry. It was hot and we were getting tired! The iced tea was refreshing!
By the time we left Waterville, we were counting down the miles between comfort stations. The last 20 miles was by far the most difficult…. We were saddle sore! But we were not wet (no rain) and no breakdowns!
When we arrived at Slate Run, we went into the Hotel Manor to say good bye and hopped in the car to head for home…. Never has a car seat been as welcomed! We rode 118 miles in 2 days. We were on our bikes for over 12 hours averaging a little less than 10 miles per hour! And I would do it again! Next on our list of is a trail in West Virginia and 200 mile one in Missouri.
BIKE TRIP SYNOPSIS
¿ Arrived at Slate Run after a 2 ½ car ride from NYS
¿ Readied our bikes and began our trip at 9:15
¿ 1st stop was at Rattlesnake Rock Access Area
57 minutes of riding time
10:20 AM – ave. speed 9.6 mph
¿ Arrived at Darling Run Access Area at approximately 12:50
¿ Ave. speed 9.4 mph- riding time 2hr 57 min- 27.8 miles
¿ Continued North and turned around at the Village of Asap
¿ Returned to Darling Run for rest and lunch at 1:45 PM
¿ Ave. speed 9.3 mph-3hrs 40 min on bikes-34.24 miles
¿ 1st rest stop on return trip was a Tiadaghton. 42.25 miles
4 hrs 23 minutes riding time – 3:00 PM
¿ Stopped at Blackwell for rest and a snack at the bike shop
5 hrs 13 min on bikes- 51 miles – 4 PM
¿ Arrived at Manor Hotel to end our 1st day
Ave. 9.8 mph-6 hrs 22 min on bikes-5:20 pm- 62.18 miles
¿ Started ride South to Jersey Shore at 9:00 AM
¿ 1st stop at Cammal (7.1miles) 69.2 miles-10AM-7hrs 9 min on bikes
¿ Rest stop at Waterville-11:00 AM -8hrs 7 min on bikes-78.5 miles-(16.3 miles today)
¿ Restarted ride at 11:30 arrived at Jersey Shore the Southern terminus at 12:45- 90.26 miles-ave. speed 9.8 mph – 9 hrs 14 minutes on bikes – 28.8 miles today – 3 hrs 45 minutes to reach Jersey Shore.
¿ Started our return trip to Slate Run at 1:05 PM
¿ Took a rest Stop at the Venture Inn just outside Jersey Shore – and continued on at 1:45 PM
¿ Rest stop at Bonnell Flats comfort station-2:20 PM-on bikes for 10 hrs 3 minutes – 98.15 miles
¿ Arrived back to Waterville for lunch at 2:50 Pm for a 35 min break-101.9 miles- 10 hrs 27 min on bikes-back on the trail at approx. 3:30
¿ At 4:25 PM stopped at Cammal Comfort station- 11 hrs 22 min on bikes-110.78 total miles – ave 9.8 mph – 7.1 miles to go!!
¿ Arrived at Slate Run at 5:22 Pm – over the entire trip we averaged 9.8 mph – rode a total 118.29 miles and were on our bikes for 12 hours 11 min. during a two day trip that took a little over 16 hours to complete.
My wife and I started at Jersey Shore and intended to ride upsteam to Cammal. The trail was so great and the weather absolutely beautiful that we continued past Cammal to Black Walnut Bottom. From there we saw it was just a short distance to Slate Run and we hoped we would be able to find some food at Slate Run, as it was just past noon. We are so glad we made the extra effort to get to Slate Run and the Wolfe General Store. We had scrumptious panina sandwiches and hand dipped ice cream and the service was beyond belief. The combination of a great trail and hospitality of the Wolfe General Store made this a ride we will never forget - and we will return! Next time we'll start at Slate Run and ride to Ansonia.
With the original intent to canoe the canyon we changed our plans when the water level was too low. So we brought our bikes and decided to try out the rail-trail. I've supported the RTT Conservancy since 1990 and have never seen such a well-kept trail with such beautiful, peaceful surroundings. We had a wonderful dinner and breakfast at the Cedar Run Inn, joining friends who stay there annually for a canoe weekend. I encourage all trail supporters to spend some time in the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania for a truly memorable trip.
Having been on many trails in the mid-atlantic area, I can say that the Pine Creek Trail is by far the best I have ever been on. The trail itself is small, packed gravel and is very well kept. The 2% grade is not really noticeable. There are several gates on the trail to ride around, but the trail itself is so impressive that the gates did not deter from a great scenic ride. The trail goes along Pine Creek through Pennsylvania mountains and cornfields - a very pleasant, scenic experience. I started from the Jershey Shore entrance and went to Black Walnut Bottom and back, which is roughly 56 miles round trip according to the map; however, it did not seem that long. The only con about starting from the southernmost entrance is there are some roads to crossover, so be very careful when doing so. Most of these roads are driveways and backroads.
About 7 miles North on the right there is a Citgo store if you need to get a snack or drink, and they also have Pine Creek Trail shirts and other miscellaneous stuff there. Roughly 15 miles up and on the right there is a pipe that is connected to a mountain stream and has fresh Pennsylvania mountain water coming out of it. There are plenty of rest rooms and benches along the way to stop when you need to.
The trail is for all levels of bikers. Any type of bike can be used on the trail with no problem; however, if I had to recommend a specific bike it would be a hybrid/trail bike.
One thing I would like to point out: the southernmost trail entrance at Jersey Shore is NOT on route 220. It is on Railroad Street. To get there you need to do the following:
Going North on Route 220, take a right onto Route 44 Main Street into town. Take a right on Alleghany Street and then a right on Bridge Street. Then take a left at the next light onto Railroad Street. The trail entrance is on the left. When you get to the parking lot there is a surprise waiting for you: a New York Central caboose!
No one can over-emphasize how great this trail is, so check it out if you can.
All 63 miles of this wonderful trail are open and were biked in 2 days and an afternoon with wife driving shuttle allowing one way biking downhill. Driving up from Washington, DC took 5 hours and I was able to do the 8 miles from the start at Wellsboro Junction (corner of Rt 287 and Rt 6) to the Darling Run parking lot the first afternoon. There is a store and farmers market at the start. There are motels on Rt 6 just west of there. The next day was 26 miles from Darling Run to Slate Run thru the canyon. It is then another 28 miles to the end parking lot in Jersey Shore. The Trail Link Web site has great maps available for downloading. Saw a Blue Bird, two Baltimore Orioles and 3 great big rattlesnakes. Bob
This magnificant 62+ mile trail is one that should not be missed. Flora & fauna, rock laden river with men and women fly fishing. kyacks & canoes floating down stream, abundent shade, and a trail that hugs the river most of its path makes for perfection. I am an avid rail to trail biker, and have biked on trails from Cape Cod to California. My Travel Nurse Proffesion allows me to ride on trails while on assignment across the U.S. I chose this trail as my Daughter(grown woman with a family of her own) was accompanying me and this would be her first experience on a rail trail bike trip. We rode 25 miles the first day in the rain and loved it. We rode about 30 miles on subseqient days. We averaged 6 to 10 minutes a mile depending on stops. The condition is so perfect at times it felt more like it was paved. The grade is slightly down hill from Ansonia to Jersey Shore so choose your start and finish accordingly. We stayed at The Cedar Run Inn (with second and third floor rooms only) It is just what the web states, and the owner and help were just wonderful, but the dinner was very dissapointing. My daughter and I were not able to eat the dinner. We had trail bars in our room. There is a Lodge just 5 to 7 miles further on the trail that I would reccomend for lunch. Food was great and priced appropiately. There are multiple areas to restock on fluids along the trail after Cedar Run south, but none North so also plan accordingly. As of this date the Pine Creek Trail is tied for first place with The Iron Horse Trail in Washington. L. L. C. Naples, Fl.
My best friend Dave & I schedule a two day ride each year. The Pine Creek trail is our best to date. Everything came together: the weekend of 19 October was perfect weather wise and the fall colors were spectacular. The overnight at the Cedar Run Inn was an unexpected treat! The trail is superb in layout and there are geocaches on the lower half.
Logistic wise, we dropped off a vehicle at the Jersey Shore trail end (41° 12.111'N 77° 16.748'W) and drove to the start just off route 6 outside Wellsboro (41° 47.320'N 77° 18.551'W). The first half this direction doesn't have any food stops --stock up at the store near the trailhead. In this direction the average 4% grade is all downhill. Although the pedaling was easy, there was never a time where we could just coast. This is a very peaceful ride through the narrowest part of the canyon.
The Cedar Run Inn (41° 31.350'N 77° 26.822'W) is just about half way and just off the trail. It is a jewel well known as a base for visiting fisherman and hunters. The room rate includes dinner and breakfast. The dinner is outstanding, definitely fine dining (sorbet to clean the palate) and prepared fresh. Breakfast was equally a great way to start the last half. The staff is friendly and there is 150 years of history (and antiques) plus a purportedly haunted room (14). Calling ahead for a reservation is a must.
The lower half of the trail has 3 geocaches (GCPDDM, GC14DDM, GC17DVF) easily accessible from the trail. Two are near old graveyards with graves of veterans of the revolutionary war. There are places just off the trail for food on this half. The old railway bridges offered spectacular views of the canyon, creek and wildlife. Spotted deer, bluejays and redtail hawk along the way. Our moving average over 63 mile was 10 mph and overall was 6.5 with the geocaching stops and photographs. We don't as a rule repeat a ride, this one will be an exception! Rich O';-)
My wife and i visited to Wellsoboro area in August, 2007. We rode the trail every other day for about a week. We parked at the Blackwell parking area, which had an eagles nest above and wre able to catch sight of the eagle on several occasions. We also saw a bobcat, a rattlesnake, several deer, turkey and bear tracks all over the trail. We would hike around the Grand Canyon on our off riding days, with one day taking a day trip to the wine region of New York. We normally ride the Lower Trail in Central Pa., which is much shorter so this was a real blast to be able to ride on a trail as long as this. Highly recommend this trip to any rails to trails riders. We stayed at the Falling Farms B&B just outside of Wellsboro. This was one of the most beautiful B&B's we have ever stayed in. Make sure you visit the Wellsboro diner for a piece of pie.
Several weeks ago the Pine Creek rails to trail was officially opened from Ansonia north to near Wellsboro Junction. It is a nice section with several bridges and straight sections along marsh lands. There is lots of wildlife along this section of trail. This trail section is 8 miles long and now completes the 62 mile Pine Creek Trail. A study is being done at this time to consider extending the trail into the borough of Wellsboro."
"Following a wedding in Erie,PA my wife and I decided to spend some time in the Central part of PA. We both enjoy Rail Trails so I had researched and found this trail. Upon reading the previous reviews I felt it was one we would enjoy. I booked us for a two day stay at the Blackwell Hotel. Location being the key. Monday we rode from Blackwell to Ansonia and back 34.4 miles. We came across scores of people riding or walking. They were working on extending the trail beyond Ansonia at the time. Trail was in excellent condition as it was smooth and the hard packed crushed stone made for easy pedaling. No towns along the way to resupply so you need to carry food. Water was available at Tiadaughton and Darling Run access areas. Kept looking for the town of Ansonia but never found it? Monday night we ate at the Blackwell Hotel as the closest town is Wellsboro about a 30 minute drive away. Tuesday we drove down to Slate Run and found a wonderful General Store (Wolfe's) with great coffee and pastries. We had them make us some sandwiches to eat along the trail. We rode a figure eight loop today which would allow my wife to cut the ride short if she decided. First we rode from Slate Run to Cammal Station and back. We ate lunch at the Slate Run access area on the grass along the Pine Creek. Then while Lucy did some bird watching I rode from Slate Run to Blackwell and back. Beautiful scenery, met people on the trail so that made for a fun ride. Drove into Wellsboro for dinner that night. Hoped to eat at the Wellsboro Diner but it had just closed so we settled for The Steak Houseon Main St.
Wednesday before we began our ride we stopped for coffee, pastries and sandwiches again at Wolfe's General Store. We drove down to Waterville and used the General Store there as our staging area for the day. On the first leg we rode from Waterville to Cammal Station and back. After lunch I rode from waterville to the White Tail access area. Skipped the last part into Jersey Shore as I had read it was not interesting. This trail was the best Rail Trail we have been on in terms of trail condition, scenery, trail facilities, access areas and towns with trail services. When we come again we'll look into lodging at Slate Run or Cedar Run too. "
I rode this trail in the October of 2005. Great trail for the cyclocross bike. I rode the full trail up and back on two seperate days on my cyclocross bike. There were bear tracks on the trail. It was nice and I had planned ahead but it rained both days. Rode it anyway and found it to be very scenic. Stayed at the PennWellsHotel in Wellsboro. Great nitelife there too. A great place to visit in the fall. Also the trout fishing on Pine Creek is supposed to be very good.
"Yesterday, July 20, The Secretary of DCNR was in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, for an official dedication of the parking lot for the southern end of the Pine Creek rails-to-trails completing 56 miles from Ansonia to Jersey Shore. USA Today called the Pine Creek Rails-to-trails one of the top ten bicycle paths in the nation several years ago. The project has taken 19 years to construct so far. Currently under construction is 6 miles from Ansonia north to Wellsboro Junction which is expected to be completed by next spring. An official congratulations of all the people and government agencies involved and a ribbon cutting was held. Jersey Shore is one of the gateway communities into the ""Pennsylvania Wilds."" Plans are in the works to continue the bicycle path from Jersey Shore south to Harrisburg as part of the Greenways project extending from Buffalo, New York, to the Chesapeake Bay.
Just finished riding this trail in 3 sections. The Ansonia to Blackwell is the most beautiful rail-to-trail I've ever ridden. The rest of the trail is also spectacular. Good parking and bathroom facilities. Saw lots of wildlife including a bear and a rattlesnake.
" If you have never been to the Pine Creek Gorge and traveled on the Pine Creek Trail in Lycoming and Tioga Counties in north central Pennsylvania, then you must add it to your to-do list. I was very fortunate to get the chance to go there by myself in September 2005, thanx to my lovely wife who was willing to watch the kids back home and enable me to do something I always wanted to do, bike camping. The Pine Creek Trail runs along the beautiful Pine Creek at the bottom of the gorge for approximately 62 miles from Ansonia, right off of scenic Route 6 down to Jersey Shore on Route 220. I set up a base camp at the northern end of the trail at Leonard Harrison State Park. I used this as a place to return to every couple of days to get refreshed and stock up on food and clean clothes. The trail is perfectly maintained, hard packed, no litter at all, in fact there are no trash cans either because of the heavy black bear population! (tie your food and trash up in a tree at night!) The Park Service does ask you to get a camping permit, but it is free. Because of the wilderness, they just want to make sure they can find you in case something happens. The views in the gorge are breathtaking and you are never more than a few feet from the creek. The wildlife is unreal, bald eagles, osprey diving down to grab trout out of the creek, deer, black bear, river otters, large variety of birds and plenty of timber rattlers. There is something for everyone in the Pine Creek Gorge, you can bike, hike,walk,jog,horseback riding,fish and go camping. In Ansonia, there is a place called Pine Creek Outfitters that has everything from kayak and whitewater rafting trips to providing a shuttle back to the beginning of the trail if you are too tired to make it back. At Leonard Harrison and Colton Point State Park, there are incredible views of the gorge. Leonard Harrison is on the eastern side of the canyon rim and Colton Point is on the western side. Both are really nice state parks with incredible camping and hiking trails. The best hiking trail is the Turkey Path Trail. Bring your hiking legs! This trail is 2 miles straight down to the creek, and then you can cross the creek like I did if it is shallow enough at the time and then 2 miles back up the other side of the canyon! Then you still have to get back! Take lots of food and water and an extra pair of old sneakers to cross the very rocky swift moving creek, and a hiking stick helps too. This trail is fairly challenging but worth it. In the eight days I was in the gorge, I hiked over 50 miles, biked just under 300 miles, caught lots of smallmouth bass and saw way more wildlife than people. In fact, midweek, or whenever it was, I ran into a Park Ranger and had to ask him what day it was, I had lost all track of time and reality. The trail is so perfectly maintained, you can't believe that you are riding on and old rail line. You can stop and get off your bike at any point and just start fishing or just set up your tent and eat the fresh fish you just caught. There are water pumps along the Pine Creek Trail to refill your water bottles and comfort stations(pit toilets) every few miles, but were very clean. At the end or beginning of your trip if you want to experience some civilization like I did, you can visit the quaint little town of historic Wellsboro. This town is like a trip back in time, very friendly people, nobody in a hurry, little shops, and beautiful gas street lamps lining the entire main street. If you are looking for some good food, try The Native Bagel, they did things to their freshly baked bagels I didn't even know you could! On my last day I treated myself to a trip into Wellsboro to get some food that had taste( I was a little burned out on trail mix and peanut butter) and get gas( which was promptly pumped by the attendant and washed my truck windows too!) So if you are looking to get away from it all, telephones included( cell phones do not work in the gorge, leave em' at home!), then the Pine Creek Rail Trail is where you need to head to. This is a real gem in Pennsylvania and is a heck of a product turned out by the Rails to Trails program. It was truly the best 8 days of my life."
"Rode the trail on Sept 21, 2005 with a SAG from Pine Creek Outfitters in Ansonia. Stayed in Wellsboro at the Sherwood Motel. What a great town with lots of places to eat, we recommend the diner and the steak house. The Sherwood Motel was reasonabel and had very nice personnel. The trail had many great views of the mountains. I highly recommend this trail and wish we had time to do more than Ansonia to Slate Run. The service station in Slate Run has great sandwiches and staff. We bet it is beautiful in the fall."
Rode from Rattlesnake access area to Jersey Shore. Saw deer crossing the creek and a eagle on a rock looking for fish. Water in the creek was low due to lack of rainfall during the summer but views of creek with early fog in the mtns and later blue skies was fantastic. This trail is a must for the rail trail biker to visit. Stopped at slate run for breakfast at Wolfes store and later for a snack and some gifts at McConnells store in Waterville. Both stores are very friendly to bikers. Also various camping facilities are located along the trail which are clean and are located right on the creek. I am definitely coming back again to bike and visit the area.
"I rode this trail end-to-end in mid-April, before the leaves were on the trees and most of the stores along the way were open. Actually, it was before ANYTHING was open -- almost.
As it turned out, though, it was a great time for observing the eagles that live along the PCT. I saw four; I could see them perched in the sycamore trees catching the early morning sun as they watched the PC for fish.
I also enjoyed the ducks (Mergansers?) as they flew like starfighters inches above the creek in close formation.
It is probably better later in the season, but if you ride early or late in the year like I did, be sure to bring your own water. There is very little of it on the PCT.
The trail surface was good on the northern end, with very little rolling resistance. Not so on the southern end,though. I got off and rode the parallel road to make better time in some places on that end. Maybe it needs to be rolled or something.
At Slate Run I heartily recommend Wolfe's General Store (see link on this web site) as a great place to stop for lunch. The Finkbiner's do a great job of making a sandwich to suit anyone, and their selection of drinks is great for cyclists and other active customers.
In all, the PCT was worth the trip from near Philadelphia."
"My wife and I decided to spend our spring break in Blackwell, PA in order to explore the Pine Creek Trail...what a wonderful asset hidden in this beautiful part of PA! My assessment is the trail was extremely well designed and thought out...there seemed to be more than adequate facilities, parking areas, with well marked signage...we used the trail mainly for several runs...from Blackwell to Rattle Snake Rock parking area, and from Blackwell north for roughly 15:00 minutes at an average pace.
This path is a runners delight! There was sure footing, excellent drainage without any accumulated slop, and adequate room to truely accomodate a multi use purpose...We came at a time of year (end of March-early April) were there was light use...we saw more DCNR workers than recreational trail users."
"The trail is now open from Jersey Shore on Tt. 44, which I rode about 10 miles north to the town of Waterville. As I passed the Waterville parking lot, about 200 yards in, I saw a bear on the trail. He looked at me but just stayed where he was. I turned my bike around and rode north on Rt. 44 and picked up the trail 4 miles up ahead. Then I returned back on the trail. There was no no bear this time."
The state of PA is repaving portions of this beautiful trail with crushed limestone and clay pack. Guys were smoothing and steamrolling the trail to be hardpack. Excellent trail. New portions were close to pavement style. Horseback riding is allowed next to the trail but signs are posted for biking and horseback riding to keep horses off bike trail.
It's a nice ride. I should see this at least once. There is a one to two percent grade on entire trail. Start from the northern end and it will be an easier ride. The trail is approximately 60 miles but can be broken into shorter day trips.
"I rode Pine Creek this weekend with a friend. We rode from the Ansonia access to Turkey run. We intended to camp overnight, but it rained the whole day. The access point at Anconia needs to be marked on Rt. 6. Turn next to the church!
My other problem is my female companion found restrooms to be a little far apart. The trail is well maintained and a joy to ride even in the rain. The people at Pine Creek outfitters were very helpful. They allowed us to use their paqrking lot and changing room to get out of our wet clothes.
Ride Pine Creek!!"
"I had the opportunity to ride this trail from Ramsey to Jersey Mills and it was awesome! The scenery is terrific.
This trail is uniquely situated with long quiet stretches through beatiful country. It's not overcrowded -- I saw about six people in 1-1/2 hours! Anyone interested in riding with someone else, e-mail me."
"We have ridden the whole thing and it is a very nice ride, especially when you stop at Cedar Run for a treat. I wish I lived closer so to it so I could ride it everyday."
We biked in with our fishing rods and stopped in the Grand Canyon area (just at the foot of the Turkey Path Trail). We had a great time fishing and wading in the Pine Creek. It's a great place for fishing.
"We did a ride on the trail on the frightfully hot Monday after Labor Day. We started after 10 am and, happily, the steep walls and trees along the trail provide a lot of shade, except on a notorious stretch north of Cedar Run that was sunny on the way up and on the way back. The surface was finely-crushed slate of some sort and was well drained and in about as good of condition as any unpaved rail trail I have ever seen. There were no golf ball sized rocks like one sees on the Katy or the Youghiogheny Trails. We started at a parking lot North of Cammal and rode to Blackwell and back.
While on the trail, we met two other Ohio cyclists with panniers riding to Wellsboro and back on a two day adventure. I had to break the news to them that the trail goes to Ansonia and not the much larger town of Wellsboro. They had no specific plans and just hoped to find some hotel and food when they got there, wherever they were going. I told them that they could get a fine meal in an air conditioned restaurant at the Blackwell Hotel, and the whole bunch of us were disappointed that the owners had taken several days off and there was no food of any sort to be found in Blackwell. The one restaurant in Cedar Run was closed that day also. We found a hand operated pump and bid farewell to our friends as they headed up the seventeen mile stretch to Ansonia with one water bottle each and a few snack bars. From my hiking experience at Pine Creek Gorge, ""the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania"", I recall that there are no facilities, no businesses, and no water stops until Ansonia.
We saw plenty of wildlife, dozens of grebes, a wood duck, at least three species of hawks, including a brazen individual who lingered in a tree by the trail so we could have a good look. We think there must have been a kill there that the bird did not want to leave. I think I saw and an immature eagle, and we surely saw an adult bald eagle when we were finishing the trip at the parking lot just south of the Pettecote Junction Campground.
This trail needs some water stops, but I could understand that these are expensive to install and hard to maintain. Somebody has got to get out there with an odometer and note the mileages of the various stops and someone has to put up some sort of highway signs telling where to turn off to find the trail access points in the southern towns. With all the stretches with clear views of the river, I would have to say that this trail rivals the Yough trail for scenery."
"My husband and I rode the trail from Ansonia to Blackwell several times, but over the weekend of July 20th we rode from Ansonia to Cammal. What a beautiful ride! I enjoyed the ice cream at Cedar Run Gen Store and the gift shop. Slate Run store had great deli sandwiches and also a nice gift shop. The trail is excellent! I wish we lived closer so we could get here more often. "
"I have the advantage of living five miles from this trail so I make frequent trips to the Pine Creek Trail. I am often asked where to find food at the northern end of the trail. On Route 6 at Ansonia just west of the trail is the Twin Pine Hotel with a pub and next door is Ansonia Gulf with subs, sandwiches and good ice cream. Head west on Route 6 a few miles and there is the Coachstop Inn, Antlers Inn and the Log Cabin Inn.
As has been noted this is a remote area, gods country so to speak, so come prepared. Pack something in advance and take in one of many rest stops along the way for lunch. The trail is an awesome ride through what is without doubt the most scenic part of north-central Pennsylvania. There has been a lot of time and effort invested in the trail and it is an accomplishment to be proud of and to enjoy. To experience this trail is worth the drive. "
"When the lower section is constructed this summer (2002), the south end of the trail will run to the Town of Jersey Shore in Pennsylvania."
"I rode the trail on Friday, May 10, and I was totally surprised at how well maintained the 44 plus miles are. The trail now runs from Waterville up to Ansonia; the only disappointment I had was that there was nowhere to grab something to eat at the trailhead at Ansonia. If you ride this trail you will think you are truly in God's country, which is one of the reasons why there isn't anywhere to eat at Ansonia. There are lots of restrooms the first 20 or so miles out of Waterville and after that it gets a little rustic up through the Pa grand canyon which is unbelievably beautiful. There is the Waterville Hotel to eat at after the ride; their salads are unchallenged in taste and size plus their soups are surely homemade. You will not believe this trail and what the good people out there are doing for our recreational activities. I only wish that I was 25 years old to enjoy what they will do in the future. Thank you for a super day that I will never forget."
"What a beautiful ride! Great views, lots of wild flowers and animals. The hard packed stone is easy to ride. The Cedar Run General Store serves ice cream and in a great location. I wish I didn't live in Michigan."
"A very scenic trail, easy to do from either direction. Great
for families who are biking or hiking together. Wish there
were more like it in this area, especially Bradford County.
A nice rest, picnic area is in Tiadaughton."
this trail is a lot like the Lehigh Gorge trail very high walls birds rivers great riding surface do the whole ride. very good parking at both ends.
"I rode the entire length down and back on a beautiful October Day on my mountain bike. The scenery was outstanding, as the trail passed through the 17 mile-long Pennslvania ""Grand Canyon"". Steep walls, fall foliage, water falls, nesting bald eagles and no crowds. This ""Rails-to-Trails"" trail is near perfect.
The surface is a hard-pack fine stone, easy to ride or walk on. Tiadaghton State Park is situated halfway through the canyon and makes a great turnaround, or a rest break for those going the whole way. It has both drinking water and rest rooms in season. If you go in summer, cool, clear Pine Creek may beckon you in for a dip. And, if you're real lucky, you may ride past a timber rattler sunning itself along the trail as some of my friends once did. The ride is about as wild and adventuresome as they get in Pennsylvania, without being overly strenuous. Give it a shot...you won't be disappointed!"
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