Samuel Justus Recreation Trail


Register for free!

Register for free with TrailLink today!

We're a non-profit all about helping you enjoy the outdoors
  • View over 30,000 miles of trail maps
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your own favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Leave reviews for trails
  • Add new and edit existing trails

Samuel Justus Recreation Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: Venango
Length: 7.1 miles
Trail end points: Wyllis St. (Oil City) and 8th St. at Lakes to the Sea Hwy/US 322 (Franklin)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6031866
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Samuel Justus Recreation Trail Description

Connecting Oil City and Franklin, the Samuel Justus Trail is a 7.1-mile segment of a 30-mile trail that follows the former Allegheny Valley Railroad. The A.V. was completed to Oil City in 1868 and connected the oil fields with Pittsburgh. It operated as an independent company until it was absorbed into the Pennsylvania Railroad system in 1910. Conrail stopped using the line in 1984.

The trail begins across the Allegheny River from Franklin (where it also connects to the Allegheny River Trail), known for its well-preserved Victorian architecture and tree-lined streets. It follows the river north toward Oil City through lush woodlands, passing iron furnaces, several operating oil wells, Pioneer Cemetery and a visitor center located in an 1844 saltbox house.

The trail's paved surface is perfect for bicycling and inline skating. You may also want to visit the mansion of the late Senator Joseph Sibley, who made his fortune by inventing the first formula for refining crude oil.

Parking and Trail Access

To access the trail in Oil City, follow Interstate 80 to Exit 29. Follow Route 8 North, crossing the intersection with Route 322, and continue to follow Route 8 (Route 62) to Oil City. Cross the Allegheny River on the Petroleum Street Bridge. Continue to the second light and head right on West 1st Street. Continue about 1.5 miles to trailhead parking on the right, just past the Penelec building.

To access the trail in Franklin, follow Interstate 80 to Exit 29. Follow Route 8 North to Route 322. Follow 322 East (Liberty Street) through Franklin. After crossing the Allegheny River on the 8th Street Bridge, park at the trailhead on the right.

Samuel Justus Recreation Trail Reviews

Parked at the junction of Justus trail and Allegheny River trail at Franklin. Road to Oil City and back. Trail is all asphalt. The trail goes about 1.1 miles beyond the end of the actual trail. You will ride along the Allegheny River and pass many old oil well pumps , many history signs of the area, and some oil tanks that are still collecting oil. One area you could smell the oil. If the ride is not long enough, you can ride the Allegheny River trail which is asphalt. The trail is very easy to ride.

Flat, mostly shaded. River views. Picnic table, benches, and educational boards along the way. Didn't look at the map close enough - only went to the water treatment plant and not all the way into Oil City. Parking available off 322 and Bredinsburger Rd. And at the water treatment plant.

Seamless connection: We connected onto the Samuel Justus trail from the Allegheny River Trail.
In Franklin, off Route 322, there is a large parking area with picnic tables and a shelter. Also restrooms. Heading North out of the parking lot is the Samuel Justus trail which runs along the Allegheny River into Oil City. Picnic tables along the trail.
Trail is virtually flat and nicely paved. Always a nice ride.


I enjoyed this trail as it is short and sweet but it does connect to the Allegheny river trail in Franklin if you want a longer ride. this trail has a lot of history to offer and some beautiful scenery. if I am back in the area and have time I would love to hit it again

The trail is 5.3 miles in length from Franklin to Oil City. Nice for beginners since out and back in a little over 10 miles. Flat trail. Follows the river. Picnic tables along the way, no water source though.

Trailhead was a bit difficult to locate but once on it is a very nice well maintained trail. Gates are now painted red not yellow as stated on the website. Easy addition of a few miles while doing the Allegheny River Trail.

Rode this route today, very nice ride till you get to Oil City, then its totally confusing on how to get thru town to get to the adjoining trail. How about some better markings or directions??? I was trying to get to The trail to Oil Creek State Park. And gave up after having to walk my bike quite a distance and fight heavy car traffic. That wasn't fun

We stayed in Franklin, PA, at the Quality Inn so we could do a couple days of riding without having to shuttle or camp. The first morning we rode the Sandy Creek Trail starting in Belmar. In the afternoon, we were looking for something that was short just for 'something to do' and chose the Justus trail. Good map available at picked up the trail at its beginning in Franklin. Very nicely paved trail with benches placed along the way for nice views of the river. Lot of people out kayaking, canoeing, boating, and swimming. Previous reviewer did a great job of describing all there is to see along the way, so I won't repeat. Trail was pretty shady which made for a nice cool ride on a hot day. We were surprised that the trail wasn't at all crowded, considering we rode during the week of July 4th. Good ride for anybody--old people, young kids, experienced bikers--looking for a fairly short (15 miles out and back to where the trail ends and joins the bike path on the road).

"On Saturday the 30th of April I biked on the Samuel Justis Trail. I actually started on the Allegheny River Trail at Belmar, and rode North towards Franklin, where the Samuel Justus Trail starts. In Franklin, it started to rain, so I pulled into a pavilion and cooked lunch and ate while the rain continued. There is a historic building here that was dated in the 1800's. I forget the date, but it is called the ""Saltbox House"" and I hear it is open on the weekends to offer information,
plus it has books and snacks for sale. It was closed this day.

Also in Franklin is a good bike shop called ""Country Peddlers."" They have a nice selection of bicycles, and other supplies. I was able to get a complete map of all the local trails here for free. I continued North on the trail. I rode past several nice places that had benches, picnic tables and port-a-johns. The view was nice as you ride along the river. There are lots of islands in the river.

There are also several working oil wells that are sometimes pumping as you go by them. There was also an interesting estate called ""River Ridge Farm"" that you pass. The estate has an interesting stone and iron gateway that you see from the trail. From what I understand this used to be the home of a local Senator who made his fortune in the oil business.

The trail ended near a sewage treatment plant, but I continued riding along the road by following the signs (PA Bicycle Route), all the way into Oil City. The bike route follows some roads, but then takes you back down to a paved trail on the railroad grade. Here there were interpretive signs discussing the oil
heritage of the region.

There were also some interesting oil relics on display. In Oil City, I found a place to refill my water bottle and use a
pay phone (There is no water along the trail). Then I turned around and biked back to one of the campsites, where I set up camp for the night.

Sunday May 1st, I broke camp and biked back down the trail from where I came yesterday, back along the Allegheny River Trail."

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Oil City Trail

Pennsylvania - 3 miles

The Oil City Trail connects the Samuel Justus Recreation Trail and the McClintock Trail through the center of Oil City, Pennsylvania.  The 2-mile...

McClintock Trail

Pennsylvania - 9.4 miles

As it winds along Oil Creek, McClintock Trail connects Oil Creek State Park with Oil City. Note that much of the route is on-road. Just south of...

Allegheny River Trail

Pennsylvania - 32 miles

With a wide, paved pathway and adjacent equestrian trail running through lush woodland and riverside terrain, the Allegheny River Trail (ART) has...


Oil Creek State Park Trail

Pennsylvania - 9.7 miles

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...

Sandy Creek Trail

Pennsylvania - 12 miles

The Sandy Creek Trail carves its way through some of the most remote and spectacular countryside in northwestern Pennsylvania. This 12-mile paved...

Clarion Highlands

Pennsylvania - 8.5 miles

The Clarion Highlands Trail is one of the highest rail-trails in the Commonwealth. It traverses the Allegheny Plateau, passing over the divide between...

Queen City Trail

Pennsylvania - 3 miles

This 3-mile trail within the city limits of Titusville extends from the Jersey Bridge parking lot, adjacent to the Drake Well Museum, to South Martin...

Allegheny National Forest - Kellettville to Nebraska Trace

Pennsylvania - 12 miles

The route is primitive and unimproved. The trail crosses several streams that are not bridged. The trail follows the scenic Tionesta Creek with lots...

John C. Oliver Multi-Purpose Loop Trail

Pennsylvania - 12 miles

The John C. Oliver Multi-Purpose Loop Trail is a centerpiece of Maurice K. Goddard State Park, which spans more than 2,000 acres in northwestern...

Rail 66 Country Trail

Pennsylvania - 12.7 miles

Rail 66 Country Trail is a rustic trail paralleling Route 66, that begins in the Village of Marianne near the Clarion Junction (SR 322/SR 66) and...

Allegheny National Forest - Tidioute Riverside RecTrek Trail

Pennsylvania - 4.5 miles

Located on the western side of the Allegheny National Forest, this trail extends north to south, parallel to the Allegheny River from the town of...

Ernst Bike Trail

Pennsylvania - 6.1 miles

Along its 6-mile path, this paved rail-trail crosses through a rich array of natural habitats, from creek bottomlands to meadow, marsh and forest. The...

Download the TrailLink mobile app and take TrailLink with you!
Donate and Get a FREE 2018 RTC Guidebook!

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Log in with Google


Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google