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The Shuster Way Heritage Trail (formerly known as the Bedford Heritage Trail) provides a safe and picturesque connection between a topnotch resort and a nationally recognized downtown. From the Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa, the trail snakes across Shober’s Run creek, passes Elks Lodge and Golf Course before entering historic downtown Bedford. The trail signage borrows from the flag emblem of Fort Bedford, which lies at the northern terminus of the Heritage Trail.
The trail invites users to explore the cultural and historic assets of Bedford County. In addition to downtown dining, shopping, museums, architecture, and monuments, the trail offers five educational displays and a self-guided historic walking tour.
The Bedford Joint Municipal Authority is planning to extend the trail 1.75 miles northwards to Old Bedford Village and Friendship Village.
You can park and get on the trail either at the southern trailhead at Omni Bedford Springs Resort (2138 US-220 BUS) or the northern trailhead at Ft. Bedford Park (Fort Bedford Drive, downtown Bedford).
I biked this trail on 8/30/2019 with a hybrid bicycle. I parked at the Elk's Club Trailhead parking lot off of S. Richard Street (Business 220) and biked southward to the southern terminus of the trail; Sweet Root Rd Trailhead. The Sweet Root Rd Trailhead is almost directly across from the Bedford Springs Resort and has adequate room for about 8 cars. The trail surface of this southern section of the trail is NOT your typical crushed limestone but a much courser sized stone. I did not have a problem with my hybrid bike, BUT one certainly does NOT want to be racing on this type of trail surface with narrow tires. A short distance from the Sweet Root Trailhead are some historical landmarks (The Miller House & the Water Mill) along with an artistic, metal trail marker and a trail bridge over Shobers Run Creek. Travelling north from the Sweet Root Trailhead, one will cross over Shobers Run Creek via a wooden decked bridge with metal sides. A short distance later, one will travel past a marsh-wetlands area on the west side of the trail and then travel over the marsh via a wooden decked bridge with metal sides. One will ascend over an asphalt Switch-back just prior to reaching the Elk's Club Trailhead. The picturesque Elk's club Golf Course is visible from the switchback. This southern gravel section of the trail dumps out on to Richard Street (Business 220) just north of the Elk's Club Entrance. At this point, one will share the road (going northbound) for .6 miles and make a sharp left turn on to the Fort Bedford Path at the south end of the road bridge over the Juniata River. If you end up going over the bridge that traverses over the Juniata River, you have gone too far. One will pass thru an opening in a fence that parallels Richard Street to gain access to the trail. This northern section of the trail is also known as "The Fort Bedford Path" and its surface is of the traditional crushed limestone type. Traveling westward on the trail, within a short distance from the entrance, one will pass the Reighard Dam over the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River (on one's right-north side of the trail) and Fort Bedford (on one's left-south side of the trail). This crushed limestone section of the trail only lasts for about .1 mile before it becomes an asphalt trail that parallels Fort Bedford Dr which becomes N West Street. When the N West Street makes a sharp left turn, the trail essentially ends and one is now travelling on the quiet street. The TrailLink.Com map has this trail terminating at the intersection of N West Street and Pitt Street. However, the map that is printed by the town of Bedford (Posted at the Sweet Root Trailhead Kiosk) leads the trail thru the business section of town and then back on to Richard Street. If one wishes to have a little bit of variety instead of taking the same route back to the Elk's club trailhead, then at the intersection of N West Street and Pitt Street turn left on to Pitt Street. By the way there is an operating vintage Art Deco Style Golf Station at the intersection of N West Street and Pitt Street. Continue travelling eastward on Pitt Street for about 3 blocks and then make a right on to Juliana Street. One will then travel southward on Juliana Street for 7 blocks and make a left on to Simpson Street. After traveling 2 blocks eastward on Simpson Street, turn right on to Richard Street (Business 220). Travel southward on Richard Street for over 2 blocks until one comes to the gravel section of the trail that parallels Elk's club golf course.
Some commentary: I found the vistas along the Elk's Golf course and along the Juniata River very picturesque. Also, thoroughly enjoyed the Art Deco Style Golf Gas station at the intersection of N West Street & Pitt Street. There was a LOT of traffic along Pitt Street and Juliana streets. The historic buildings, eateries, and other businesses along this street route were well kept. If one does not mind a little bit of traffic, I would recommend the street section (Described above) that takes one thru the historic business section as an alternative return route back to the Elk's club trailhead.
We started out with wonderful lunch at Bedford Springs hotel.Then we rode into town on the trail. The scenery is beautiful. But the trail was not crushed stone but a rough gravel.
Unlike most rail to trail bike paths, that have a finely crushed packed Stone, this trail has the very large sharp gravel stones. It is a rough ride unless you have a mountain bike. Beautiful scenery in beautiful Bedford PA but unfortunately the trail is not the best bike trail for hybrid or Smooth tire bikes.
Nice view, good for walking and running! Not made for bikes being made of crushed stone and having tree branches here and there and no way is it ok for a wheelchair! If this was paved it would get 5 stars!
This relatively short trail (2.65 in length at present) connects a charming downtown area of the Borough of Bedford with the Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa. The trail is popular among local residents for exercise, and among visitors to the resort for exercise, shopping and dining experiences. The trail has two wetland ponds, two bridges, is adjacent to the Elks Golf Club, and uses borough streets and sidewalks as well. A local agency plans to extend the trail north from the downtown area to Old Bedford Village, a living history museum, and Friendship Village, a popular campground.
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