Allegheny River Trail: Rockland to Kennerdell

On Sunday, September 15th, we went for a bicycle ride on a portion of the Allegheny River Trail. 

The Allegheny River Trail is 30 miles in length.  The trail runs on asphalt between Franklin and Emlenton for 27.5 miles and on an isolated section between Foxburg and Parker for 2.5 miles. It meets the Samuel Justus Recreation Trail in Franklin, crosses beneath the Sandy Creek Trail in East Sandy, and passes through two old railroad tunnels. 

We completed the Samuel Justus Recreation Trail in August 2018. 

We have yet to ride the Sandy Creek Trail. 

As for the Allegheny River Trail, we are riding that trail in segments.  In early May of this year, we completed our first segment — Emlenton to Rockland (6 miles).  In mid-August of this year we completed our second segment — Franklin to Belmar (5.1 miles).  It is 6 miles from Rockland to Kennerdell.

We parked at the north end of Rockland Tunnel and rode to Kennerdell Tunnel and back.

Rockland Trailhead

Our bicycles are pointed toward Rockland Tunnel.  In early May, when we rode the Allegheny River Trail for the first time, Bob rode through Rockland Tunnel.  I did not.  The 2,868-foot Rockland Tunnel is pitch black.  Reflectors mark the trail edges and center.  We had strong flashlights mounted on our bicycles.  Almost as soon as I entered the tunnel, I began to feel claustrophobic.  My arms and legs tensed up, and my balance felt off.   I stopped and turned my bicycle around.  As soon as I could see the light at the tunnel entrance, I began to feel better.  Since that first visit, Bob purchased a strong headlamp.  We both made a round trip through Rockland Tunnel on this visit.  I made it through the tunnel fine, although a bit shaky.

Signage for Rockland Trailhead (again). In this photograph we are looking north towards Kennerdell.
This old Railroad Signal Mast stands alongside the trail.
Cottage for Rent
This cottage is called ‘Kingfisher Camp’.

Bob and I visited his sister and our brother-in-law a few years back at this cottage.  They rented the cottage for a week, if I recall correctly.  We would love to spend a long weekend here sometime!

Kennerdell Tunnel

The Kennerdell Tunnel is 3,350 feet long and pitch black.  Reflectors mark the trail edges and center. 

When we arrived at Kennerdell Tunnel, I chose not to ride through the tunnel.  One tunnel ride was enough for me!  Bob, however, did make a round trip ride through the tunnel.  I am thankful that I did not ride through this tunnel.  It is likely I would have fallen down, at the point when Bob was pushed off the trail by oncoming traffic.

That light is Bob, returning from his ride through Kennerdell Tunnel.
Note Bob’s sunglasses. He rode through the tunnel wearing the sunglasses!

Bob said that Kennerdell Tunnel seemed darker than Rockland Tunnel.  Wearing sunglasses in the tunnel will do that!

I took a couple more pictures on our way back to the Rockland Trailhead.

Teepees and a Motor Boat

On our way to Kennerdell, shortly after leaving the Rockland trailhead, we saw a deer standing alongside the trail.  The GoPro camera didn’t capture a video of the deer.

Bob is making sure that the GoPro is armed and ready to go.

If we happened upon that deer again, Bob wanted the GoPro camera armed and ready to shoot.

In my last blog post I mentioned that we purchased a GoPro 7 camera.  Bob used that camera to document some of our ride on the trail.  At the beginning of the video we ride through Rockland Tunnel.  I am in the spotlight 🙂

It was an enjoyable ride along the river.   I added 13.68 miles to my bicycle odometer.

17 miles down and 13 miles to go!


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Linda G.

My name is Linda. I am happily married to Bob, whom I married in September 1998. We have a daughter (my stepdaughter), who blessed Bob and me with twin granddaughters in May 2012. My interests include spending time with my family and friends, riding the motorcycle with my husband, bowling, bicycling, walking, attending festivals, photography and travel. I love taking photographs. I am a hobbyist photographer. My camera of choice is a mirrorless interchangeable lens Olympus camera. I love to travel as well. I lived in Germany for almost 3 years, while in the Army, and visited many European countries. I have toured Europe two additional times since returning stateside. I lived in Australia for 3 months. I vacationed in the Bahamas (Nassau) one time. I would like to see more of the U.S., as well as return to Europe. I wouldn’t mind seeing the world! FAVORITE MOVIES: I like all types of movies — comedy, romance, action, thriller and horror. FAVORITE MUSIC: My favorite type of music would have to be country, judging by the fact that my CD collection contains mostly country artists such as Alabama, Clint Black, Garth Brooks, George Strait and more. I like music by Green Day, 3 Doors Down, and Matchbox 20 too. FAVORITE BOOKS: I tend to read romance novels, although I enjoy a good horror every now and then. My favorite romance writers include Belva Plain, Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steel, Robert James Waller, and Phyliss A. Whitney. My favorite horror writers are Stephen King and John Saul.

4 thoughts on “Allegheny River Trail: Rockland to Kennerdell”

  1. Good luck with the new blog, Linda. I enjoyed riding along even as a non-cyclist, and those tunnels would have made me uncomfortable as well, even without a bike light.

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