Allegheny River Trail: Belmar to Kennerdell

On Sunday, October 20th, 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).  In September this year we completed our third segment — Rockland to Kennerdell (6 miles).  We completed our fourth segment — Belmar to Kennerdell — on Sunday’s ride (10.4 miles).

We parked at Brandon and rode north to Belmar.  We turned around at Belmar and drove south, past where we parked, to Kennerdell and back to the parking lot.

This is a video that Bob took with our GoPro7 camera during our bicycle ride.

I took several still images, while bicycling the trail.

Allegheny River Trail parking lot at Brandon.
We were the first car there, making our arrival around 10:00 am.  We are parked in front of the trail.  We began our ride by traveling north (past the white car).
I believe Sandy Creek is entering the Allegheny River here, with the Sandy Creek Trail crossing over the bridge.
In the distance is the Belmar Bridge.

I captured a short video clip of a boat going underneath the Belmar Bridge.

These stairs lead up to the Belmar Bridge. Bob is checking out the “bike path” alongside the stairs. We didn’t climb up to the bridge. The bridge crossing will be another day.
We are now riding south, making our way to Kennerdell. The Sandy Creek Trail crosses over the Belmar Bridge.
We saw birdhouses frequently along the trail.  The birdhouses are the result of Nathaniel Sedlacek’s 2012 Eagle Scout Project, according to signs posted on the birdhouses.
The stairs lead down to a deck with table and chairs. The stairs continue down to the river’s edge. There are no houses anywhere near this structure.  There wasn’t a sign indicating that this structure is private.  I wonder if it is there for the enjoyment of anyone using the trail.
I LOVE how this picture of the trail turned out!
We made it to Kennerdell Tunnel!

Neither Bob nor I rode through the tunnel on this ride.  Bob rode through this tunnel, as well as the Rockland Tunnel, in September.  I rode through the Rockland Tunnel in September, not the Kennerdell Tunnel.  I had no desire to ride through Kennerdell Tunnel during this ride.

We turned around at Kennerdell Tunnel and made our way back to the Brandon parking lot.

a River View
Allegheny River Trail is paved from Franklin to Emlenton, except for 3/4 of mile. The unpaved portion of the trail is gravel. I hated it! The trail detours here.
We look for eagles, whenever we are on our bicycle rides. We haven’t been fortunate yet to see an eagle, leastwise not a living, breathing eagle.
Allegheny River Canadian Geese

I captured a short video of the geese, in addition to the still image.

What a beautiful day it was for a bicycle ride on the Allegheny River Trail!

It was an enjoyable ride along the river.   

Ride Statistics:

• Bicycle Miles Ridden – 18.32 miles

• Total Moving Time – 2 hours 33 minutes 41 seconds

• Maximum Speed – 11.1 MPH

• Average Speed – 7.1 MPH

27.5 miles down and 2.5 miles to go on the Allegheny River Trail!

Moraine State Park Bike Trail

This past Sunday, October 13th, we rode the Moraine State Park Bike Trail along the northern shore of Lake Arthur. 

Moraine State Park is a Pennsylvania state park.  It is located near the crossroads of I-79 and I-80 in Butler County.  The park’s main feature is its man-made lake, Lake Arthur.

Our origin point for our bicycle ride was off North Shore Drive, at the bike rental place.  Our end point was at the Moraine Outdoor Center. 

Moraine State Park Bike Trail is asphalt paved in very good condition.  It is an in and out, not loop, trail.  The trail passes picnic areas, several parking lots, and restrooms.  There are a few hill climbs.  For the most part, though, the trail consists of gently rolling hills and several bends (some tight).  We rode through both tree shaded and open sections and enjoyed the lake views along the way.

This is a video that Bob took with our GoPro7 camera during our bicycle ride.

I took several still images, while bicycling the trail.

We began our bicycle ride at the bike shop off North Shore Drive. Note that Bob is putting on gloves. It was a chilly start to our ride!!
The trail goes through tree shaded sections that showed off some of its autumn color.
From the Moraine Outdoor Center we could see the Davis Hollow Marina.
Davis Hollow Marina
Moraine Outdoor Center Observation Platform provides an excellent view of Lake Arthur.
Moraine Outdoor Center Observation Platform provides an excellent view of Lake Arthur.
at Moraine Outdoor Center
At the Moraine Outdoor Center we enjoyed a light snack, while taking in the beautiful surroundings.

It appears that the Outdoor Center itself offered food and beverages at one time.  We met a woman on the grounds, who said that the building has been closed for some time.

We are on our way back to our origin point. I stopped to photograph more of the tree shaded portion of the trail.
This is one of several lake views.
See the body of water on the left of the trail? I was at the top of one of the hills, when I took this picture.
Sailboat on Lake Arthur
Another view of Lake Arthur

In the GoPro video that I shared earlier, Bob captured me climbing up the hill that I hiked down to take this picture (and the next).

Bob at top of hill taking video
Bob captured GoPro video of me taking a picture of these leaves.
We saw these four people at the start of our ride and, again, on our way back.
One of the women in the previous photograph took this picture of Bob and me with our bicycles.
This was one of the open sections of the trail.

Ride Statistics:

• Bicycle Miles Ridden – 15.2 miles

• Total Moving Time – 2 hours 7 minutes 31 seconds

• Maximum Speed – 19.8 MPH

• Average Speed – 7.1 MPH

An Afternoon Bicycle Ride at Chapman State Park

Yesterday afternoon, after Bob came home from work, we rode our bicycles around Chapman Lake at Chapman State Park.  The park is about 10 miles from our house, near the borough of Clarendon PA.

Red highlight marks the trail that we rode.

A larger sized map may be obtained here.

The trail around Chapman Lake was one of the more challenging short trails that we have ridden.  The ride wasn’t difficult, just challenging.  The challenge was due to trail surface variations from dirt to crossing a swinging bridge to grass to mud (Bob got stuck) to gravel (some loose).  There was some paved road as well.  The challenge on that road was a hill climb.  I certainly enjoyed flying down, after cresting the hill!  

Bob walked our bicycles across the swinging bridge.
View from Swinging Bridge
We ate a picnic lunch alongside Chapman Lake.
Bob took this picture of me at our picnic spot.
Chapman Lake

Autumn colors are starting to show!

Looking across Chapman Lake
Bob is looking at Chapman Dam.
Fishing Platform on Chapman Lake
My favorite tree at Chapman State Park
The sun was hitting my favorite tree from the side facing Chapman Lake.
Colorful Autumn Leaves

Here is a video of our ride that Bob shot with our GoPro7.

Ride Statistics: 

• Bicycle Miles Ridden – 2.53 miles

• Total Moving Time – 29 minutes 5 seconds

• Maximum Speed – 21.3 MPH

• Average Speed – 5.2 MPH

 

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!

 

Presque Isle State Park Bicycle Ride

Bob and I went to Erie on Saturday, September 7th.  We went to Sam’s Club, where I purchased four 3-ring binders for my genealogy research.  Bob purchased a pair of clip-on sunglasses for his new work glasses.  We stopped at Dick’s Sporting Goods, where I looked for a pair of cycling pants (with padded bottoms).  They had a very small collection of cycling clothes, and I didn’t care for what I saw.  

After we were done shopping we drove to Presque Isle State Park, arriving there around noon.  We rode our bicycles on the 13.4 mile Karl Boyes Multi-Purpose National Recreation Trail.   Yes, we do ride this trail often.  It is one of our favorite bicycle trails!  If you click on the tag “Karl Boyes Multi-Purpose National Recreation Trail” at the bottom of this post, you can revisit the other times that we have ridden our bicycles on this trail.

This is one part of the trail.
I took this picture near Perry Monument. This is the location from where ‘Lady Kate’ (a sightseeing boat) departs.
We stopped briefly at the Presque Isle Lighthouse.

We still haven’t toured the lighthouse…

Lots of seagulls hanging out on the rocks at Beach #8

During our bicycle ride we saw some of the 1,500 competitors who came out to tackle the 7th annual Barber Beast on the Bay.  According to an Erie News Now article, the Barber Beast on the Bay is “a wild, demanding and creative obstacle course that stretches across 10 miles of Presque Isle State Park…[Participants] run, jump, climb and crawl across more than 30 obstacles on the shores of Lake Erie…The most important thing about the race is it raises money to help the children and adults with autism, intellectual disabilities and behavioral health challenges at the Barber National Institute…”

a Barber Beast of the Bay challenge
A few of the many Barber Beast on the Bay competitors

After riding our bicycles, we needed nourishment.  We stopped for an early dinner (3:00 pm) at IHOP.  Bob ordered a fish entree; I ordered chicken.  Both meals were delicious.  On our way home we stopped at Mr. Shivers for custard ice cream desserts.

We purchased a GoPro 7 camera on Amazon that evening.  Happy early anniversary to us!  (Our 21st wedding anniversary is on September 26th.)  Expected delivery date of the camera is this coming Monday.  We plan to use the GoPro on some of our bicycling adventures.

Kinzua Valley Trail

We went on a bicycle ride the morning of Saturday, August 31st, on the Kinzua Valley TrailBe sure to click on the link given here for a trail description and map.

We parked at the eastern trailhead in Westline, and rode as far as Forest Road.  We did not ride to the Red Bridge Bank Fishing Area that was mentioned in the trail description. 

There is a nice picnic area located at the Westline trailhead.
Note the unique BBQ Grill
A piece of history can be found at the Westline trailhead. The Kinzua Valley Trail follows the route of the former Kinzua and Hemlock Railroad (later Valley Railroad).
We crossed over Thundershower Run on this bridge.
Thundershower Run flows into Kinzua Creek

This was one of a few runs that flowed into Kinzua Creek.

A resting place along Kinzua Valley Trail
Kinzua Creek
Kinzua Valley Trail
A camp along Kinzua Valley Trail
Kinzua Valley Trail
Kinzua Valley Trail
Another camp located along the Kinzua Valley Trail
Kinzua Valley Trail
The trees along the trail here created a tunnel-like appearance.

We rode 5.5 miles each way.  This trail was a bit challenging for me, as there were frequent slight inclines.  The crushed-stone path was more challenging for me too.

Allegheny River Trail: Franklin to Belmar

We drove to Franklin the morning of Saturday, August 17th, and bicycled a portion of the Allegheny River Trail, from Franklin to Belmar and back.

Franklin Trailhead Signage – to Belmar 5.1 miles
There are pretty views of the Allegheny River from the trail.
Belmar Bridge

A few raindrops had fallen, while we rode from Franklin to Belmar.  We didn’t have a signal on our mobile phones to check the weather; however, the air felt threatening.  So, we turned around here and returned to Franklin.

Belmar signage
Another picturesque view of the Allegheny River

The Allegheny River Trail is 30 miles in length.  We aspire to complete this trail in segments.  In early May of this year, we completed our first segment — Emlenton to Rockland (6 miles).  The Franklin to Belmar portion of the trail (5.1 miles) is our second completed segment.  11 miles down and 19 miles to go!

After our bicycle ride, we drove from Franklin to Erie.  It rained really hard, as we were driving through Waterford.  We believe we made the correct decision to turn around at Belmar.  Total bicycle miles ridden: 10.2 miles.