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.




Bicycling at Presque Isle State Park

We returned to Presque Isle State Park on Memorial Day.  We spent a couple hours at the park bicycling leisurely the Karl Boyes Multi-Purpose National Recreation Trail around the peninsula.  Presque Isle is a favorite place for Bob and I to bicycle.  We return here often. 

Presque Isle State Park Waterworks
Bob and I at Perry Monument
Canada Goose family
Kite Beach
Presque Isle Lighthouse

Total bicycle miles ridden: 13.88 miles, and we did make it all the way around.  

Presque Isle State Park Bicycle Ride

It is the start of the Memorial Day weekend.  Bob and I went bicycling at Presque Isle State Park.  We rode almost 8 miles on the Karl Boyes Multi-Purpose National Recreation Trail, which wasn’t the entire trail.  It was a bit chilly for a bicycle ride, and it began to rain.  We plan to return to Presque Isle another day this weekend.

Bob and I at the Presque Isle Waterworks

We crossed over to the lake side of the peninsula at the Waterworks.

On the beach at Presque Isle State Park

We crossed over to the bay side, when we neared where we had parked our car.  Whenever we go for a bicycle ride at Presque Isle we park at the first vista parking lot, after passing through the entrance gate.

Bicycle Ride Around Lake Wilhelm

We got a later start than on Saturday, but we went on another bicycle ride on Sunday.

We departed home at 8:40 am en route Lake Wilhelm, located at Maurice K. Goddard State Park near Sandy Lake, PA.  We arrived at the Lake Wilhelm Road trail parking lot at approximately 10:30 am and began our bicycle ride shortly afterward.  

Lake Wilhelm Road trail parking

The John C. Oliver Multi-Purpose Loop Trail is 12 miles long.  The paved, predominantly off-road trail is a pleasant, largely wooded loop around the northern and southern shores of Lake Wilhelm.  The Lake Wilhelm Road trail parking lot, where we began our ride, is located on the lake’s north side.  This location was a good place to begin our ride around the lake, as the mileage count begins here.  The trail on the lake’s north side contains several sharp bends and short, steep runs that were challenging. Bob referred to the northern portion of the trail as a roller coaster ride. 

Lake Wilhelm trail
I had to walk my bicycle up some of the hill climbs.
We stopped briefly at this shelter to enjoy the tranquility.
The trail was not heavily traveled the day we rode our bicycles.
In fact we had the trail to ourselves much of the time.
We stopped briefly at the Lake Wilhelm Dam, which is about the halfway point around the lake.

The trail on the lake’s south side, some of which shares Creek Road, was much less challenging than the north side, with the exception of one hill climb.  There is a choice there, though, to follow the trail up the hill or stay on Creek Road.  I stayed on Creek Road, as I had my fill of hill climbs by then!  Bob chose to follow the trail up the hill. 

We stopped for a snack and a rest break at Boat Launch No. 1, along the south shore of the lake.  Our snack was whole grain peanut butter sandwich crackers. 

Boat Launch No. 1

Picnic areas are abundant and restrooms can be found at each of the four boat launches around the lake. 

While resting, I took several pictures of a tree swallow that was sitting on a tree branch. 

Tree Swallow
Hello Human. What are you doing down there?


I had just packed up my camera, when wouldn’t you know it, here comes an eagle soaring across the lake.  

Later, during our ride, we saw two osprey at their nest.  I didn’t take any pictures of the eagle, but I did take several pictures of the osprey.

Osprey in Flight
Osprey on Tree Branch
Osprey on Nest
Osprey Looking at Me!

I stopped riding at the marina, shortly before the bridge on Lake Wilhelm Road that crosses over the lake. I just didn’t feel like riding anymore.  Besides I had already ridden 12 miles–the distance around the lake.

Lake Wilhelm Marina

Bob rode from the marina rest of the way to the car, put his bicycle on the carrier and drove over and picked up me and my bicycle.  

We rode bicycles around Lake Wilhelm one time before, in June 2017.  The bicycles that we rode in 2017 were folding bicycles.  I expected the trail to be easier with our Specialized bicycles than it was with our folding bicycles.  It was easier, but still strenuous.

We were en route home at 1:45 pm.  We made two stops on the way home.  Both stops were in Titusville, PA.  We made a fuel stop at Sheetz and a lunch stop at Burger King.  We returned home around 4:00 pm.

What a great workout we had on our bicycles this weekend.  We rode 12 miles round trip on Saturday on the Allegheny River Trail and another 12 miles on Sunday.  Saturday’s ride (on a predominately flat surface) was much, much easier than Sunday’s ride!

Where will we ride next?  Stay tuned!