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.




Samuel Justus Recreation Trail

This afternoon we went for a bicycle ride on the Samuel Justus Recreational Trail. 

Samuel Justus Recreational Trail

We rode the portion of the trail that runs between the Franklin and Oil City trailheads.  We began our ride at the Salt Box Visitor Center, located at the Franklin Trailhead.  We ended our ride at the water treatment facility, located at the Oil City trailhead.  Total distance between the two trailheads is 5.3 miles.  

Franklin Trailhead

There is a seamless transition to the Allegheny River Trail from the Franklin trailhead.  The Allegheny River trail extends from the Samuel Justus Recreation Trail in Franklin south to Emlenton. Farther south, a disconnected segment of the trail stretches 3 miles between Foxburg and Parker.  The total length of this trail is 32 miles, but there are several jumping on locations along the trail, which means you can ride this trail in segments.  We hope to ride the Allegheny River Trail some day, most probably in segments.

There are picturesque views of the Allegheny River all along the Samuel Justus Recreation Trail.
There are benches along the trail that invite you to sit and soak in the picturesque view.
Joseph Sibley’s River Ridge

The stone gate for River Ridge Farm was built in 1913 for Joseph C. Sibley, who made his money in the oil refining and animal breeding businesses. He later became a five-term congressman, first as a Democrat and then as a Republican.

Joseph Sibley’s Mansion
Oil City Trailhead

The Samuel Justus Recreational Trail does continue into Oil City, ending at the Oil City Marina. We turned around at the Oil City Trailhead and returned to Franklin.

Bob had an epiphany today.  Motorcycle riding doesn’t hold the interest to him as it has in the past.  He is enjoying riding a bicycle much more.  The pace is slower, and the health benefits are great.  I am enjoying bicycle riding for the same reasons, plus I get to participate in the activity rather than just be a passenger.