Great Allegheny Passage – Confluence to Ohiopyle, PA


Our wedding anniversary was this past Sunday, on September 26th. We decided to take an anniversary trip to Confluence PA, where we spent 3 nights at an Airbnb. We brought our bicycles with us.

Around 10:00 am on Monday, September 27th, we left on a bicycle ride.  Entry to the Great Allegheny Passage was a couple blocks from our Airbnb.  We rode from Confluence to Ohiopyle.

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

I took several still images, while bicycling the trail.

Great Allegheny Passage
I am looking across the bike/pedestrian bridge
that we had just crossed over from Confluence.
The Great Allegheny Passage runs 150 miles between
Cumberland, MD and Pittsburgh, PA.
We rode the 10 miles between Confluence and Ohiopyle.
We rode along the meandering Youghiogheny River
through a mostly forested trail.
The trail surface itself was mainly crushed stone.
Youghiogheny River
Opposite the river on one part of the trail was a wall of rocks.
What a nice resting spot along the trail!
Ohiopyle, PA
We had a picnic lunch here.
At this portion of the trail we were on our way from Ohiopyle to Connellsville.
We did cross over the bridge, but rode no further.

I am very pleased with myself that I was able to complete the Great American Passage from Confluence to Ohiopyle.  I have ridden very little this year. I may have been able to make the return trip, but I didn’t want to push it.  My knee hurt, and the pain would undoubtedly worsen.  Bob rode back to Confluence to get the car. 

After Bob left I rode my bicycle downhill, just a short way back from where we had our picnic, to Ohiopyle State Park. I walked a short way along the Youghiogheny River, admiring the rapids and waterfalls. 

This is the bridge that we rode across
before Bob rode back to Confluence to get our car.
Youghiogheny River
Ohiopyle Falls on the Youghiogheny River
Overlook of Ohiopyle Falls on the Youghiogheny River

I found a shady bench near the Visitor Center.  I could hear the roar of Ohiopyle Falls behind me.  It was a pleasant place to await Bob’s return.

Bob returned to Ohiopyle shortly before 3:00 pm. He said it took him 45 minutes to make the return trip on the Great Allegheny Passage. His average speed was about 13 MPH. Bob took a shower at the Airbnb, before driving back to Ohiopyle.

Ira Trailhead to Peninsula and Return

We vacationed the week of June 25 through July 2 in Hudson, Ohio. We brought our bicycles with us, intending to bicycle the entire Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park several times during the week. Because of extreme heat and high humidity and rain we ended up riding only a small portion of the trail.

On Saturday, June 26th, we drove to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and bicycled the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail from the Ira Trailhead to Peninsula and back. 

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

Highlights of our ride included obtaining a national park passport stamp in Peninsula, watching a train cross over above the trail, and seeing a Great Blue Heron just south of the Beaver Marsh. We began our bicycle ride at approximately 9:30 am and finished at 11:07 am (1 hour 30 minutes and 48 seconds later). I took only two pictures.

We stopped at the Beaver Marsh
on our way back to the Ira Trailhead from Peninsula.
Just south of the Beaver Marsh we saw a Great Blue Heron.

Total bicycle miles ridden: 10.15 miles.

Allegany State Park Bicycle Ride

Yesterday we went on our first bicycle ride this year outside of Warren.  We transported our bicycles to the Quaker Run area of Allegany State Park.

We met our friend Liz at the Quaker General Store.  The three of us rode the new Quaker Run Multi-Use Trail (3.2 miles round trip). We didn’t realize that the trail from the Quaker General Store to the Taft Cabin was a slight uphill climb, until we turned around and began our ride back to the Quaker Store.  We coasted most of the way back to the Quaker Store.

The new Quaker Run Multi-Use Trail is being built in two phases.  We rode on Phase 1 of the trail.  The second phase of the trail has begun and will run from the Quaker General Store to the Quaker Lake Beach.  When completed, the trail will run over 5 miles.  We are looking forward to the completion of this trail!

When we finished bicycling the Quaker Run Multi-Use Trail, we transported our bicycles to the Red House area and bicycled around Red House Lake (a 3-mile loop).  This trail was somewhat more strenuous, as there were definite hills to ride (or walk) up.  Borrowing the words from a friend “I was feeling my winter inactivity by the time we got done.”  (Thank you for the suitable choice of words, Jim R.)

Total bicycle miles ridden: 6.27 miles.

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

Bicycling Allegany State Park

It was nice to see Liz again.  It had been more than 15 years since we saw each other.  We have seen Larry (Liz’s husband), though.  Larry sells automobiles.  We have purchased two cars from him.  We hope that both Larry and Liz can join us on a bicycle ride in the near future.

Allegheny River Trail: Foxburg to Parker

On Monday, May 25th, 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 2019, we completed our first segment — Emlenton to Rockland (6 miles).  In mid-August 2019 we completed our second segment — Franklin to Belmar (5.1 miles).  In September 2019 we completed our third segment — Rockland to Kennerdell (6 miles).  We completed our fourth segment — Belmar to Kennerdell (10.4 miles) in October 2019.  We completed our fifth segment — Foxburg to Parker — on Monday’s ride (2.5 miles).

We parked at Foxburg and rode south to Parker.  We turned around at Parker and rode north, back to the parking lot in Foxburg.

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

I took several still images, while bicycling the trail.  All pictures are from the ride back to Foxburg from Parker.

Parker Bridge

The trailhead at Parker

There are a few benches located along the trail.

Allegheny River Overlook

According to a sign, the overlook is dedicated in honor of Fred McIlhattan for a lifetime of public service and his support of this trail.

The view at the Allegheny River Overlook

We planned to stop at the picnic table here to eat lunch. The picnic table, though, was not in great shape. Also, the location lacked shade.

We crossed over what used to be a train bridge. The Clarion River flows into the Allegheny River under this bridge.

We saw several padlocks on the chain fence, as we crossed the railroad bridge.

We saw several kayaks on the Clarion River.

Looking back at the railroad bridge; Allegheny River on the right.

We saw a small waterfall, along the trail, as we neared Foxburg.  Click here for a short video of the waterfall.

Ride Statistics:

• Bicycle Miles Ridden – 5.5 miles

• Total Moving Time – 1 hour 4 minutes

• Maximum Speed – 8.5 MPH

• Average Speed – 5.1 MPH

We can now add Allegheny River Trail to our list of bicycle trails completed.

 

 

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