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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Allegheny River Trail: Emlenton to Rockland

We departed our home in Warren PA at 7:30 am en route Emlenton PA and the Allegheny River Trail.   We arrived on Main Street in Emlenton at 9:05 am.   We followed signs to the Allegheny River Trail.  Road signs pointed us onto the bike trail.  Bob was hesitant to drive on the bike trail.  I encouraged him to do so, and we came upon a parking area quickly.  The Allegheny River Trail is 28.2 miles of flat, smooth, asphalt surface from Emlenton to Franklin.  We chose to bicycle only a portion of the trail, from Emlenton to Rockland Tunnel and back. 

The beginning of the trail is bordered by a white fence for a short time.
Soon the trail is between the Allegheny River and a wooded hillside.
Seen from the trail
Note the 1917 date on the tunnel.
Dotter Access Area
Dotter Access Area. There are beautiful views of the river along the trail. This is one such view.
Dotter Access Area seen from the trail
Rockland Tunnel

The 2,868-foot Rockland Tunnel is pitch black.  Reflectors mark the trail edges and center.  We had strong flashlights mounted on our bicycles.  Bob rode through the tunnel; I didn’t.  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. 

I walked inside Rockland Tunnel a little ways to get this picture.
Bob has returned from riding through Rockland Tunnel.
We stopped at this bench for a short rest, while on our way back to the Emlenton trail head.
We enjoyed this view, while sitting on the bench.
I took this picture facing away from the bench.

I rode 11.12 miles round trip.  Bob rode a little more than me because he rode through the tunnel and back.  It was 11:37 am, when we completed our ride.

It was an excellent day for a bicycle ride.  It was overcast, and the temperature stayed in the upper 50s to lower 60s.

We plan to ride more of the Allegheny River Trail later this year.