"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

Oct. 27 - Pine Creek Rail Trail

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
We spent the day riding along the Pine Creek Rail Trail. The trail is 62 miles long, extending from the Wellsboro, PA area to the Jersey Shore, PA area. Since we only had one day to explore the trail we did the northern 19 miles through the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. There are more than 2,000 miles of rail trails in Pennsylvania, but none are more beautiful than the Pine Creek Rail Trail. It's one of Pennsylvania’s most scenic treasures.

We started our adventure at the Big Meadows access point just north of Ansonia. We made arrangements with the Pine Creek Outfitters to move our car from here to the Rattlesnake Rock access while we were on the trail. This way we would have our car waiting for us when we arrived. A mile past where we started is the Darling Run access from this point to Blackwell there are no intersecting roads. This 16 mile section is the most secluded and pristine part of the Pine Creek Gorge; this area is also known as the Pennsylvania Grand CanyonThe canyon stretches for over 45 miles with depths of nearly 1500 feet.  

The Pine Creek Rail Trail follows the path of the Jersey Shore, Pine Creek and Buffalo Railway that opened in 1883. It later became a part of the New York Central Railroad and operated until 1988. The first section of the rail trail was opened in 1996. USA Today cites the Pine Creek Rail Trail as one of the 10 great places to take a bike tour in the world.

About an hour into our ride we took a break from our bikes to hike up Turkey Path. The first half of the trail is a series of stairs and boardwalks that pass by three beautiful waterfalls. The trail continues its climbs to the rim of the canyon. A total of 800' in 1.1 miles. The bike ride was a piece of cake compared to this trail, but the rewards were worth the effort...the views from the top were amazing.

The confluence of Marsh Creek and Pine Creek just past where we started the trail.
Darling Run Access to the Pine Creek Rail Trail.
Views along the trail.
We saw three eagles while we rode along the trail. There is an eagle in the tree to the left. Just as I was taking this picture he flew right past me. 
Cabins and swing bridge along Pine Creek.
The waterfalls along Turkey Path.
The Turkey Path Trail to the rim of the canyon.
The viewing platform at Leonard Harrison State Park.
Looking south along the PA Grand Canyon.
Looking west along the PA Grand Canyon.
Looking north along the PA Grand Canyon.
A close up of the trail we come on from Ansonia.
The house we could see from the rim overview.
The trail was a great place to spend a warm beautiful fall day. We truly enjoyed seeing all the fall colors even though they were past their peak.
Fly fishing in Pine Creek is very popular. Stan spent a day fishing on this creek the first summer we were in Ithaca.
The small village of Blackwell. It's the first entry or exit point south of Darling Run.
Miller's Store offers a nice place to rest and have a snack along the trail.
Rattlesnake Rock...the end of the trail for us. It was nice to see the car was waiting for us.  
This is a map of the trail. The green line shows the part of the rail trail we did today. I also marked where the Turkey Path trail begins.

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