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Bike the Trails of PA’s Pine Creek Gorge and the Great Allegheny Passage
Pennsylvania has long been famous for its endless expanse of old-growth forest and breathtaking landscape among the Appalachian Mountain Range. And with the greatest amount of miles in the nation for foot travelers like hikers, bikers, bird viewers, and outdoor enthusiasts, Pennsylvania is the state you want to be in if your winter-time cabin fever is just itching to explore one of nature’s most beautiful landscapes. While many journey on foot to these secluded mountaintop vistas, Pennsylvania’s hard-packed and gravel trails make bicycling another favorite mode of travel. So pack your gear and water and make sure your wheels are in top shape, it’s time to hit the trails.
Great Alellegheny Passage
Now complete from the nation’s capital to Pittsburgh, the impressive Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) connects with the 184.5-mile Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath to create a 334.5-mile route free from traffic and motorized vehicles that offers some of the best biking and hiking trails in the country. Let yourself escape it all on the Great Allegheny Passage and immerse yourself in nature the way it used to be. With such a great distance ahead of you, who knows how far you’ll really go? There are endless possibilities—and, thankfully, rest stops—along this National Scenic Trail. Keep your eyes peeled for the dozens of notable and historic landmarks like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, the pinnacle of American architecture and design, located just off the trail. There’s also Big Savage Tunnel, the Mason-Dixon Line, the Youghiogheny, Carrie Furnace, and several of the east coast’s greatest rivers and tributaries. Start your journey at Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers as they form the Ohio River. The fountain here serves as the western terminus for the Great Allegheny Passage. At the other end? The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park in the Georgetown area of Washington, D.C., a near-350-mile journey south east. Visit the website for more information on the Great Allegheny Passage and plan your bicycle adventure today!
Pine Creek Gorge
In the secluded northern reaches of Pennsylvania, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres of the Susquehannock State Forest, Pine Creek Gorge meanders itself south to provide visitors and residents some of the most scenic views in the world. Located along the bottom of Pine Creek Gorge, sometimes called the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, the 62+ mile Pine Creek Rail Trail is a multi-use recreational trail used for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. With its primary trailhead located just north of Wellsboro, the Pine Creek Rail Trail winds its way south along Pine Creek to Jersey Shore, PA.
The hard-pack gravel surface has a 2% grade along its entire length making it an ideal opportunity to enjoy the scenery from a bicycle or on horseback. Pine Creek Outfitters can get you set up for a guided mountain biking experience along old logging roads (and also offers a shuttle service to hikers) while Tioga Trail Rides will take you on an adventure atop a gentle horse for a two-hour ride. Make a day of it and bike north from the Blackwell Access Area and then ride your canoe or kayak back downstream. Then, hop on Bohen Run Falls Trail for a short four-mile hike that will take you to two waterfalls and some excellent views of the gorge and Bohen Run Waterfall. Blackwell also provides access to Gillespie Point and one of the most incredible views in the state! Let the view sink in, pack a light lunch, and enjoy the warm breeze as you overlook rolling ridges and plateaus covered in deep green. Blue skies, brilliant sunshine, and some good company will make this an outdoor adventure you’ll always remember. Click here for more information on the Pine Creek Rail Trail, voted by USA Today as one of the “10 Great Place to Take a Bike Tour.”
Horse-drawn Covered Wagon in the PA Grand Canyon
You can also enjoy the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon on a horse-drawn covered wagon. This is a great option if you are unable to hike the trails or want to admire the landscape from the comfortable custom-made wagon. Starting in May, Wellsboro’s Ole Covered Wagon Tours travels deeper into the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon with their Tioga County Summer Waterfall Wagon Tours. Admission is $40.00 per adult and each tour lasts approximately three to four hours. Click here to reserve your spot on a covered wagon waterfall tour today!