Group Ride Central Pennsylvania

bikeman242

Active Member
Is there interest in a pine creek gorge group ride in mid-october?

Myself, I would stay overnight somewhere along the way.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I'd love to do a fall foliage group ride up at the pine creek gorge.
I rode Pine Creek back in April and I'm on my way up there again on Monday. I plan to do the 62 mile trail down and back in two days.

Absolutely a fabulous ride, second only to the GAP Trail in western PA. I wouldn't mind going back again in October.

I usually stay in Mansfield, a half hour from Wellsboro Jct, at the top of the trail. I ride 52 miles down to Slate Run and back the first day and do the rest of the trail down to Jersey shore if I stay a second day. Shorter rides are easily arranged.

The upper end of the trail through Pine Creek Gorge is by far the most scenic. Due to the elevation difference, the leaves begin to turn in late Sept on the ridge tops but don't reach peak down at the creek until mid October.
 
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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
We were 7 ebikers strong when the 'gang' left Elizabethtown Pa to pillage the sleepy town of Mt. Gretna. The mood of these bikers was as dark as the sky on Sunday;)

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Ebikers took over the town of Mt. Gretna :eek:

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There were 3 Specialized ebikes, 3 Haibike ebikes, I was the only oddball.... And I was riding a BH.

The weather was threatening, but only misted a couple times. No rain and the temperatures were in the 70's all day. We rode about 27 miles and had a nice lunch in town.

I'm not good about getting group photos, I'll do better next time:cool:

Thanks to all! A great first effort, especially considering covid complications.
Great ride! Sorry I missed it.

Thanks for posting the pics!
 

bikeman242

Active Member
I rode Pine Creek back in April and I'm on my way up there again on Monday. I plan to do the 62 mile trail down and back in two days.

Absolutely a fabulous ride, second only to the GAP Trail in western PA. I wouldn't mind going back again in October.

I usually stay in Mansfield, a half hour from Wellsboro Jct, at the top of the trail. I ride 52 miles down to Slate Run and back the first day and do the rest of the trail down to Jersey shore if I stay a second day. Shorter rides are easily arranged.

The upper end of the trail through Pine Creek Gorge is by far the most scenic. Due to the elevation difference, the leaves begin to turn in late Sept on the ridge tops but don't reach peak down at the creek until mid October.
Please share your itinerary. How do you split up the trip? I was thinking of taking a hotel in Wellsboro, doing the trail in one day, and then having pine creek outfitters drive my car to Jersey Shore. Though that shuttle is quite expensive at $125, so I am thinking there may be a better idea.

When is the best time to go? What week do you think is peak foliage?

Watkins Glen in NY is only an hour away from Wellsboro, I will probably hike the Watkins gorge as part of my trip.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Please share your itinerary. How do you split up the trip? I was thinking of taking a hotel in Wellsboro, doing the trail in one day, and then having pine creek outfitters drive my car to Jersey Shore. Though that shuttle is quite expensive at $125, so I am thinking there may be a better idea.

When is the best time to go? What week do you think is peak foliage?

Watkins Glen in NY is only an hour away from Wellsboro, I will probably hike the Watkins gorge as part of my trip.
On average, the peak colors in the canyon occur during the first week in October. this can vary however with weather conditions.

There are several good hotels & motels in Wellsboro. Most are a bit pricey though for what you get. This is especially true during the fall foliage season. I usually go for the major hotel chains that offer free breakfast. I get special deals at Choice & Wyndham hotels which are both available in Mansfield, 30 minutes east of Wellsboro. Mansfield is located on Route 15, a high speed interstate which parallels the trail. Driving times are shorter to get to trail heads at the south end of Pine Creek than they are from Wellsboro. If you plan to do the trail one way in one day, this isn't a factor however.

I've used Pine Creek Outfitters several times in the past when riding the trail with my conventional bikes. They know their stuff but as you say, it can get expensive. Since I retired, time isn't as important so I generally ride the trail down & back and take two days. The e-bike makes short work of the uphill grade. The cost of the extra night at the hotel is cheaper than the taxi service.

My usual itinerary, which I've done a dozen or more times in the last few years, is this: I check into a Mansfield hotel in the afternoon and do an 18 mile leisurely two way evening ride from the top of the trail at Wellsboro Jct to the Darling Run trail head and back. The next day I ride from Darling Run down to Slate Run & back for a distance of 52 miles. The following day, I drive down Route 15 to the Slate Run Trail head and ride to the south end at Jersey Shore & back for a total distance of 58 miles. Afterward, I head home.

Although I rode Pine Creek many times one way going down hill north to south, I was pleasantly surprised to note the scenery was completely different riding in the opposite direction. It's almost like riding a different trail.

The Watkins Glen Gorge is indeed a great hike. Whenever I'm up there, I usually ride one of the trails around the finger lakes as well. If you drive an hour north of Watkins Glen, you can ride a section of the Erie Canalway Trail, another great ride.
 

bikeman242

Active Member
On average, the peak colors in the canyon occur during the first week in October. this can vary however with weather conditions.

There are several good hotels & motels in Wellsboro. Most are a bit pricey though for what you get. This is especially true during the fall foliage season. I usually go for the major hotel chains that offer free breakfast. I get special deals at Choice & Wyndham hotels which are both available in Mansfield, 30 minutes east of Wellsboro. Mansfield is located on Route 15, a high speed interstate which parallels the trail. Driving times are shorter to get to trail heads at the south end of Pine Creek than they are from Wellsboro. If you plan to do the trail one way in one day, this isn't a factor however.

I've used Pine Creek Outfitters several times in the past when riding the trail with my conventional bikes. They know their stuff but as you say, it can get expensive. Since I retired, time isn't as important so I generally ride the trail down & back and take two days. The e-bike makes short work of the uphill grade. The cost of the extra night at the hotel is cheaper than the taxi service.

My usual itinerary, which I've done a dozen or more times in the last few years, is this: I check into a Mansfield hotel in the afternoon and do an 18 mile leisurely two way evening ride from the top of the trail at Wellsboro Jct to the Darling Run trail head and back. The next day I ride from Darling Run down to Slate Run & back for a distance of 52 miles. The following day, I drive down Route 15 to the Slate Run Trail head and ride to the south end at Jersey Shore & back for a total distance of 58 miles. Afterward, I head home.

Although I rode Pine Creek many times one way going down hill north to south, I was pleasantly surprised to note the scenery was completely different riding in the opposite direction. It's almost like riding a different trail.

The Watkins Glen Gorge is indeed a great hike. Whenever I'm up there, I usually ride one of the trails around the finger lakes as well. If you drive an hour north of Watkins Glen, you can ride a section of the Erie Canalway Trail, another great ride.

Thanks a lot for this. Makes planning a lot easier. Is the pine creek gorge better mid-week or on a weekend? I don't like crowds, but don't want it to be completely desolate either.

What are the watkins glen trails that you like around the finger lakes? I'm not familiar with the area at all.
 
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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Thanks a lot for this. Makes planning a lot easier. Is the pine creek gorge better mid-week or on a weekend? I don't like crowds, but don't want it to be completely desolate either.

What are the watkins glen trails that you like around the finger lakes? I'm not familiar with the area at all.
Mid week is always better but I've never seen the trail congested, even on a weekend. The trail averages 12 - 14' wide so it can handle crowds.

A couple of trails near Watkins Glen are:

Catharine Valley Trail

Lackawanna Rail Trail

Black Diamond Trail

All are just under 10 miles in length and their condition is not as nice as Pine Creek but they are well reviewed.

Any trail is an adventure for me and I'm not that particular about riding conditions.

I'm not sure where you are located but there are many great trails in PA and NY. Check out this thread for more information about other great trails in the northeastern US.:
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Is there interest in a pine creek gorge group ride in mid-october?

Myself, I would stay overnight somewhere along the way.
I'd be interested depending on the date. The trick will be deciding on the section of trail to ride. The entire trail is beautiful, the northern end a little more picturesque. Later October is probably better for fall foliage (after second week), unless we get one of those odd Halloween snow storms:eek:

I think a couple of us will be doing the Western Maryland Rail Trail again this fall. With the occasional detour for food and sights that's almost 60 miles r/t. Last year it was 58 miles. 95% paved. Hope to get to the C&O again too.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I rode a 20 mile stretch of Pine Creek today (9/14) from Wellsboro Jct. to Darling Run and back. There is no color yet in the canyon itself but some maples are beginning to turn on the higher hilltops east of Pine creek. They are in a drought here now so it will likely affect the timing.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I have a few sugar maple trees that have some bright red leaves. Just a few. Elev. 900'. Sugar maples are one of the earliest and prettiest trees for color around here. Cool weather arrived early this year. I feed hummingbirds and they usually leave around the 3rd or 4th week in September. I've had them as late as the second week in October, but usually leave by October 1. They were last seen here last Thursday the 10th. Very early and my personal start of the autumn season.

For years my HOG chapter held a weekend fall foliage ride to northern and western Pennsylvania on the first weekend of October. It was always a week or two early. I think we will see good color by the third week of October and it should last for a couple weeks at least.

Seems like I've run across websites that have maps or lists of peak fall foliage. Do any of you know of any sites for central PA? I may have seen it on the local news though, not sure.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Need to find a current version but I'm sure that can be done. Problem is accuracy or lack thereof. ;)
 

FezUSA

New Member
Sure wish my Blackbird would come in a month early (scheduled for November delivery, 3rd batch)!! Some awesome looking rides here.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Here are a few shots of my recent trip to Pine Creek Gorge:

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Pine Creek is lower than I've ever seen it. There is a drought going on in North Central PA., which could affect the timing of the fall foliage.

No color to speak of there yet but there is a hint of red & yellow on the surrounding ridge tops.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Here are a few shots of my recent trip to Pine Creek Gorge:

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Pine Creek is lower than I've ever seen it. There is a drought going on in North Central PA., which could affect the timing of the fall foliage.

No color to speak of there yet but there is a hint of red & yellow on the surrounding ridge tops.
Looks pretty empty... Did you see many bikers or hikers?