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Yamahonian

Active Member
Darling Run to Wellsboro Jct is above the gorge and not as scenic as the gorge itself. Slate Run toward Jersey Shore is below the main part of the gorge. Although there are some scenic spots, this section is more developed with a lot of road crossings. IMO, the best half day ride you can do is Darling run down to Blackwell Mills & back for a total distance of 33 miles. This is the deepest, most remote and most scenic section of the Pine Creek Gorge trail. There are no other public access points between Darling Run and Blackwell except the private camp at Tiadaghton but that is members only.

With a few stops to take in the scenery, this run takes about 3 - 3.5 hours. With any luck, you should be able to get the ride in on Thursday morning before the afternoon rain.

I was thinking of doing the pine creek gorge this week as well. Coming from Philadelphia area, I was thinking of staying in Williamsport. Is that a safe area?

Also, is there parking at the Slate Run trailhead? Realistically, I will drive up from Philly, then bike from Slate Run southward towards Jersey Shore. Stay in Williamsport that night. On day 2, I will bike from Slate Run towards Darling Run and back. Does that sound like a good itinerary?

Also, are there bathrooms around Slate Run? Is it a private bathroom with running water, or just a porta-potty? Are there places for lunch, or is it pack-your-own lunch?

Thanks!!
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I was thinking of doing the pine creek gorge this week as well. Coming from Philadelphia area, I was thinking of staying in Williamsport. Is that a safe area?

Also, is there parking at the Slate Run trailhead? Realistically, I will drive up from Philly, then bike from Slate Run southward towards Jersey Shore. Stay in Williamsport that night. On day 2, I will bike from Slate Run towards Darling Run and back. Does that sound like a good itinerary?

Also, are there bathrooms around Slate Run? Is it a private bathroom with running water, or just a porta-potty? Are there places for lunch, or is it pack-your-own lunch?

Thanks!!
Your itinerary would work but IMO, Williamsport isn't the best place to stay. There is quite a bit of crime there and it isn't safe walking outside at night. Unless you have a very secure way to lock up your bike, I would worry about theft. If you go this route, try and bring your bike into the hotel room.

The best places to stay while riding Pine Creek are Mansfield and Wellsboro. Mansfield is 30 minutes north of Williamsport on Route 15. There are a number of good hotels there which are 30 minutes from Darling Run and 50 minutes from Slate Run. The hotels in Wellsboro are 10 minutes from Darling Run and 1 hour from Slate run. I realize this would be a lot of extra driving if you are coming from Philly however.

Slate Run has an excellent parking lot off Hwy 414. if you have a GPS, the coordinates are: N41 28.259 W77 30.109
GH010055_a3.jpg

Another option which would mean slightly less driving is to park at Waterville, also off Hwy 414. It's halfway between Slate Run and Jersey Shore. The coordinates are:
N41 18.685 W77 22.598
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From there, you ride south to Jersey Shore, then up to Slate Run and back to Waterville.

There are public rest rooms, most with no running water, located around 10 miles apart along the entire trail. They are concrete block buildings, not porta jons, and are well maintained. There is one about a mile north of Slate Run.

Wolf's General Store at Slate Run has good food. There is also a store at Blackwell but it may be closed. There are a few places to get lunch located off the trail between Slate Run & Jersey Shore but I would pack a lunch for the Darling Run to Slate Run ride.

I'm leaving this morning for Mansfield. I plan to ride from Waterville using the route I just mentioned on Wednesday. I'll ride from Darling Run to Slate Run & back on Thursday. This time of year, I usually start both rides around 10:00 AM so the temp can warm up a bit. Bikeman242 will also be in the area on Thursday I believe. Perhaps I'll run into you on the trail. My truck & bike look like this:

Pic 1.JPG P1080106a.jpg
 
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Yamahonian

Active Member
Your itinerary would work but IMO, Williamsport isn't the best place to stay. There is quite a bit of crime there and it isn't safe walking outside at night. Unless you have a very secure way to lock up your bike, I would worry about theft. If you go this route, try and bring your bike into the hotel room.

The best places to stay while riding Pine Creek are Mansfield and Wellsboro. Mansfield is 30 minutes north of Williamsport on Route 15. There are a number of good hotels there which are 30 minutes from Darling Run and 50 minutes from Slate Run. The hotels in Wellsboro are 10 minutes from Darling Run and 1 hour from Slate run. I realize this would be a lot of extra driving if you are coming from Philly however.

Slate Run has an excellent parking lot off Hwy 414. if you have a GPS, the coordinates are: N41 28.259 W77 30.109
View attachment 68490

Another option which would mean slightly less driving is to park at Waterville, also off Hwy 414. It's halfway between Slate Run and Jersey Shore. The coordinates are:
N41 18.685 W77 22.598
View attachment 68489
From there, you ride south to Jersey Shore, then up to Slate Run and back to Waterville.

There are public rest rooms, most with no running water, located around 10 miles apart along the entire trail. They are concrete block buildings, not porta jons, and are well maintained. There is one about a mile north of Slate Run.

Wolf's General Store at Slate Run has good food. There is also a store at Blackwell but it may be closed. There are a few places to get lunch located off the trail between Slate Run & Jersey Shore but I would pack a lunch for the Darling Run to Slate Run ride.

I'm leaving this morning for Mansfield. I plan to ride from Waterville using the route I just mentioned on Wednesday. I'll ride from Darling Run to Slate Run & back on Thursday. This time of year, I usually start both rides around 10:00 AM so the temp can warm up a bit. Bikeman242 will also be in the area on Thursday I believe. Perhaps I'll run into you on the trail. My truck & bike look like this:

View attachment 68494 View attachment 68497

Sounds good. Any recommendations for places to stay? It looks like the only hotels with availability in the area are the quality inn and the microtel inn/suites in manfield. Do you know if either of these are clean places that you would recommend?
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Sounds good. Any recommendations for places to stay? It looks like the only hotels with availability in the area are the quality inn and the microtel inn/suites in manfield. Do you know if either of these are clean places that you would recommend?
I've stayed at all the hotels in the area over the years but I prefer the Quality Inn. I'm actually staying here now. It's clean, reasonably priced and well reviewed.
The Microtel is also nice but the rooms are small. The newest and most expensive place in Mansfield is the Hampton Inn & Suites. It's very nice if you aren't on a budget.
There are also quite a few independent hotels in Wellsboro. I've stayed at the Penn Wells Lodge a few times and it is also nice. It's a bit pricey for what you get IMO.
 

bikeman242

Active Member
Got back from the Pine Creek Gorge. First time I've been. Probably my second favorite ride in PA after the strech of the GAP I did last week from Cumberland to Ohiopyle.

Pine Creek was very nice. Weather was shockingly warm on Thursday. Foliage was at peak. Bumped into @6zfshdb car in the parking lot and left a hello note.

The best part for me was cycling north from blackwell to ansonia. It seemed the mountains/big hills got larger to the north, so by cycling north along the path, you got the best scenery of the hills. In total, I made it from Waterville to Ansonia and back, over two days. I was surprised that the water level was so low. There was barely any water.

Was a quick trip and a lot of driving (coming from lower bucks county) as I only stayed one night. I found a Marriott hotel in Williamsport that was literally on the way. There was a Wegmans next door to the hotel. Would stay there again.

Not sure where I should go for my next eBike trip. Maybe somewhere to the South?

Hope @6zfshdb and @Yamahonian enjoyed their trips as well.
 

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Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
Got back from the Pine Creek Gorge. First time I've been. Probably my second favorite ride in PA after the strech of the GAP I did last week from Cumberland to Ohiopyle.

Pine Creek was very nice. Weather was shockingly warm on Thursday. Foliage was at peak. Bumped into @6zfshdb car in the parking lot and left a hello note.

The best part for me was cycling north from blackwell to ansonia. It seemed the mountains/big hills got larger to the north, so by cycling north along the path, you got the best scenery of the hills. In total, I made it from Waterville to Ansonia and back, over two days. I was surprised that the water level was so low. There was barely any water.

Was a quick trip and a lot of driving (coming from lower bucks county) as I only stayed one night. I found a Marriott hotel in Williamsport that was literally on the way. There was a Wegmans next door to the hotel. Would stay there again.

Not sure where I should go for my next eBike trip. Maybe somewhere to the South?

Hope @6zfshdb and @Yamahonian enjoyed their trips as well.
I had hoped to go up there with you folks, but it didn't work out. Did you happen to shoot a few photos?
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
I edited my post above to include some pics. Was a beautiful drive up there as well. Was my first time in Northern PA and the foliage was very nice
On possible southern trips for you. check out @Readytoride posts in the Words, Maps, and Pictures thread for some Virginia routes.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I just got back from Pine Creek myself. The weather was great and although the foliage was a bit past peak in spots, there was still plenty of color.
P1080523b.jpg P1080524b.jpg P1080535b.jpg P1080543b.jpg P1080559b.jpg P1080569b.jpg P1080575b.jpg P1080576b.jpg

A note to anyone planning a trip to Pine Creek during October. A section of trail between Rattlesnake Rock and Tiadaghton Camp is closed until at least 10/30 for trail resurfacing. I had to relocate my truck from Darling Run to Rattlesnake Rock to get around the closure.
P1080555b.jpg

A shot of Bikeman242's truck next to mine in Waterville. I actually passed him on the trail just south of Slate run. There is no mistaking his four blue panniers. I stopped and yelled but he was listening to his stereo and didn't hear me. I had already ridden 49 miles at that point and wasn't up to trying to catch him.
P1080550b.jpg

Lunch in Jersey Shore:
P1080542b.jpg

It appears the DCNR at Pine Creek has adopted a class 1 only e-bike policy. These signs are now posted at many trailheads:
P1080574b.jpg

I had a very interesting conversation with a DCNR Park Ranger at Darling Run. She came over as I was unloading my bike and asked how far I was going. I told her down to Slate Run & back. It was then she told me about the trail closure. I asked why they were resurfacing that section of trail since it seemed fine when I was there a month ago. She said they had a large group of riders on fat tire e-bikes make repeated trips through that section recently. Since it had been so dry, the repeated activity loosened the compacted surface causing ruts. Expecting the worst, I asked if that meant the DCNR would ban e-bikes? Much to my relief, she replied, and I quote "Absolutely not! we love the large number of new riders e-bikes are bringing to our parks! We are using a new composite abrasion resistant material to resurface worn trail sections to handle the increased traffic." (Phew!!!) "We even installed a 110V e-bike charging station!" She said pointing to a shiny new outlet on the wall of the Darling run information building!

I asked why they think fat tires cause more surface damage than their skinny counterparts. She said they actually did a test which revealed the larger surface area of a fat tire loosened more compacted trail surface material making it susceptible to erosion. I was a bit skeptical until she pointed out that skinny tired bikes have been using the trail for over twenty years. The problem didn't become pronounced until the fairly recent increase of fat tire traffic on the trail.

I can't say I agree with the physics involved here but I'm glad the solution the DCNR chose was to effectively pave the trail instead of banning fat tires or e-bikes completely!

We talked for over a half hour about many e-bike issues which are too lengthy to add here.
 
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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Got back from the Pine Creek Gorge. First time I've been. Probably my second favorite ride in PA after the strech of the GAP I did last week from Cumberland to Ohiopyle.

Pine Creek was very nice. Weather was shockingly warm on Thursday. Foliage was at peak. Bumped into @6zfshdb car in the parking lot and left a hello note.

The best part for me was cycling north from blackwell to ansonia. It seemed the mountains/big hills got larger to the north, so by cycling north along the path, you got the best scenery of the hills. In total, I made it from Waterville to Ansonia and back, over two days. I was surprised that the water level was so low. There was barely any water.

Was a quick trip and a lot of driving (coming from lower bucks county) as I only stayed one night. I found a Marriott hotel in Williamsport that was literally on the way. There was a Wegmans next door to the hotel. Would stay there again.

Not sure where I should go for my next eBike trip. Maybe somewhere to the South?

Hope @6zfshdb and @Yamahonian enjoyed their trips as well.
Have you tried the Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT)? It's a 28 mile paved trail, 56 miles out and back, perfect for a single day's ride. It's just west of Frederick MD, which isn't all that far for you. I'm hoping to get down there again before the season ends.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
This time last year I was chasing fall foliage maps in adirondacks mountains in the campervan and wishing I had ebikes to explore with. Especially when the gps took me way into the center of the park. Two lane road became a single lane without a building or even a power line in sight. My van doesn't turn around in a one lane road ...
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
It appears the DCNR at Pine Creek has adopted a class 1 only e-bike policy.
The final chapter for Class 2 hasn't been written yet. The PA DCNR had Class 2 on the agenda this year. All late winter and spring meetings were cancelled due to covid. In June they tried to do zoom meetings and most regulation changes were tabled until they could meet in person. It was impossible to have public commentary and experts testify on the changes. Although few people attend these meetings, it is normally a very open process.

I suspect this will be back on the agenda next year. I try to keep an eye on these things. If the state accepts Class 2 it will likely trickle down to the counties.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Got back from the Pine Creek Gorge. First time I've been. Probably my second favorite ride in PA after the strech of the GAP I did last week from Cumberland to Ohiopyle.

Pine Creek was very nice. Weather was shockingly warm on Thursday. Foliage was at peak. Bumped into @6zfshdb car in the parking lot and left a hello note.

The best part for me was cycling north from blackwell to ansonia. It seemed the mountains/big hills got larger to the north, so by cycling north along the path, you got the best scenery of the hills. In total, I made it from Waterville to Ansonia and back, over two days. I was surprised that the water level was so low. There was barely any water.

Very beautiful!
Perfect for E-biking ..
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
The final chapter for Class 2 hasn't been written yet. The PA DCNR had Class 2 on the agenda this year. All late winter and spring meetings were cancelled due to covid. In June they tried to do zoom meetings and most regulation changes were tabled until they could meet in person. It was impossible to have public commentary and experts testify on the changes. Although few people attend these meetings, it is normally a very open process.

I suspect this will be back on the agenda next year. I try to keep an eye on these things. If the state accepts Class 2 it will likely trickle down to the counties.
I had a discussion with a DCNR Ranger up at Pine Creek on Thursday. Among other things, we discussed the class 1 restriction, She noticed my bike was a class 2 but had no problem with its use on the trail as long as I didn't cruise around all day using the throttle only. She explained that is was easier to permit class 1 only rather than try to explain this minimal throttle use policy on a small sign. In short, the DCNR (as per this individual ranger) will turn a blind eye on class 2 e-bike use as long as the throttle is used on a limited basis.

FWIW, I saw more e-bikes on this last trip to Pine Creek than ever before. I passed at least 2 dozen and most were class 2 bikes. The fat tire Rad's seem to be very popular in the area.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
I had a discussion with a DCNR Ranger up at Pine Creek on Thursday. Among other things, we discussed the class 1 restriction, She noticed my bike was a class 2 but had no problem with its use on the trail as long as I didn't cruise around all day using the throttle only. She explained that is was easier to permit class 1 only rather than try to explain this minimal throttle use policy on a small sign. In short, the DCNR (as per this individual ranger) will turn a blind eye on class 2 e-bike use as long as the throttle is used on a limited basis.

FWIW, I saw more e-bikes on this last trip to Pine Creek than ever before. I passed at least 2 dozen and most were class 2 bikes. The fat tire Rad's seem to be very popular in the area.
That is all good news, but as @J.R. said, it's still a long way from policy so far.
 

bikeman242

Active Member
Have you tried the Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT)? It's a 28 mile paved trail, 56 miles out and back, perfect for a single day's ride. It's just west of Frederick MD, which isn't all that far for you. I'm hoping to get down there again before the season ends.

I was also thinking of the WMRT. Seems like a good ride. What other trails in that area would you recommend? I would make a long weekend out of it, next weekend.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I was also thinking of the WMRT. Seems like a good ride. What other trails in that area would you recommend? I would make a long weekend out of it, next weekend.
When I ride the WMRT, I usually ride sections of the C&O canal trail as well. The WMRT parallels the C&O and there are various crossovers that connect the two.

In 2012, the NPS spent over 40 million rebuilding a section of the C&O Canal Trail at Big Slackwater that washed out in the flood of 2004. They constructed a 1.25 mile concrete pathway extending from the shoreline cliffs out over the Potomac. It is unique and worth riding.
P1040567b.jpg P1040568b.jpg P1040571b.jpg P1040573b.jpg

If you ride the 15 mile section (30 miles round trip) of the C&O from the Williamsport Visitors Center to the Dam 4 parking area, you'll ride through it. Otherwise, you can go to the Mc Mahon's Mill trailhead (coordinates N39 31.838 W77 49.408) which is just above the concrete section. That way, you can do a short 3 mile ride and see it.

I usually stay at the newly remodeled Holiday Inn Express in Clear Spring, MD. It's a very nice place. It's just 15 minutes west to the Big Pool trailhead on the WMRT and 10 minutes south to the Williamsport Visitors Center.

From Clear Spring, it's a 45 minute drive up I-70 to Breezewood to ride the truly bizarre Pike 2 Bike Trail. J.R. and I discussed it earlier in this thread.

You should be able to do all three rides in a 3 day weekend.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I couldn't resist the great weather last week and took a 4 day trip back down to Cumberland MD. to ride the C&O, GAP and WMRT trails. Not much fall color left but there was still some to be seen.

Up on Big Savage Mountain:
SPA-MRT (1b).jpg SPA-MRT (3b).jpg SPA-MRT (4b).jpg SPA-MRT (10b).jpg SPA-MRT (12b).jpg

Mile 186 on the C&O where it joins the GAP trail in Cumberland:
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The Keystone and Salisbury viaducts:
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Pinkerton high bridge with the Pinkerton Tunnel in the background:
SPA-MRT (16b).jpg

With most of the leaves gone, good views of the river between Confluence & Ohiopyle:
SPA-MRT (18b).jpg SPA-MRT (23b).jpg

Crowded for a weekday at Ohiopyle:
SPA-MRT (19b).jpg SPA-MRT (21b).jpg