OHIO RIVER TRAIL COUNCIL

“Joining communities through fitness, recreation, heritage and transportation networks”

OHIO RIVER TRAIL COUNCIL

Samuel Justus Trail & Allegheny River Trail — Oil City, PA to Brandon, PA

Erie to Pittsburgh Trail 31-Mile Bike Ride

Come out for a ride! This is part of a trail ride series sponsored by the Ohio River Trail Council (ORTC) intended to bring awareness to the wonderful trails in our quad-state region (Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia). All cyclists are welcome for this rails-to-trails, moderate-paced ride.

Join us, as we visit the Samuel Justus Trail and the Allegheny River Trail portion of the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail.  This scenic ride departs from town of Oil City and travels 15.5-miles south along the Allegheny River to Brandonl and back.

Do not forget your camera!

Trailhead

Oil City Trailhead - 721 W Front St, Oil City, PA 16301

GPS: 41.426170, -79.722747

From PA Route 8, cross the Allegheny River at the Petroleum Street Bridge (the first bridge if entering from the south, the third if entering from the north) and make a right turn at the second stop light onto West First Street. The trailhead entrance is 1.6 miles from this light, adjacent to the GPU Building, across from Venango Campus of Clarion University. Parking is 1/4 mile from the street on a tar-and-chipped surface. Look for the yellow gate at the trailhead. 

Trail Mileage Chart: 

 

Features and Points of Interest:

The complete Allegheny River Trail is 28.2-miles of flat, smooth, asphalt surface from Emlenton to Franklin. Bordered on the west by the Allegheny River and on the east mostly by woodland, the 8-foot wide paved surface built on an old railroad grade. To the south, the trail is complete through the old Quaker State Refinery in Emlenton and ends at the parking lot at the edge of town.
 
The natural beauty of the river and woodland is the greatest feature of this trail. In 1992, the portion of the Allegheny River from Franklin to Emlenton was included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers system.
 
Artifacts from the oil boom of the late 1800's are apparent. About midway between Franklin and Oil City, is the stately River Ridge mansion and farm of the late US Senator Joseph P. Sibley who acquired a considerable fortune from the early oil industry. Oil well locations can be seen all along the river and trail - some abandoned for 100 years or more. John Wilkes Booth was part owner of an unsuccessful 1864 well which was one mile south of Franklin very near the trail.
 
Approximately 8.5 miles south of Franklin is a reminder of the use of the river by Native Americans. A set of over 50 carvings dating between 1200 and 1750 AD were made on a large rock at the river’s edge. Known as Indian God Rock, this rock is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and can be easily seen from the trail. An observation deck marks the location.
 
The spectacular Belmar Bridge over the Allegheny River was built in 1907 as part of a railroad built by local oil man Charles Miller and John D. Rockefeller intended to connect New York with Chicago. Ultimately, it transported much of the coal from Clarion County to Ashtabula on Lake Erie. Be sure to climb the stairs to see the river valley from the bridge.
 
Social

Following the ride, a social gathering and dinner will be held at a local restaurant in Oil City.

Map

 

 

 

Event Photos

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