Hydetown to Titusville in Crawford County
The Queen City Trail will follow Oil Ck from Hydetown to Titusville. Currently (2018) the southern 1.5 miles across Titusville are complete, meeting the northern trailhead of Oil Creek State Park Trail (page NE-55), 0.4 miles from the Drake Well Museum. Eventually the trail will start at Hydetown, at the southern end of the East Branch Trail. The Queen City Trail will run 4.6 miles from there to meet the northern end of Oil Creek State Park Trail on a combination of paved trail and on low-traffic roadway. This trail is part of the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail (page NE-15).
Queen City Trail
Location Hydetown to Titusville, Crawford County
Trailheads Titusville, Jersey Bridge
Length, Surface 6.8 miles planned, 1.3 miles paved, 0.2 on road
Character Uncrowded, some urban, flat, wooded, shady
Usage restrictions No motorized vehicles
Amenities Rest rooms, water, food, lodging, fishing
Driving time from Pittsburgh 2 hours north
The trail currently (2018) begins in Titusville at the end of S Martin St, a block east of PA8, just south of Mechanic St beside the South Woods Assisted Living Facility. There is a single Erie to Pittsburgh sign where the trail leaves Martin St. The trail runs along Oil Ck for a third of a mile, emerging on S Brown St beside the Titusville Middle School. The route turns right/south on the street, crosses the Brown St Bridge, and turns left/east at the end of the bridge on to Bank St. It continues on this residential street for two blocks At that point the road turns right, and the paved trail goes straight ahead and enters the woods. The trail continues for almost a mile with Oil Ck on the left and the Ed Myer Recreational Complex on the right, crossing under a low bridge (clearance 6’9”) just before reaching Drake Well Rd. The Jersey Bridge trailhead is directly across the road, and the spur trail to the left along Drake Well Rd goes 0.4 miles to Drake Well Museum.
Local history, attractions
Drake Well Museum is the birth place of the oil industry and tells the story of the early oil industry. In addition to traditional exhibits, it has an extensive open-air collection of oil-field machinery featuring a full-size working replica of the steam engine that drove the pumps for the first successful oil well and a working rod line system. The museum is less than half a mile from the southern end of the trail, and a bike trail runs alongside the road to the museum.
This trail is in the Oil Region National Heritage Area (oilheritage.org), which includes all of Venango County, and in Crawford County the towns of Titusville, Hydetown, and Oil Creek Township. The area tells the story of Colonel Edwin Drake drilling the world’s first successful oil well in 1859, which changed the course of industry, society, and politics in the modern world. The Oil Region contains many remnants of the oil industry, as well as historic valley settlements shaped by native and immigrant populations.
Titusville has defined a 2.3-mile walking tour of the historic district, described in a brochure and a series of interpretive panels. Because of one-way streets, it is not possible (or at least, neither safe nor legal) to follow the tour exactly by bicycle, but it would not be hard to visit the sites of interest by bicycle with the help of the brochure.
The historic Perry St Station is the main boarding station for the Oil Creek and Titusville RR, which runs between Titusville and Petroleum Centre, in Oil Creek State Park. The station also houses the Oil Region Heritage Visitor Center. It is possible to ride a bike on the trail from Titusville to Petroleum Centre (11.6 miles) and then take the OC&T train back to Perry St Station. This is a very popular option.
Extensions of the ride
The next segment to the north along the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail is the East Branch Trail (page NE-46) which will connect in Hydetown. Hydetown is about 3 to 4 miles away and a detour is not defined.
The next segment to the south along the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail is a seamless connection to the Oil Creek State Park Trail (page NE-55) at the Jersey Bridge trailhead.
From the end of the Queen City Trail at the Jersey Bridge trailhead parking area, a spur trail goes to the left for 0.4 miles to Drake Well Museum. The first 0.2 miles, including the crossing of Oil Ck on the Jersey Bridge are on a separated bike lane. The last 0.2 miles into Drake Well Museum are on the museum driveway.
The trail group is working on creating bike lanes into downtown Titusville.
Vicinity: Directions begin northbound on PA8 at the end of the bypass around Oil City. To reach this point from Pittsburgh, go north on I79, east on I80, and north on PA8, taking the PA8 bypass around Oil City.
Martin St Titusville (northern) Access: From the northern end of the PA8 bypass around Oil City, continue north on PA8 for a bit over 14 miles. Just after crossing Oil Ck and the railroad track, turn right/east on Mechanic St. Go one block and turn right/south on Martin St. The trail starts a short block later at the end of Martin St. There is no official parking area, so park somewhere legal on the city streets.
Jersey Bridge (southern) trailhead: From the northern end of the PA8 bypass around Oil City, continue north on PA8 for 14 miles to the stoplight at Bloss St, marked for Drake Well Museum. Turn right/east and continue for just under a mile to trailhead parking on the right (just before Jersey Bridge over Oil Ck). This parking lot is also the northern trailhead for the Oil Creek State Park Trail (page NE-55).
Rest rooms, water: Rest rooms in the sports complex in summer, chemical toilets in spring and fall. Drinking water at sports complex. Rest rooms and water at Drake Well Museum, Jersey Bridge trailhead.
Restaurant, groceries: In Titusville.
Camping, simple lodging: Camping in and near Oil Creek State Park, Caboose Motel and other lodging in Titusville.
Swimming, fishing: Fishing in Oil Ck.
Winter sports: Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing.
Wheelchair access: Okay.
Titusville Trail Town Action Team
% Titusville Redevelopment Authority
Maps, guides, other references
visitcrawford.org/_upload/documents/Historic Titusville Walking Tour.pdf
USGS Topographic Maps: Titusville South.
Text version of 7 Jul 2018 based personal observation while bicycling Martin St to Jersey Bridge Trailhead 8/2017. Trail group comments 2/2018. Conditions may have changed; you are responsible for your own safety. Oldest segment check 8/2017.