Clearfield to Grampian Trail
Along West Branch Susquehanna River and Kratzer Run from Clearfield to Grampian in Clearfield County
This trail connects Clearfield, Curwensville, Grampian, and several small towns between them, affording a convenient near-to-town recreational opportunity to residents and visitors. The trail follows the former Grampian Industrial Track along the West Branch Susquehanna River and Kratzer Run for 10.5 miles. The surface is fine cinders, not quite as firm as many other rail-trails, but certainly firm enough for a hybrid bike. Benches and picnic tables, many with shelters, are liberally sprinkled along the trail.
You’ll encounter a variety of scenery and settings between Clearfield and Curwensville. The first mile is beside a busy road. The middle third is largely wooded through farmland. The next mile is again beside the road, and the last mile runs between buildings in town. The West Branch of the Susquehanna is never far away. From Curwensville to Grampian, however, the trail is of a single character – mixed woods on a hill over Kratzer Run.
Clearfield to Grampian Trail
Location Clearfield to Grampian in Lawrence, Pike, and
Trailheads Clearfield, Curwensville
Length, Surface 10.5 miles, crushed cinders
Character Uncrowded, rural, sunny and shady, level
Usage restrictions No motorized vehicles; no snowmobiles; no horses
Amenities Bike shop, food, fishing
Driving time from Pittsburgh 2 hours 45 minutes northeast
The trail begins in Clearfield behind a hardware store and runs through a commercial area for half a mile. It joins the highway at a stop light, and the commercial area gives way to industry, beginning with the Crescent Brick Co. At MP 1.2 it leaves the road runs through woods and homes, rejoining the river at M 1.5. You’ll see an old coal tipple and foundations of related structures near MP 2 and ponds, often with ducks, near MP 2.6. The trail comes out of the woods long enough to cross the West Branch of the Susquehanna R on a long bridge at MP 3.5 with a fine view up the river, then ar MP 3.7, it ducks into a deep cut. After the cut it’s tucked between the road and the river to the outskirts of Curwensville. Here it leaves the West Branch and crosses a busy intersection near MP 4.9. A block later it crosses PA453, and it joins Kratzer Run at MP 5.5 (at the Louis R Donahue Memorial Bridge) for the climb to Grampian.
The trail passes another brick work, the North American Refractories Co, at MP 6.2. Here the trail narrows, and the gradient increases noticeably. For the last 5 miles or so into Grampian the trail is on a hillside of mixed hardwood, softwood, and rhododendron. It shares the narrow valley with Krazner Run and PA879, whose traffic noise is noticeable but not intrusive. The trail currently ends at MP 10.5 in a parking lot on PA729.
Vicinity: Directions begin entering Clearfield on US322/PA153. To reach this point from Pittsburgh, go northeast on PA28, east on I80, and southeast on PA153 at Exit 18.
Clearfield trailhead: Follow US322/PA153 until it crosses the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Here US322 goes straight and PA153 turns right. Turn right to stay on PA153 south. Follow PA153 along the river (Front St) until it rejoins the northbound lanes on 2nd St. Stay on 2nd St (toward Curwensville) when PA153 turns away from the river. About 0.6 miles later, when the residential area ends, turn left into the True Value Hardware parking lot, opposite the Riverside Motel. Go back about 2 blocks to the rear of the True Value Hardware store. Trailhead parking is here.
Curwensville trailhead: Follow instructions to the Clearfield trailhead, but don’t turn into the True Value parking lot. Continue on Second St for another 0.6 mile to the stoplight and go straight on PA879. Continue for 4.5 miles to the junction with PA453. Turn left on PA453 for 1 block to the trail crossing.
Grampian trailhead: Follow instructions to the Clearfield trailhead, but don’t turn into the True Value parking lot. Continue on Second St for another 0.6 mile to the stoplight and go straight on PA879. Continue for 9.8 miles to the junction with PA729 and US219. Turn left on PA729 to trailhead parking just across the creek. Alternate route: Go northeast on US219 to Grampian and turn right on PA729 to trailhead parking.
Rest rooms, water: None
Bike shop, rentals: In Clearfield
Restaurant, groceries: In Clearfield, Curwensville, and Grampian
Camping, simple lodging: Camping at Curwensville Lake, 2 miles south of Curwensville on PA453. Motels in Clearfield
Swimming, fishing: No swimming. Fishing in river
Winter sports: Cross-country skiing encouraged. Snowmobiles prohibited.
Wheelchair access: OK
Clearfield County Rails-to-Trails Association
Maps, guides, other references
USGS Topographic Maps: Clearfield, Curwensville.
Text version from 2002 edition. Conditions will have changed; you are responsible for your own safety. Oldest segment check 1/2002