Along Allegheny River from Tidioute to (near) Trunkeyville in Warren County
This trail, like the Kellettville to Nebraska Trace, is included here chiefly because it appears on lists of rail-trails in Pennsylvania. Both are lovely hiking trails, but most readers of this guide will find them unrewarding as bicycle trails.
The Tidioute Riverside Rec Trek Trail runs alongside the Allegheny River along the railbed of the former Oil City Secondary RR, 20-30 feet above the river. US62 is on the opposite shore of the Allegheny, but the traffic noise is not intrusive. The trail itself is double-track grass and ballast, ranging from reasonably smooth to quite rough in spots.
Tidioute Riverside Rec Trek Trail
Location Tidioute to near Trunkeyville in Triumph Township,
Warren County and Harmony Township, Forest County
Length, Surface 5 miles planned, 3.5 miles complete, dirt to single-track
Character Uncrowded, rural, shady, level
Usage restrictions No motorized vehicles
Driving time from Pittsburgh 2 hours 30 minutes northeast
From the trailhead at the water treatment plant on the west side of Tidioute, you plunge into the forest. An 8’ mowed swath and a few signs and mileposts are the only signs of development. The trail here is double-track grass over small ballast or coarse cinders. A third of a mile from the trailhead, you reach Lower Eddy, a small rest area with a bench. Milepost 1 appears at 0.3 miles. You get periodic views through the shrubbery to the Allegheny River. After three-quarters of a mile, the trail begins getting rougher, with larger stones, some wet spots, and some small humps. Not far after milepost 2, a sign marks the waterfall on Grove Run. The falls, really a 10-12’ cascade, are 150 feet back from the trail. There’s a bench at the falls. Former roads run up both sides of Grove Run. As we did not follow either of them, we have no idea where they lead. Another half-mile brings you to a spring along the trail. There are several short sections on original ballast in this area. The cliffs here have small caves going back 5-10’.
Near milepost 3, a sign identifies “Beaver Flat”, but there’s no sign of beaver, nor is there enough space for either a town or a beaver pond. Soon after Beaver Flat, the trail crosses a creek, and the amount of raw ballast on the trail increases. After about milepost 4, there’s little sign of trail improvement other than tracks left by ATVs. From here south, the trail gets rougher and rougher, with some ties remaining and with tree roots and overhanging branches. After half a mile of this, things get even worse: The trail is blocked by fallen trees and underbrush, not far before a small stream comes around the end of the ridge and about half a mile before Trunkeyville.
Although the trail is sometimes described as running from Tidioute to Trunkeyville, you should be aware that about half a mile before Trunkeyville the trail is blocked by numerous downed trees and is nearly impassible. Getting off the trail without working your way through the blockage requires you to pass through private land on trails established (probably informally) by ATVs. So, although the trailhead in Trunkeyville is there (though unmarked), we must regard this, at least as of fall 1998, as an out-and-back trip from Tidioute.
The trail is supposed to reach Trunkeyville, but the last half-mile hasn’t been developed.
Vicinity: Directions begin across the Allegheny River from Tidioute, at the intersection of PA127 and US62. To reach this point from Pittsburgh, follow I79 to I80, turn north on PA8 to US62, then continue on US62.
Tidioute trailhead: From the intersection of PA127 and US62, turn on PA127 to cross the Allegheny River. After 0.3 mile, turn left at the “T” to remain on PA127, following the sign for the trail. The trailhead is 0.4 mile farther, just before PA127 swings right and starts climbing.
Rest rooms, water: None
Bike shop, rentals: None
Restaurant, groceries: Along US62
Camping, simple lodging: Along US62; dispersed camping in Allegheny National Forest
Swimming, fishing: None
Winter sports: Cross-country skiing
Wheelchair access: No gates, but some sections of trail are rough.
Allegheny National Forest
Sheffield Ranger District
Sheffield PA 16347
Maps, guides, other references
USGS Topographic Maps: Tidioute.
Text version from 2002 edition. Conditions will have changed; you are responsible for your own safety. Oldest segment check 1/2002