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Pine Creek Rail Trail Camping

Wow What A Hidden Treasure

Bikepacking PA Grand Canyon – Pine Creek Rail Trail

I biked this trail on 8/14/2021 on a gorgeous 78° day. Despite the short length of this trail, it traverses over eight bridges in a span of 1.3 miles. The trail is completely paved in asphalt and is level except for a very short uphill ascent near its south end before leveling off and terminating at Clarks Lane. If I lived in the area, this trail would be one of my favorite spots to walk on a regular bases. Though all of the users that I encountered on the trail today were walkers or joggers, the trail is plenty wide enough for cyclists. Even though the trail is short, I would definitely recommend making the trip to experience this well-manicured and beautiful Trail!

Where To Stay On The Pine Creek Rail Trail

The remoteness of the Pine Creek Rail Trail is much of the appeal, but it can also make it difficult if you are trying to find lodging on the Pine Creek Rail Trail.

The best place to stay before your trip is at a hotel in Wellsboro, PA.

During my visit, I was invited to stay at the Canyon Motel. I found this hotel to be the perfect place to relax before and after biking the rail trail. It was not only within walking distance of many of the restaurants and shops in downtown Wellsboro, but their indoor pool and hot tub are perfect for relaxing tired muscles.

You can check out current prices or read other user reviews on TripAdvisor.

If you are looking for lodging on the trail, there are several campgrounds on the Pine Creek Rail Trail. To stay at a campground in the state forest, like Tiadaghton Campground, contact the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. There are also several privately run campgrounds along the trail.

Hotels and bed and breakfasts can be found in a few places along the trail including Cedar Run, Slate Run, and Waterville. Ive never stayed at any of these, but the food is very good at Hotel Manor in Slate Run.

There are also several hotel options at the end of the trail in and around Jersey Shore.

Day : Biking The Pine Creek Rail Trail

The Pine Creek Rail Trail is one of the areas most well known outdoor recreation resources in the area, so we started there. Since we were staying near Waterville, we quickly identified the nearest parking area, Waterville Parking Area, biked 11 miles north on the gravel rail trail to Ross Run and 11 miles back. It was a beautiful Friday and we saw more turtles than people along the rail trail. The water was flowing quickly that day, and it was gorgeous.

Gantz and I agreed that this trip was not only about the miles we could accumulate on feet and wheels we also wanted to see what local libations we could enjoy. On our way back from the rail trail, we stopped at Happy Acres Resort to refuel on fresh cut french fries and a beer. Happy Acres Resort is an awesome place to stop while in Pine Creek! They have a camp store, gift shop, restaurant and bar, as well as overnight accommodations of all kinds. We met several Pine Creek locals, and learned about some upcoming races that were going to be happening this Spring and Summer. There is even Wifi available at Happy Acres, if you are not lucky enough to be able to disconnect for a few days.

Early Spring Along the Pine Creek Rail Trail

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Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

What are some popular services for campgrounds?

Some popular services for campgrounds include:

  • Virtual Consultations

  • What are people saying about campgrounds near 578 PA-660, Wellsboro, PA 16901?

    This is a review for campgrounds near 578 PA-660, Wellsboro, PA 16901:

    “One of the most scenic places in Pennsylvania, Pine Creek Gorge, also known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, offers breathtaking views from two parks Colton State and Leonard Harrison. A turkey trail connects Leonard Harrison to the Pine Creek Rail Trail, offering breathtaking views of waterfalls along the way. A rail trail cuts right through the bottom of the gorge for walking and biking. Many wildlife including bears and eagles live in the area. Campgrounds are located in both parks.”

    Jersey Shore To Waterville And Back June 2011


    This was my first bike ride on this trail. The family and I walked a couple miles of the trail up on the north end by Ansonia last year. It is a great trail if you are looking for an easy ride with low traffic, hardly any grade to speak of and wonderful views. I can’t wait to explore more of it. I was combining a nice cardio workout and a trail ride into one so I did push pretty good up and back. I stopped at Waterville and ate my lunch that I had packed along while watching a helicopter drop the geo-boxes for gas exploration. That helicopter pilot was border-line crazy the way he/she was flying it. Made for good entertainment while eating. The next time I’ll try to bring someone else along to go in the Waterville Inn for a sandwich and a cold one. On the way back I saw a nice big black snake crossing the trail. I had a squirrel playing chicken with me I think I just touched his tail with my front tire. I’ve been spreading the word about this awesome trail to friends and coworkers. It is a wonderful trail for a nice leisurely ride. It sure is nice not having to worry about traffic. I only wish I had a trail like this a little closer to home. Maybe some day.

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    Hotel Manor Was Our Hub

    Just completed 75 miles on this gorgeous trail. We used Hotel Manor in Slate Run as.our overnite stay. Great place with delicious meal. Seen many deer along trail. No snakes or bears. We rode 35 miles first day and 40 miles 2nd day. Treated ourselves to ice cream in Blackwell and also enjoyed our visit to Wolfes store in Slate Run. The trail condition was perfect and the weather was beautiful. Definitely will be coming back in the Fall to enjoy the spectacular color along the trail. July 11-12 2015l

    The Pa I Didn’t Knowa Hidden Gem

    I rode the trail for the first time this past July 25, 2015. I started in Jersey Shore to a point between Slate Run and Cedar Run. About 62 miles round trip. I cannot wait to go back and ride the rest of the trail. The Wolfe’s General Store was a blessing, I was able to refill with refrigerated water and some additional carb snacks for the return. Comparing with the D& L Trails Pine Creek is cleaner, very convenient comfort stations at every 8 to 10 miles…not sure if it is the same north of Blackwell , well maintained trail. A hidden gem. Despite the 2.5 hrs to get there from the Lehigh Valley…a trip well worth! Next time I’ll be camping along the trail at one of the campgrounds closest to Cedar Run…it will be another 62 miles round trip and I would like to start at sun up for a chance to see some wildlife…

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    Beautiful Views Well Maintained Trail

    I took the opportunity to ride the Pine Creek rail/trail on a nearly perfect, sunny, 80 degree day on a mid July weekday. I set out for an 82 mile R/T from the Waterville parking access area heading north on the gentle but steady uphill climb through the Grand Canyon of PA back. I rode a gravel bike with 32mm tubeless tires which was the petfect choice for the unpaved trail. The surface was densely packed fine gravel the entire way without a single hole or rut. There is no public access to drinking water so plan accordingly. I started out with two 24 ounce bottles and topped them off at a general store along the route. Be advised that there is no water available in the 17 mile canyon stretch so top off at one of the general stores when you have the chance. Trail traffic was minimal during my Friday afternoon ride sometimes going 5-6 or more miles without seeing another soul heading the opposite direction. Also be advised that there was no cell service the entire 42 mile length one-way through the canyon that I rode out and back. Overall this was a very beautiful ride along the river that I’m very happy that I chose to spend half the day putting in an 82 mile ride.

    Pine Creek Rail Trail Facts

    Biking Pennsylvania: The Pine Creek Rail Trail [The Grand Canyon of PA!]

    States: Counties: Length: Trail end points: Trail surfaces:

    The Pine Creek Rail Trail is one of Pennsylvanias destination trails, and for good reason. The 62-mile well–maintained trail runs at the bottom of überscenic Pine Creek Gorge, commonly called the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. Small towns along the route cater to trail visitors, and numerous trailheads, comfort stations, campgrounds, and lodging make extended stays possible. The finely crushed limestone surface is best suited for hybrid bikes a service road next to the trail from Ansonia to Tiadaghton Campground is open to equestrians as well. Its a good trail for families, but remember that bicyclists age 12 and under must wear a helmet.

    Melting glaciers carved the gorge, which runs 8001,400 feet deep and a mile wide. A natural travel route through northern Pennsylvania for American Indians, the gorge in 1883 became the route of the Jersey Shore, Pine Creek and Buffalo Railwaylater named Pine Creek Railwaythat served lumber companies that clear-cut the mountainsides. The last freight passed through in 1988, and the trail was born in 1996 and extended to its present length in 2012.

    The trailhead at Wellsboro Junction is the northern starting point . The Tioga Central Railroad station 0.5 mile east hosts an excursion train that runs north.

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    Nd Best Rail Trail In Pa

    Only surpassed by the GAP trail, Pine Creek is the 2nd best rail trails in PA . I’ve ridden it numerous times. It’s smooth, compact gravel makes it enjoyable for all bike types, all riders. This 63 mile trail is best described by dividing it into 2 sections. North of Slate Run and Sorth of Slate Run. Starting at the northern-most end, it’s about 25 miles to teh village of Blackwell. This section is mostly open with plenty of scenery. Be sure to bring extra water as there are no places to stop to refill until and limited restrooms along this section. From Blackwell, south you’ll begin to ride through small villages that offer opportunities for food and water. Cedar Run is 5 miles away and offers a general store and a small hotel/B& B, another 5 – 5 1/2 miles and your at Slate Run, with another general store for food and refreshments along with a hotel/B& B/Restaurant. From Slate Run, it’s about another 26 miles to the end of the trail in Jersey Shore. This section is mostly shaded with numerous restrooms along the way and another spot for food and water.From the trail head at the north, it’s about a 4 1/2 mile bike ride along the road into Wellsboro and construction has begun to extend the trail into town – I’m not sure when completion is expected. Wellsboro offers additional lodging and food.. highly recommended to stay in Wellsboro.

    A Nice Place To Spend Riding The Rail Trail

    A really enjoyable trail with lots to see. I rode on the Pine Creek Trail for three days and found there is lots of scenery and picturesque places along the trail.The only problem is I was able to only find one snack / drink stop along the 40 trail miles that I covered in Blackwell PA next to the trail. Be prepared there are not many places to buy food and I only carry what I can fit in my pockets. Make sure you go see the Grand Canyon of PA also it is really nice especially with the fall colors.

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    Make The Most Out Of Your Adventures With Purple Lizard Maps

    This wasnt my first time in Pine Creek. My first time was years ago with a college friend who was supposedly familiar with the area. We drove along Route 44 for miles looking for Hoffman Campground before I stopped him and said, Hey, do you know where we are going? followed by Do you have a map that we can look at?

    Back then, we did not have a map, or cell service, to obtain any information about Hoffman Campground. We stopped in Blackwell to ask a local for more information about Hoffman Campground:

    Oh yeah, the local said, Park at Rattlesnake Rock and walk North on the rail trail about a mile and youll see it on your right hand side, just by the water.

    We looked at each other with exactly the same thought in our heads we had made reservations for a campground that is not accessible by car and we had no idea.

    So we were off to Plan B we decided to drive down South on the road a bit. I think I remember a Campground near Slate Run, my friend said. Sure enough, there was, but again we were caught unprepared, we didnt know that the campground was permit camping only and we didnt have one. It was getting late, so being adventurous, we decided to just wing it .

    That experience added a lot of anxiety to what was supposed to be a fun and relaxing bike trip adventure. Several times throughout the trip, I thought, A detailed map would have really solved all of our problems!

    Rode The Entire Route From N To S

    Pine Creek Rail Trail Day 2

    This is one awesome trail. I’ve ridden some parts of it on the sections around Waterville and south. But I had always wanted to do the entire thing. So we left my vehicle at Jersey Shore and then my wife dropped me off at the beginning in Wellsboro. The trail is in great shape. I used my hybrid bike, but if you had heavier, puncture resistant tires for a road bike you could probably use that too. My goal was to see how I could do time-wise with the entire route and I am happy with how I did. I had 2 close calls today though. One was with a turkey who decided to leave the side of the trail just as I was coming along. The second one was with a young girl riding with other kids who wasn’t paying attention and I rode off the trail to avoid her. It just seems like so many people when on these rail-trails act as if they are the only ones on it. Twice I had two adults stopped in the trail with their bikes and I had to say something to get them out of the way. I just don’t understand where people’s consideration of others has gone. Again, this trail is great. You just have to be on your toes for those who don’t pay attention or just don’t care about others using the trail.

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    Parking And Trail Access

    To reach the northern trailhead at Wellsboro Junction from I-180 W, take Exit 29 to merge onto US 15 N. Go 27.6 miles, and turn left onto SR 414. Go 9.8 miles stay straight on SR 287 N. Go 11.7 miles, and turn right onto SR 287/Main St. Go 0.3 mile, and stay straight on US 6/SR 287/-Roosevelt Hwy. Go 2.5 miles, and bear right to stay on SR 287. Go 0.4 mile turn left onto Lower Marsh Creek Road. Go 0.1 mile, and turn left onto Butler Road. Go 0.1 mile turn right into the parking lot.

    To reach the southern trailhead in Jersey Shore from I-180 W, stay on US 220 as I-180 ends in Williamsport . Go 13.3 miles, take the Thomas St. exit, and turn left onto Thomas St. Go 0.2 mile, and turn right onto Railroad St. Go 0.2 mile, and turn left into the parking lot. The endpoint is about 0.9 mile east along the trail at Seminary St. .

    Ole Covered Wagon Tours

    Old Covered Wagon Tours offers horse and wagon rides through the Pine Creek Gorge Pennsylvanias Grand Canyon. This is a great and fun way for people to see the true beauty of the canyon without hiking and biking. Sit back and enjoy the scenery for their 2-hour ride. These rides start at their farm 12 miles west of Wellsboro.

    They also offer a Waterfall Wagon which goes to Little Four Mile Falls. This trip is around 3 ½ to 4 hours and is given most Wednesdays. Its a very short walk to view the falls. Check their website at for more details.

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    Great Ride In Fallweather Permitting

    I rode this trail in the October of 2005. Great trail for the cyclocross bike. I rode the full trail up and back on two seperate days on my cyclocross bike. There were bear tracks on the trail. It was nice and I had planned ahead but it rained both days. Rode it anyway and found it to be very scenic. Stayed at the PennWellsHotel in Wellsboro. Great nitelife there too. A great place to visit in the fall. Also the trout fishing on Pine Creek is supposed to be very good.

    Trail Maintenance And Development

    An Introduction to the Pine Creek Rail Trail | Visit Potter-Tioga, PA

    Several projects gave been recently completed and several are still in the planning stage. A new Puncheon walkway was installed 2.5 miles south of Kidd’s Mill trailhead. An expansion of the older puncheon walkway is partially completed. Informational kiosks will be installed before the end of the year at Big Bend and New Hamburg through the efforts a local boy scout in fulfillment of his Eagle Scout project. A much needed bridge near Kidd’s Mill trailhead will be installed early next year by a girl scout in completion for her culminating Gold Award.

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