West Rim Loops
Distance: 44 and 50 miles
These rides are the longest and most difficult of the rides in the book, but they're great routes, if you are up to the distance. Start at the Darling Run Access for the Pine Creek Bike Trail. The first 15 miles is down the bike trail through Pine Creek Canyon and is very scenic. One thousand foot walls of forest flank the canyon. For the shorter route, you exit the bike path at the Village of Blackwell, then begin the hill climb to the top of the plateau on the West Rim Road. For the longer route stay on the bike path to the Village of Cedar Run. Cross Pine Creek and take Cedar Run Road to the Village of Leetonia then begin the hill climb to the top of the plateau. Once on top it's 20 miles of rolling terrain through deep and remote woods. Finally you get to Colton Point State Park. The park has a number of vistas of Pine Creek Canyon and a trail to the bottom. After the park, the road begins a long 4.4 mile downhill into the valley at Ansonia. A short ride up Rt. 6 to Marsh Creek Road takes you to the northern end of the bike path to complete the loop.
To get to the Darling Run entrance to the Bike Path. Follow Rt. 6 west out of Wellsboro. Stay on Rt. 6 at the split of Rt. 6 and Rt. 287. Continue on Rt. 6 another 8 miles then turn left on Rt. 362. The entrance to the parking area is on the right about a mile up Rt. 362. Alternatively, take Main St. and West Avenue out of Wellsboro. West Avenue becomes Rt. 660. After 3 miles, Rt. 660 turns off to the left. Don't turn. Keep going straight on what is now Rt. 362. Continue for 4 more miles and turn left at the sign for the Darling Run trailhead. If you get to Rt. 6 you've gone too far.
|Village of Blackwell from the Route 414 bridge
|Swimming hole in Cedar Run south of Leetonia
Begin at the Darling Run entrance to the Pine Creek Canyon Bike Trail. Ride downstream as you follow Pine Creek. About 4 miles you come to the Turkey Path, a trail that comes down from the rim at Leonard Harrison State Park. There are good views of waterfalls a short way up the trail. Another four miles brings you to the Tiadaghton picnic grounds. Bald eagles have been nesting for a number of years about 4 miles below Tiadaghton. If you don't know where the nest is, it's hard to spot, but often there are people taking pictures who can show you where to look. Also, eagles are commonly seen in the trees or flying along the river. Another 4 miles brings you to the Village of Blackwell.
For the Shorter Route
Get off the bike path at Blackwell turn right on Rt. 414 and cross Pine Creek. The West Rim Road is .6 miles from the bridge. Turn right on the West Rim Road and begin a 2.5 mile uphill climb to the top of the plateau. At the top the road levels off beginning a long stretch of rolling terrain. After 6 miles from Rt. 414 you come to Mine Hole Road, after another 3 miles you pass the Fahneystock Road, and another 2 miles brings you to the turn off to the Bradley Wales picnic grounds. The view of the canyon is spectacular from Bradley Wales but it's a 1.0 mile detour and is mostly downhill to the canyon rim so it's uphill coming back. Rider's choice. About 1 mile below the Bradley Wales turn off you come to the Painter Leetonia Road. This is the first of three intersections where a road comes in at the top of a switchback. In each case you want to go to the right, back toward the rim of the canyon and not straight which will take you away from the canyon. Follow the signs to Colton Point. In 5.9 miles you come to Thompson Hollow Road, then in 1.7 miles to the Colton point Road, and another 1.8 miles you get to Colton Point State Park.
For the Longer Route
Stay on the bike path through Blackwell and continue another 5.0 miles to the Village of Cedar Run. Get off the bike path at the Cedar Run Inn. Go right, then follow the road to the left across Pine Creek and out to Rt. 414. Turn right on Rt. 414 for .3 miles, then turn left on Cedar Run Road. Follow the Cedar Run Road north. In 2.3 miles you cross Cedar run at the intersection of Mile Hole Road. In another 1.8 miles you come to the intersection with the Fahneystock Road. There is a really nice swimming hole just upstream from this intersection. Another 2.2 miles brings you to the Village of Leetonia. There is a fork in the road at the upper end of the village. Stay right on the Cedar Run Road and go through the village. At the upper end of the village, turn right on the Painter Leetonia Road. The Painter Leetonia Road is a 4.0 mile uphill ride to the top of the plateau where it intersects with the West Rim Road coming in from the right.
Continue straight at this intersection. Follow the signs to Colton Point. In 5.9 miles you come to Thompson Hollow Road, then in 1.7 miles to the Colton point Road, and another 1.8 miles you get to Colton Point State Park. At the park the road is paved. If you want, you can turn right and enter the picnic grounds with more views of the canyon. The route continues straight toward Rt. 6, beginning a 4.4 mile downhill run which is a great way to end the ride. This stretch of road carries a lot of traffic, especially on weekends, so be careful. At the bottom you exit the forest and cross Pine Creek again. At the intersection with Rt. 6 turn right. Continue .3 miles to Marsh Creek Road. Turn left onto Marsh Creek Road. Continue .3 miles up Marsh Creek Road to the bike path. Follow the bike path 2 miles back to Darling Run to end the ride.