Slate Run Biking

Mat 5th. Ride -- Dave Kagan

Ride on May 5, 2011
Today I enjoyed a 50-mile, round-trip ride from my home in Torbert Village up to Hilborn Run between the villages of Slate Run and Cedar Run. As always, my outing made it a good day to be alive.
DCNR has raked, rolled and added surface material from the southern terminus at Jersey Shore up to Callahan Run at Jersey Mills, so this 17-mile section is in excellent shape now. With the solid riding surface and the now flowering dogwood trees along the way, you couldn’t have a better day outside than one spent on the Pine Creek Rail Trail.
Highlights of my ride (and that’s hard to say, since I consider about every stroke of my pedals and every inch of the trail to be heavenly) included, above all, meeting volunteer Jack Freeman, of Wellsboro, out trimming trees and vegetation along the trail once again. He was happily laboring up at the Hilborn area, just below the comfort station there. What a blessing he is to our beloved trail! He puts many hours of care into the trail, helping greatly to assure the enjoyment and safety of the many who bicycle, walk and jog it. For sure, remember to say hello and to thank him when you pass him.
Certainly another highlight was stopping at Wolfe’s General Store in Slate Run, where I hungrily gobbled down my favorite roast beef, panini bread sandwich. This oasis 23 miles above my home is a magnet to me when I ride, my excitement and my hunger rising the closer I come to it. Conversation with owners Tom and Deb Finkbiner is always enjoyable too. And, after eating my sandwich out on a bench outside their store, or on one of the picnic tables placed in their backyard near the rail trail, and resting a while, I am ready to resume my bicycling.
Animal activity along the trail is rapidly picking up. I saw a black bear in the woods just east off the trail at Dry Run below Jersey Mills, a woodland turtle on the trail just below Waterville, and about a 3-foot-long black rat snake below Camp Kline and Ramsey Village.
DCNR and a crew of three Pennsylvania Conservation Corps (PCC) youth workers are out working hard to put the trail into good shape again after a tough winter and spring. The many washouts between the southern terminus and Jersey Mills have been mended, including a major landslide just above Ramsey. It is a real shame that, as I’ve been told by DCNR, the PCC funding will end at the end of June. If you read this and care, send a message to Governor Corbett asking that the program be refunded.
Washouts above Jersey Mills up to Black Walnut Bottom Campground will be tended to soon by DCNR, although even now one can slowly bicycle around the edges of them and get by.
The weather is warm. The Pine Creek Rail Trail beckons. Get out and enjoy this treasure of northcentral Pennsylvania!

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