Sandy Creek Trail is 12 Miles of Beautiful Views

Exploring scenic bike routes less than two hours from Pittsburgh.
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PHOTOS BY RICHARD COOK

The Sandy Creek Trail, located near Franklin in rural Venango County, mirrors a Pittsburgh commute. No matter which way you are going, you’re likely to cross a bridge or go through a tunnel.

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DEEP VALLEY TUNNEL

The big difference, the asphalt path had no potholes during a recent ride on a steamy summer afternoon.  The 12-mile route that follows the Allegheny River and East Sandy Creek crosses seven bridges and goes through one tunnel.

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BELMAR BRIDGE OVER ALLEGHENY RIVER

The highlight is the Belmar Bridge, the trail’s longest at 1,385 feet, which crosses the Allegheny River. It’s impossible to resist the urge to stop and take in the view.

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Five other bridges that traverse East Sandy Creek offer similar views. There also are long, cool stretches of the trail through a forest that provide relief from the sun. 

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There are four primary options for accessing the trail:

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Good to Know
From west to east, the trail gains 271 feet in elevation at an average grade of 1 percent.  If you start at the west-end trailhead, it’s a slow, steady but manageable climb for 12 miles. The return trip is a breeze.

There are no bathroom facilities on the trail nor places to buy food and drinks. However, there are a few benches and picnic tables if you bring your own refreshments.

There are reflectors in the tunnel but no lights so a flashlight comes in handy.

Go here to learn more.

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Categories: The 412