A walk along the Allegheny RiverPosted: October 15, 2012
Thank you to everyone who joined in the group walk. I haven’t had a chance to join you all on your walks yet, having just arrived home a little while ago. I think everyone who needed a little extra time has managed to get their walks in so it probably won’t be necessary to extend the deadline. However, if you want to join in and haven’t had a chance to walk or do your blog post about it yet, let me know. I plan to do the wrap-up either tomorrow or Wednesday and will wait a bit if you need extra time.
I took my walk/hike on the Allegheny River Trail in Pennsylvania. M went with me. We started near Brandon, which is described as a relatively remote access to the trail. I had originally planned to do a 10k (6 miles), but I wasn’t feeling as well as usual so I shortened it to 5 miles. We also cycled 7 miles after the hike. (Imagine what we might have done if I’d been feeling well!)
We had a beautiful day for the hike. It was overcast at first, but then it cleared up for several hours before the clouds moved back in. The temperature was in the mid to upper 70s. Shorts and t-shirt weather. The wind was gusty which kept it from feeling too hot out there. Hard to believe the high was around 45 degrees just two days before!
The area we were hiking in was once dotted with oil wells and boomtowns that sprung up as a result of oil drilling. The first oil well in the U.S. was drilled near here, just south of Titusville, Pennsylvania. The town grew from a population of 250 to 10,000 almost overnight. Other than some of the artifacts, such as the barrels, you really can’t tell the hills in this area were once lined with oil wells. Mother Nature has been allowed to do her usual good job of reclaiming the land.
No more history lessons. If you’d like to learn more about the area, you can visit the Oil Creek State Park website, and/or start by reading The Drake Chapters at Samuel T. Pees Oil History website. It’s interesting stuff, but this post is supposed to be about my walk.
I don’t believe the fall foliage colors were quite at their peak yesterday. I say (write) this because something happened overnight. I was dazzled by the colors on the way home today. There just seemed to be so much more this morning than we saw yesterday. Not that the colors were slacking off yesterday. They were quite beautiful.
It was incredibly quiet on the trail. The occasional cyclists would zoom by, but otherwise, it was just us, the trees, the chipmunks, the ducks in the river, the birds in the trees, and probably a bear or deer or two back in the woods that we didn’t notice.
Sounds included the rustle of the dry leaves blowing across the paved trail, the occasional crack of a branch being torn from a tree, the crash of the branch as it hit the ground, the creak of the trees being blown about in the wind, the wind itself whistling, and the crunch of leaves underfoot. It was a mostly wordless walk, M and I enjoying the sights, the sounds, and the comfortable silence of each other’s company as we walked through the beauty of the trail and the day.
Parts of the trail were shadowed in the darkness from the hemlocks growing along the edge of the cliffs.
But the trail was always well lit from the river side.
About 2.5 miles into our hike, we stopped for a picnic lunch. Food always seems to taste best when eaten at a picnic table or sitting on a rock at some point during a hike in the woods.
On our way back, we stopped at Indian God Rock where there are carvings dating from between 1200 and 1750 CE. Neither of us climbed down to get a close look at the rock. I kind of wish I had as it would have been interesting to get a look at the petroglyphs. Some of the original, Native American, petroglyphs can still be seen, but there is also a lot of “historic graffiti” to be found on it too.
It was a lovely and easy hike. The trail is an old rail trail so it’s mostly level. It’s also paved. You’ll find the occasional bench along the way if you need to rest a bit. There are no other facilities, but the woods will do if you need to answer nature’s call.
Our bike ride was quite nice too, although the area where we rode was a bit more urban and crowded. We started at the Franklin trailhead. The Allegheny River Trail in that area runs along the river (of course) on one side, and a highway and power lines on the other.
Still, it’s a nice trail. You can’t see the highway (you can hear the traffic, especially since there are a lot of big trucks — associated with fracking — using the highway) and the river views are agreeable.
I went for my usual daily walk around the pond shortly after arriving home this afternoon. The fall colors here are just at or just edging past peak.
There is still some green to be found, but some of the trees are bare already.
I reckon that’s it from the Bogs on this cool and cloudy, sometimes rainy, day. Thank you for once again joining me on my walk. Or walks since I included a little of today’s walk with yesterday’s participation in the group walk. I’ll be around soon to visit and enjoy the pleasure of your walks if you participated, or just to see what you’re up to if you didn’t.
Wishing you a delightful day, evening, or night… wherever and whenever you are on the spectrum of time. :)