STAPLE BEND TUNNEL TRAIL:
ALLEGHENY PORTAGE RAILROAD:
[Part of the Path of the Flood Trail]
MINERAL POINT, PENNSYLVANIA
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: June 23, 2013
Length: Staple Bend Tunnel Trail; 2.2 miles
Path of the Flood Trail; 4 miles
Difficulty: Staple Bend Tunnel Trail; Easy. Flat stone-dust rail trail.
Path of the Flood Trail; Easy? Stone-dust rail trail with some slight hills?
To Start from Staple Bend Tunnel NPS parking lot; From Route 22 take the Route 219 S exit in Ebensburg. Travel 8.5 miles and take the Route 869 exit. Bear right towards South Fork. Turn left on Ragers Hill Rd. Continue straight on Clapboard Run Rd. Slight right onto Beech Hill Rd. Follow for 2.7 miles. Entrance is on your left just before the tunnel under the RR tracks.
The Staple Bend Trail, which follows the old rail bed of the Allegheny Portage RR [PA Main Line Canal] is part of the Path of the Flood Trail. This trail starts in Ehrenfeld Park and travels 4 miles to Mineral Point. The trail then shares the right of way for an additional 2 miles with the Staple Bend Tunnel Trail, a National Park Service site, through the tunnel. From the end of the trail at the south portal of the tunnel, a 3,900-foot gap presently exists to the next segment of the Path of the Flood. This section received funding in April 2013 to complete this gap, however, as of June 2013 construction has not begun. Along the trail you will find interpretive wayside exhibits with historic photographs that explain what took place on that fateful day of May 31, 1889. From the Flood Museum in Johnstown, trail users will find the path on-road for 2.8 miles to Pershing Ave in Franklin. The marked trail then proceeds past the Franklin Ball field 1 mile to a steel gate located on the wooded hillside. This is where the southern gap exists. For more information visit; PATH OF THE FLOOD TRAIL .
Starting from Staple Bend Tunnel NPS parking lot; Restrooms, picnic tables, informational signs and map board located here. The stone-dust trail heads left into the woods.
Note; Right brings you out to Beech Hill Rd. To connect to the Path of the Flood Trail towards Ehrenfeld Park turn left for an on-road detour (Caution; narrow road with no shoulder). Travel underneath the RR tracks and cross the river. Turn right on Mineral Point Rd and continue straight on Front St. Look left to pick up a paved trail between two houses after 0.5 miles. Here the trail climbs a slight hill.
Informational signs are located along the trail as it follows a ridgeline left with some active RR tracks right down a steep drop-off. Past the RR tracks flows the Little Conemaugh River. Mile markers are located every 1/2 mile. At 1.3 miles you pass by stones inlaid in the ground. These are early RR ties (before they started using wood ties). Come to the tunnel entrance at 2 miles where you'll find picnic tables. Travel through the dark (no lights, but railings guide you through) Staple Bend Tunnel, the nations first tunnel used by a RR in the US in 1833. Emerge on the other end at 2.2 miles. This next section utilized a incline RR down to Johnston where you would transfer to a canal boat. Currently a gap exists from here to Franklin. This section received funding in April 2013 to complete this gap, however, as of June 2013 construction has not begun.
CLICK HERE FOR MAP
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WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT