J. MANLEY ROBBINS TRAIL/HESS LOOP TRAIL:

DANVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:       February 20, 2024

Length:                 J. Manley Robbins Trail/Hess Loop Trail; 2.7 miles

Difficulty:             Easy. Flat, hard packed gravel/grass rail trail with a short on-road connector. 

Directions:           

From I-80 take exit 224 to Route 54 east. Travel 2.5 miles and turn right onto Montour St (Commercial area). 

To Start from the Meadow Lane Trailhead [Southeast End]; Turn right on Meadow Lane and follow to Hess Field entrance. Parking and map board here.

To Start from the Montour Street Trailhead [Southwest End]; Continue left on Montour St. Cross creek and when the road turns sharply left turn right for the parking lot.    

The J. Manley Robbins Trail, also referred to as the Hess Loop Trail, follows a former railroad line for the "Montour," a 10-ton narrow gauge locomotive used for carrying iron ore between deposits and furnaces. The line was converted to a bicycle path in the 1890's, making it one of the oldest 'Rails to Trails' in the country. It connects to the old Reading RR Line and along with a short on-road section creates a Loop around the  Hess Recreation Area. For more information visit; J. MANLEY ROBBINS TRAIL .

Starting from the Meadow Lane Trailhead [Southern End]; Head up past the Map Board to the old Reading RR Line. Head left, North, along a narrow, hard packed dirt & grass trail. The trail parallels Route 54 along a shaded corridor. Cross a wooden covered bridge over Mahoning Creek before coming to an intersection at 1.1 miles.

Note; If you continue straight, North, along the old rail line along the wide hard packed dirt & gravel trail you'll come to an isolated parking area off Liberty Valley Road after 0.2 miles.

Heading left to continue the Loop you come to a gravel road where you head left, South. You'll quickly pick up the trail on your right ("Rope Spur"). I believe this section follows the rail bed of the old "Montour" narrow gauge locomotive. Here the hard packed dirt & gravel trail follows the ridge line through deep forest. Steep drop-offs. Scenic but isolated. The Mahoning Creek flows down below. At 1.9 miles you'll find a platform overlooking the creek below. Head down a slight hill to reach the Montour Street parking area at 2.4 miles. Here you'll find another Map Board. Continue straight out to Montour St and travel left on-road (low traffic). Cross over the creek and continue straight along Meadow Lane. Just past the Continental Fire Dept, Meadow Lane turns left. Straight ahead you'll see a blue "Hess Field" sign along with a "bike" sign pointing right. Travel right along a dirt path behind the brick building (along the gas line) up to the old Reading RR Line. Head left along the grass trail to return to the Meadow Lane Trailhead for a 2.7 mile Loop.

HH

CLICK HERE FOR MAP

 

BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE

WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

BIKE IT OR HIKE IT

HOME PAGE