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Time To Join Me On The Rail Trail
March 15, 2011
Out on March 13, on the Pine Creek Rail Trail, I rode my bicycle for the first time since Jan. 5. Although still a bit soft in places from the downpour a week earlier and the melt-off of snow and ice, it’s now manageable from the southern terminus off Railroad Street at Jersey Shore, up to the White Tail Access, past Torbert Village, over the bridge above mile-marker 164, and to the end of the open fields—a length of just over five miles.
It’s been a hard winter, with some erosion of the trail surface (most noticeably at the gate area about two miles north of Jersey Shore). A major tree fall occurred across the path at this point also, but a kind nearby resident chain-sawed a passage through for early season bikers and walkers.
Some snow and ice remain north from the Torbert Lane gate just below mile-marker 164, but that can be circumvented with a little care cycling along the edges. The bridge over Pine Creek is clear, but once across the north side one must slow down to maneuver around some more winter droppings.
A final, always-melted-first, open stretch past what are cornfields later in the year ends abruptly just before the gate about a half-mile below mile-marker 162. Above this gate, where the trail is closed in by the mountainside and Pine Creek, and where the sun shines little, winter still rules, with skis, snowshoes or boots the sensible ways to continue.
Spring arrives March 20. Join me now on the rail trail. Get your bicycle out of the garage, and get your body moving after its winter sleep. I’m already working through the aches and pains that accompany getting those muscles back into shape!
PHOTO CAPTION: Erosion and tree fall on the Pine Creek Rail Trail two miles north of the Jersey Shore terminus.