The Wolf Run Trail, a relatively new addition to the Rails-To-Trails roster, uses the former Clearfield to Ridgway Rail Company corridor along the same branch as the nearby Clarion-Little Toby Trail. It runs for 4.2 miles from a point just north of Dubois, PA (near Triangle Tech School in Falls Creek, PA) to State Route 219 at McMinns Summit, just 3 miles south of Brockway.
The trail is a work in progress best suited for mountain bikes due to it's varied terrain. Currently, most of the trail surface is rough with a patchwork of grass. There are improved sections of smooth crushed limestone as well as original chunky ballast stretches. The last half mile to the north is cracked slate, making for a rather bumpy but fun mountain bike ride.
This picturesque rail trail follows a heavily forested route along the western border of Pennsylvania State Gamelands where Harvey's Run and Wolf Run meander and the deer and wild turkey roam. Wolf Run, a tributary of the West Branch Clarion River, is also a stocked trout stream.
With only one lightly travelled road crossing (Old Grade Road), around the Wolf Run Trail's midpoint, it's a quiet hiking and biking experience with a backcountry feel. However, US Route 219 is never far and parallels the trail for the most part. Along the way, trail users cross four bridges which span Harveys Run and Wolf Run. Several picnic tables strategically placed along the trail provide scenic spots for lunch along with excellent views of Wolf Run.
Because the trail travels on a slight uphill grade as it follows Wolf Run all the way north to Brockway, start your ride at the southern trailhead. That way, it's a nice downhill bicycle ride on the return trip.
Lumbering began in the Clarion River corridor in the early 1800s and continued to be an important industry in the area through the late nineteenth century. The Ridgway and Clearfield Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad was built in 1885 and ran for 27 miles from Ridgway to Falls Creek primarily to transport lumber and coal from the mills to markets. It also provided a popular passenger service between Ridgway and Falls Creek. The last train ran in 1968 and the tracks were removed in 1972.
In 1996 the Headwaters Charitable Trust acquired the right-of-way to the Wolf Run section and leased it to Washington Township in 2005. Today, the trail is a work in progress and is maintained by Tricounty Rails to Trails, a not-for-profit organization whose mission it is to create and maintain rail trails in Jefferson, Elk, and Clearfield counties.
Southern Trailhead: On State Route 830. From where Interstate 80 crosses SR 219 go 0.5 miles south on SR 219, then turn right onto SR 830. Travel .7 miles on SR 830 and look for the parking area on the right.
Middle: Parking is available near the middle of the trail at the intersection of 219 and Old Grade Road.point. Directly across from the access road to PA Game Lands #77 at Clear Run.
Northern Trailhead: West side of State Route 219, 3.3 miles South of the intersection of SR 219 and SR 28 in Brockway.
Cook Forest State Park
The 8,500-acre Cook Forest State Park in northwestern Pennsylvania is famous for its stands of old growth forest. Cook Forest’s The "Forest Cathedral" of towering white pines and hemlocks is a National Natural Landmark. Picnic tables along the Clarion River, rustic cabins and camping facilities with modern restroom and showers, public canoe launches and 13 miles of bike trails, make this the perfect "base camp".
Website: Cook Forest State Park
For more information
TriCounty Rails to Trails Association
Website: Tricounty Rails to Trails