Repost from a few years ago. At the time CJ was my four footed hiking partner. He loved exploring new trails with me. He is missed but I’m sure he’s enjoying hiking the Rainbow Bridge.
I continue to seek out new trails and places to explore in Pennsylvania. Today, CJ and I ventured off for our first hike on the Allegheny Portage Railroad, also known as the APRR. We hiked a portion of the 6 to 10 trail and will be returning soon to hike the Foot of Ten trail. The trail head begins at a parking location on Dry Run Road. This location is equipped with a few picnic tables and a bathroom before entering the trail.
The Allegheny Portage Railroad was converted to a National Park and turned into trails that make for some easy hiking the first 4.5 miles. The trail is wide, clean and covered in lime shale which also makes this a great biking path. It makes a gradual climb up the mountain along a ridge line with the mountain wall towering above you on the left and a fairly steep drop to your right. After the first 2.5 miles you cross over Old Rt. 22. Make sure to pay close attention as crossing this road can be a challenge. Drivers tend to speed in this area and the crossing is on a curve leaving on coming traffic not visible. The next 2.0 miles brings you to Muleshoe Bridge where the trail turns to the left and changes into a hiking trail only. The trail takes a steep climb up the mountain past Skew Arch Bridge and to the park’s visitor center located in Gallitzin at the US Rt 22 Exit.
Today CJ and I only hiked the 4.5 miles in and then back out. I’ve opted to hike the more difficult trail on my own soon, thereby completing the whole trail. For now CJ and I are enjoying a well deserved afternoon of rest. 9 miles is what CJ & I hiked today. He led the whole time and never let up until the last 50 yards from the car where he stopped and looked at me as to say; “I can’t go on.” I picked him up and carried him the last steps to a shady spot where he laid down and quickly fell asleep for a short nap. He is a tried and true hiking partner and a faithful friend. We plan on returning to the APRR again soon to see what other adventures this trail holds for us. For now, today was the onset of fall colors and discovering historic ruins from the old railroad.
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site is located in southwestern Pennsylvania approximately 12 miles west of Altoona. Today’s park covers 1249 acres. The main unit contains the Summit Level Visitor Center, the historic Lemon House, Engine House #6 Exhibit Shelter, the Skew Arch Bridge, picnic area and hiking trails. The Staple Bend Tunnel unit is located approximately 4 miles east of Johnstown, PA.
The Portage Railroad traversed the Allegheny Mountains between Hollidaysburg and Johnstown, Pennsylvania, connecting the Eastern and Western Divisiions of the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal. The mountains represented a formidable obstacle in early transportation routes. The inclines and planes of the Allegheny Portage Railroad provided a unique engineering solution for transporting the canal boats across the mountains.
Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS is located in Blair and Cambria Counties at the junction of the Appalachian Plateaus and Ridge and Valley Provinces in southwestern Pennsylvania. This area is characterized by high, rounded ridges and valleys divided by streams. The park extends linearly from the southeast facing escarpment that forms the eastern edge of the plateau region, known as the Allegheny Front, to the summit of the Cresson Ridge in the Allegheny Mountains.