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Stony Valley Rail -Trail Professional Review and Guide
"In addition to the historic Stony Valley Railroad, this ride also passes by the ruins of the old ghost town of Rausch Gap. Between 1828 and 1910, more than 1,000 people lived here. The town slowly disbanded over the next 50 years as the natural resources that sustained the town dwindled. By the mid 1940s the strip mines had proved unproductive and the last bit of lumber was felled from the ridge. The Pennsylvania Game Commission then purchased the lands and soon after converted the abandoned rail grade into one of the nation’s first rail-trails. The trail leaves from the game commission lot and heads up the Stony Creek Valley. Many side trails on the right offer places to drop a line and catch a trout or two. As the grade continues on, the woods envelop you and provide opportunities to see some wildlife. The turn-around point at Rausch Gap is a great place for exploration. H"
--Rob Ginieczki, Mountain Biking Pennsylvania (Falcon Guides).
Comming in from the Stony Creek trailhead its up hill all the way to Rausch Gap. After that its downhill again until Gold Mine Rd. Rausch Gap was aprox 14 miles fron the Stony Creek trailhead and its 3.3 miles from Gold Mine RD. The trail was easy to ride, mostly cinder and crushed stone. There are alot of side trails and another railgrade spur to keep things interesting from the actual trail. Overall a great ride, especially the downhill return trip.
Trail was mostly uphill from the start. Large rocks;largely overgrown. Definitely NOT your typical PA rail trail!
Do not advise following directions after visiting the Dinosaur Rock. Path's are grown over and marked for foot traffic only. There were many fallen trees, making biking impossible. In addition, there was quite a bit of deep mud and stream crossing. I recommend you backtrack from the Dino rock. The ride was pretty good up till that point.
This was a great trail if you like to have a goal to reach. Our goal was to reach the Rausch Gap Ghost town at the end of the trail. It was very interesting along the way. There are lots of ferns, trees, glacier boulders(hence the name Stoney Valley Rail Trail). A word of warning, be prepared for the ride to take up to 6 hours. It took 4 hours to reach the ghost town and 2 to get back(it is more downhill on the way back thank goodness). The story of the ghost town is interesting. It was a coal mining town and timbering town at one time. Due to the depletion of the natural resources the town only survived from around 1825 to 1910.
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