This scenic trail runs along the
Clarion River and Little Toby Creek on the former
Ridgway and Clearfield branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The
line was built in 1885 and ran from Ridgway through Carman, Croyland,
Blue Rock, Carrier, Brockwayville (now Brockway), Lanes Mills,
McMinn's Summit and ended at Falls Creek (near Dubois). Over the years many
of towns along the route faded away and the last train ran on
November 2 of 1968. The tracks were removed in 1972 and nature
began to reclaim the line. Ridgway resident and railroad
historian Bob Imhof has written an excellent history of the
line which can viewed by
|Town of Carrier and
Work started on the Clarion/Little Toby Trail
in 1992 with the goal of converting 18 miles of the former line
between Brockway and Ridgway into a trail. It took nine years,
$1.8 million and thousands of volunteer hours to complete the trail.
The trail is open year round for non-motorized use (bicycling
and walking) and in the winter it is an excellent cross country skiing
trail. The trail is surfaced with a compacted fine gravel and
is fairly level with the exception of one very short hill one mile
south of Ridgway. From the Ridgway trailhead (mile 0) the
trail follows the Clarion River, an excellent trout fishing stream,
for approximately 8 miles. At mile 2.6 the trail runs along
State Route 949 (Portland Mills Rd)
for 800 feet to use the roadway
bridge across Island Run. At mile 6 the trail runs alongside
the tracks of the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railway for 1.8 miles.
Please stay off the tracks as this is an active rail line. The
trail leaves the B&P tracks and runs along Little Toby Creek at
mile 7.7. Along this portion of the trail are signs marking
where small towns once thrived. At mile 9.7 are the ruins of
the Garavil Stone Crusher, built in 1905, which was part of a
The Blue Rock Swinging Bridge.
operation. The well known Blue Rock Swinging Bridge
is located at mile 12.2. This suspension bridge is anchored by the abutments of a railroad bridge which once crossed Little
Toby Creek. The bridge was built by volunteers from "Friends of the
Toby" and the Future Farmers of America. Please use caution on
the bridge and cross at your own risk. The trail ends at the
Brockway trailhead at mile 18.
Anglers often use the trail to get to
their favorite spots.
Along the trail you can expect to see lots of
wildlife, including ducks, herons, deer, wild turkeys and even an
occasional porcupine. Both the Clarion River and the Little Toby are
trout streams and fishermen can often be seen casting their lines or
riding their bikes with waders on. Most of this trail is on
Game Commission land so it is recommended that you wear orange
during the fall & spring hunting seasons.