On Sunday, I decided to check out another local rail trail, the Susquehanna Warrior Trail. I’ve been wanting to explore this trail since we saw it on our return trip from Indiana back in March, and later, found its Web site. I found conflicting information online, but I expected the trail to be 10-16 miles, one way. I had to drive about 20 minutes to reach this trail. It’s within biking distance, but there’s no good way to get there by bicycle that I could see. Here’s a map of my ride.
View Susquehanna Warrior Trail 06/28/2009 in a larger map
I parked by the Garden Drive-In movie theater near West Nanticoke, PA, and got ready to ride. There were some rather ominous clouds, so I braced myself for possible rain.
The trail runs between US Route 11 (a fairly busy highway), and the Susquehanna River. At times, it runs right alongside the road, but at times, it goes into the woods and closer to the river. I was hoping for some nice river views.
The scenery from the trail varies but can be generalized as similar to many scenes here in Pennsylvania: a strange combination of run-down industrial buildings and wonderful mountains. It’s sad and beautiful, all at the same time.
The wildflowers were in full effect.
Some less-than-friendly signs had me wondering if this was a safe area. First were the STAY ON TRAIL. KEEP MOVING signs. (Why?)
Next, we have, thanks to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, the S.C.I. Retreat (medium security correctional institution).
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections – S.C.I. Retreat
And finally, a firing range.
Views of the river were few and far between. I’m sure there would be some nice views during winter or early spring, when the leaves are off the trees. I did enjoy some nice wooded areas and clearings.
After a while, I reached the town of Shickshinny. This is a small, run-down town. I arrived and caught a glimpse of a military funeral, just in time to have the 21-gun salute startle me. Around this time, it started raining.
Soon, I came to the PPL Riverlands Park. I had only gone 7 or 8 miles at this point. I saw a small trail down to the river and rode down to look around.
I got back on the Susquehanna Warrior Trail, but reached an impasse in just a couple of minutes. The trail continued, but it was waterlogged. I rode a little bit to see if it would dry out. No such luck.
Not convinced the trail ended here, I rode around a bit on some gravel roads until I reached US Route 11. I rode down the road to a bridge to see if the Susquehanna Warrior Trail continued beyond the bridge. I could see the trail below, but it was in worse shape than the last section I looked at. Alas. I took in some nice views before heading back.
I was a little disappointed that I wouldn’t get to ride as many miles as I’d hoped. And I just wasn’t that impressed with the trail. There were a few beautiful areas, but most of it was nothing special. It started raining harder, so I put the camera away for a while … until I took a side road I discovered to a boating access point that was very pretty.
It was an enjoyable ride, and the rail-trail provided a pleasant way of riding some easy miles. But I only got to ride a little over 17 miles. I was hoping for closer to 25. Was it worth driving to this trail? Yes, it was worthwhile to ride it once, but I’m not sure I need to do it again.