One of my travel goals every year is to ride a new bike trail with my family.  Because of the popularity of bike trails, particularly the rail-trail variety, I’ve been able to accomplish that goal for all of the last 10 years.

Over the weekend, yet another new trail was added to my family’s list.  About a two hour drive from Cleveland is the Allegheny River Trail, a wonderful former railroad line turned into a meandering bike trail along the Allegheny River.  Flat and paved, it was perfect.

Even though there are lots of trees, the trail was fairly exposed to the sun during a significant part of the afternoon ride.  But while it was a hot ride that July afternoon, the cool view of the river was inviting.

The history of the region is interesting. It was the site of an oil boom in Western Pennsylvania during the 1800s.  John Wilkes Booth was an early but ultimately unsuccessful investor.  But others made a fortune.  You can see some old oil wells on parts of the trail, some abandoned for over 100 years.

One of the nice features of the trail is the Belmar Bridge which spans the river and provides a nice surface to walk or ride.

Finding interesting trails to ride is one of the happiest parts of my summers.  And a trail with a story is a real bonus.

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