Ives Run COE Park near Tioga Pennsylvania is one of our favorite COE parks. The sites are huge with full hook ups and 50 amp service. It is also the most expensive COE park we have been to as well with rates of 40 per night ($20 with our America the Beautiful senior card).
This is a great park for biking and walking all around the park. We did a nearly 3 mile walk within the park with great views of the lake all while walking up the dirt road to the primitive camping loop. In addition its location is close to lots of other hiking and biking places.
One such place we visited was Hills Creek State Park. We planned to hike the three mile Lakeside Trail around the lake during the eclipse. From this location the eclipse was said to cover 73% of the sun so we thought it would be fun to hike during it. We didn't purchase viewing glasses as we enjoy looking down rather than up as the shadows through the trees onto the trail yields perfect crescents during the eclipse.
We proceeded to where we thought the trail started but had a hard time staying on the trail as it was poorly marked. The highlight was meeting campers Dan and Donna who were donning their eclipse glasses to watch the big event. We chatted with them a bit and they even shared their glasses with us so we could view it as well. I had been content with simply watching the crescent shaped shadows from the eclipse on the road as we walked around the park during the eclipse but it was an added treat to share the big event with these nice folks.
Our last afternoon, since the predicted rain was holding off, we drove over to the small town of Ansonia and spent about thirty minutes driving the roads looking for the Darling Run Parking Access Lot for the Pine Creek Rail Trail. We read about this 64 mile hike and bike trail that meanders along Pine Creek at the bottom of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Again it was hard to find but our persistence paid off.
Knowing that impending bad weather was steadily approaching the area we decided to ride in about 5 miles and then back in an effort to avoid any severe weather. We were under a tornado watch until 9:00 pm. The trail was composed of very fine crushed black rock making the surface nearly as good as pavement, What an excellent trail!
We were happy to discover what a scenic bike ride this trail provides. Every bend gave us a glimpse of the clear flowing Pine Creek. Geese were frolicking in the creek and I am sure if we were on this trail early in the morning we would see a lot of wildlife as well.
We started at the 8.5 mile mark of the trail and rode to the 14 mile marker before turning back to our car. We would love to ride this entire trail and one could easily do it since Pine Creek Outfitters (their website is where I lifted the trail map) has a shuttle system that can be hired to drive your car to the other end and have it waiting for you.
We did find an interesting brewery while we were driving around the town of Mansfield touring Mansfield University which was founded in 1857. The brewery was named Yorkholo Brewing Company and even though their beer wasn’t all that great they had an interesting “Mug Club.” Those who joined their club would receive a handmade ceramic mug made by a local artisan. The mugs were pretty cool and with them all lined up on the wall it made for a pretty backdrop to the bar.
Luckily the weather was not nearly as severe as expected so we thankfully be able get a good nights rest prior to our travel day to our next stop near Syracuse NY.
NOTE: We leave over to our next stop near Syracuse NY in Brewerton then on to stops in Ogdensburg and East Chazy NY to make it through Labor Day.