Healthy Lifestyle; Cycling in PA

Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!

This past weekend, hubby and I went to Pittsburgh and rode the Steel City portion of the Great Allegheny Passage with my daughter Marla and her husband Tony. If you want some exercise and fun on a weekend, Rails to Trails is a great healthy lifestyle choice.

Marla and Tony rented bikes at Waterfront Bike Rental. We brought our bikes from home and Ian at the bike rental place was kind enough to pump up our tires to the correct pressure.

 

Cycling is a healthy way to see the city
View from the GAP Steel city Rails to Trails

The Great Allegheny Passage is a healthy way to see Pittsburgh!

This part of the trail is unique in that you are riding on a wooded trail. Rabbits and squirrels are peeking out from either side of the bike lane, but if you look left, you see the city in all it’s steel glory. Railroads run along beside the trail at some points and a remaining steel mill with fire belching from a pipe is visible in the clearing. You can also spot the back of Kennywood Park at one point. It’s truly a look at Pittsburgh from a totally different perspective. Of course you can’t do anything in Pittsburgh without crossing some bridges. We rode over train yards on bridges and over the Monongahela river.

healthy living
View of the city and steel mill from the trail

We started at Waterfront and rode to McKeesport which is 8 miles away. About 6 miles in, it started to rain. This was almost an hour before the forecast predicted. Since we were going to get wet either way, we elected to continue our ride to the end and then turn around to go back.

Healthy way to cross a bridge
You can’t cycle in Pittsburgh without crossing a bridge!

We almost made it to the end of the 8 mile mark when we heard thunder in the distance. At 7 3/4 miles, we decide to head back. Even though we were pretty squishy and sandy at the end of our ride, we all had fun and we’ll definitely do it again! Marla and Tony are thinking of getting their own bikes soon. There may be a lot more Pittsburgh rides in our future. Yay!

A healthy way to watch trains
View from the train bridge

If you go…

Take your camera
Expect a few hills (made by the train bridges)
Prepare for rain (we didn’t!)

What are your favorite healthy ways to see a new place?  Leave a comment below.

 

Healthy fun day
Drowned rats, but we had fun!

Rails to Trails Ride in Poe Paddy State Park

Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!


My hubby and I have been spending a lot of time riding our hybrid bikes since we purchased them for each other for Christmas. We are exploring places we’ve never even heard of before. Did you know there is a Rails to Trails in Poe Paddy State Park? This is a place where I picnicked and camped as a child. Many years ago, there was a railroad that hauled lumber out of this wooded area. A whole lumbering community of about 400 grew up around this railroad.

This is a short Rails to Trails of a little over 3 miles. It’s a little hard to find, but it’s worth the drive and the search. It’s kind of a hidden gem if you like hiking or recreational biking.

Poe Paddy is a small state park in Centre County. It’s a primitive campsite for tents and small campers. Park in the Big Poe parking lot and walk or bike up through the camping area. You’ll need to ride on the camp road for about a half a mile. You’ll then take a hard right onto the actual trail.

The trail is gravel and packed earth. It’s not as smooth as some of the larger trails we have biked on, but it’ truly a path through the Pennsylvania mountains. Pens Creek, where some of the best fly fishing in the country happens in the Spring, meanders below the trail.


A special feature on this trail is the tunnel that was blasted right through the mountain. It has had extensive work done to it. The last time my husband had seen it, it was falling down and caved in. We met a man who was camping nearby who told us the renovation was a two million dollar operation. If you ride the trail, make sure you bring some kind of flashlight. The tunnel is not lighted and even though it’s short, it gets pretty dark in there! Also make sure you talk or sing while inside it. The acoustics are great!


The trail would be just the right length for a hike. Since it was a pretty short bike ride, we explored a little bit and found another short trail where we rode until we got to a washed out bridged over Penns Creek. We also rode through the campsites to take a look around.

To round out the day, we drove the four miles to Poe Valley State Park, This is a bigger state park complete with a bathhouse, lake, picnic and camping areas as well as a concession stand. We took a short walk to the breast of the dam and had lunch at the concession stand, then headed home. It was a great day to get out into the woods, explore a new Rails to Trails (for us) and get a little fresh air and exercise.


If you go..
Take some sort of flash light
Use some bug spray
Take pictures
Talk and sing in the tunnel

Healthy Travel: Rails to Trails in Wellsboro, PA

When my hubby and I travel, we like to plan trips that will include fun fitness activities.  For our anniversary, we planned a trip to Wellsboro, PA. We wanted to bike ride the Rails to Trails that runs through the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

Step 1 Book a place to stay.  I looked at a few bed and breakfast places, but they were booked for the weekend that we wanted to go.  Next, I searched for hotels and found the Penn-Wells Hotel.  It is right downtown,  It has been an operating hotel since the early 1800s.  It looked like it had some old fashioned charm and history.  We were able to get a 3 room suite for under $130 a night, thanks to my AARP discount.  If you are not comfy unless everything is modern, this would not be the place for you. The Pennwells Lodge is right down the block though and it is a totally updated hotel.

Step 2 Rent bikes for our ride.  We reserved two mountain bikes through Pine Creek Outfitters. They offered a package where you started at 1 p.m. from their location and they would pick you up 19 miles down the trail in a town called Blackwell at 5 p.m. The bikes and pick-up cost $35 per person.  I would call that price NICE!

Step 3 Meals.  We arrived Friday night and found the hotel full of high school homecoming alumni.  The lounge was full, so we headed across the street to Timeless Destination.  This was a great place to relax and unwind from our week and look forward to our ride.  The food was great and Curtis, our waiter was entertaining! We found out when we checked in that breakfast on Saturday morning and brunch Sunday morning was included with the price of the hotel.  Sweet! Both meals were very good.  We made reservations for dinner at our hotel for Saturday night.  This turned out to be an Oktoberfest buffet.  It was equally delicious and we tried a lot of food we had never had before. I’ll tell the rest of the story in pictures:

The restaurant we enjoyed Friday night.

 

The Penn Wells Hotel: 19th century charm.

 

Starting our ride in the PA Grand Canyon.

 

Starting up the Turkey Path

 

View on the way up…

 

View at the top!

 

Lunch on the trail, courtesy of Subway. It snowed while we were here (only a little).

 

Riding on the railroad bridge.

 

Last stop in Blackwell. We got hot chocolate while we waited for Pine Creek Outfitters to pick us up. 22 miles today!

 

If you think you would like a trip like this and have any questions, leave a comment below!

 

Fitness on the Go In Lynchburg, VA

Do you feel like your fitness routine has to stay at home when you travel? The answer is no! With a little planning, you can explore a city and stay fit in the process. In September, my hubby and I attended the wedding of our friend’s son in Lynchburg, VA. We left on Friday after a half day of work. I got four workouts in for the week before we left. My goal is to get 5 to 6 workouts in each week. A few days before we left, hubby did some research online and found there was a Rails to Trails river walking/biking path right behind our hotel. Yay. Our hotel, rented bikes for only $5 per hour, double yay. Since the wedding wasn’t taking place until 5:30 pm, we had all morning to explore Lynchburg and take a ride on the river walk.

Our hotel. It used to be a shoe factory. It was very unique!
Our hotel. It used to be a shoe factory. It was very unique!

 

Lynchburg is called “the city on the hill”.  Even though it’s a small city, we got a lot of exercise just walking around and exploring first thing in the morning.  Bring a good pair of sneakers with you so you can enjoy your walk.  We found a cool place to eat lunch called Jefe.  It was a taco place.  They had all kinds of tacos and tequila to sample.

After our walk we rented our bikes and headed out for our ride on the river walk.  We had an absolutely gorgeous day.  The six mile ride we took followed the James River and crossed a bridge to an island where people enjoy camping.  The river walk was paved.  There are plans to extend the trail to stretch for 22 miles and stretch all the way to Appomattox Courthouse, where General Lee surrendered to General Grant.  Fun fact:  It’s a town, not an actual courthouse!

Here’s a video I shot live for Periscope while we stopped on the bridge over the river.  Hopefully, this will give you the nudge to try this ride if you visit Lynchburg.

After lunch, some more walking, a little rest and a refreshing shower at our hotel, it was time to head for the wedding.  It was on the 17th hole of a beautiful golf course where the couple met while working together one summer.  The reception was on the lawn of the club house, which looked like it was once a plantation house.  It was the perfect southern reception, and we didn’t have to feel guilty about the food and drink because we got our exercise!

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