The highlight of this ride is undoubtedly the Lower Trail a 17 mile off-road (crushed limestone) bike trail that follows the route of the Main Line Canal tow-path (and parallels the Franklinstown branch of the Juniata River), which operated in the mid 1800s, leading up to the Allegheny Portage (to the west). This trail provides another example of the gentle grade biking that surprises many visitors to this part of Pennsylvania. The trail name rhymes with "flower" and honors the the memory of the late trail's benefactor, T. Dean Lower.
After the end of the canal era, the Pennsylvania railroad took over this alignment, which was only abandoned in 1979. The town of Williamsburg, near the middle of the trail, provides one of the few opportunities for food during this segment, though water and rest room facilities are located at different stations on the trail. The roads leading to the west end of the Lower Trail from Hollidaysburg are interesting, quiet, and relatively flat. The rural roads leading from the east end of the Lower Trail (in the town of Alexandria) into Huntingdon are spectacular, with mountain views, farms perched on steep hillsides, and one very steep climb through a heavily forested region before dropping down into Huntingdon. Home to Juniata College, Huntingdon has multiple food and lodging opportunities.
Rothrock Outfitters in Huntingdon PA provides bike and kayak rentals, along with sales and repair services, and guided tours. The Huntingdon County Visitor Bureau has some good information, and is actively promoting biking, mainly mountain biking around Raystown Lake.
54.262 km / 33.717 mi
316 m / 1,038 ft
416 m / 1,366 ft
347 m / 1,138 ft