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Titusville Herald (Newspaper) - June 17, 1982, Titusville, Pennsylvania PAGE TWOTUB TITUSVILLE Titusvllle Pa Thursday Junfe 171982 10 Maes of New Hi For Use in Ml ITS A LONG LONG TRAIL Ray Gerard Center It shows Oil Creek heavy Oil retired steel laboratory technician and James Creek State Park boundaries straight and BStevenson publisher of The Titusville Herald angled the paved bicycle trail and hold Gerards map of Oil Creek Valley from Gerards new hiking trail Titusville 14 miles downstream to Petroleum TAKING A BREAK Ray Gerard leans against a tree with a painted blaze showing above his hand His constant trailmaking companion German shepherd Satch sits and pants Publisher Jim Stevenson leans on cane In background is one of the large windfalls which will be removed before the trail is opened for hiking and skiing Here it follows an old logging road Trail Ready State Park City Man Makes Dream Reality Through Two Work BACK TO THE CAR Publisher Stevenson and trailblazer Gerard return to their car after a short jaunt on the part of the trail which is blazed and ready for hikers By JAMES B STEVENSON Publisher The Titusvllle Herald The most beautiful hiking trail in northwestern Pennsylvania possibly in all of Pennsylvania will soon be en joyed by hundreds and over the years by thousands of people It is a trail created physically by one man from his own dreams Raymond W Gerard 63yearold retired UniversalCyclops Specialty Steel Division employee who served 29Vi years with that company is the man He lives at 214 N First St He has been working on it dailyfor nearly two years Site of Trail The site is OilCreek State Park regarded by many as of almost primeval beauty Most of the trail is along the ridges that overlook the deep shaded glaciercreated gorge of Oil Creek Valley The trail will extend from Drake Well Park on the south edge of Titusville nearly to Petroleum Center a trail distance of about 14 miles Airline distance is seven miles On the east side of Oil Creek it will be high above the Conrail tracks On the west side it will dip down to but run mostly above the bicycle trail from Drake Park to Petroleum Center 10 Miles Ready Right now 10 miles are ready for hikers starting at a point just over the railroad grade at the northeast edge of Drake Park The rest of the trail is either blazed and open or just blazed or simply flagged the course mark ed by flags for trailmakers to blaze and clear Total distance of the com pleted trail will be about 37 miles The Commonwealth of Penn sylvania through the Department of Environmental Resources has given its nod of approval and has con tributed a little toward the project the paintfor the blazes on the trees Four spectacular hanging water falls on small cold and clear streams that pour from the tops of the ridges down precipitous hillsides into Oil Creek will reward hikers Two are on the east side of Oil Creek and two on the west One ofthe latter has already charmed thousands of users of the popular and blacktopped bike trailItL is about three miles south of the start of the bike trail in Titusville and is just north of Miller Farm A clearing has been made around the falls and a picnic table provided by the Depart ment of Environmental Resources which operates the park The loveliest of the falls is nearly in accessible today but Gerards trail will lead to it in the woods high above and northwest of Pioneer YearRound Use The trail has been designed for yearround use hiking in the open months and crosscountry skiing in the winter A few little bridges across small streams in the hillside ravines will be needed for skiing No vehicles of any kind will be per mitted anywhere on the trail Gerard has received encourage ment from William Leech superintendent of Oil Creek State Park and Vance Packard curator of Drake Well Museum Oil Creek StatePark is the result of a tractordriven wagon tour down the valley about 20 years ago for directors of the Western Pennsylvania Con servancy the savethelandand water organization headquartered in Pittsburgh Virginia Hunt of Titusvillewas the driver and guide The Conservancy party included Dr Maurice Goddard then secretary of the Department of Forests and Waters and later in the same capacity with the successor agency the Department of Environmental Resources Dr Goddard was delighted with the valley During the tour he said that it should become a state park The Conservancy bought the first tract of land Then Forests and Waters took over the ball and ac quired all the other parcels Swinging Bridge In addition to the small bridges across the hillside runs the state will be asked to pay for a swinging pedestrian bridge across Oil Creek connecting the east bank with the west where once stood the Boughton Acid works Acid to clarify kerosene was made there for Oil Region The bridge will be on the exact site using the same abutments and pier locations of a bridge which crossed there many years ago A small wooden catwalk hung from steel cables The bridge was walkable until the late 1920s when it fell into the creek The location is about a mile south of DrakeParkVisible from it a few yards downstream will be the re mains of an old dam the only dam on the creek from its source to its mouth The valley floor is about 1150 feet above sea level Theridges have an elevation of about 1525 feet the highest point being 1600 feet Gerard discovered traces of many old logging roads and railroad grades The most interesting logging road is a switchback which drops from the east ridge in several backandforth sw ings to the site of the Boughton bridge Today 10 miles of the trail are hikeable from Drake Park to the dirt road which descends from Shamburg to the creek at Miller Farm From there to Petroleum Center four miles are Bagged The west side section is flagged to the bike path bridge across Oil Creekat Pioneer which is sup ported byold railroad bridge piers and tothe big waterfall on the hill above Miller Farm No Valley Road Only theConrail tracks and the bike trail run lengthwise ofWe valley There is no valley road The valley is crossed eastwest by roads at two points at Miller Farm and Petroleum Centre and by the bike bridge at pioneer The trail crosses eight small runs that tumble down the hillside into Oil Creek They are Boughton Run Toy Run Jones Run Plum Dungeon Riin Gregg Run Cow Runs Bull Run arid Hemlock Run Cowand Bull were the sites of much oil well drilling 120 years ago and photographs of them are in the Mather collection at Drake Museum V Overnight camping is not permitted in state parks but an exception will be sought for Oil Creek State Park Backpackers will need a few locations on which to rest their weary bones The state will be asked to provide them Gerardsdates are Began work on trail in June 1980 retired from Cyclops on July 311980 The mileshe has traveled inOU Creek valley are uncountable The only living thing which has traveled farther on the trail is Satch Gerards German Shepherd companion Salch doubles back once in a while v CAN YOU IDENTIFY fellow is a notorious misser of trains This is the final in the series of n entries in the photo identifica tion contest sponsored by the Titusvllle Community History TCH project All photos will be on1 display at Benson Memorial Library from now until the entry deadline Monday June 28 at 6 pm Please send all entries to Ben son Library First prize is a Canon 35 mm camera with case Second prize is a Kodak Electra 200 camera outfit donated by Fishers Big Wheel Third prize is a book on photography donated by the library and honorable mention prizes are copies of the Titusville Evening Courier Arraigned A Titusville area youth was one of three males arraigned recently before District Magistrate Estelle Reisner at Meadville Mark Alan Bloom19 of Titusville RD 5 was arrested May 28 on Washington Street in Meadville He was cited for underage drinking driving at unsafe speed and traffic control signal violation Bloom in tends to waive a preliminary hearing into court Park Avenue Closed Today Titusville police said Wednesday that Park Avenue between Perry and First streets will he closed today The street is closed to enable personnel from fii land West Corp to install a new water line Rolling Stones Give Concert PARIS The Rolling Stones attracted a total of 140000 fans at two Paris concerts marking the rock groups first ap pearance in France since 1976 Among the estimated 70000 people on hand for opening night Sunday at the Auteuii stadium was French Cultural Minister Jack Lang Dogwood Trees 6 to 7 ft Reg Now Only S299S 8to10ft Reg Now Only Ffflit Treetf Reg Now Only Vines Blueberry Bushes Red and Black Raspberry Canes Oil Creek Valley feseries We DeliverPhone5897334 Rt 27 Between Tihsville ud Pleasutville HOURS Mon Fri 9 to 8 Sot 9 to 6 Sun 12 to 4 Save up to S130 on your choice of Lane Action Recliners Over 30 recliners in stock Mon 99 TUBS 95 Wed 95 Thurs 95 Fri 99 Sat 9noon f FURNITURE 244 Water Street Titusville Pa ;