Garocii Quarry Switchback Trail
Anyone know anything about this trail? I am going to be in the Ridgway/Brockway area next weekend and looking for some trails to checkout. I've spent alot of time in the past in this area and have hiked from the Clarion-Little Toby Rails to Trails up to the Garoccii quarry once (steep climb). I am seeking information on how to access this particular mtb trail.
I intend to call or stop in at Love's Canoe in Ridgway and inquire of Dave as to where the good rides are.
I am curious as well. I've ridden the rail trail from the clarion river to the park in Brockway. I did notice a piece of singletrack that started from the railtrail and the sign mentioned a quarry. I believe it was a few miles or so south of the river. Is this the trail you hiked? Could this be the same trail that was mentioned in the trail review? I venture up to St. Marys occasionaly for work, and would love to find an patch of singletrack for an evening ride.
I was up this past weekend and rode from Brockway down to the Clarion. On the way out I stopped at Love's in Ridgway to inquire about the switchback trail...
The trail sign at the crusher ruins is one and the same as the singletrack mtb trail...
Dave said to continue up the laurel run(?) road - beyond the gate at the CCC camp parking area (Portland Mills access lot). There are no markings, but he said to watch off to the right for a trail to break off the road. Just a little ways down the trail will be a small wooden arch bridge with steps up each side. Continue on the trail and it will wind around the quarry to the old steam engine. From there the trail breaks down over. There are two trails down over. One runs straight down from the steam engine to the crusher ruins - this runs beneath where the cable once was. There is another trail that switchbacks down to the crusher that was once used to transport supplies and crew from the crusher to the quarry. Dave recommended riding the switchbacks down cuz "the other one is much too steep".
This is the second time I've talked to Dave concerning the trail, the first was when i called him shortly after i started this post. Both times Dave urged me to not ride the trail in Turkey season, at least not until late afternoon. Apparently there have been some bad run- ins b/t bikers/hikers and the local turkey hunters....
I tried the quarry switchback trail on Monday. It was pretty brutal going up. I estimate I rode about 30% and hiked the rest. Once on top, I rode around a bit until I lost the trail. It doesn't seem to get used very much. The ride down was pretty exciting, arms were sore by the bottom. I don't regret going, but I'm not sure I would try it again.
On Tuesday I did a great ride to the southeast of St. Marys. It was located within the Elk and Moshannon forests, near the Wyckoff natural area. Trails.com refers to it as the Gore Vista trail. Probably a mix of 50/50 singletrack and grassy logging/fireroads. Only about 800 vertical feet within 10 miles. Some singletrack was fast, a lot was slow and technical with good amounts of rock. Only a couple of difficult rock gardens, most of the rock was spread out. I'm not a big fan of fireroads, but the remoteness and beauty of the place made it worthwile. Had to crawl over a couple of downed trees, not to bad but a couple were located within the fast sections of singletrack.
Saw a few deer and heard a rattlesnake that I woke up flying down a fireroad. I did not stop to say hi. All in all a good ride that I would highly recommend if you were in the area. It appears there are additional trails listed on Trails.com in the area that I may explore when I return.