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Author Topic: noelbotevera travels!  (Read 6798 times)

noelbotevera

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noelbotevera travels!
« on: May 02, 2020, 01:36:57 PM »

On Tuesday May 12th I'm planning to travel to Lock Haven to start driving PA 120, generally staying north of I-80. Might be able to stretch this into a 2 day trip, making sure we return to Chambersburg (South-central, Susquehanna Valley) sometime before 8 PM. Some questions I have:

-Any noteworthy restaurants/state parks/roads? (in terms of counties I'll definitely get Cameron) This is after quarantine orders end, so restaurants should be open by then.
-Gas availability? Apparently PA 44 is sparse on gas (one thread, "longest distance between gas stations in your state", states a 56 mile gap).
« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 02:48:32 PM by noelbotevera »
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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2020, 02:35:19 PM »

You do realize that the stay-at-home orders are only ending in the part of the state you are planning to drive to.  It will still be in effect where both you and I live.

Yes, I do plan to take a short trip once the Harrisburg area is out of the stay-at-home order, but restaurants will still be takeout/delivery only, and I will most definitely be limiting stops.
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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2020, 03:02:57 PM »

-Any noteworthy restaurants/state parks/roads? (in terms of counties I'll definitely get Cameron) This is after quarantine orders end, so restaurants should be open by then.

In other states, restaurants have been slow to reopen for indoor service even after they get the green light to do so.

But if you reach Emporium (county seat of Cameron County), you'll find a Sheetz gas station, with an MTO (made-to-order) takeout food counter in the store. No room for sit-down eating (it's among the smallest Sheetz stations I've ever seen), but not so small it can't offer MTO.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2020, 03:23:03 PM »

74/171FAN: Yeah, I've heard Franklin County extended their orders. Oh well.

-Any noteworthy restaurants/state parks/roads? (in terms of counties I'll definitely get Cameron) This is after quarantine orders end, so restaurants should be open by then.

In other states, restaurants have been slow to reopen for indoor service even after they get the green light to do so.

But if you reach Emporium (county seat of Cameron County), you'll find a Sheetz gas station, with an MTO (made-to-order) takeout food counter in the store. No room for sit-down eating (it's among the smallest Sheetz stations I've ever seen), but not so small it can't offer MTO.
So by "reopening restaurants", does this generally mean they'll reopen for delivery/takeout and then dine in? Or reopen for dine-in given a couple weeks?

In either case that Sheetz sounds like a good spot to eat if we're still in Cameron County at night, so thanks.
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74/171FAN

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2020, 03:48:01 PM »

Quote
So by "reopening restaurants", does this generally mean they'll reopen for delivery/takeout and then dine in? Or reopen for dine-in given a couple weeks?

The link I referenced in my earlier post indicated that dining in (including outdoor seating) will not be allowed until the green phase.  Having said that, there is also a Sheetz in St. Mary's that I stopped at when I clinched PA 120 last summer. 
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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2020, 03:59:26 PM »

74/171FAN: Yeah, I've heard Franklin County extended their orders. Oh well.

-Any noteworthy restaurants/state parks/roads? (in terms of counties I'll definitely get Cameron) This is after quarantine orders end, so restaurants should be open by then.

In other states, restaurants have been slow to reopen for indoor service even after they get the green light to do so.

But if you reach Emporium (county seat of Cameron County), you'll find a Sheetz gas station, with an MTO (made-to-order) takeout food counter in the store. No room for sit-down eating (it's among the smallest Sheetz stations I've ever seen), but not so small it can't offer MTO.
So by "reopening restaurants", does this generally mean they'll reopen for delivery/takeout and then dine in? Or reopen for dine-in given a couple weeks?

In either case that Sheetz sounds like a good spot to eat if we're still in Cameron County at night, so thanks.

Generally, restaurants are allowed to be open now for takeout/delivery already.  When restaurants are allowed to have indoor seating, most states are requiring that they can max out at 25% - 50% of capacity, and keeping tables at least 6 feet apart.  In some restaurants, they would lose money even if every table was filled, so you'll find many that will continue to only allow take out and delivery.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2020, 06:25:55 PM »

Okay, now I can write about this.

I left Chambersburg at 8:15 AM and arrived at Lock Haven at 11, using the usual route; US 30 to PA 75, through Cowans Gap State Park, to US 522 to US 322. Diverged a bit to head up PA 144 to PA 26, PA 64 (clinch), and PA 150. Had brunch at a food truck in Mill Hall (near Lock Haven); water, ice cream sandwich, fries, sausage w/onions and peppers. Not half bad and filling for the price of $11. I began my clinch of PA 120 to Ridgway (made sure to hop on US 220 briefly for a full clinch).

I saw few cars throughout my clinch except through Emporium and west of St. Marys. In one instance, I did not pass a car once in 30 miles, between Sinnemahoning and Emporium. Notable about Cameron County is that I believe there are only two traffic lights in the county, both in Emporium: PA 120 at Broad Street and PA 120 at PA 46. Notable about Emporium are the century old houses (along PA 120 at least), and old pedestrian signals. Anyways, PA 120 was definitely worth the drive though I did skip out on Hyner View State Park.

PA 120 ended at US 219 and I traversed US 219 north to US 6. I took US 6 east to Kinzua Bridge State Park, arriving at 3 PM. Told my father and brother some history about the park and witnessed the beautiful wreckage known as the Kinzua Viaduct. The view atop the remaining viaduct was equally breathtaking, though looking down isn't exactly confidence inducing. After capturing some photos, I had a steep climb to the valley floor, grabbing some photos of the remains and even climbing on parts of it (I didn't dare walk out, at the risk of the wreckage collapsing or people seeing me). I crossed Kinzua Creek and the trail only got muddier and muddier, but nonetheless I managed to make it halfway up the other side before the trail devolved into loose rock. Convenient, because it started snowing (!) at that point which meant it was time to return.

After a bathroom break we left Kinzua Bridge at 5, making our to PA 59 east, which became US 6. There wasn't enough time to cover PA 44 from NY 417 -- I think PA 44 enters NY, according to field signage -- to US 6. I settled for the section between Coudersport and Jersey Shore, embarking along the longest gas gap in PA: 71 miles. Still enough gas, after a refuel in Emporium. PA 44 reminded me of Skyline Drive in Virginia but woodier, though what made it special was Cherry Springs State Park. Unbeknownst to me, the park was for stargazing and I saw nary a cherry tree. In either case, I consider PA 44 a better drive than PA 120 (less traffic, more curves, arguably more scenic) although it loses out on small town charm.

Dinner was at a taqueria in Jersey Shore -- not the best tacos but we wanted anything at this point. Passing through some charming architecture, I continued my travels on PA 44 to US 15, taking us through Selinsgrove and the CSVT (looks about ready to open) to I-81 and home at 10:30.

An epic trip considering it was a single day, and I'll be back in northern PA next week.
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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2020, 08:16:23 PM »

In either case, I consider PA 44 a better drive than PA 120 (less traffic, more curves, arguably more scenic) although it loses out on small town charm.


I've driven both and I tend to agree.  PA 120 has a few cliffside sections that are spectacular...but the forest of PA 44 is as remote as PA gets.  You were probably a little early for the mountain laurel blooms on PA 44...it's a special drive.  It's a close call which one I like better.

It's a shame you couldn't get to Hyner View State Park (off PA 120) - the view is outstanding. 
PA 414 east of PA 44 is also wonderfully remote.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2020, 08:52:32 PM »

In either case, I consider PA 44 a better drive than PA 120 (less traffic, more curves, arguably more scenic) although it loses out on small town charm.


I've driven both and I tend to agree.  PA 120 has a few cliffside sections that are spectacular...but the forest of PA 44 is as remote as PA gets.  You were probably a little early for the mountain laurel blooms on PA 44...it's a special drive.  It's a close call which one I like better.

It's a shame you couldn't get to Hyner View State Park (off PA 120) - the view is outstanding. 
PA 414 east of PA 44 is also wonderfully remote.
Only issue with PA 120 is that traffic seems kinda heavy (on that day it was for me) from Ridgway to St. Marys. PA 44 has little traffic and both mountaintop and cliffside sections, so I placed it over PA 120.

And Hyner View - definitely a miss (it looked fairly unassuming on the road) but based on Internet pictures I wouldn't call it the best view in PA (that would be an outlook near Cowans Gap State Park...you can see three sets of mountaintops but miss a river).
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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2020, 09:29:26 PM »

PA 120 ended at US 219 and I traversed US 219 north to US 6. I took US 6 east to Kinzua Bridge State Park, arriving at 3 PM. Told my father and brother some history about the park and witnessed the beautiful wreckage known as the Kinzua Viaduct. The view atop the remaining viaduct was equally breathtaking, though looking down isn't exactly confidence inducing. After capturing some photos, I had a steep climb to the valley floor, grabbing some photos of the remains and even climbing on parts of it (I didn't dare walk out, at the risk of the wreckage collapsing or people seeing me). I crossed Kinzua Creek and the trail only got muddier and muddier, but nonetheless I managed to make it halfway up the other side before the trail devolved into loose rock. Convenient, because it started snowing (!) at that point which meant it was time to return.

Coincidentally they just showed the Kinzua Bridge on an episode of Mysteries of the Abandoned on the Science Channel last night.  My ears perked up when I heard Pennsylvania and I had to jump to Google Maps to see if I could find it on aerials.  Some day I hope to get out there to see it - We'll add it to the Western PA list along with Fallingwater.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2020, 05:38:03 PM »

So, northern PA round two. Probably gonna be more like western NY, but hey. Planning to leave at 8:30 AM on May 19th. Here's a potential timeline.

I. Arrive in Bellefonte at 11 AM for brunch, using the same roads we used to Lock Haven except for staying on PA 144.
II. Detour to Hyner View State Park via PA 144. Might get there at 12:20.
III. Clinch PA 144, reaching US 6 at 1:30.
IV. Take US 6 west to Coudersport, then PA 44 to NY 417. This leaves a 28 mile stretch of PA 44 from I-80 to US 15 that I need to clinch.
V. From there, choices.
- NY 417 west to Buffalo (Anchor Bar is still open) w/o Niagara Falls since crossing the border is prohibited and the American view is inferior to the Canadian side. Have no clue what else to do in Buffalo; maybe head up NY 18 and visit a beach?
- NY 417 east to Corning to visit a friend, then north to the Finger Lakes.
- I-86, NY 36, and I-390 up to Rochester (any ideas?).
- Back south into PA, taking a long route home.
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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2020, 11:25:18 PM »

Looks like fun, it's good to get out in safe ways in times like this. Enjoy Bellefonte. If we were in normal times I'd say head northeast down PA-45 to Millheim where the Elk Creek Café is really good, but pandemic...
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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2020, 12:45:46 AM »

So, northern PA round two. Probably gonna be more like western NY, but hey. Planning to leave at 8:30 AM on May 19th. Here's a potential timeline.

I. Arrive in Bellefonte at 11 AM for brunch, using the same roads we used to Lock Haven except for staying on PA 144.
II. Detour to Hyner View State Park via PA 144. Might get there at 12:20.
III. Clinch PA 144, reaching US 6 at 1:30.
IV. Take US 6 west to Coudersport, then PA 44 to NY 417. This leaves a 28 mile stretch of PA 44 from I-80 to US 15 that I need to clinch.
V. From there, choices.
- NY 417 west to Buffalo (Anchor Bar is still open) w/o Niagara Falls since crossing the border is prohibited and the American view is inferior to the Canadian side. Have no clue what else to do in Buffalo; maybe head up NY 18 and visit a beach?
- NY 417 east to Corning to visit a friend, then north to the Finger Lakes.
- I-86, NY 36, and I-390 up to Rochester (any ideas?).
- Back south into PA, taking a long route home.
Jealous of your road trips. I haven't been in a car since March!
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jemacedo9

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2020, 08:24:03 AM »

If you're into scenic views, you should visit Letchworth State Park in NY...it's outstanding.  With that, you could then still opt to go up to Rochester or over to Corning/Finger Lakes. 

NY 417 isn't a bad drive.  You could take that to NY 36, then to NY 70, then NY 436 to NY 19A to the south entrance of the park.  Once you're through the park, take NY 36 and/or I-390 to Dansville, then NY 36 into Dansville to NY 63 South, NY 21 North to Naples. then NY 53 South then CR 21 towards Italy Valley. 

The roads in the Italy area are wonderful.  CR 21 turns into CR 18.  There is a fork in the road where CR 18 branches to the left and CR 34 branches to the right.  Take either, whichever your preference.  The left fork eventually ends up at NY 364 and towards Penn Yan, and if you then take NY 54 North to NY 14, you'll get a long drive down the east shore of Seneca Lake. The right branch eventually ends up on CR 32 and into Branchport at NY 54A. You could then take NY 54A north to Penn Yan, or a twisty NY 54A south along the short of Keuka Lake to Hammondsport.  Either way you could eventually head south to Corning.

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2020, 10:09:06 AM »

V. From there, choices.
- NY 417 west to Buffalo (Anchor Bar is still open) w/o Niagara Falls since crossing the border is prohibited and the American view is inferior to the Canadian side.
The American side of the Falls are very much worth visiting in normal times, although I'm not sure what's open right now.
There's Goat Island, the Cave of the Winds, and the Maid of the Mist. Sure, you don't get "the" view, but you can get much closer to the actual falls, and it's a much more authentic and less touristy experience compared the Canadian side.

Have no clue what else to do in Buffalo; maybe head up NY 18 and visit a beach?
Depends what you're into. The Bird Island Pier is a nice, interesting walk that goes right under the Peace Bridge. Canalside is a cool recently revamped area with lots to do normally, but Western NY hasn't met the Phase 1 reopening criteria yet, so a lot of places will likely still be closed. If you want a beach... just my opinion, but there are none worth visiting between Evangola (Lake Erie) and Hamlin (Lake Ontario). There are plenty of cool hikes along the Niagara Gorge, though, most starting at either Whirlpool or Devil's Hole State Park.

- I-86, NY 36, and I-390 up to Rochester (any ideas?).
If you're into scenic views, you should visit Letchworth State Park in NY...it's outstanding.  With that, you could then still opt to go up to Rochester or over to Corning/Finger Lakes. 
Nice plug! Absolutely agree with and second that. Spring has officially sprung around here, so the gorge should be looking lush and green.
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jemacedo9

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2020, 10:56:03 AM »


Have no clue what else to do in Buffalo; maybe head up NY 18 and visit a beach?
Depends what you're into. The Bird Island Pier is a nice, interesting walk that goes right under the Peace Bridge. Canalside is a cool recently revamped area with lots to do normally, but Western NY hasn't met the Phase 1 reopening criteria yet, so a lot of places will likely still be closed. If you want a beach... just my opinion, but there are none worth visiting between Evangola (Lake Erie) and Hamlin (Lake Ontario). There are plenty of cool hikes along the Niagara Gorge, though, most starting at either Whirlpool or Devil's Hole State Park.
I like the drive along NY 18 and the LOSP.  I always found Olcott Beach a neat little town for a short stop.
And Fort Niagara SP is a neat place...if it's open.
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webny99

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2020, 02:44:14 PM »

I like the drive along NY 18 and the LOSP.  I always found Olcott Beach a neat little town for a short stop.
And Fort Niagara SP is a neat place...if it's open.

Yeah, Fort Niagara is a great stop. For me it's got both some real history, and some personal history given the many trips there as a kid.

As far as NY 18, I completely agree. If you want the true middle of nowhere in New York state, I think NY 18 is the place to find it. The LOSP has unfortunately gone completely to pot west of Hamlin... but east of Hamlin finally got paved, so it's a nice road from there into Rochester.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2020, 04:36:03 PM »

The first part of my western NY daytrip started much the same as last week; left Chambersburg at 8:15, arrived in Bellefonte at 11 for brunch. The difference being my non-roadgeek family being cooped up in a car for nine hours. Brunch cost $35 for the entire family; I had a meatball sub with a bottle of water. Let's just say I didn't drink enough water on this trip.


Beginning my clinch of PA 144, I made it to Renovo at 1:00 and detoured to Hyner View State Park. Somehow Hyner View took an hour; turns out we needed to pick up some snacks, then the road was longer than I thought (five miles up a winding road that you can't go faster than 40 MPH), and then we spent a lot of time up there. Actually a pretty good view, as you're able to capture a panorama of the valley PA 120 runs through. I got some more personal shots by going below the wall, and discovering a hang-gliding platform and some stable rocks to take photos of. Also, the bathrooms are open, likely because of their simplicity using pit toilets and hand sanitizer.

Only issue with the way up PA 144 was the lack of traffic, mobile data, and radio reception. It felt pretty boring making our way up to Galeton (prefer PA 144 between US 220 Alt and Renovo as PA 144 stays high up affording for some neat views). Nowhere near as fun as PA 44 between US 6 and Jersey Shore however.

It's 3:30 and we're all feeling antsy and annoying. We haven't even left PA yet, so I had to cut some parts out. I decided on a clinch of PA 449, spotting the puny Genesee River near the namesake town. PA 449 became NY 19, where the road quality markedly increased. Following some construction in Wellsville, I took NY 417 to NY 21, then NY 17 to NY 36, and finally to NY 70 for a final clinch. Notable was the fairly mountainous Southern Tier; although NY 417 is far less rugged than US 6 in PA (from the brief time I was on it), some routes like NY 21 and NY 70 did remind me of parts of PA especially the crappy pavement at times.

Arrived at Letchworth at 5:30, following another break. I made a tourist mistake by immediately stopping at the Upper Falls to take a picture of the Norfolk Southern RR bridge (apparently had a reconstruction lately into a neat arch). Then I spot a staircase, seeing a huge waterfall. Turns out this was a very long staircase taking you to the bottom of the Upper Falls, and at the bottom exists a parking lot also connected to the Middle Falls. Oh well. Luckily, I was able to capture both the Norfolk Southern bridge and the Upper Falls in one shot, making for a cool photo.

I also realized that this was the Genesee River - the same stream I passed in PA - widening out to a grand river through the park. For what it's worth, I far preferred this park over Niagara Falls, given the increased foliage, geological and biological interest (the moss growing up the side of the cliffs make for a better shot, but you can't capture both Upper Falls and Norfolk Southern).

I continued to the taller Middle Falls, which although taller (70 feet drop for Upper, 107 feet for Middle) is harder to take pictures of. A couple of family photos were shared here, more than at Upper.

We had to pick up the pace, and so I'll point out where we did stop.
-Great Bend Overlook, the highest point of the gorge, at 550 feet above the river
-A vantage point above the Lower Falls; we were running out of sunlight to hike the trail down to the falls
-Inspiration Point

Completely skipped out on the Mount Morris Dam and the Highbanks area. Interesting to see after exiting the park was crossing the Genesee on NY 36; it looked wider, but nowhere near as spectacular as in the park.

Left Mt. Morris after dinner at 8:50 (Rochester restaurants closed at 8; we left the park at 7:40), arriving home at 1:30 AM. Yes, I was exhausted.
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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2020, 08:02:33 PM »

So cool that you had a chance to visit Letchworth, and a perfect time of year for it, too! I don't think you're the only one that prefers it to Niagara. It is truly a spectacular place.

Yes, the railroad bridge was recently reconstructed. I believe the tourist mistake you refer to is a new phenomenon, since there didn't used to be a parking lot next to the railroad bridge, at least not a formal, paved one. People did used to climb up to the old bridge and walk across, but that's much harder to do now (not impossible though... you can still access the tracks from a side trail beyond the far end of the fence, but it's illegal and often patrolled, so I wouldn't recommend it).

(Edited to remove incorrect info re: the former bridge)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2020, 09:22:31 PM by webny99 »
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noelbotevera

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2020, 08:10:27 PM »

So cool that you had a chance to visit Letchworth, and a perfect time of year for it, too! I don't think you're the only one that prefers it to Niagara. It is truly a spectacular place.

Yes, the railroad bridge was recently reconstructed, but it was always an arch. The new one looks similar to the old one, it's just slightly taller. I believe the tourist mistake you refer to is a new phenomenon, since there didn't used to be a parking lot next to the railroad bridge, at least not a formal, paved one. People did used to climb up to the old bridge and walk across, but that's much harder to do now (not impossible though... you can still access the tracks from a side trail beyond the far end of the fence, but it's illegal and often patrolled, so I wouldn't recommend it).
It is a formal paved parking lot that looks unfinished (still some chain link fences erected). Another shame with the old bridge is that it dated to 1875 and looks similar to the Kinzua Viaduct. Have no clue why NS chose to replace vs. refurbish, though I'm guessing the nightmare is having to set up construction equipment with the topography adjacent to the Genesee.

Wonder if NS was considering to install a pedestrian walkway a la New River Gorge Bridge; if so that would provide a killer view of the Genesee.

I'm hoping to return in June and visit Hamlin Beach, Stony Brook, Watkins Glen, and the Italy Valley.
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jemacedo9

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2020, 08:13:16 PM »

I agree with your assessment of PA 44 vs PA 144 in that area...

I'm glad you stopped at Letchworth...but Webny99, the prior bridge was not an arch...the old bridge was a trestle bridge.  The trestle bridge was still there when I last visited in 2016, with the new arch bridge constructed mainly in 2017.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesee_Arch_Bridge
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jemacedo9

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2020, 08:15:20 PM »

So cool that you had a chance to visit Letchworth, and a perfect time of year for it, too! I don't think you're the only one that prefers it to Niagara. It is truly a spectacular place.

Yes, the railroad bridge was recently reconstructed, but it was always an arch. The new one looks similar to the old one, it's just slightly taller. I believe the tourist mistake you refer to is a new phenomenon, since there didn't used to be a parking lot next to the railroad bridge, at least not a formal, paved one. People did used to climb up to the old bridge and walk across, but that's much harder to do now (not impossible though... you can still access the tracks from a side trail beyond the far end of the fence, but it's illegal and often patrolled, so I wouldn't recommend it).
It is a formal paved parking lot that looks unfinished (still some chain link fences erected). Another shame with the old bridge is that it dated to 1875 and looks similar to the Kinzua Viaduct. Have no clue why NS chose to replace vs. refurbish, though I'm guessing the nightmare is having to set up construction equipment with the topography adjacent to the Genesee.

Wonder if NS was considering to install a pedestrian walkway a la New River Gorge Bridge; if so that would provide a killer view of the Genesee.

I'm hoping to return in June and visit Hamlin Beach, Stony Brook, Watkins Glen, and the Italy Valley.

In my time living in Rochester, three of my favorite places were Letchworth, Stony Brook, and Watkins Glen.  In some ways they are similar but there are also some significant differences.
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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2020, 08:24:40 PM »

So cool that you had a chance to visit Letchworth, and a perfect time of year for it, too! I don't think you're the only one that prefers it to Niagara. It is truly a spectacular place.

Yes, the railroad bridge was recently reconstructed, but it was always an arch. The new one looks similar to the old one, it's just slightly taller. I believe the tourist mistake you refer to is a new phenomenon, since there didn't used to be a parking lot next to the railroad bridge, at least not a formal, paved one. People did used to climb up to the old bridge and walk across, but that's much harder to do now (not impossible though... you can still access the tracks from a side trail beyond the far end of the fence, but it's illegal and often patrolled, so I wouldn't recommend it).
It is a formal paved parking lot that looks unfinished (still some chain link fences erected). Another shame with the old bridge is that it dated to 1875 and looks similar to the Kinzua Viaduct. Have no clue why NS chose to replace vs. refurbish, though I'm guessing the nightmare is having to set up construction equipment with the topography adjacent to the Genesee.

Wonder if NS was considering to install a pedestrian walkway a la New River Gorge Bridge; if so that would provide a killer view of the Genesee.

I'm hoping to return in June and visit Hamlin Beach, Stony Brook, Watkins Glen, and the Italy Valley.

In my time living in Rochester, three of my favorite places were Letchworth, Stony Brook, and Watkins Glen.  In some ways they are similar but there are also some significant differences.
Missing out on Stony Brook makes me feel like an idiot; if I had known it was a couple miles south of 390 (and north of NY 70) then I would've made a stop there. Watkins Glen looks like a significant amount of legwork from Letchworth or Stony Brook - no way I could've made it there.
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Doing things that nobody wants to do since 2004.
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jemacedo9

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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2020, 08:26:37 PM »

So cool that you had a chance to visit Letchworth, and a perfect time of year for it, too! I don't think you're the only one that prefers it to Niagara. It is truly a spectacular place.

Yes, the railroad bridge was recently reconstructed, but it was always an arch. The new one looks similar to the old one, it's just slightly taller. I believe the tourist mistake you refer to is a new phenomenon, since there didn't used to be a parking lot next to the railroad bridge, at least not a formal, paved one. People did used to climb up to the old bridge and walk across, but that's much harder to do now (not impossible though... you can still access the tracks from a side trail beyond the far end of the fence, but it's illegal and often patrolled, so I wouldn't recommend it).
It is a formal paved parking lot that looks unfinished (still some chain link fences erected). Another shame with the old bridge is that it dated to 1875 and looks similar to the Kinzua Viaduct. Have no clue why NS chose to replace vs. refurbish, though I'm guessing the nightmare is having to set up construction equipment with the topography adjacent to the Genesee.

Wonder if NS was considering to install a pedestrian walkway a la New River Gorge Bridge; if so that would provide a killer view of the Genesee.

I'm hoping to return in June and visit Hamlin Beach, Stony Brook, Watkins Glen, and the Italy Valley.

In my time living in Rochester, three of my favorite places were Letchworth, Stony Brook, and Watkins Glen.  In some ways they are similar but there are also some significant differences.
Missing out on Stony Brook makes me feel like an idiot; if I had known it was a couple miles south of 390 (and north of NY 70) then I would've made a stop there. Watkins Glen looks like a significant amount of legwork from Letchworth or Stony Brook - no way I could've made it there.

For your first trip and pressed for time, Letchworth was the right pick IMO.  And yes, Watkins Glen is a fair piece away from the other two.
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Re: Northern PA daytrip
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2020, 09:21:27 PM »

I'm glad you stopped at Letchworth...but Webny99, the prior bridge was not an arch...the old bridge was a trestle bridge.  The trestle bridge was still there when I last visited in 2016, with the new arch bridge constructed mainly in 2017.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesee_Arch_Bridge

Wow, you are correct. I guess I've been there so many times since 2017 (six times last year, IIRC...) that I had forgotten how much different the old bridge looked. They are similar in height, but not much else. Apologies for the confusion on that.
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