Redbank Valley Trail - New Bethlehem, PA
About 8 miles south of the Penn Wood Airstream Park on Route 66 is the small town of New Bethlehem. It’s a nice little town of around 1000 people and home to the annual Peanut Butter Festival. The Smuckers Peanut Butter Factory is located in New Bethlehem. Smuckers doesn’t officially sponsor the event, but they do provide a savings bond to the winner and runner-up of the Peanut Butter Festival Queen competition. I wish I could say that the entire town smells of peanut butter, but in my first few trips to town I’ve not detected even a hint of peanut butter scent in the air.
The Redbank Valley Trail runs right through the middle of town. The trail starts at the Allegheny River and runs 41 miles along Redbank Creek. Suze and I took the trail southwest out of New Bethlehem and only traveled about 5 miles before turning back. The trail is well maintained and extremely flat. Flat is unusual here in western Pennsylvania.
The trail runs almost entirely through wooded areas along Redbank Creek. It’s extremely quiet and there are some fantastic views right from the trail.
Probably the most unique thing we saw on the ride was the Climax Tunnel. The tunnel is only a couple of hundred yards long, but because of the way the trail curves there is a section in the tunnel that is completely dark. I mean, you can’t see your hand in front of your face dark. Of course, we didn’t have a light on our bikes and our phones were packed away. It was pretty scary for a minute or so, but just when we were about to turn back the “light at the end of the tunnel” appeared.
The trail is beautifully maintained and there are benches and picnic tables along the way to stop for lunch. Suze and I were planning on taking the trail the opposite direction out of New Bethlehem yesterday, but the rain continues here in Pennsylvania. In fact, looking at the weather forecast it appears the next 10 days are more of the same. When it finally drys out we will surely spend some more time on the Redbank Valley Trail.