Rail 66 Country Trail is a non-motorized, 4-season trail that currently extends 15 miles through the scenic countryside of northern Clarion County near the Village of Lucinda on the historic Knox-Kane railroad bed. The 20.1 mile corridor of the Knox to Kane railbed aka Rail 66 Country Trail starts at Clarion Junction (Rt 322) in Paint Township and stretches north along Rt 66 to the Clarion/Forest County line in the Village of Vowinckel. Beyond the county line it extends through Forest, Elk and McKean Counties. The trail directly connects to the North Country National Scenic Trail, the Baker Trail and BicyclePA Route V. It's located just a few miles from Cook Forest State Park, the Allegheny National Forest, State Game Lands, Clarion Highlands Trail and ultimately to the Sandy Creek Trail, the Allegheny River Trail and, the Redbank Valley Trail.
Rail 66 follows the path of what was a narrow-gauge railroad in the late 1800s. That line became the standard gauge Northern Division of the Baltimore and Ohio. For most of the 20th Century the B&O shipped coal, lumber, and freight from mines, forests and local glass factories. When these industries declined, the Knox and Kane Railroad acquired the B&O right of way. Beginning in 1982, the Knox and Kane took tourist excursions from Marienville, through Kane and Mt. Jewett, to the Kinzua Bridge ~ one of the highest railroad bridges east of the Mississippi. A tornado toppled a section of the Kinzua Bridge in 2003, and Knox and Kane ceased operations in 2006. The corridor was railbanked in 2009; the rails and ties were salvaged and recycled.
Rail 66 Country Trail a/k/a Rail 66, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, was created and now owns a permanent easement for 20.1 miles of the corridor in Clarion County. Volunteers invested many hours and local donors gave thousands of dollars for the effort. Rail 66 members use, maintain and support the trail.
The old B&O lives on as a rail trail, providing recreation and economic development in Northwest Pennsylvania by tying together numerous communities, several trail systems, two state parks and the Allegheny National Forest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns the trail?
Rail66 Country Trail, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization owns the trail corridor in Clarion County. The rail line was rail-banked, preserved for future use as a railroad while allowing its current use for trail purposes. The rail trail was deeded to Rail 66 in fee simple.
Why aren’t ATV’s, dirt bikes, snowmobiles or horses allowed on the trail?
The trail was purchased and developed by private donations and grants and is covered by liability insurance that prohibit the use of motorized vehicles. ATV, dirt bike, snowmobile and equine use raise liability issues that insurers are unwilling to accept and grants prohibit. Motorized recreational vehicles are not conducive to the safety of our ever-growing number of trail users because of speed and the narrowness of the corridor. Motorized vehicles and horses pose a serious safety hazard to pedestrians, children on bicycles and in strollers and the general cycling community and degrade the trail surface. Electric wheelchairs and similar electric vehicles for the handicapped are allowed. Accommodating motorized vehicles would require two trails divided by a safety barrier. The Rail66 property is too narrow to construct two separate trails. Restricting motorized vehicle use must be strictly enforced.
Board of Directors
Vince DiStefano, President
Greg Borland, Vice President
Kathy Linnan, Secretary
Sue Patton, Treasurer