Poe Valley Mainline Gets a Survey (map)

Back in January, I mentioned I had checked out a report from site visitor John Shingler of Poe Valley regarding railroad right of way near the CCC camp location in Poe Valley. Since Vince was departing State College to the east after his visit this weekend, we decided to log some mileage in PV.

We started at the CCC camp location, which is on Poe Valley Road maybe a mile east of Siglerville-Milheim Pike. We parked on the south of the road and followed the faint road through a stand of pines to the southeast. After crossing the stream on the large rocks, we continued a short distance on the road, intersecting road roadbed. After some head scratching, we decided to go southwest first.

We enjoyed a pretty clear survey, mostly on distinct road roadbed through open pine woods. In a few places, recent logging activity or four wheelers have damaged the right of way, but most of it is in good shape. We terminated our trip to the southwest when reaching a driveway accessing a private camp. The right of way obviously continues beyond that point.

Returning to our starting point, we resumed surveying to the northeast. Regretfully, after a bit of clear going, the Mtn Laurel began to thicken and we found it necessary to curse it profusely in order to make forward progress. The right of way is mostly clear rock rockbed, though seriously hidden by undergrowth in some places. A few areas are built up pretty well to cross minor streams.

At one point, we came upon a rather mysterious structure, obviously recently constructed, consisting of telephone poles and boards stuck together in rather bizarre fashion. My theory is that it is an osprey stand, as ospreys are rather bizarre, and they might like its proximity to “good feeshin” at Poe Valley lake.

Eventually we came to signs suggesting we were very close to Poe Valley park. Just as we were about to halt our survey, I noticed a clear switch going off to the NNE, towards the stream. I tried to follow it for a while, but its track quickly fades out… Was this a branch to the other side of the creek, to a sawmill, or just a random siding? We don’t find a lot of sidings, so it was sort of neat to catch this one in an accessible location.

Here’s the map…

Poe Valley west of lake

We finished our exploration by checking out some rather strange railroad artifacts (which appear to be 36″ gauge) in proximity to Poe Valley park [No, we do not feel this is the lost locomotive of the Seven Mountains–sorry!] and then examining the (dry) lakebed of the park’s lake, in case there should be visible rock roadbed running down its center. There isn’t.

We’ve previously explored this valley further to the NE, but not immediately downstream of the dam. We have a report of a historic marker and visible right of way at the campsite there–we will have to check that out next time we get out hereWe will also try finish this survey out to Siglerville-Milheim Pike.

We haven’t had a stats update in a while, so here it is:

  • Exposed total: 35.37 miles
  • Under road: 18.60 miles
  • Grand total: 53.97 miles

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