Motorcycle Ride to Austin Dam

Bob and I belong to a local motorcycle riding group called 2 Scoop Cycletherapy.  Bob and I and some of our motorcycle riding group friends went on an all-day motorcycle ride on Sunday, July 17. The ride was planned and led by our friend Mark. Our destination was the Austin Dam in Austin, PA with a stop for lunch in Port Allegheny.

We met at the North Warren playground parking lot at 11:00 am and took off soon afterward.

20160717_151043441_iOS 4x6Group rides have been far and few between this year.
We are looking forward to today’s adventure!

There were four motorcycles and eight riders: Paul and Debbie, Scott and Donna, Mark and Faye and Bob and me.

We passed pretty scenery on our way to Port Allegheny.

20160717_153338731_iOS 4x6Warren County, PA
We rode Pennsylvania Route 59 along part of the Allegheny Reservoir.

20160717_153439309_iOS 4x6Warren County, PA
We rode Pennsylvania Route 59 along part of the Allegheny Reservoir.
We are on the Casey Bridge here, approaching Wolf Run Marina on the left.

A little farther along Pennsylvania Route 59 in Cyclone (McKean County, PA) a truck was attempting to back up a trailer across the road.  Our ride was delayed a short time, as a result.

20160717_160315412_iOS 4x6McKean County, PA
a short travel delay

Our first stop was for lunch at the Port Freeze in Port Allegheny.

20160717_163838467_iOS 4x6Lunch Stop
the Port Freeze in Port Allegheny, PA

Each of us ordered a sandwich and chips, fries or onion petals. We ate outside on a covered patio. The food was good; the conversation was good; and watching three horses enjoy ice cream treats was fun.  Bob captured the following video.

Please select HD for best video quality.

Can a horse get brain freeze eating ice cream?


It wasn’t a long ride from Port Allegheny to the ruins of the Austin Dam.

20160717_181859091_iOS 4x6
I loved the smell of the fir trees,
as we got close to Austin.

According to its website the Austin Dam broke in 1911 “and water engulfed much of the town of Austin and claimed over 78 lives.  In 1994 the Austin Dam Memorial Park Association was formed and they since have worked diligently to preserve the dam remains and to create a beautiful natural park.”  Bob and I visited the dam ruins a few years ago. Our friends had never been there.

_LG24085 4x6Sykes Vista

The view of the dam ruins from Sykes Vista was overgrown with weeds. I had to stand on top of a wooden rail to get a picture of the dam ruins.

From Sykes Vista we rode into the Austin Dam Memorial Park. The entrance to the park was on the left a short distance from Sykes Vista. I should mention that the park entrance road, which I believe is a mile in length, is a narrow, gravel road that is steep in places.  The road is especially steep on the descent into the memorial park.

_LG24087 4x6
Mark, Bob, Scott and Paul and Debbie making the descent
into Austin Dam Memorial Park.
Faye, Donna and I walked down the steep gravel road.

We did ride 2-up on our way out of the memorial park and up the gravel road.  I asked Bob if it was a wise choice for me not to ride down that steep gravel road with him.  He said yes, as he was able to handle the motorcycle better without a passenger when driving at a very low speed.

_LG24090 4x6Paul at the Flood Victims Memorial

_LG24093 4x6Austin Dam Ruins

_LG24095 4x6The eight of us at Austin Dam Ruins

_LG24094 4x6The Nutschke Pavilion contains pictures and accounts
about the flood of 1911 on its walls and on a couple of tables.

I mentioned earlier that Bob and I visited Austin Dam one time before.  That visit as in October 2013, which you may read about here. I noted improvements since our earlier visit. There were informative maps located under glass on picnic tables in the pavilion. A park attendant was on hand, who talked about the tragedy that occurred in that area on September 30, 1911.  There were permanent bathroom facilities available, rather than a port-a-john.  The Austin Dam Memorial Association newsletters found on its website are full of information pertaining to the past, present and future of the Austin Dam.  The Bayless Pulp & Paper Co. Mill ruins are also nearby.  We passed by the ruins, while riding on State Route 872.  We didn’t stop, as Mark did not see anywhere to pull off.  According to one of the newsletters, there is a place on State Route 872, along Freeman Run, to stop and observe the ruins of the paper mill.  The park attendant informed us that a trail is being planned that will link the Austin Dam ruins with those of the paper mill ruins.  One of our friends remarked that he likes the kind of motorcycle rides that stay in your head for a while.  Our visit to Austin Dam was that kind of ride.

From Austin Dam we rode to Coudersport, where we made a fuel stop.  Wherever our rides take us, we try not to take the same roads back home.

20160717_201148624_iOS 4x6 Paul pulled out a “real map” at the fuel stop in Coudersport.
Paul and Mark planned our route back home.

We rode north through Shinglehouse, PA and Ceres, NY and made our way somehow to Custer City, PA.

20160717_204940906_iOS 4x6Welcome to New York


We stopped for ice cream at the Custer City Drive-In in Custer City.  We belong to a motorcycle riding group called 2 Scoop Cycletherapy.   You would expect us to stop for ice cream, right?

After our ice cream stop, we rode home. We arrived home at 6:49 pm. What a wonderful day for a ride with great friends!

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