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Eagleton trail open to hikers, bikers and horses

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CLINTON COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU A runner takes part in the Eagleton Trail Challenge on the Eagleton Mine Camp Trail. The challenge, organized by Blake Cohen each year, draws hundreds of racers to the area. The trail is always open to casual hikers year round.

RENOVO — The Eagleton Mine Camp Trail offers area hikers, bikers and equestrians the chance to take a stroll through historic landmarks and enjoy the gorgeous scenery Clinton County has to offer.

The trail was create in 2006 by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and named after the mining village of Eagleton. The village existed sometime between 1845 and 1870 in the Tangascootac watershed.

According to information provided by Sproul State Forest officials in Renovo, Eagleton Coal and Iron Company, supervised by George Armstrong, built the village to house miners in the Eagleton bituminous coal fields. Several mining towns existed at this time in Clinton County and were even funded by the royal family of Spain.

Not only was Eagleton set apart from the rest because of its railroad, it was also the site of Central Pennsylvania’s bituminous coal fields first labor strike. About 200 workers revolted due to unfair wages, with Sheriff John Smith of Lock Haven arriving with 20 riflemen to defuse the situation after a few days.

The Eagleton Railroad climbed the Tangascootac Valley in the area of Farrandsville to the village on the plateau. A series of switchbacks were used to reach the village known as the “Seven Switches.” Some of the trail still follows the railroad grade.

Fans of Prince Farrington will be interested in a site along the trail, one of many sites where the famous Prohibition-Era bootlegger created his covetted spirits. Farrington is well known in Clinton and Lycoming counties, with many former sites located throughout the area.

Farrington would continue to bootleg after Prohibition to avoid paying taxes.

The trail is slightly under 20 miles with trailheads on Eagleton Road, one at Little Buckhorn Trail and the other at Shear Trap Trail. Loops are offered along the way as well.

Cyclists should be prepared, some sections of the trail can be narrow, steep and rocky.

And for those who are feeling a little competitive, you can take part in the annual Eagleton Trail Challenge.

The Eagleton Trail Challenge was created in October 2016 by Blake Cohen as a 25 and 50k event. In 2018 the event expanded to include a 10k option.

Hundreds of trail enthusiasts hit the EMCT to take part in this yearly event, some traveling from across the country to take part.

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Blake Cohen, race director of the Eagleton Trail

Challenge, contributed to this article.

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