Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Wildlife
There are several parking areas at the Park Office at Petroleum Center. The trail starts directly behind the park office, and goes up a steep hill, following white blazes. In about a half a mile, there will be a sign that directs trail goers towards Miller Farm, following the yellow blazes. Visitors will follow the yellow blazed Girard trail for approximately 15 miles on the eastern side of Oil Creek, descending into the Oil Creek Valley, then ascending back up to the ridges several times. The trail is mainly dirt singletrack, with numerous roots and rocks, a few muddy areas, but nothing terribly technical or difficult.
Once the visitor descends after 15 miles, they will cross a single-lane car-bridge (Jersey Bridge), go through a parking lot and up a paved bike trail for about two tenths of a mile. They will then make a right onto the Gerard trail again, marked by a sign hanging over the singletrack trail. Again, trail users will ascend and descend through the Oil Creek valley, staying on the Yellow blazed trail on the west side of Oil Creek. There are several white blazed side trails, which cross the valley. Be cautious of several road crossings - though not busy, drivers can be traveling quickly. Once you come down to an Oil Derrick tableau, you'll come down a hill to a wooden arch bridge that brings visitors to a paved road. Cross over this road to the trail, and continue on for about a mile. You'll come to another dirt road, and you'll turn left on this road to get back to the Petroleum Center parking area.
This long trail can be accessed from several points. The easiest access points are the Jersey Bridge parking area near Drake's Well Park or from the Oil Creek State Park park office at Petroleum Center which is how the trail is shown mapped here. There are permanent pit toilets located at the Petroleum Center parking areas, as well as water at the park office. During spring, summer and fall, there are port-a-johns located at the Jersey Bridge Parking area. Maps are available at the Park office or at the parking area at Jersey Bridge.
Flora & Fauna
Though poison ivy is minimal, it can be prevalent on the white blazed cross trails. There are bears present in the park, and though skittish of humans, be aware that you may see one.