Smethport Web — by Les Jordan, Jr.
Several members of the Potato Creek Trail Association worked together May 19th to restore the Shawmut Trail Bridge over Blacksmith Brook, which flows into Marvin Creek near Dogtown. More substantial decking was added to the existing trail frame spanning the brook and new railings were put in place atop the deck. Old stone abutments from the Shawmut Railroad where used to anchor the bridge.
The bridge repair was funded by the Potato Creek Trail Association. Plans for the deck rebuild were prepared by Wallace Engineering. Materials and labor was provided by the trail group. Other repairs will be made at a later date to the Shawmut Trail with money secured from a North Central Greenways Implementation Grant received by the borough. This matching funds grant is for the development of the Shawmut Trail in conjunction with the Borough, the Potato Creek Trail Association and the Seneca Highlands Snowmobile Association. This $8,890.00 grant is being matched by $2,000 from the Potato Creek Trail Association, with labor and equipment provided by the Borough. The project will include trail gate installation, trail surface prep, and trail interpretation.
The Shawmut Trail is a loop that begins near the Marvin Creek Bridge and travels south to behind the County Home where it travels up the hill to join the old roadway of the Bradford, Bordell & Kinzua narrow gauge railroad, which was abandoned early in the 20th century.
It is a beautiful trail that traverses wooded settings, open meadows and farm land. The trail is opened to hiking, bicycle riding, skiing. No motorized vehicles are permitted.