potential park

Pennsylvania, Beaver County, Glasgow

river mile 39

River access: yes. Tree cover: somewhat open. Impervious surface: some. Landscape design strategy: organized. Information about the Ohio River: little to none.

What a beautiful place for a biking and paddling campground! This almost abandoned secluded slice of floodplain on the river, a former town with a number of buildings still standing. After a sharp left turn, duck down the bluff under a low bridge carrying two lines of railroad tracks. Turn sharp left, sharp right, and then — you’re out into the open, a small grid platted town, scattered houses standing around. There are big vegetable gardens, corn, sunflowers. Neat streets. The town has a great Facebook page, with lots of history and photos!

This could be a sort of hidden paradise for bike and paddle camping. Could a little store or a food truck provide provisions? The local church — Smith’s Ferry United Methodist Church, newly painted sparkling white, could provide the toilet and the shower. Glasgow would be an excellent place for this. The towns here in this section of the Ohio River tend to be desolate, often abandoned brownfield sites, empty of places to stay. This is especially true because Midland has no riverside park at all, and those at Vanport and Industry are just strips of lawn at the top of high bluffs.

This suggestion is especially apposite because the adjoining creek, Little Beaver Creek, is a State of Ohio Wild and Scenic River and a National Scenic River, one of the few that debuts into the Ohio. It serves the endangered hellbender, a scary-looking large salamander, and in many places along its 33 miles retains its original aquatic community. There is a paddling map that shows a takeout with parking, restrooms, and picnic tables across the creek on the Ohio side.

Glasgow, Pennsylvania, Little Beaver Creek, and the Ohio River from Google Earth

Field research: July 2016