Allegheny Outdoor Adventures Bradford, PA

... Here are pic's and trip reports from different trips to Knife Edge Ridge...

Knife Edge Ridge

Sunday Feb 11th '07- Knife Edge Ridge- Zoar Valley

WE had a group of only five, but it was a real fun trip. It was Justin, from the Olean Hiking Group, Mary, her friend Steph and Uncle Dan and I. We did a trek down Knife Edge Ridge (Zoar Valley) just to have lunch on Blue Boat Beach (AKA "The Nude Beach").

This was a "mountaineering trip" 500 feet down a very steep, narrow ridge. It's one of only a handful of ridges that are climbable in Zoar Valley.

Knife Edge Ridge goes down to Blue Boat Beach where we made a fire and enjoyed a warm lunch.

We snow-shoed to the top of the canyon wall from the parking lot. Then rigged ropes and SLOWLY climbed down to the creek level.

We made a fire, and some of us heated soup for lunch. The view was incredible!

After lunch, we made the steep climb back up to the top. After resting, packing the gear back in the sled and taking some photos, we made the trek back to the car. We did the return trip without snow-shoes, as the snow was packed down enough.

All in all, it was a very fun day, uneventful day! The temps were around 20 with 40 MPH wind gusts on the open ridge. There was no wind in the canyon near creek level.

Hopefully, somebody else can add to this trip report!

NOTE: Two of the photos below are linked to larger photos that you can save as a desktop or screensaver. Feel free to take one or both! Just go to the larger photo and use your right-hand mouse button to make them a desktop or save them on your hard-drive.

Here are some pictures!

Our "invitation" to danger!


Justin untangling the rope


Steph and Mary


The view! ... Click on this photo for a large version you can have for a screen saver or desktop background.(use your right-hand mouse button)


Steph holding on


Justin rigging ropes


Uncle Dan


Me in the infamous Blue Boat, "up the creek without a paddle"


Spectacular view (Zoar Valley Nude Area in the background)


Making the climb back to the top, collecting the ropes along the way


Me, Mary and Justin


Justin bringing up the rear


The view! ... Click on this photo for a large version you can have for a screen saver or desktop background. (use your right-hand mouse button)


The last section near the top. Note the windblown snow shelf


Safe back on top, Steph, Mary and Uncle Dan


Justin winding up the ropes


Another view of the river 500 feet below


The hike back to the car, across an open field (quite windy!)


The snow was between knee and thigh deep, but we walked in log skidder tracks.



Saturday November 26th '05 Zoar Valley Knife Edge Ridge

We did the trip down Knife Edge Ridge in the snow! It was definitely more of a mountaineering trip than a hike.

I purposely only invited a "crack crew", since we needed a crew of competent climbers for this extreme hike to descend from the canyon top to the river level for a winter lunch on Blue Boat Beach. This was DEFINITELY not a hike for the casual hiker.

The crew today was Geoff, Dave, Mary and I (John).

The snow was between ankle, and calf deep, not quite to the knees. There was supposed to be between 10" and a foot of new snow. It was fairly cold, with temps in the 20's.

It was a fairly easy hike to the ridge trail as we followed the tracks of a hunter or two into the woods from the parking lot. There were tracks along the ridge trail all the way to the top of Knife Edge Ridge where we set up for the decent down the ridge.

The top section where there are no trees for quite awhile is the most dangerous. A person could slip to the right or the left and slide, or fall to their death.

Dave rigged the ropes, and we nearly made it to the area where the trees start, and where we could use shorter ropes rappelling from tree to tree the rest of the way down. It was a little confusing and difficult until we worked out a system that worked real smooth and fast. Now we are all descending "experts".

Rather than straddle the Knife Edge Ridge all the way down risking falling off one side or the other, Dave, opted for a steeper, but shorter gully. The "V" shape prevented us from falling to ether side. The trees were spaced close enough to facilitate our newly developed rope technique.

After a very slow start up at the top (about an hour for the four of us to go 150 yards), we did the rest of the gully pretty fast. Soon we were near river level and we walked the length of the beach at river level.

We had lunch right at the Blue Boat (good eye Mary). The boat, and the whole beach for that matter was buried under the snow. We did get to witness an avalanche (small, local) or two from the beach.

The climb back to the top was much quicker than I thought, and it was surprisingly uneventful. On the hike back to the cars, the sun poked out!

What a fun day! What a fun trip!

The scenery couldn't have been more spectacular! The climb up and down was quite exciting! The company couldn't have been better. Thank you Geoff, Dave and Mary for coming out and making this one of my most favorite trips of all time!

packed up after lunch, ready for the accent


January 1st NEW YEARS DAY 2006!

The first day of the new year, this trip was to take some "extreme" pictures for the "Extreme Ironing Dot Com" website. Here is the story and photos we did that day:Extreme Ironing Dot Com- Ironing Zoar Valley Nude Beach!

In celebration of New Years Day, I dressed as the New Years Baby for a picture for the Extreme Ironing website.

"Our team" GOT favorable mention, and/or world-wide recognition, by ironing in the extreme conditions of cold, while dressed in a diaper on Blue Boat Beach at Zoar!

I have Mary to thank for coming up with the idea and the "Baby New Year 2006" costume that included an adult diaper, a large bottle, a large pin, a bonnet and a sash that said "Baby New Year 2006".

Here are some photos, some VERY unique!

Geoff on top of Knife Edge Ridge with the ironing board


32 degrees! "swimming" on January first in upstate New York!


My Polar Bear Dip- Blue Boat Beach- Zoar Valley January 1st 2006


Plugged in and ready for action!


Geoff on Knife Edge Ridge on the climb halfway back up


Here are some more photos from Knife Edge Ridge and Blue Boat Beach:

The Blue Boat from a summer hike


Kayaks on Blue Boat Beach- Our lunch stop


Knife Edge Ridge in the fall


Raft trip at lunch stop on Blue Boat Beach




Another lunch shot


Boats on Blue Boat Beach


Amanda winded near top of Knife Edge Ridge


Dave Storer on The Knife Edge


Summer creek crossing to Blue Boat Beach


Knife Edge Ridge in the Summer


Single boulder at the top of Knife Edge Ridge


Also visit our page on ICE CLIMBING NW PA & NY

The closest place to park to hike down Knife Edge Ridge or the rim trail or to reach Blue Boat Beach, is the state game lands parking lot at the end of Unger Road.

You take the Gowanda-Springville road east out of Gowanda. At the top of the hill, turn right onto South Quaker Road. At a sharp turn, South Quaker becomes Vail Road. Continue up Vail Road, east, until you see the parking lot on your right, across from Unger Road.

Map 1 - Overview


Map 2 The Rim Trail


Map 3 Unger Road parking area


More Zoar Pages:






NEW! FAQ! Frequently asked Questions Page

All text and photos on this page © John V Stoneman