See also: Hiking and Backpacking
Pittsburgh Region - Directories & Articles
Allegheny Trail Alliance: Great Allegheny Passage / The Pittsburgh to Cumberland Trail
Explore their overview map of the walking/biking trail from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland.
Washington Post: Biking the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal from Pittsburgh to D.C.
A 2012 article on the 141-mile Great Allegheny Passage, or GAP.
New York Times: A Burst of Autumn Color in the Great Allegheny Passage
Bruce Weber rode the GAP in October 2011 and blogged about it.
- Washington Post: Biking the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal from Pittsburgh to D.C.
City of Pittsburgh
Trail Development Program
Former Mayor Tom Murphy's goal is to develop riverfront trails along every stretch of the 36 miles of riverfront in the City, as well as within the parks and neighborhoods.
Riverfront Development Plan
A comprehensive plan for the three rivers, including the creation of riverside trails.
Includes map of proposed bike routes.
- Trail Development Program
Keystone Trails Association Online Guide to Hiking Trails in Pennsylvania
Includes information on several western Pennsylvania trails, including Allegheny National Forest Trails (500,000 acres of trails), the Baker Trail (runs from Freeport, PA to North Country Trail in Allegheny National Forest - 140.6 miles), and The Warrior Trail (a 67 mile hiking trail that has been used for 5,000 years in Southwestern PA).
Pittsburgh to Harrisburg Mainline Canal Greenway
The Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg Greenway Project is a Millennium trail and is managed by the Allegheny Ridge Corporation and its partners. Read about the project and the history of the canal.
Regional Trail Corporation
The mission of the Regional Trail Corporation is to acquire, develop, manage and maintain appropriate trail and water corridors within southwestern PA in partnership with local trail chapters and councils.
Pittsburgh - Steps
These are hikes in themselves: 712 stairways; 44,645 treads; 24,090 feet of steps; found in 66 of the city's 90 neighborhoods; longest flight has 378 treads.
The Steps of Pittsburgh
This is a guidebook to Pittsburgh's hillside stairways by Bob Regan with photographs by Tim Fabian published by the Local History Company.
An annual event in the fall sponsored by the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association.
Pittsburgh - Trails
- Eliza Furnace Trail
This is a new trail that opened June 18, 1998 and parallels the Parkway East from downtown to Panther Hollow in Oakland. Dubbed the "Jail Trail" because it begins downtown at the new Allegheny County Jail. The City of Pittsburgh Trails Development Program website has a map of the trail.
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has maps of the city's four major parks (Frick, Highland, Riverview, and Schenley). The trails are marked on the maps.
Three Rivers Heritage Trail
from Friends of the Riverfront. A planned trail and greenway system around Pittsburgh, it will provide a complete route for pedestrians, cyclists, and commuters along the banks of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers, linking with other trails in Allegheny County and Southwestern Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Surroundings - Trails
The Armstrong Trail stretches for 52.5 miles along the East bank of the Allegheny River, north of Pittsburgh and is maintained by the Allegheny Valley Land Trust.
Butler-Freeport Community Trail
A 20 mile abandoned railroad corridor located 40 miles north of Pittsburgh and maintained by the Butler-Freeport Community Trail Council, Inc.
Erie-to-Pittsburgh Trail Alliance (EPTA)
EPTA is an alliance of municipalities and organizations working on a continuous trail from the Erie Bayfront to Point State Park in Pittsburgh.
Laurel Highlands Trail
This is a 70 mile trail running from Ohiopyle State Park to north of Johnstown, within an hour's drive of Pittsburgh. The Allegheny Chapter of the Sierra Club offers a guidebook: Hiker’s Guide to the Laurel Highlands Trail.
The Montour Trail
A 54-mile hiking and biking trail in Allegheny and Washington counties. Read more about it in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Biking the Montour Trail, and returning by bus, a grand adventure (8/18/2012).
Murrysville Trail Alliance
The Murrysville Trail Alliance is a group of volunteers that work to build opportunities and accommodations for hiking and cycling in Murrysville, located east of Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County.
North Country Trail
The North Country Trail is America's longest National Scenic Trail stretching 4,600 miles from New York to North Dakota, linking 7 states. This is the only Millennium trail that passes near Pittsburgh.
Ohio River Trail
From Coraopolis, Pa to the State Line. The Ohio River Trail Council (ORTC) proposes a multi-use land trail, the Ohio River Trail (ORT), along the “La Belle Riviere” or the Ohio River and its tributaries from West Virginia and Ohio to Beaver and Allegheny County, Pa.
The Panhandle trail, formerly the Panhandle Railroad line, runs 29 miles in Allegheny and Washington Counties from Walkers Mill in Collier Township traversing through the northern sector of Washington County to the city of Weirton, West Virginia. It will connect to the Montour Trail.
Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy
Maintains three trails in the area:
The Rachel Carson Trail
A 35-mile day-hiking trail just outside Pittsburgh, PA, extending from North Park to Harrison Hills Park in Allegheny County.
The Baker Trail
A 132-mile hiking and backpacking trail north of Pittsburgh, PA.
The Harmony Trail
A planned hiking, biking, and walking trail in Pittsburgh's North Hills, following the Harmony interurban trolley line that ran between Pittsburgh, Evans City, Butler and New Castle from 1908 to 1931.
- The Rachel Carson Trail
Scott Conservancy Trails
The Scott Conservancy offers trails for hiking in Scott Township, south of Pittsburgh.
The Sheepskin is entirely in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and will run approximately 33 miles from Dunbar Township (at the Youghiogheny River Trail connection) to Point Marion Borough (at the Mon River Trail connection). Currently (2010) it runs from the Great Allegheny Passage near Connellsville to Dunbar.
The Steel Valley Trail
Formerly the Steel Heritage Trail, the Steel Valley Trail will run along the Monongahela River from Sandcastle Park, through Homestead and the former site of the US Steel Homestead Works, past Kennywood Amusement Park, through the former site of the US Steel Duquesne Works, across the Monongahela through McKeesport and the former site of the National Tube Works, and south through Glassport to Clairton.
West Penn Trail
The West Penn Trail is a 12-mile rail-trail between Saltsburg and the Westinghouse trailhead near Blairsville. It is an important link in the Pennsylvania Millennium Legacy Trail system that generally follows the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal and Portage Railroad that operated from 1830 to 1864 between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. It is maintained by the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy.
The Youghiogheny River Trail
A rails-to-trails 43-mile limestone-surfaced trail along the "railbanked" right-of-way of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad along the west side of the Youghiogheny River between McKeesport and Connellsville.
Pennsylvania - Directories
Explore PA Trails
This is an interactive site from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Pennsylvania National and State Hiking Trails
A map and list from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry.
Keystone Trails Association
an alliance of organizations and individuals who share a common interest in hiking opportunities in Pennsylvania and neighboring states. Includes a list of trail publications.
Pennsylvania - Trails
Allegheny Valley Trails Association
Maintains trails in northwest Pennsylvania along the Allegheny River, including the Sandy Creek Trail
- Ghost Town Trail (Indiana County Parks)
Ghost Town Trail (Bike Washington)
A Rail-Trail in Cambria & Indiana Counties, Pennsylvania, extending for 19.5 miles in the Blacklick Creek Valley of Pennsylvania from Nanty Glo and White Mill (near Belsano) in Cambria County to Dilltown in Indiana County.
The Hoodlebug Trail is a six-mile recreation and commuter trail located in the central portion of Indiana County.
Check out Pennsylvania's wildest and longest (504 km) trail that runs north-south through the middle of the state.
Rails to Trails of Central Pennsylvania
This nonprofit RTR organization maintains the 16.5 mile Lower (pronounced like "flower") Trail, located on the abandoned Petersburg Branch of the old Pennsylvania Railroad. It follows the Frankstown Branch of the Juniata River between Flowing Springs and Alfarata in Blair and Huntingdon Counties.
Bike West Virginia: Find a Trail
Trail information by region
Buckeye Trail - Ohio
Although not in Pennsylvania, this trail is within driving distance, linking the four corners of Ohio in a 1435 mile circuit running from Headland Dunes State Park on Lake Erie, south to Cincinnati and back around the state to the west. A very well developed site with trail information for all stages of the circuit.
Finger Lakes Trail (NY)
The main Finger Lakes Trail is 552 miles long and connects the Catskill Mountains with the Allegheny Mountains by passing through remote areas of the Southern Tier of New York State. The main trail connects with the North Country National Scenic Trail in Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. The Conservation Trail, a major branch trail, connects with the Bruce Trail in Canada. Altogether, the main trail and its branch and loop trails total over 800 miles.
Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway, New York
The mission of the Friends is to establish and maintain a public, multi-use trail and natural greenway corridor along the abandoned Genesee Valley Canal and its successor, the Pennsylvania Railroad, Rochester Division, from the Erie Canal Heritage Trail in Rochester, NY to Hinsdale, Cattaraugus County, NY.
Great Eastern Trail
A project of the Great Eastern Trail Association, working with American Hiking Society and local trail partners, to create America's newest long distance trail for hikers from Alabama to New York!
Greenbrier River Trail
This 78 mile trail in West Virginia follows the Greenbrier River. Read more in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Greenbrier River Trail great for bikers, hikers (June 3, 2012) or at GreenBrierRiverTrail.com.
Hatfield-McCoy Trail System
Old railbeds and abandoned logging roads from America's coal fields in West Virginia and surrounding states, transformed into recreational routes for off-road/all-terrain vehicles, as well as other users.
Miami Valley, Ohio RailTrails
For Greene and Montgomery Counties of Ohio, covering the RailTrails and other trails centered on Dayton and Xenia Ohio. They also have a collection of information on lots of Ohio trails.
Mon River Trails Conservancy
The Mon River Trails Conservancy (MRTC) is a non-profit 501c3 organization founded in 1991 to develop and manage a 51-mile rail-trail in North Central West Virginia. MRTC oversees the development and management of the Mon River and Deckers Creek Rail-Trails outside the city limits of Morgantown and Star City.
Mountain Maryland Trials
The Great Allegheny Passage of Maryland links the Washington DC to Cumberland C&O Canal Trail with a series of hiking and biking trails in Western Maryland that connect into Pennsylvania, creating a continuous trail of 380 miles from Washington to Pittsburgh.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Ohio Trails
Includes links to statewide trails and trails within parks.
Ohio to Erie Trail
A 350-mile multi-purpose recreation trail linking Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland on former rail and canal lands.
West Virginia Rails to Trails Council
The West Virginia Rails-to-Trails Council is a collection of individuals, civic groups and organizations who have joined together to promote the development and enjoyment of Rail-Trails in West Virginia. They offer information about the Rail-Trails in this state, distances, maps and news, as well as available services along the way.
United States - Directories & Organizations
A national trails advocacy organization working for the common interests of all trail users with a list of America's Trails State by State.
National Park Service: National Scenic and Historic Trails
This list is from the National Center for Recreation and Conservation, part of the National Park Service, that administers the Rivers, Trails & Conservations Assistance Program, commonly known as Rivers & Trails.
Rails to Trails Conservancy
A nonprofit organization founded in 1986 to create a nationwide network of public trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Offers a nice list of affiliated groups.
Search for a Trail, a Rails-to-Trails Conservancy initiative dedicated to providing detailed, up to date information on trail access, services and activities.
Search for a trail and download trails & topo maps for a fee.
Long Distance Trails
The 2,175-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail runs along the Appalachian Mountains from Maine to Georgia and is probably the most famous long distance trail in America.
The Mississippi River Trail
The Mississippi River Trail, following the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, offers approximately 3,000 miles of on-road bikeways and pedestrian and bicycle pathways.
This guide published by the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy covers the Baker Trail north to Allegheny National Forest. It can be purchased from the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy.
This is a guide to the rough up and down trail used in the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge. It can be purchased from the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy.
PENNA GV199.42.P42 L386 2000
This 288-page guide provides information on the 620 miles of foot trails that blanket the 218 square miles of state forests and state parks of these three ridges (collectively called the “Laurel Highlands”). It omits the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail which is covered in Hiker’s Guide to the Laurel Highlands Trail.
GV191.42.P4 R35x 2011 1st ed.
The official Rails-to-Trails Conservancy guidebook.
PENNA GV199.42.P4 S49 2004x
Provides all the details necessary to enjoy more than 1,300 miles of railroad bed turned to trails. Each trail listing contains a photograph, historical description, trailhead directions, trail map, trail details, a local trail contact and more. Latitude and longitude coordinates are also included for trailhead locations to make your GPS planning easier.