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Trails

See also: Hiking and Backpacking

Pittsburgh Region - Directories & Articles

 

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.

 

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.
  • Pittsburgh Parks
    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

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Pittsburgh Surroundings - Trails

  • Armstrong Trail
    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.
  • Panhandle Trail
    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.
  • Scott Conservancy Trails
    The Scott Conservancy offers trails for hiking in Scott Township, south of Pittsburgh.

  • Sheepskin Trail
    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.
  • Hoodlebug Trail
    The Hoodlebug Trail is a six-mile recreation and commuter trail located in the central portion of Indiana County.
  • Mid-State Trail
    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.
 

Nearby States

  • 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

  • American Trails
    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.
    • TrailLink.com
      Search for a Trail, a Rails-to-Trails Conservancy initiative dedicated to providing detailed, up to date information on trail access, services and activities.
  • Trails.com
    Search for a trail and download trails & topo maps for a fee.
 

Long Distance Trails

  • Appalachian Trail
    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.
 

Selected Books

Cramer, Dane
Romancing the Trail: Six Days Atop Laurel Ridge
PENNA r GV199.42.P42 L3825 2007x
An account of Dane Cramer's thru-hike on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in Western Pennsylvania.
 
Great Allegheny Passage TrailBook
GV199.42.P4 T735x 2009-10
A trail book published in cooperation with the Allegheny Trail Alliance and covering the C&O Canal Towpath and the Great Allegheny Passage from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh. It can also be purchased at the ATA Trail Shop.
 
Guide to the Baker Trail: A 132 Mile Hiking and Backpacking Trail in Western Pennsylvania
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.
 
 
Keystone Trails Association
Guide to the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania
GV199.42.P4 G85 2009x
This guidebook covers the trail from Maryland to the Del Water Gap. It is also available from the Keystone Trails Association.
 
Keystone Trails Association
Pennsylvania Hiking Trails
PENNA r GV199.42.P4 P46 2008
Descriptions of hundreds of trails plus a chapter on state's nine long-distance trails. It is also available from the Keystone Trails Association.
 
The Laurel Highlands, A Hiking Guide
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.
 
Rail-Trails. Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York
GV191.42.P4 R35x 2011 1st ed.
The official Rails-to-Trails Conservancy guidebook.
 
Sexton, Tom
Pennsylvania's Rail-Trails
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.
 

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