Escape The City With This Scenic Pennsylvania Countryside Hike
Hiking promises one of the most exhilarating ways to experience nature and to explore Pittsburgh. But, sometimes we yearn to travel someplace new. Escape the craziness of the city and head out on this countryside hike that will bring you closer to nature, to wildlife, and to history.
Drive just about an hour outside of Pittsburgh to Rosston where the Armstrong Trail awaits.
Spanning 30 miles from Rosston to Catfish, the trail crosses through Armstrong and Clarion Counties. Hop on or off at one of the towns along the way, such as Ford City, Kittanning, or East Brady.
Trains began riding along the rails on what is now the Armstrong Trail in 1855 and the railroad was used until 1941. In 1992, the former railroad transitioned into the trail that is now open to hikers and bikers. (No motorized vehicles are permitted.)
Pass such historic landmarks as the Coaling Tower, built in 1928. Long ago, steam trains would stop at the tower to refuel with coal along their routes.
Other points of interest that dot the trail, include Lock & Dam 8, Ore Hill Iron Furnace, and Monticello Furnace.
Catch sight of the Brady Tunnel, a former railroad tunnel. Unfortunately, you can only snap photos from afar as the tunnel itself is off limits and has been barricaded by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
The trail provides an ideal opportunity for bird watching. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, vultures, turkeys, finches, and an assortment of other bird species.
The Armstrong Rails to Trails Association advises hikers to avoid approaching wildlife, to take precaution and wear orange during hunting season from October to January, and to ensure pets remain on their leash at all times.
Ready to hit the Armstrong Trail for a picturesque hike?
Click here for more information, including trailheads and maps.
Armstrong Rails to Trails Association
P.O. Box 422
Kittanning, PA 16201
Click here for more information.
Pumped up about seeing more of Pittsburgh’s trails after embarking on this countryside hike?
Click here to read about the seven best hikes under three miles in and around Pittsburgh.
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