Pittsburgh March 05, 2018
7 Scenic Rail Trails Near Pittsburgh That Are Downright Picture Perfect
Here comes spring! Who can resist spending time outdoors when the warm sunshine and gentle breezes return? One of the best ways to feel the sun on your skin and to breathe in the fresh air is to hit one of the many rail trails, that follow now-defunct railway routes, around Pittsburgh. Whether you plan to hike, bike, or go on a leisurely stroll, these seven rail trails near Pittsburgh are picture perfect.
1. Montour Trail
Hike all or some of the 46 mile Montour Trail. The picturesque rail trail, closed to motorized vehicles, promises a smooth hike or bike along predominately crushed limestone. Hop on and off at numerous trail heads. The Montour Trail also offers several spots for camping and connects to the Panhandle Trail.
2. Ghost Town Trail
The Ghost Town Trail leads hikers 36 miles, along a rail trail past former coal towns, in Indiana and Cambria Counties. Pass such landmarks as the Eliza Furnace and the Coal Miners Memorial. The trail features eight trail heads, including Saylor Park, Dilltown, and Ebensburg.
3. Armstrong Trail
History dots the 30 mile Armstrong Rail Trail that spans from Rosston to Catfish. From 1855 to 1941, trains traveled along the path. Today, hikers will still catch a glimpse of trains in the distance. Whether you hike all or just some of the trail, you'll pass numerous landmarks along the way, such as the Coaling Tower, Monticello Furnace, and Brady Tunnel.
4. Butler Freeport Community Trail
On the lookout for an easy and an enjoyable hike? Butler Freeport Community Trail, which stretches 21 miles, offers a predominately flat path with plenty to do along the way. Hikers and bikers travel along Little Buffalo Creek and the Allegheny River. Popular activities along the trail include geocaching, wildlife watching, and fishing in Buffalo Creek.
5. Greene River Trail
Hike, bike, or stroll along the five mile Greene River Trail that provides sweeping views of Ten Mile Creek and the Monongahela River. Start or end your hike at Rices Landing Borough or the Green Cove Yacht Club. The rail trail passes woodlands and numerous historical landmarks, including W.A. Young & Sons Foundry & Machine Shop.
6. Panhandle Trail
Cross into West Virginia if you opt to hike or bike the entire Panhandle Trail, which spans from Walkers Mill to Weirton, West Virginia. The trail features a dozen trail heads, many with amenities such as bathrooms, picnic tables, and parking. Trail heads include Walkers Mill Station, Oakdale Station, and Midway. Try geocaching or wildlife watching as you hike.
7. Oil Creek Bike Trail
The Oil Creek Bike Trail, also suitable for hikers, travels nine miles through a wooded area of Oil Creek State Park. Discover the history of oil in the area by starting at the Drake Well Museum before embarking on the trail itself. The hike features scenic vistas, picnic tables, and bathrooms.
Do you have any favorite rail trails near Pittsburgh?
Click here to read about six (other) amazing hikes you can take without ever leaving the city.