4 Hiking & Biking Trails You Must Hit This Summer

biking and hiking trails blog

We love trails. Heck, we built a community around around some of the most beautiful walking trails in Western Pennsylvania. Summer tends to pass in a blink of an eye in our region so be sure to get outdoors and take in the fresh air before fall rolls around.

 

 

 

 

The beautiful hiking and biking trails of the Pittsburgh area help connect disparate communities and provide a canvass for transport and excitement. Here are 4 trails you should visit this summer provided by Pittsburgh Magazine.

 

1. Three Rivers Heritage Trail

3 rivers hertigage trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distance: 25 miles

Location: Along Allegheny, Monongahela and  Ohio Rivers

Many of the central neighborhoods of Pittsburgh are connected by the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, a system of riverside paths reclaimed and restored over more than two decades by Friends of the Riverfront; it now enables you to fluidly travel throughout the city and access its three rivers. You could spend days exploring the Heritage Trail’s 25 miles (with more planned) of interconnected routes. From there, trails radiate away from Allegheny County, extending in multiple directions across the state and beyond.

 

2. Panhandle Trail

panhandle trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distance: 29 miles

Location: Carnegie to Weirton, W.Va.

The Panhandle Trail might just be Washington County’s best-kept secret: Extending westward from the Montour Trail, this route carves a jagged line to the West Virginia border. The creeks, farmhouses and occasional churches are pastoral, giving trekkers a whole new perspective on Washington’s rich countryside. Unlike the urban trails nearby, the Panhandle often is rugged and pebbly. That makes for some rough riding, although hikers shouldn’t have a problem, and standard hybrid bike tires should suffice. While most people will travel the Panhandle in summer, autumnal hikes yield spectacular views of changing leaves, which is why the annual “Night Walk” takes place around Halloween. Don’t expect to make a lot of friends on the Panhandle, as the route is comparatively quiet. Do expect to see all kinds of animals, from wild turkeys to snapping turtles.

 

3. Montour Trail

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Distance: 45 miles

Location: Coraopolis to South Park Township

Carving a gradual crescent through Pittsburgh’s southern suburbs, the Montour Trail is the longest and most dynamic path in Allegheny County. The trail starts in Coraopolis, a stone’s throw from the Ohio River, and crosses urban sprawl, fields, woodland, trestle bridges and rivers on its way to the village of Library in South Park Township (and eventually to Clairton). As you wend your way from one small town to another, each mile offers completely different topography from the last. In some areas, the trail is so sparsely trafficked that it seems as if you have an entire township to yourself. Because the Montour Trail covers such diverse territory, it’s a great place to spot birds, deer and other wildlife. Parts of the trail are used frequently for athletic events, such as the Montour Trail Half-Marathon and the Tour the Montour Trail Ride. The only downside to the Montour is that it often is in need of upkeep, and sections occasionally are closed for maintenance.

 

4. Allegheny River Trail

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Distance: 32 miles

Location: Franklin to Foxburg

Nestled into the hills of Venango County, Franklin is a charming town and well worth a visit. It also is the perfect springboard to The Allegheny River Trail, a surprisingly long path that leads from Franklin to Foxburg in Clarion County. Travelers pass through forest and railroad tunnels as they curve along the powerful Allegheny River, and every mile offers splendid panoramas. There are well-established picnic areas for taking a breather, and nary a house nor car interrupts the pristine ecosystem. Here’s the best part: If you finish the trail from Foxburg to Franklin, you can resume your journey on the Justus Trail, which leads to Oil City — and from there it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to the Oil Creek Trail. That’s a long day of biking (never mind walking), but it’s the perfect way to explore Pennsylvania’s remarkable Oil Heritage Region.

 

We hope you’re able to get out there and enjoy these beautiful trails this summer. If living by trails is something you desire, check out Venango Trails to find the home of your dreams. And for the complete list of hiking and biking trails in Western Pennsylvania, visit this great Pittsburgh Magazine article.

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