Ohiopyle State Park, Ohiopyle, PA (Westmoreland County)
Ohiopyle is popular state park has many hiking trails to choose from. We enjoyed 2 of the easy trails in one day in addition to a visit to the great Visitor Center (maps & info. here!) and a stroll around the scenic Ohiopyle Falls nearby. The little village of Ohiopyle is right across the street from the falls and visitor center and there are cafes & bakeries to enjoy before or after hiking or pack a picnic lunch!
We walked over the Youghiogheny River on a walking/biking bridge to the Ferncliff Penninsula.
Enjoyed the fairly easy Ferncliff Trail – a 1.7 mile loop along the river and through woods. The trail is walkers only, narrow dirt path and a little rock scrambling near the river. I really enjoyed this pretty trail!
The woodsy part of the trail is in the shade. This park is on the edge of the mountains of the Laurel Highlands and can be cool in spring & fall – wear layers.
We drove to another, less popular area of the park in the afternoon and walked the Jonathan Run Trail – a 1.7 mile, out & back trail through dense woods. We forded small streams a couple times. This trail ‘ends’ at the Great Allegheny Passage (trail).
Mingo Creek Park in Washington County, PA
The park has an easy, level paved path that follows a creek through the park. The path is about 5 miles round trip (out & back) & is also popular for those on bicycles. The park includes two covered bridges, playgrounds, pavilions. This is a pretty walk in spring, summer and fall. There are additional trails through the woods that I haven’t tried yet.
The Montour Trail
This is a rails-to-trails trail that runs through, mostly, Allegheny and Washington Counties. There are about 12 different trailheads and almost 50 miles of trail that is for walkers and cyclists. Some trailheads have restrooms or (in season) porta-johns. We walked out & back about 5 miles from Cecil Park. The park itself has a playground and other activities including a pretty creek with fishing permitted.
After accessing the trail, on a sunny April Sunday, we turned left and walked up through the National Tunnel. Walking through trees and along edges of neighborhoods, it wasn’t the most scenic trail I’ve seen. But it is nice, wide pea stone trail with a few gently inclines to the tunnel and back.
An interesting feature (besides the tunnel) was a “Little Free Library” right on the trail near Cecil Park trailhead.
Cross Creek Park in Washington County
This county park has a very pretty out & back hike that starts at the main park area off Route 50 (near Avella). Look for signs to “Lake Trail” that goes into the woods above the lake, down a bit of steep hillside, and then follows the lake on a dirt trail.
The later part of the trail is flat and in the sun. This trail is all dirt & grass and can be muddy if there’s been rain! The trail is a mile, or so, long & ends at a small parking lot & boat launch.
There are restrooms on both ends of the trail. And the main park area has a nice playground, picnic tables, pavilions, fishing & boat launch areas.
Greene River Trail (Greene County, PA)
This is another rail to trails trail that follows the Monongahela River. I’ve walked this in the early Spring when there are better views f the river & in the fall when the heavily tree-lined, wide pathway is very pretty. Have used the trailhead in Millsboro at the Greene Cove Yacht Club. It is an out & back trail which passes through Rice’s Landing (small town). There are lovely views of the river most of the way and often boat traffic to add interest to the walk. The trail is mostly level, pea stone and also for bicycles.
Love this interesting sculpture of a hiker along the trail:
At the end of a 5+ mile walk, drinks at the Greene Cove Yacht Club – open seasonally & to the public. (closed when it’s not ‘boat season’).
Three Rivers Heritage Trail – Pittsburgh, PA
This is a wonderful urban trail system (walkers & cyclists) along all three river banks of Pittsburgh. The trail is paved with some areas of crushed (pea) stone and crosses several bridges and goes along sidewalks in some areas. I’ve walked two sections so far. One Labor Day morning, we parked at Station Square area, walked up to and over the Smithfield Street Bridge, down to Point State Park, over another bridge and along the North Shore.
There are many interesting landmarks to see: the fountain at the Point, blockhouse, statue of Fred Rogers, baseball and football stadiums, WW II memorial and much more. The architecture of the old bridges, buildings and boat traffic on the three rivers are all interesting as well!
Another day in the early Spring, we walked from The Strip District, across the 16th Street Bridge and down the North Shore (away from the Point) to Washington’s Landing where we circled the island and returned to the Strip for lunch.