Biking – The Great Allegheny Passage
This is the top pick for outdoor activities. The GAP rail-trail offers 135 miles of hiking and biking between Cumberland, Md., and Duquesne, Pa., near Pittsburgh. It’s called one of America’s best bike trails. You will discover a level trail along winding rivers, shaded valleys and traditional small towns.
Three Rivers Heritage Trail
If you’re looking for a leisurely walk or bike ride that includes spectacular views of the city of Pittsburgh, then this is the path for you. The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is an urban trail that parallels the riverbanks of the city. Parts of it are named after the communities it runs through. This trail also has riverfront access for canoes and kayaks.
The Allegheny River is the kayaker’s dream. The river is 325 miles long and offers an easy ride, or depending on where you enter it, a challenging task. Many kayakers gather at the base of PNC Park during baseball games and hope to catch a home run that soars over the outfield and into the river.
Many spend their fall days drifting along the Youghiogheny River in the Laurel Highlands. The “Yough” has three distinct sections of the river that vary in rapids depending on the time of year. If you’re looking for a more leisurely ride, head downstream, near Connellsville. The river there is much slower, without whitewater rapids, and is able to be piloted by personal tubes, kayaks or canoes.
Brookies on the Make
Witness brook trout as they spawn. This is our state fish and a native species of Pennsylvania that lives in mountain brooks throughout the Laurel Highlands, as well as northern Pa. The fish become incredibly colorful during the fall and their spawning rituals can be observed in shallow streams. Some locations include Hell’s Run in McConnell’s Mill State Park, Bear Run Nature Reserve at Fallingwater, and any small stream along a hiking trail in Forbes State Forest and the Laurel Highlands.