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Best Walking Trails

February 17, 2011 6:00 AM

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credit: www.pittsburghparks.org

Sure it’s February, but with the temperatures warming up for a few days, it’s time to get outside! Pittsburgh and its surrounding communities are known for their extensive amount of walking trails. Whether you’re looking for a quick scenic trip with the family or a rigorous hiking and biking trail, Western Pennsylvania has what you’re looking for.

Panther Hollow Trail

Schenley Park
Oakland, Pa,
http://www.pittsburghparks.org/schenley-walking-trails

Topping our list of favorite local trails is the Panther Hollow Trail. A $3.02 million improvement project got underway last year. This woodland retreat is located just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Oakland. The running trail is complete with beautiful scenery and a flourishing ecosystem. For a rigorous workout, explore Schenley’s forest interior. Get started behind the Schenley Park Café and Visitor Center by taking the Lower Panther Hollow Trail.

Great Allegheny Passage

McKeesport
100 5th Avenue
McKeesport, Pa. 15132

West Newton
111 Collinsburg Road
West Newton, Pa. 15089

http://www.atatrail.org

This is one monster of a trail. Once completed, the 150 mile Great Allegheny Passage will connect with the 184.5 mile C&O Canal Townpath in Cumberland, Maryland to create a 334.5 mile traffic and motorized vehicle-free route between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. The trail has a packed, crushed limestone surface for a smooth ride. Hiking and bicycling are two of the most popular activities. The trail system is accessible between dawn and dusk at multiple locations.

hiking Best Walking Trails

Hell’s Hollow

McConnells Mill State Park
R.R. 2, Box 16
Portersville, Pa. 16501
McConnells Mill State Park – Hiking

For an easy hiking experience, check out Hell’s Hollow. This half-mile path traverses through the forest on its way to a limekiln and Hell’s Hollow Falls. Although the main trail is smooth and level, the section by the waterfall can be slippery, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear! McConnell’s Mill State Park features a number of other trails that vary in difficulty.

Morton Valley Trail

Boyce-Mayview Park
1141 Boyce Rd.
Upper St Clair, Pa. 15241
http://www.usccls.org/BoyceMayview/Boyce-MayviewDirections.html

Morton Valley Trail at Boyce-Mayview Park is located about 10 miles from Pittsburgh. It is a newly developed urban park that has about eight miles of natural trails and features wetlands as well as other beautiful scenery. The property contains excessive woodlands and vast open spaces. It’s perfect for a quiet evening stroll.

Slippery Rock Gorge

McConnells Mill State Park
R.R. 2, Box 16
Portersville, Pa. 16501
http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/ParkGuides/pg4_9/glacial.aspx

Slippery Rock Gorge is for the more serious hiker. This area is full of deep, winding trails that lead down to Slippery Rock Creek. Some hikers suggest that you should only take on this task if you’re in excellent physical condition and love a challenge. Hikers describe this trail as a beautiful piece of nature.

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