Trails

 

Adam and Amy Henry of Pittsburgh enjoying the trail on their Tandem Bike. Adam and Amy Henry of Pittsburgh enjoying the trail on their Tandem Bike.

 

The Armstrong Trail

The 36 mile long Armstrong Trail is located on the former Allegheny Valley Railroad corridor along the eastern bank of the Allegheny River in Armstrong and Clarion Counties. The trail links such towns as Ford City, Kittanning and East Brady and is a great place to bicycle, walk, jog, cross-country ski, birdwatch, geocache, or exercise in a safe relaxing environment. The trail is for non-motorized use only.  28 miles of trail have been improved with crushed limestone or asphalt surface. Plans are being developed to further improve the trail’s conditions and to better establish connections with the Redbank Valley Trails and

others in the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail. Our trail is rich with local history, from Native Americans to river travel to iron production to the railroads. Remnants of villages, iron furnaces, coke ovens, train stations, etc. can be found along the trail. A train turntable, tunnel, and coaling tower still stand. Directions to trail parking areas, maps, updates to trail conditions, membership, meeting times, trail events and trail workdays can be found by visiting armstrongrailstotrails.org or on Facebook at Armstrong Rails to Trails.

Information and comments can also be conveyed by contacting:
The Armstrong Rails to Trails Association

PO Box 422
Kittanning, PA 16201
Phone: 412 407-2782 (ARTA)
Website: www.armstrongrailstotrails.org

OR

The Allegheny Valley Land Trust
P.O. Box 777
Kittanning, PA 16201
Ph: 724-543-4478
Fax: 724-543-1783
Web: www.alleghenyvalleylandtrust.org

 

 

Roaring Run is touted by regulars to have some of the Best Mountain Biking in the state. Roaring Run has some of the Best Mountain Biking in PA.

Roaring Run Recreation Area
www.roaringrun.org

The Roaring Run Recreation Area is owned and operated by the Roaring Run Watershed Association. This 653 acre conservation and recreation project is open to the public year-round, from dawn to dusk.Over 15 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails exist throughout the property as well as two premier-surfaced trails, the “Roaring Run Trail” and the “Rock Furnace Trail”.

A canoeing/kayaking launch for Kiskiminetas River access is located at the Roaring Run trailhead. The parking area has a capacity for 105 vehicles. Picnic tables and a pavilion are at the trailhead.

The first 4 miles of the Roaring Run Trail are hard packed crushed limestone. The remaining one mile to the village of Edmon is a former logging road. This last mile is suitable for hiking and mountain biking. Remains of the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal can be found along the trail. The Roaring Run Watershed Association is currently working with the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy to link the Roaring Run Trail to the Conservancy’s West Penn Trail that connects Saltsburg to Blairsville, resulting in a combined trail system of over 25 miles. This trail segment is part of the Pittsburgh to Harrisburg Mainline Canal Greenway project, a project identifying historic and recreational resources, including land and water trails, along the route of the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal that operated from 1825-1850, connecting Pittsburgh to Philadelphia.

A cable suspension bridge was constructed in 2007 over Roaring Run to connect the two sections of the Rock Furnace Trail, enabling year round use of the trail.

The first four miles of the Roaring Run Trail and the lower ½ mile of the Rock Furnace Trail are suitable for persons with disabilities.

The Roaring Run Trailhead is located in Apollo on Kiski Avenue/Canal Road.

For more information contact:
The Roaring Run Watershed Association
P.O. Box 333
Apollo, PA 15613
Ph: 724-478-3366
Web: www.roaringrun.org

Baker Trail
www.rachelcarsontrails.org

Baker Trail Armstrong County’s premiere hiking trail, the Baker Trail, covers 141 miles and extends from Freeport, Armstrong County to the Allegheny National Forest. This hiking trail follows forest paths, old jeep trails and dirt roads through woods, gamelands, and farmlands and is marked by yellow blazes. 18 miles of the trail share a footpath with the North Country Scenic Trail.

It is strongly recommended that every person or group planning on hiking the Baker Trail have a trail guidebook. A comprehensive guide to the Baker Trail describes the trail, points of interest, shelter locations, and contains a full set of topographical maps and is available to purchase at the Tourist Bureau office as well as the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy who maintains this hiking trail.

For volunteer, steward opportunities, or questions contact:
Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy
P.O. Box 35
Warrendale, PA 15086-0035
Ph: 724-325-3224
Web: www.rachelcarsontrails.org

Cowanshannock Trail

www.cowanshannock.orgCowanshannock TrailThis newly completed 1¼ mile trail leads to one of Armstrong County’s best kept secrets – Buttermilk Falls! Follow this crushed-limestone surface trail on foot or by bike from the trailhead at the Bernard C. Snyder picnic area, located just off of State Route 1033 north of Kittanning. You can also access the Armstrong Trail from this location.The Bernard C. Snyder Picnic Area offers a pavilion, restrooms, charcoal-burning grills, a picnic area, and is home to the Canfield-Holmes Wildlife Sanctuary. This trail is great for hikers, bikers, birdwatchers, wildflower enthusiasts, and anglers.

A nearby boat launch area provids access to the mouth of Cowanshannock Creek (a great fishery, and with spring rain cooperation – an experienced kayaker’s playground), as well as the Allegheny River. Bring the whole family to experience the beauty of Cowanshannock Creek & Trail!

For more information, contact:
Cowanshannock Creek Watershed Association
P.O. Box 307
Rural Valley, PA 16249
Ph: 724-783-6692
Web: www.cowanshannock.org

The Great Shamokin Path

www.cowanshannock.orgBuilt at the Rural Valley Railroad, the Great Shamokin Path is named after the path that once linked the Allegheny and Susquehanna Rivers and ran from Kittanning to Sunbury.This mostly grass-covered trail climbs steadily through the Cowanshannock Creek Valley past the Devil’s Washbasin, a 1.5 acre lake named for its dam across the creek to obtain water for steam engines – always smokey, steamy and eerie looking. The lake is stocked with fish and offers ice fishing and picnicking.

The Great Shamokin Path is a hiking and bicycle trail running for 4 miles between NuMine and Rose Valley. The trail is parallel to the Cowanshannock Creek.

Two trailheads exist for the Great Shamokin Path – one along State Route 85 near Yatesboro, and the other in NuMine (near the White Lake Picnic Area).

For more information, contact:
Cowanshannock Creek Watershed Association
P.O. Box 307
Rural Valley, PA 16249
Ph: 724-783-6692
Web: www.cowanshannock.org

Kiski-Conemaugh Water Trail
http://www.mainlinecanalgreenway.org/water_trails_kiski.shtmlKiski-Conemaugh Water Trai

Topography/Geology

The headwaters of the Conemaugh originate at around 3,000 feet above sea level and the course of the river drops to 957 feet above sea level at the mouth of the Kiski toward the Allegheny River. This drop has carved out canyons and gaps along the way. Two of them are along the water trail. Mineral resources abound along the trail, which had a large role in America’s industrialization. Coal is the best known resource, but gas and limestone are also products derived from the basin’s geology.Conemaugh Gorge and Packsaddle Gap
These are two of the most prominent features along the trail. Conemaugh Gorge, located just west of Johnstown, is 1,650 deep. Though the railroad and routes 56 and 403 parallel the river, the paddling is serene. Packsaddle Gap is the scenic route the Conemaugh has taken through Laurel Ridge. Though not as deep as the gorge, Packsaddle offers a pleasant and scenic paddle with only the occasional train whistle to interrupt the paddler’s day.

Kiski-Conemaugh Water Trai The Forest Along the Way
A majority of the Kiski-Conemaugh River trail is forested. The recovery of the waterway is also reflected in the riparian area. Once heavily logged, the paddlers will find a mosaic of eastern hardwoods lining the river; black cherry, oak, maples, hemlock, sycamore along with mountain laurel, rhododendron, are prevalent. Black bears, deer, wild turkeys, muskrats, blue herons, grouse, wood ducks, mallards, and Canada geese all make their home along the way, and are regularly seen by boaters. Just as AMD (Acid Mine Drainage) is a problem in the water, Japanese knotweed, an invasive species, has taken over large tracts of the riparian area. Efforts are underway to halt its domination and re-introduce native species.

 

Pittsburgh-To-Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway TM

Allegheny Ridge Corporation/Altoona Heritage Discovery Center

1421-1427 Twelfth Avenue, P.O. Box 348
Altoona, PA 16603
724-858-0463

This heritage and recreation corridor is Making New Connections Between Old Neighbors TM by following the path of the 1830s-era Canal, it features the Lower Trail, the West Penn Trail, the Roaring Run Trail and the Kiski-Conemaugh and Juniata River Water Trail systems.The Allegheny Ridge State Heritage Park has an effort underway to create a Greenway that retraces the Mainline Canal corridor. The water trail is a strong component of this overall effort: to protect natural, cultural and scenic resources. Pennsylvania’s “Millennium Legacy Trail” is a network of individual initiatives managed by local partners throughout the corridor. The network includes not only trails, but also public river access, historic downtown revitalization, heritage preservation and environmental stewardship projects. This community driven project will help interpret the region’s unique cultural and natural heritage, while providing linkages between the towns of the region and the natural resources. The Greenway is creating “New connections between old neighbors.” For more information: www.alleghenyridge.org.

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