We’ve had to forgo heavily attended events like sports and concerts for more solitary activities in the wake of COVID-19.
This has given people the chance to discover new things about themselves and take up hobbies like knitting, painting, or writing. It's also allowed many to reconnect with nature in a sublime way.
With autumn on the horizon, we thought we’d share some trails to explore in the region and give people time to find themselves among woodland life.
Westmoreland Heritage Trail
There are currently two sections of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail open, each around 9 miles. One spans from Delmont to Saltsburg, the other from Export to B-Y Park in Trafford.
Relatively new, the trail has become a favorite of bike riders. If you don’t have a bike, rent one from Lisa’s Bike Shop in Trafford for $10 an hour or $40 for the day (they even have tandem bikes).
Or grab an ice cream next door at Parkside Creamery.
There are interesting monuments to be seen along the trail and quiet scenery. Just be careful when crossing major intersections.
Braddock’s Trail Park
If you’re interested in wildlife, this is the trail for you. The park is known for attracting bird watchers and wildflower tours.
There are several different hiking trails you can take. A highlight is the waterfall that features a scenic waterfall with a lookout.
This park gives people a chance to reflect among the varying aspects of wildlife, and boasts a serene stillness.
Pleasant Valley Park
With 262 acres of woodland, open fields and remote valleys, there’s no shortage of places to explore at Pleasant Valley Park.
Thanks to volunteers, trails have been formed for hiking or mountain biking. They also have long farm roads geared towards family hiking or cross-country skiing and snowshoeing during the winter months.
The Murrysville 4-H Conservation Club has established tree identification signs along the trails that make for added education during your trek.
Duff Park spans 148 acres of heavily wooded terrain mostly on hillsides. There are different paths available if you’re looking for a lighter or more intense workout.
The Funk Bikeaway is one of the flatter trails for about 1.5 miles before it goes up a hill. You can get a better scenic view, crossing bridges on bike or foot.
A pavilion sits quietly among the trails if you want to have a picnic or rent it for other activities.
Duff Park is an ideal destination for wildflower enthusiasts and photographers. Woodland spring blooming flowers are abundant, and the park was recognized as a Wild Plant Sanctuary by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and National Resources in 2010.