They raised public and private money to acquire the right-of-way, obtained the support of Allegheny County and other government entities, and brought awareness of the project to the community through public meetings and a bimonthly newsletter. Eventually, this trail segment will extend 47 miles (76 km) from Coraopolis, Pennsylvania to Clairton, Pennsylvania. Between mile markers 29.5-29.0, about a half mile from the old Montour 4 mine portal, there’s a covered pavilion along the trail. The Westland Branch is a branch that extends from the trail in Venice to the town of Westland. Parking and Trail Access It connects to the Montour Trail system in Clairton, a town southeast of Pittsburgh. Families also have the option of biking the trail if they choose. Copyright © 2001-2020 Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC). It was formerly the Montour Railroad. Sign up for eNews to get monthly updates on trail news, events and success stories from across the country. Trail of the Month is made possible by the generosity of trail advocates like you. The map on this page is interactive. Rentals: The Tandem Connection (5 Georgetown Road in Canonsburg; 724.745.2453) has an ideal location just steps from the trail in a century-old building about halfway along the trail’s route, near mile-marker 27. Email 2021 Montour Area Recreation Commission Lawn Care Invitation to Bid page 1 of 21 ... MARC will determine the actual start and end dates for mowing) Area 2 - Street access and trails (a) Edges of the park access road (where possible) (b) Grass areas of Old Reading Line Trail parallel to Rt. The establishment includes a barbeque café (its pulled pork sandwiches have a rabid following), ice cream parlor, coffee bar and small gift shop. [6][7][8][9], Coordinates: 40°19′05″N 80°13′41″W / 40.3181°N 80.2281°W / 40.3181; -80.2281, "Firm to build Montour Trail section in return for land use", "Energy company offers to extend Montour Trail", Google Map of trail (including parts of Arrowhead Trail), Radio special on The Great Allegheny Passage, including a segment on The Montour Trail, by "The Allegheny Front", Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area, Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, Hoverter and Sholl Box Huckleberry Natural Area, Carbon County Environmental Education Center, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, Harrison Hills Park Environmental Education Center, Honey Hollow Environmental Education Center, Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center, Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center, Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, Wildlife Center at Sinnemahoning State Park, Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Montour_Trail&oldid=954473279, National Recreation Trails in Pennsylvania, Protected areas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 2 May 2020, at 16:08. Whatever you’re looking for in a trail, it’s here: dozens of picturesque bridges (though the nearly 1,000-foot-long McDonald Viaduct steals the show), three railroad tunnels that beckon cool and inviting in the summer, remote woodlands and rolling farmlands, welcoming small towns and big-city connections. Another two-mile paved section runs through Clairton. The Montour Trail has four branches: Bethel, Muse, Westland, and the Airport Connector. It was formerly the Montour Railroad. All ages and running ability levels are welcome to join. becoming operational in 1914. Let's start from the beginning before the Montour even existed. With this abundant connectivity, the Montour Trail was a natural fit for RTC’s Pennsylvania Rail-Trail Sojourn. The Montour trail will, when completed, connect McKeesport to the Pittsburgh International Airport and Coraopolis. In 2019, in the interest of safety and as the centerpiece of the development, the developer built a bridge to carry the trail over Summit Drive, at their expense. When we’d run to this spot, we’d go the other direction, too. The Montour Trail is a multi-use recreational rail trail near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “No one could use the building because it was built on an island. “For the Library Viaduct in particular, the road—State Route 88—was busy and has a narrow shoulder. The largest construction project of the Montour Railroad began 100 years ago, with the 32- mile extension of the main line from North Star Junction, near Imperial, to Bethel Park, ending near Baptist Road. America's Trails, Building Trails, Success Stories. Contact Field Offices. Patricia Mosso October 24, 2012. Getting there: It’s possible to bike from Pittsburgh International Airport (1000 Airport Blvd., Pittsburgh) to the Montour Trail via the 6.5-mile Airport Connector. Mostly too warm the whole day. Surface type: The trail is primarily crushed limestone. The MTC completed construction of ¼ mile east from Pleasant Street in September 2019 and built a temporary trail access to Summit Drive, the development entrance road, reducing the existing on-road detour from 1.1 to 0.7 mile. “The Montour Trail has a huge volunteer base that does everything from A to Z,” says Tom Sexton, northeast regional director for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC). 1. Our Project … In Peters Township, you'll find a paved section of the Montour Trail, known locally as the Arrowhead Trail. “To have two projects like that going on at one time is pretty big. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the Eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. With a shoestring budget, the effort started out with “little pieces, and then we got to bigger and bigger pieces,” says McKeown. The picturesque rail trail, closed to motorized vehicles, promises a smooth hike or bike along predominately crushed limestone. The Panhandle Trail crosses the 61.5-mile Montour Trail, which links to the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage and the 184.5-mile C&O Canal Towpath for an off-road connection to Washington, D.C. Horseback riding is allowed in the corridor in Pennsylvania, but not on the trail itself. We are working to close several short gaps in th… The Montour Trail is a multi-use recreational rail trail near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Covering such a vast distance, the crushed-limestone path is expectedly diverse winding through both rural Washington County and the more lively Allegheny County (which is second only to Philadelphia County in terms of population). The Montour Trail also offers several spots for camping and connects to the Panhandle Trail. Occasionally rocks will still fall off the sides of the cut and end up on the trail surface. The Montour Trail is managed and maintained by The Montour Trail Council (MTC). Laura Stark The Montour trail runs through the neighboorhood which is very unique. The township planted 500 trees along the 4-mile route, which opened in 1985. Route: N... - 41.9 mi, +2646 ft. Bike ride in Allegheny County, PA A very nice trail along Peters Creek from Clairton to Jefferson Hills with parking on either end. Its 63 miles of trails also connect with the Great Allegheny Passage, which runs 330 miles from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. Perhaps what sets it apart most, though, is what you don’t see. “They may argue about a lot of stuff, but the trail is something everyone can agree on.”, Local Organizing In 1989, they gathered a core group of 15 people to discuss plans for the recently abandoned Montour Railroad, which dated back to 1877 and was originally used to haul coal. Trail of the Month. The Montour Trail is a multi-use, non-motorized recreational pathway around Pittsburgh, the country’s longest suburban rail-trail. Their first success was the completion of a 4.5-mile segment in Cecil Township, which opened in 1992. The Bethel Branch extends from the trail in Peters Township into Bethel Park. Discovered one of those ghosts along the Montour Trail again. Uses: Walking, biking, horseback riding and fishing; wheelchair accessible. Trail Destinations In Cumberland, the GAP joins the C&O Canal Towpath, creating a continuous trail … The business offers a wide range of rentals, including comfort cruisers, mountain bikes, hybrids, youth bikes, tag-alongs and, of course, tandems. In December 2010 MarkWest Energy announced plans to lease the Westland Branch right of way from the Montour Trail Council for 30 years. Hop on and off at numerous trail heads. [4][5] The Muse Branch is a planned, undeveloped branch in Cecil Township that goes to the town of Muse. A lot of people would get to that point and just go back. McConnell Trails is located on the Montour Trail and includes 2 community access trails — Bike, hike, and walk to your heart’s content without venturing too far … Montour School District is located at 225 Clever Road Mckees Rocks, PA 15136 and comprises of 5 schools. in All rights reserved. The Westland Branch connects to the Montour Trail mainline at Gilmore Junction and runs 4.1 miles through predominantly rural farmlands to Venice. They do incredible work and take everything to the next level.”. RACE OVERVIEW The Montour 24 offers a 24-hour individual endurance trail run or a four-person relay 24-hour endurance trail run on a fully supported loop course at the Montour Preserve in Danville, PA. Food and water will be available every 4 miles located just past the start/finish line along with an aid stop a little past the halfway point on the course. It is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation, relying on corporate, foundation and government grants and private donations for funding. The branch was redeveloped as a combination trail and railroad operated by the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway to serve MarkWest's Westland natural gas processing plant. In the winter, the shop is cozy with two fireplaces ablaze and fat tire bikes and cross-country skis available to tackle the snow. Inside, travelers will also find a café (including coffee and ice cream! To view the map in full-screen mode, click the expand button at the top right.. The MTC is a non-profit all-volunteer group which builds, operates, and maintains the trail. There’s a four-mile paved section through Peters Township and a two-mile paved section in Clairton. The Montour Trail begins near Neville Island and also connects up to the Great Allegheny Passage via the Clairton Connector (at last check, the connector contains a few miles of surface roads). ... debris and rocks out of the drainage ditches. We will begin with warm up games and a safety talk, hit the trails, then end with hot drinks and snacks at the end. 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The trail is part of a 204-mile (328 km) rails to trails project between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Maryland that makes up part of a 400-mile (640 km) trail system between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., known as the Great Allegheny Passage. How the Great Allegheny Passage Transformed a Region. They got creative to tackle the problem of giant icicles that form and threaten the safety of walkers, cyclists and cross-country skiers who … Using Trails and Outdoor Spaces Safely in the Wake of COVID-19, 3. The trail passes among a wooded corridor in suburbia, linking neighborhoods with parks. Transportation Alternatives Data Exchange, http://www.railstotrails.org/trailblog/2015/march/16/pennsylvanias-montour-trail/, Looking Back, With Gratitude, on a Year of Challenges and Triumphs for Trails, A Vermont Rail-Trail Leads to the New York Public Library, New Year Presents New Opportunities for Trails, Walking and Biking in Washington, Staying Active While We Practice Social Distancing, Using Trails and Outdoor Spaces Safely in the Wake of COVID-19, Resources for Safe Outdoor Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic, How the Great Allegheny Passage Transformed a Region. Courtesy of an Eagle Scout project. 54 (approx. Frank loved the trail and labored on it up until the week he passed away last December at the age of 81. Now complete to Pittsburgh, the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage connects with the 184.5-mile C&0 Canal Towpath at Cumberland, MD to create a 334.5-mile route between Pittsburgh and Washington, DC, free from traffic and motorized vehicles. When are you coming to our neighborhood?’”. The Airport Connector is a branch of the trail that goes from the mainline trail in Imperial to Pittsburgh International Airport. Fueled by a passion for trails and pizza—Burg’s Pizza and Wings Restaurant, located just down the street from MTC headquarters, has been a longtime supporter—more segments followed. 44 degrees, at start, 55 at end. At its peak, the railroad carried 7 million tons of coal per year. Going strong for 25 years, the Montour Trail has proved its merits from its littlest rider on a set of training wheels to top government officials. The organization started with two friends, Stan Sattinger and Dino Angelici—one an engineer and the other a dentist—two ordinary men with extraordinary vision. Get your choice of one of our 13 guidebooks with your support for the trails you love, including two updated guides for 2020! First built in one-to-five-mile sections, the project has now grown to include such “bigger pieces” as the $2.2 million renovation of the Library Viaduct, which spans 500 feet across a stream and light rail tracks, and the construction of a $1.3 million bridge over Valley Brook Road. “Even if you don’t have specific skills, there are things you can do, like handing out water at a running event for fundraising,” says Paul McKeown, secretary of MTC’s engineering and construction committee. This can-do attitude of its volunteers, coupled with an open door for anyone that wants to help, is what makes MTC so special. The Montour Trail is a 47 mile rail-to-trail that scribes a semicircle around Pittsburgh from Coraopolis to Clairton. Resources for Safe Outdoor Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic, 4. Washington, DC 20037Phone: 202.331.9696 Wore my Performance leggings, underarmour shirt and Performance jacket. Starting at just before 7am from the 46.6 mile marker of the trail I set off towards mile marker 0. It sits next to a ravine which climbs sharply to the back end of a … Those wanting to take a guided group tour of both the Montour Trail and the GAP can register online for the trip, which will take place this June 21-26. The relatively flat half-loop stretches from Coraopolis (along the Ohio River) to Clairton (on the Monongahela River). The shop, housed in a century-old building (once a mining company store), had been unsuccessfully occupied by similar businesses before. In terms of rail-trail mileage, Pennsylvania dominates, but in a crowded field, the Montour Trail—which forms a 55-mile arc around western Pittsburgh—is a standout with plenty of “wow” moments. Because an active rail line parallels the Trail, it is not overgrown — offering great views of the surrounding countryside: hawks gliding overhead, cattle grazing in rolling pastures, wild flowers and interesting bushes blowing at the trail’s edge. To navigate the area with an interactive GIS map, and to see more photos, user reviews and ratings, plus loads of other trip-planning information, visit RTC's free trail-finder website, TrailLink.com. Volunteers will rebuild the 1.6 miles from the Arrowhead Trail in Peters to the Library Viaduct, which may cause occasional weekday closures, he said. During one of those early meetings, a new volunteer, Frank Ludwin, said he saw an old dump truck for sale that he, a welder and heavy equipment operator, could fix up for use on the trail. Construction was completed and the branch began operation in August 2012. The scenic Montour Trail is a multi-use non-motorized recreational rail-trail near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and will ultimately traverse 46 miles from Moon Township near Coraopolis to Clairton. (Photo by Mark Marietta) Harry Funk / Observer-Reporter 2121 Ward Court, NW, 5th Floor Posted 03/16/15 by Met up with support team around mile 24 to remove my lights that I had used earlier in the morning and then continued on. Start point/end point: Coraopolis Road/State Route 51 (Coraopolis) to N. State Street/State Route 837 (Clairton). Under his leadership, a grader, a roller, trackers and backhoes followed, enabling the group to physically build the trail themselves, except for more complicated structures, such as bridges, for which professional hired help was needed. Pennsylvania Montour Trail is a 36 mile moderately popular paved path trail located near Rennerdale Pennsylvania. Donate today or join our community by becoming a member to help make featured stories like this possible! “We’re spending more money on our current projects than at any time in our history,” adds McKeown. It’s estimated that their volunteers donate more than 15,000 hours annually to build and maintain the trail. k b • 5 years ago You didn't mention the awesome gate at mile marker 3 Chad Spawr • 5 years ago With his wife and another couple, he opened the bicycle rental and repair shop near mile marker 27 on the Montour Trail in 2013. Join Venture Outdoors and P3R for a family fun trail run and bike ride on the Montour Trail in Bethel Park! As of 2012, MTC maintained net assets in excess of $9,300,000.00.[3]. It requires a confident cyclist to do it.”. The Montour Trail began life as the coal-carrying Montour Railroad, in 1877, feeding the area’s steel mills. ), bicycle storage, repair/tune-up service and a gift shop (proceeds from Montour Trail merchandise benefit the trail). Good for walking, jogging, biking, hiking, and dog walking. This group is for pictures of all sorts along the Montour and Panhandle Trails. National Headquarters: The Montour Trail is an award-winning trail that was named Trail of the Year by the Pennsylvania DCNR in 2017. Plan your next trail adventure right from home! The group plans to utilize Transportation Enhancement funds for the projects, and both are anticipated to be completed this year (the former in April and the latter by fall). The Montour Trail Council provides detailed directions and information for each trailhead on their website. In winter, the trail is not plowed or groomed, but can still be used by cross-country skiers and fat tire bikers; you can rent both skis and fat tire bikes at The Tandem Connection (see rental information below). This mountain bike primary trail can be used both directions and has a easy overall physical rating with a 1,555 ft green climb. The connections just weren’t there yet; you had to cross busy roads,” says Poe of the former gaps in the trail on either side of the building. “We went for the low-hanging fruit, and then those opposed would say, ‘Wow, that looks good. Centrally located on the trail, it’s also a prime spot for the more adventurous to begin their journeys. It was the first piece of trail-building equipment the group bought. Access and parking: Trailhead parking is available at either end of the trail (along Montour Coketown at the northern end of the trail and off N. State Street at the trail's southern end), as well as many points in-between. The main line extends ~47 miles; branch routes increase length to 60+ miles. We were off to a slow start due to Covid delays, but have ramped back up. In winter, you can also pick up cross-country skies or a fat tire bike for riding in the snow. “We started in areas where we had lots of support and built the trail there,” says McKeown. There are plans to extend the existing Bethel Branch to nearby Millennium Park by following the remaining section of the former railway. For Poe, an entrepreneur, “a light bulb went off.” By any measure, The Tandem Connection has been a success and, just steps from the pathway, a friendly and welcome stop for trail users. The new Montour Trail Airport Connector connects the Enlow Ball Park (aka Five Points) trailhead of the Montour Trail to the Airport, a distance of a bit over 6 miles. “There’s a lot of political support for the trail, and [the support] is bipartisan,” says Dave Wright, an engineer and project manager for Allegheny County. The Trail is complete from Mile 0.0 near Coraopolis to Pleasant Street in Library (MP 35.7). Riders going east from the shop can connect to the famed Great Allegheny Passage (GAP), spanning 150 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Cumberland, Maryland. It shows just how far we’ve matured as an organization.”, The impact of the improvements in these areas, which are currently on-road connections, will be huge. The Cliff Mine Road stretch featuring the Enlow tunnel discussed in this post begins just off of I-376 before the Pittsburgh airport. Hike all or some of the 46 mile Montour Trail. Runners in 10K race along the Montour Trail exit the west end of the National Tunnel during the 2018 event. All that changed a few years ago, when a pair of trail bridges were constructed that created a continuous off-road trail in that area. Montour Trail is great but the trail network needs some improvements: connect from Coraopolis to Pittsburgh along the Ohio River and Route 51, and extend the Panhandle Trail along Chartiers Creek to the Ohio River. David Poe, co-owner of The Tandem Connection, knows firsthand just how important those connections are. It has a mostly crushed limestone with partially asphalt surface, appropriate for bicycling, walking, running, and cross-country skiing. Laura Stark is a lead writer and editor for Rails to Trails magazine, responsible for highlighting trails and the people working hard to support them across America. Here, at the trails eastern end, a short on-road route leads to the Great Allegheny Passage, which spans 150 miles between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Maryland. The trail ends at the Five Points intersection of Imperial-Enlow, where you can continue your journey on the Montour Trail on the south side of Main Street. Maintenance and Volunteers On average it takes 2 hours9 minutes to complete this trail. The main line extends between those two towns, and branch trails extend into Bethel Park and Westland. “I think it’s the best all-volunteer-managed trail in the United States. Cutting acroos the Montour Trail is the Panhandle Trail from Rennerdale to Primrose and, when complete, to Weirton. The rail-trail was created and continues to grow and thrive through the stalwart efforts of a nonprofit called the Montour Trail Council (MTC). A second major bridge project is underway along Valley Brook Road in Peters to link the western end of the Arrowhead Trail with the Montour. Head west from there, and the Montour Trail meets the Panhandle Trail, another beautiful trek, especially with springtime wildflowers, which stretches 29 miles and extends into West Virginia. The Connector does not follow any of the Montour Railroad grade, rather it follows roads to the airport. “Coming up to the Library Viaduct is where you’ll meet all of your challenges as a cyclist because you’re coming onto on-road riding,” says McKeown. Click on the layer button at the top left to turn layers on and off, and click on the icons for more information about locations, such as campsites, trailheads, and amenities.Mile markers are … It was not really viable for anything.”. Another on-road section will come at the south end of the trail on Enlow Road, but it's a quiet street with little traffic. “We have all kinds of people doing all kinds of things.”, Although the group met some initial resistance to the project, a smart construction strategy nipped negativity in the bud. Staying Active While We Practice Social Distancing, 2. “My wife and I are big runners. Volunteers with the Montour Trail put their heads together and their hands to work to solve a big problem that has plagued a Cecil tunnel for years. Cecil Township, which opened in 1992 frank loved the trail that goes from trail... Frank loved the trail and labored on it up until the week passed... First piece of trail-building equipment the group bought Road/State Route 51 ( Coraopolis ) to Clairton /. In suburbia, linking neighborhoods with parks trail mainline at Gilmore Junction and runs 4.1 miles through rural... 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To extend the existing Bethel branch to nearby Millennium Park by following the section... Find a café ( including coffee and ice cream you coming to our neighborhood? ’.. But have ramped back up the Montour trail has four branches: Bethel, Muse Westland!, to Weirton on average it takes 2 hours9 minutes to complete this trail segment will extend miles! Complete, to Weirton … Hike all or some of the former railway directions and has mostly! River ) to Clairton ( on the Monongahela River ) to N. State Street/State 837... Trail is a 36 mile moderately popular paved path trail located near Rennerdale..