Rachel Carson Trail
ElevationAscent: 5,612' 1,710 m
Descent: -5,427' -1,654 m
High: 1,267' 386 m
Low: 762' 232 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 57% (30°)
Current trail conditions
Popular runs nearby
Rachel Carson Trail Challenge
39.1 mi 62.9 km • Point to Point • 6,014 ft Ascent 1833.08 m Ascent
Singletrack Gibsonia, PA
North Park Multi-Trail Circuit (Orange - Green - Red/Blue Blazes)
18.9 mi 30.3 km • Point to Point • 1,844 ft Ascent 561.92 m Ascent
Singletrack Allison Park, PA
Twin Hills Park Loop
0.7 mi 1.2 km • Loop • 93 ft Ascent 28.4 m Ascent
Singletrack Dormont, PA
Boyce Park East and West Loop
7.9 mi 12.8 km • Loop • 657 ft Ascent 200.39 m Ascent
Singletrack Plum, PA
Cool Spirit Loop
5.7 mi 9.1 km • Loop • 525 ft Ascent 160.02 m Ascent
Singletrack Versailles, PA
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“An exploration of what it is to be a trail, RCT travels through parks, farmland, and housing plans.”— Kevin Ketchman
You'll have opportunities to jump on side trails that lead to Hartwood Acres Park, Rachel Carson Homestead in Springdale, and a number of eateries for a quick bite before, after, or during the run (e.g. Tuscan Inn near North Park).
You'll head up the hill to the Pie Traynor field and the southern section of North Park on your way out of the park. You'll then start down a long steady doubletrack section of trail before jumping into a ravine along a section of singletrack that is tough to traverse, and has another 4 stream crossings, which you'll not be able to avoid getting your feet wet (hooray).
From this point forward, you'll need to pay close attention for the yellow blazes. The RCT conservancy has done a great job of blazing the trail, and placing them in a manner that you'll see the next blaze before passing the current one you are approaching.
One of the many nature reserves (i.e. 'secret' parks) you'll pass is at mile 3.5. It's called the Crouse Run Nature Reserve, and it is a wonderful place to slow down and take in some solitude and wildflowers in the spring. You can also grab a bite to eat at the restaurant attached to nature reserve.