“A semi-circumnavigation of Pittsburgh over cinder and paved rail trail.”
— Kevin Ketchman
The rail still get some use, and with snow covering quickly turns to a solid ice sheet. Bring crampons.
This rail trail technically connects Coraopolis with the Great Allegheny Passage
(GAP) in McKeesport; although, a section is under development around Jefferson Hills.
The trail itself is a mix of cinder and paved path. It gently climbs the first 10 miles to the foot of Robinson Town Center. From here's the trail dips and dives, never at more than a 1% grade, through the South Hills.
The trail offers access to Panhandle Trail
, which brushes by Settlers Cabin State Park, and the trails at South Park (South Park Connection to Montour Trail
For access to GAP trail:
Unfortunately, the trail is incomplete past South Park. To continue to McKeesport, runners will need to follow Piney Fork Road making a right at the current southern/eastern trail terminus. This will take runners through a narrow tunnel before a 4-way intersection where the rail trail picks up again on the road's edge. After a quarter mile, runners will cross Gill Hall Road, ending the roadside rail section, and follow Peters Creek Road for roughly 3 miles. After crossing route 51 and staying on Peters Creek Road, runners will find the Montour Trail East
section dipping into Clairton.
In Clairton, make a right on North State Street and cross Clairton-Glassport bridge. Follow Ohio Avenue north making your way through Glassport and eventually over the 5th Ave bridge into McKeesport. Most of this section is over bike shared roads with sidewalks available. The full length of Montour Trail to McKeesport is around 60 miles.