Kiski-Junction Railroad is now constructing an active rail line between miles 30 and 38. This section is no longer open to the public.
Tracing the course of the scenic Allegheny River, the Armstrong Trail varies between rough terrain and smooth asphalt surfaces to accommodate cyclists, pedestrians, inline skaters and equestrians in the warmer months. There are plenty of opportunities to take photographs of the lazy Allegheny River, and even try your luck catching fish. Cross-country skiers can enjoy the trail in winter.
The Armstrong Trail runs along the former Allegheny Valley Railroad. The railroad, chartered in 1837 and opened in 1855, served as a passenger and freight rail line and eventually extended from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Buffalo, New York. The rail line ended passenger operations in 1941 and was purchased by the Allegheny Valley Land Trust in 1992 for conversion to the existing trail.
The winding trail extends almost 35 miles, from Catfish on the north end southward to Schenley. The uppermost segment, north of Templeton, features rough terrain, best suited for mountain biking and hiking. You may encounter the occasional ATV riders or equestrians here, too. Relics of the original rail line, including a gigantic concrete coal elevator used to replenish the engine's coal supplies as well as fill freight cars, can be seen along this part of the trail.
Between Templeton and Rosston, the trail alternates between asphalt path and quiet, on-road sections. The town of Kittanning, just south of the trail midpoint, makes for a nice rest stop, with local shops and eateries not far off the trail. Several locks, managed by the Army Corps of Engineers are visible along the trail; you may be lucky enough to see a boat or barge passing through one.
The best access points north of Kittanning are at Buttermilk Falls and in Templeton. The parking area at Buttermilk Falls also provides access to the Cowanshannock Trail
, a short 1.5-mile rail-trail.
The trail runs close to a number of private residences at many points along its length, so please respect any posted no-trespassing signs. The trail is wheelchair-accessible within the town of Kittanning. The Kiski-Junction Railroad has reactivated an 8-mile section of the rail corridor north of Schenley. Please refer to the trail's website for updates on best access to the trail in this area.
To reach the midpoint at the Buttermilk Falls trailhead, follow Johnston Avenue north out of Kittanning. Continue north until McMillen Road. Immediately after McMillen, turn right into the parking lot for the Bernard C. Snyder Picnic Area. The trailhead is on the other side of Johnston Avenue.
To reach the Templeton trailhead, travel north on Route 28 from Kittanning. Turn left onto Ridge Road and left again onto State Route 1034. Turn right onto State Route 1031 (Mosgrove-Templeton Road) and left to continue on SR 1031. Follow SR 1031 into the town of Templeton. Turn left on 1st Street and right on Allegheny Avenue. Park by the boat ramps on the left next to the Allegheny River. The trailhead is next to Allegheny Avenue.
I had the good fortune to ride the Armstrong Trail from Templeton to East Brady on a beautiful blue sky Friday afternoon.
The trail is now 99% complete from Ford City to East Brady. The local trail council has done a tremendous job! The freshly graded ...
We started at the Cowanshannock picnic area and headed South. The trail was great with views of the river and some old left overs along the side from the possible trail stops. Once you come into Kittaning the trail parallels beside the road but is completely ...
Where is the trail?? I found a railroad and road around an old industrial park. I went further north and found Logansport Road and followed that through an active coal mine to the river. I came across a railroad here too. Does this trail exist anymore ...