Butler-Freeport Community Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

Built in 1871 to transport the region's high-quality limestone to support Pittsburgh's growing steel industry, the Butler-Freeport line was the first railroad in Butler County. After a two-day celebration of the opening, the railroad conducted a mock funeral for the stagecoach that ran between the two towns. A branch of the Western Pennsylvania Railroad, the line became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system in 1903 before closing.

The Butler–Freeport Community Trail on the corridor, open since 1989, is nestled in the scenic wooded valley that follows Little Buffalo Creek to Buffalo Creek and on to the Allegheny River at Freeport. About an hour northeast of the City of Pittsburgh, the trail is flat and easy to ride. Heading south from Butler, you'll be on a slight incline. The trail surface changes from crushed stone to dirt to asphalt.

Remains of old stone quarries and brick kilns can be seen in the southern section of the trail. As you head north from Cabot, the results of late 1800 development are still visible. The former Saxon City Hotel, built in 1871, remains as does an old but still-active lumberyard.

From April to October you can see an abundance of wildflowers, including trillium, Turk's cap lily, tall bellflower and butterfly weed. The trail is a popular recreation venue. Visitors come to enjoy bird watching and fishing, and the annual fall Buffalo Creek Half-Marathon always attracts a crowd. Before leaving Freeport, stop by the Freeport Area Historical Society office, where you'll find a wealth of information on the cultural and industrial history of the region.

The Butler–Freeport Trail Council maintains a passport-oriented historic geocache adventure, with up to 20 caches along the trail. Check their website for details.

Parking and Trail Access

There are numerous trailheads and places to park long the trail's route. At the trail's southern endpoint in Freeport, park at the southern end of Main Street near Butler Road (State Route 356). At the other end of the trail in Butler, park in the lot near Father Marinaro Park on Kaufman Drive, site of a new trail bridge over Coal Run.

Parking is also available in Sarver (Sarver Road); in two places between Sarver and Freeport (Bear Creek Road and Monroe Road); Cabot (Winfield Road); Herman (Brinker Road or Bonniebrook Road); and between Herman and Marwood (intersection of Becker Road and Great Belt Road).

Reviews

Nice trail

   November, 2016 by alanbaker

I live close to this one so I do it often and really like it. It is narrow at times but normally isn't crazy busy. Last few times been a lot of leaves so little to no mud or puddles. It is slightly uphill from the Freeport end for a pretty long while ...read more

Various trail widths/surfaces

   November, 2016 by vicki1960

We parked at the new lot across from Fr. Marinaro Park just outside of downtown Butler. This is at mile marker 19.5 We biked to Sarver, and back. First few miles out of Butler are an uphill climb, which is good, as it makes the return trip a breeze. Trail ...read more

great trail

   September, 2016 by ajn1809@yahoo.com

Been riding this for years, very well maintained, multiple trailheads, a cool coffee and ice cream stop on it.. Park at end on the freeport trailhead and head to wolfies pizza 2 mins away gor a post ride meal.. It gets a lil narrow in spots so be careful ...read more