The Montour Trail follows a portion of the old Montour Railroad, which was built between 1877 and 1914 to link the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad with the region's many coal mines. Forming a semi-circle around Pittsburgh, the Montour Railroad also connected other railroads, including the Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh & West Virginia, the Baltimore & Ohio, and the Union.
Both the trail and the railroad are named for the creek that runs alongside; you'll follow the waterway for the trail's first 8 miles beginning in Coraopolis. Views will primarily be of leafy green neighborhoods sprinkled with wildflowers. Highlights of the trip include Enlow Tunnel, which stretches 500 feet, in Findlay Township and the impressive McDonald Trestle, spanning more than 900 feet, on the outskirts of McDonald. Continuing south of McDonald, the trail offers beautiful rural landscapes.
At the eastern end of the trail, you'll find the paved Arrowhead Trail in Peters Township. This section opened in 1985 and is now part of the Montour Trail. The township planted 500 trees along the 4-mile route, which passes among a wooded corridor in suburbia, linking neighborhoods with parks.
Most of the Montour Trail is crushed limestone, but note that there are three short on-road sections clustered near this eastern end of the trail.
Parking and Trail Access
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. Check the TrailLink map for parking areas and directions.
Enlow to north end
For the first ride of the season, my wife and I decided to park at the Enlow parking and ride north to the trailhead and then back to the Enlow parking lot. The grade is mild and the trail is smooth and well-groomed. While there are a few road crossings ...
South Hills Trail Advisory
THERE IS A PORTION OF THE TRAIL CLOSED/UNDER CONSTRUCTION THAT LEADS INTO PETERS TWP FROM THE CLIFTON RD TRAIL HEAD....
Some bad spots
I rode the trail from Mile Marker 0 to 16. Great trail with very few hard climbs. The good thing is that they are downhill on the way back.
My only bad review about this section was the "sandy beach" spot between 11.5 and 12, and the really bad area ...