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. Here the Montour Trail connects directly to the Panhandle Trail, which travels east to Collier Township and west to Weirton, West Virginia.
Continuing south of McDonald, the trail offers beautiful rural landscapes. In Peters Township, you'll find the paved Arrowhead Trail. 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.
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.