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One of Pennsylvania's rail-with-trails, where trains and trail users share a corridor, the Arboretum Trail is a lovely landscaped trail through downtown Oakmont.
The rail corridor has a dramatic history of use-and disuse. Between 1853 and 1856, the Allegheny Valley Railroad built a line that ran from Pittsburgh to Kittanning. In 1903, the Pennsylvania Railroad opened its Brilliant Cutoff, linking the Allegheny line with other sections of Kittanning. Declining rail traffic in the 1960s led then-owner Conrail to close one of the two tracks in the corridor. Then in 1995, the corridor was sold back to the Allegheny Valley Railroad, which reopened the rail line and sold the adjacent land for trail use. The Garden Club of Oakmont raised $3 million for trail construction, landscaping, corridor renovation, and long-term maintenance of the plantings.
This trail is for walking only. By Oakmont ordinance, pets, any kind of cycle, as well as roller skates, skateboards, and comparable items are prohibited. Signs to that effect are painted on the asphalt surface at each street intersection.
From the Pennsylvania Turnpike, take Exit 48 for Allegheny Valley and bear right past the toll booth. Follow the signs to Oakmont and, about 1 mile from the exit, cross the Hulton Bridge. To find a parking space, turn right just before or after the railroad crossing on Hulton Road onto either Allegheny Avenue or Allegheny River Boulevard. The trail runs between the two streets.
From downtown Pittsburgh, take Route 28 north to the Blawnox Exit. Continue along Freeport Road, then turn right onto the Hulton Bridge. Park anywhere along Allegheny Avenue just west of the corridor.
This is walk has many different tree species on it as well as being in the quaint downtown of Oakmont. Small shops to visit, great restaurants and friendly people. The trail is great for an evening walk.
Back in 2017 we were biking trails in the Pittsburg area (using the older PA, NY & NJ book) and trying to ride all of the trails in PA so we rode this trail too. It probably took as long to unload and reload the bikes as it did to ride the trail. It is an urban trail so nothing special about the scenery. Like many of the trails we have ridden over the past few years about the only reason to ride it is to be able to say that you rode it.
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