Coal & Coke Trail

Pennsylvania

Coal & Coke Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: Westmoreland
Length: 6 miles
Trail end points: Mnt. Pleasant Rd. (Scottsdale) and Center Ave. nr. Clay Ave. (Mt. Pleasant)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6122882
Trail activities: Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Coal & Coke Trail Description

The scenic Coal & Coke Trail connects the communities of Mount Pleasant and Scottdale in Westmoreland County and offers many glimpses of the picturesque nature and local communities of Westmoreland County. The 6-mile trail is built on the old Pennsylvania Railroad corridor, and sections parallel the active Southwest PA line toward Bridgeport. In the early 1900s the old railroad corridor was used to transport coal and coke from the many coal mining companies in the county. The trail finally opened in 2007 after eight years of planning and development.

Starting at Willows Park in Mount Pleasant, the trail runs through beautiful scenic wooded areas to the town of Bridgeport. Beyond Bridgeport, the trail quickly dips into woodlands again and is lined with trees to Hammondville and Iron Bridge. From here the trail runs under US 119 and continues along the old Pennsylvania Railroad corridor to Mildred Street in North Scottdale.

You'll follow Mildred Street for five blocks to Kendi Park. You can stop here or take a sharp left after Kendi Park and follow the Coal & Coke Trail for 0.25 mile to its junction with the scenic 1-mile-long Jacob's Creek Multi-Use Trail that runs west toward Scottdale.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the Mount Pleasant trailhead from I-76, take Exit 75 toward US 119 West and State Route 66 West toll road; merge with General Edward Martin Highway North. Take the US 119 South Exit toward Connelsville. After 5 miles, take the exit toward Mount Pleasant/Ruffs Dale; after 1.4 miles turn left on State Route 31. Continue to South Silver Street and turn right. Then turn left on Spruce Street and take a right on Clay Avenue. The parking area will be on your left in Willows Park.

To reach the Scottdale trailhead from I-76, take Exit 75 toward US 119 West and State Route 66 West toll road; merge with General Edward Martin Highway North. Take the US 119 South Exit toward Connelsville. After 7.6 miles, take the Scottdale exit and merge unto State Route 819 and Porter Avenue. Turn left on 6th Street and take a right on Mount Pleasant Road North (Scottdale Road). There's plenty of parking at the park.

Coal & Coke Trail Reviews

I have only been biking since late April, and when I started, I started out on the Five Star Trail because that was the only one I was familiar with in the area. In about the middle of May, a coworker of mine told me about the Coal and Coke Trail, and I am so glad that he did.

Right before I went on the trail, I found this website and read the reviews. I was a little hesitant to ride the trail at first, seeing as how the reviews were not the most positive; however, after seeing how old the reviews were, I decided to just go for it. I downloaded the map to help me get through the parts of the trail that go through neighborhoods, and honestly, if you are really paying attention, you really don't need a map. As long as you keep riding straight ahead, you will see the signs for the Coal and Coke Trail. Not to mention, the first time you ride on a street, it is only for about a block, and the second time you ride until you get to the stop sign, then you turn left to get back on to the trail. It really isn't that bad.

The trail itself is just absolutely beautiful and so peaceful - at least I think it is. While riding, you hear nothing but the sounds of nature, until you get to the parts where there are roads, but that is short-lived. It is not a crowded trail, and it is not one where you have to constantly pass four people running or biking across the entire trail.

I may not have been biking for very long, but I have to say that this trail has quickly become my favorite.

Once the wild section of the trail ended in Scottsdale, there is no clear indication or signage of where to get the second part of the trail that leads closer to Scottsdale. I happened to find it by chance, since I decided to ride some of the residential streets past the trailhead and parking lot, and after 5 minutes, I found some other trail. To actually call this entire section a single trail for cyclist is misleading, as a section of it is actually on a paved road for motorized vehicular traffic.

I did an 8-mile out-and-back run on the trail this morning. I started at the northern end. Parking lot is much easier to find than the directions on this site indicate (You don't need to get on Clay Ave., the parking lot is at the corner of Main Street and Center Ave in Mt Pleasant).

Heading south, the first two miles are beautiful and partly shaded. The trail runs beside a creek and some marshland. There are very nice mile markers at every 1/2 mile.

The next mile is mostly good, but there are some paved parts, you have to cross a road, and then there is construction you have to weave through.

The final mile I did, from the 3 mile post to 4 mile post, was pretty terrible. Your average flat neighborhood road is comparable. It was all out in the open, mostly asphalt (not crushed gravel as I was looking to run on), and confusing. The trail followed a road for awhile, and there were no signs. This section also was right next to a junk yard.

As pretty as parts of this trail are, beware it is not quiet and fairly industrial. I ran past a few construction yards and a huge mound of old tires.

I was driving from NW PA to Baltimore, so I stopped a long my way. If I lived close, I would probably use this trail all the time. But, don't travel a long way to visit it, it is not worth it.

Accordion

It was 5 1/4 miles from the "Build it yourself" parking lot in Mt Pleasant to the Jacob's Creek entrance in Scottdale. Both ends had good parking. Trail was rather easy, with a porta potty at halfway point.

Careful of construction under 119 at about 2.8 mile point.

Nice family friendly trail. Trail was smooth and well groomed which helped the young riders in my family. There was a nice playground and picnic area in Mt. Pleasent for the kids to burn off that last bit of energy. Finding the parking area in Mt. Pleasent could have been marked better. Trail may be short for some cyclists however.

Nice Trail but could use better marking in spots. Rather optomistic in the mileage unless you go up to Scottdale.

Great for occasional cyclist but too short for avid cyclist unless you go into and through Scottdale for some hills and extra miles.

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