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The 61.5-mile Montour Trail follows most of the former Montour Railroad’s main line west and south of Pittsburgh. This little short line was incorporated during the late 19th century and, despite its small size, became very profitable thanks to the many coal mines once located along its main line. It also benefited from having interchanges with most of the region’s notable railroads. In later years, the Montour became a subsidiary of other larger systems. When coal mines closed over the years, the railroad found itself in a difficult position and was finally forced to shut down during the mid-1980s.
Forming a semicircle around Greater Pittsburgh, the corridor now helps host one of the longest suburban rail-trails in the United States, featuring a selection of bridges, trestles, viaducts, and tunnels framed by colorful Western Pennsylvania landscapes and vegetation. The trail is also part of the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition’s developing 1,500-mile trail network through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and New York. The surface is primarily crushed limestone, with small sections of paved trail in Peters Township and Clairton, some on-road trail between South Park Township and Clairton, and a mostly on-road spur to Pittsburgh International Airport. Horses are permitted on the shoulders of the trail in Cecil Township between Morganza Road and the crossing of SR 980 and SR 50. Cross-country skiing is also permitted.
Coraopolis to Enlow: 7.8 miles
Both the trail and the railroad are named for the creek that runs alongside them; you’ll follow the waterway for the trail’s first 7.8 miles beginning in Coraopolis. Views will primarily be of leafy green neighborhoods sprinkled with wildflowers. A highlight of the trip includes the Enlow Tunnel in Findlay Township, about 7.2 miles along the trail. Not only is its 575-foot expanse fun to traverse, but the journey on either end is a treat as the path winds through a scenic wooded valley here.
Enlow to Airport Connector: 6.4 miles
Just farther south past the Enlow trailhead on Main Street, the trail branches north for about 6.3 miles to Pittsburgh International Airport, mostly along quiet roadways restricted for airport service vehicles. To take this spur, turn right onto Enlow Road. After 0.8 mile, the trail bears left onto a gated, restricted airport access roadway. You’ll continue on this wide, asphalt roadway about 3 miles to another gate near a residential area on McCaslin Road. Continue on the shared roadway, and then turn right onto the striped shoulder of the moderately busy Clinton Road. Use caution here, as the roadway crosses over I-376 with merging traffic exiting and entering the highway.
After crossing the interstate, the roadway soon becomes a restricted--traffic roadway to where the trail meets Airport Boulevard. Crossing signals allow trail users to navigate across the often-busy roadway into the airport’s extended parking lots, where sharrows (shared-lane markings) guide you to the end of this segment. Bike parking is available here.
Enlow to Southview: 13.4 miles
From Enlow, the trail heads southwest through Imperial and then south under US 22 toward McDonald. As the trail approaches the town of McDonald, it splits. To the left is a connector section to the 29.2-mile Panhandle Trail, which travels east to Collier Township and west to Weirton, West Virginia. This connector leads to just across Noblestown Road, where a parking area for the Panhandle Trail is located.
Veering right to stay on the main trail, you’ll come to one of the trail’s highlights, the beautiful 900-foot McDonald trestle, which crosses over the Panhandle Trail. The Montour Trail continues on through wooded surroundings, and then curves back south and runs next to a large golf course and several farms to the small neighborhood of Southview.
Westland Branch Spur: 4.1 miles
One of the newest segments of the trail splits off from the main route near Southview and heads southwest to Mount Pleasant Township. At just over 0.3 mile past the Galati Road trailhead, the relatively flat, crushed-gravel pathway turns southwest, continuing along 3.5 miles of rail line that were reactivated in 2012 to support the shale gas industry, before terminating at a parking area in the community of Westland.
Southview to Hendersonville: 6.6 miles
Heading out of Southview to the east, you’ll cross over SR 50/SR 980/Millers Run Road over a long bridge. The trail then returns to woods as it curves back and forth on the way to Cecil Township. You’ll travel along the southern edge of Cecil and through the National Tunnel—the trail’s longest tunnel at 600 feet—named for the nearby National Coal Company mines that the former railroad once served.
It’s curved, so you can’t see the other end; lights and pavement with guiding reflectors along the trail edge help ease navigation. The tunnel’s cool, damp interior is a welcome respite in summer, but in winter, the dripping water can cause beautiful (though dangerous) icicles along the ceiling and mounds of ice on the tunnel floor. The trail then bends right and crosses over Tarr Heights Drive to a parking area and the Cecil-Henderson Montour Trail Campground.
Continuing southeast, you’ll pass Henderson Park and reach another trailhead, where you’ll find restrooms, parking, and a large bicycle shop.
Hendersonville to Library Junction/Venetia: 6.7 miles
From Hendersonville, the trail skirts the Valley Brook Golf Course, crosses Valley Brook Road twice, and then passes under US 19/Washington Road, where it becomes the Arrowhead Trail. It then passes through McMurray and travels on a mostly rural route to Library Junction.
Just past Hendersonville, you’ll cross a two-for-one attraction, the Chartiers Creek High Bridge—offering some of the prettiest vistas on the trail—and the adjacent 235-foot-long Greer Tunnel, both built in the early 1900s. On the other (east) side of the tunnel is another bridge, which crosses over a railroad.
Library Junction/Venetia to Bethel Park Spur: 3.4 miles
At Library Junction, you have the option of continuing east or taking a spur to Bethel Park that curves left and northward (on a triangular junction of the trail), skirting mostly residential neighborhoods on a relatively new and well-maintained section of trail. A small trestle bridge crosses over the intersection of Clifton Road and Highfield Road. Just after this trestle you can head left down a small spur to cross Highfield Road to George Washington Elementary School and a small café.
Library Junction/Venetia to Clairton: 13.1 miles
Heading eastward from Library Junction, the trail passes through more rural landscapes (note that parts of the trail in this section may be washed out, so take caution) before entering Library, where you’ll find several restaurants and eateries. At Pleasant Street in Library, an on-road section begins. Turn right onto Pleasant Street, and then turn left onto Brownsville and Library Road. Go 0.9 mile, and turn left onto Stewart Road. In just less than 400 feet, turn right to return to off-road trail.
The trail loosely follows Peters Creek, winding through rural backdrops for 1.6 miles to Piney Fork Road, where it becomes on road once more. The route winds south as it follows Piney Fork Road, which becomes Peters Creek Road shortly after heading north—just after the confluence of Piney Fork and Peters Creek. You’ll pass another campground as you travel north along Peters Creek and through the outskirts of Clairton, where the trail turns into Oak Road.
At SR 51, note that the trail turns right onto the busy highway with no shoulders and follows this road 0.2 mile. Use extreme caution here. Upon reaching Peters Creek Road, turn left at the traffic light to cross SR 51, and head north onto Peters Creek Road for about 0.5 mile. The trail then returns off road and heads north through Clairton Resident Park, formally ending at a large parking lot at North State Street and Mendelsohn Avenue.
At the southeastern terminus in Clairton, you can take the Clairton Connector route (urban, on road) about 5 miles to McKeesport, which links to the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage.
To reach the northern endpoint from I-79 N, take Exit 64 for SR 51 toward Coraopolis/McKees Rocks, and turn left onto SR 51 N/Coraopolis Road. Go 0.7 mile, and take a sharp right onto Montour Coketown Road. Go 0.1 mile, and look for parking on the right. To reach the trailhead, turn right, heading north along Montour Coketown Road, and turn left into the trailhead access point.
To reach the endpoint at Pittsburgh International Airport from downtown Pittsburgh, take I-376 W (follow signs to the airport). Take Exit 53, and follow the blue signs to the parking area. Take the exit for extended parking, just past the employee parking area. The trail endpoint is between the extended parking and long-term parking lots. Sharrows (shared-road arrows) will lead you through the parking lot to the northwest corner of the parking area.
To reach parking at the Westland trailhead from I-79, take Exit 43 for SR 519 toward Houston/Eighty Four. Turn left onto SR 519 N, and go 4.4 miles. Turn right onto Hornhead Road, and go 0.2 mile. Look for parking on the right.
To reach the western trailhead in Clairton from I-70, take Exit 27 toward Dunningsville. If you’re coming from I-70 E, take a sharp left onto Brownlee Road, and go 0.4 mile; if you’re coming from I-70 W, you’ll turn right onto Brownlee Road. Take a slight right onto Church Road, and go 1.0 mile. Then take a slight right onto SR 136 E, and go 5.1 miles. SR 136 E turns slightly left and becomes SR 917 S. Follow it 0.4 mile, continue onto SR 136 E, and go 0.2 mile. Turn left to merge onto SR 43 N toward Pittsburgh, and go 8.7 miles. Continue onto Exit 54 (signs for SR 51/Pittsburgh/Elizabeth), and go 0.8 mile. Turn right onto Payne Hill Road, and go 1.0 mile. Turn right onto Clairton Road, go 1.2 miles. The road turns left and becomes Walnut Ave.; go 0.4 mile, and turn right onto N. State St. Go 0.3 mile, and turn left into the trailhead.
Like a long slow roller coaster ride
WOW!!!…no boring flat straight rail trail here….this trail has it all:
- curves….and more curves
- varying grades….typical easy RR grade but some felt like maybe 3% to me…see the elevation pic…I wonder if there is even a flat spot?
- Tunnels…3 of them!
- A short section of trail-with-rail
- Spur trails
- A connection to the Panhandle Trail
- Lots of shade
- Historical signs….lots of them….with wonderful pictures…nice to learn some history and get out of the saddle for a few minutes…THANK YOU!
- A campsite at Boggs
- And even a SuperFund Cleanup Site near the end in Coraopolis
- And best of all, it looks like a crew of volunteers that are always working on the trail surface
A great ride through varying terrain and scenery and learned some history along the way. Can’t ask for much more than that. Thank you…bikin-Mike…Sep 2022
See Elavation Pic
Low MM0 Coraopolis
High MM12 Rt 22
Low MM17 McDonald Viaduct
High MM19.25 Peacock Cut
Low MM23 Cecil
High MM25 National Tunnel
In early October, my brother and I did few sections of the trail. We had parked at Cecil Park (Cecil Township). This is a very nice area with a large paved parking lot and pavilions. The one thing we really enjoyed about this trail are the mile markers. Every 1/2 mile there is one and there are many information boards explaining the history of the railway, the coal industry and other points of interest. Plus, the trail is maintained. We started going west (Cecil Park is 22.6). Venice Bridge followed by Gilmore Junction were the first points of interest. This was where the train had switched off the main line for the Westland Branch. We went a few miles on the main part of the trail to MM20. Points of the interest were at Galati Road and the Peacock Cut. At one time there was a tunnel here but because of the ground being unstable and water leaks it was abandoned. The trail runs where the tunnel would have been; you can see on each side where it had existed. We went back and did the entire Westland Branch. This is 4.1 miles and for the most part you are riding next to an active rail line. The trail is uphill for about 2 miles of this section and then it is downhill and it is very open - no areas of shade. There are some nice areas of the countryside that made for picture taking. This is a quiet / peaceful section. From Cecil Park east to MM30, there are a lot of things to check out. There is the National Tunnel (623 feet long), more rail and mine history, the Greer Tunnel (235 feet in length), a small trestle bridge and some rail cars on display near the end of our trip (MM30). We found a camp grounds right off the trail as well. We finished our day with some awesome subs at Nobby's Pizza. Which is next to the trail. About 0.2 miles west of the Greer Tunnel. The Tandem Connection Bike Shop is right there as well. Definitely would do this section of the trail again. The Fall season provided many beautiful pictures.
I feel other reviews and pictures tell the story but a couple notes from my 2 day trek on the entire trail.
1. From the north side by the airport until Library it is a dedicated trail that is maintained well and has picnic tables, benches, (towards the middle) 2 free primitive camping areas, and portajohns. Completely dedicated portion is almost 40 miles. After Library the trail bounces between dedicated trail and riding on the road. I turned around at Library…. (Bad reviews probably came from section after Library)
2. The Panhandle Trail Connector has a parking lot right beside McDonald and is exactly in the middle of the dedicated portion of the trail. Perfect spot to ride north section and back one day. And south and back the 2nd day.
3. This is an awesome trail! It has wooded areas, hillsides, beautified urban areas, industry, multiple tunnels, spectacular bridge overlooks throughout, and you’re never too far away from lunch or ice cream or cell service. What more could you want????
Biked from Library to Hendersonville and back, mile markers 35 to 25. Trail surface is asphalt paved then goes to crushed limestone, then back to paved, then limestone. For the most part this trail section of 10 miles is in very good condition. Some wooded areas provided welcomed shade on a hot sunny day. Saw a few deer. At about mile marker 30 there is a storage place with awesome old signs, two old firetrucks, a restored caboose and interesting information on the former railroad. Trail services in Library just off the trail, a few places to eat. In Hendersonville along the trail there is a bike shop which offers bike rental and service also has pizza and cold drinks. In Hendersonville is a large trailhead with parking for many. Passed a few small trailheads along the way as well. Great ride on this stretch and will return to ride on more of this trail.
I visited this trail for the first time today. I had a fantastic experience. I parked in Hendersonville and rode the section in between Westland Branch junction and Library Junction. Three tunnels and many bridges. I saw two young bucks and a doe with two fawns. Trail was busy and must have passed nearly 150 other trail users or more. Trail was in great shape and beautiful. It was definitely worth the hour drive to get there and I will return again.
We started at Clairton today, spent about 2 miles on trail, were thrust onto the highway, and the rest was "share the road" back roads without much traffic, but definitely not a trail ride. Disappointing. We turned around after about 7 miles, drove to Peters Twp and picked up the trail there.
That part was much better! Nice trail, shaded ride, places to rest, and plenty of people to greet as you pass by.
I live in Pittsburgh and have been on the Montour Trail many times. It is one of the most incredible rail trails in the middle of an urban area in the United States and deserves the many accolades it has received over the years. It is a relatively flat, easy ride and although there are still some areas where you have to be on the street for a bit, it is, for the most part, just plain beautiful rail trail that can be enjoyed by all. I'm hoping that safer street connections can be made from downtown Pittsburgh (hooking up the Three Rivers Heritage Trail) to the Coraopolis Trail Head and from the Clairton Trail Head to The Great Allegheny Passage in McKeesport. That would create an 80 mile (or thereabouts) biking loop that would be absolutely world class. Given the extent of community work that has gone into and created the Montour Trail, the above scenario is probably in the cards at some point. Kudos to all of the amazing people who have made the Montour Trail possible and continue to support it today.
Rode 4.1 miles along train tracks starting at the Westbridge parking lot. The trail is very well maintained crushed gravel.
I rode Montour Trail from mile 0.0 to 11.4 as my first Rail Trail experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it! The trail was in great condition with lots of interesting scenery and cool bridges and tunnels. There is a slight, but steady, uphill grade from about Mile 8-11, which I considered to be a nice challenge without being too taxing. As other note, there are some industrial sections of the trail.
The Trail currently has an area near the Panhandle connector that is not rideable due to the I-576 construction. You can push your bike thru the gravel to get thru it. (I think it’s around mile 17) Also if you get off on the Panhandle connector it is torn up and rough so be careful. Just last week they added another area of the I-576 construction where there is more gravel that you have to push the bike thru. However when you are 1/2 way thru you can see the Panhandle trail and ride thru the construction road to it. There are no signs there but if you turn left you are heading toward the McDonald station then on to Oakdale. If you turn right you are heading toward Midway.
I can’t believe this trail goes right through my town!
As a matter of fact, it is one of the starting sections on the route.
Been riding it for about 10 years now but only rode short distances in the past.
Got into to going further the last three years.
I just did my 3rd annual trip from Bethel Park to the Coraopolis end yesterday. Total trip was 74 miles!
What a blast. Beautiful scenery everywhere! A couple bike shops and cafe’s along the way. Lots of portable restrooms along the way as well as...(thank God) water fountains. I had brought two water bottles with me but on the way back, I tend to need much more h2o!
Lots of rest areas, benches and picnic tables too!
I also love how some people take care of specific sections of the trail and make it very personal.
My goal next year is to head the other direction by staritng in Bethel Park and heading towards Maryland.
Been using TrailLink for a couple yeasr, and always had good experiences. The comments/reviews give the real situation, and for this trail, it is not that great. I feel compelled to give a review.
Got on at Coraoplis trailhead, and went approx 16.5 miles out. The first 11 miles are slightly uphill, enough to make it suck. The crushed limestsone was wet in places where the sun doesnt hit, and it was cratered and bumpy throughout 80%, so my hands went numb early. It didnt help that the ambient temp was 55 and overcast.
The trail is well marked with milestones, so even without GPS on phone, one would know there progress.
The vistas sucked, lots of driving through semi industrial and then small towns, not a lot to see that was exceptional. dont know why this is rated 5 stars, no where near that, 3 stars at best.
We started near Washington Pa and enjoyed the quality of the trail. Well maintained and clearly marked with adequate facilities along the way. The tunnels are a treat and an exciting ride through old Pennsylvania rail space!
We started at milepost 6 at the Cliff Mine parking area and went out and back to milestone 25 (national tunnel) on a warm day (88 Deg F). The ride was great with shade over 75% of this portion of the trail. The trail is well maintained and almost all was crushed limestone. We had road bikes and were fine with these.
Went through 2 tunnels (milepost 7 and 25) where it was cool and very moist (water flowing on walls and some dropping from the ceiling).
Nice historic signs along the way describing bridges and coal mining and processing that was previously in this area. Very well done.
It was obvious the trail is continually maintained and was in great shape. Regular water stops and trail maps every five miles and pocket maps available at the trail and online.
Many trees alongside the trail provided great shade but blocked the view.
Gradual grade up and down throughout. Only a few city blocks are on city street. All rest was off road.
Overall great ride. I recommend it.
We started at the Clairton end of the trail, and I don't care to do it again. We biked about 7 miles out and turned around - only a small portion was on an actual trail, the rest was on back roads as well as a brief section on a fairly high-traffic road. Hoping to start at the other end next time and have a better experience.
Great place to run as opposed to the streets of West Mifflin. Started at the south east trail head, which has moved about 0.1 miles due to construction, and ran 2.5 miles out then back for a total of 5 miles. The trail was great and it felt like I was running downhill both ways.
My wife and I started at the end of the trail. While the trail was nice the detours on the road was not what we expected. My wife is not comfortable on the road and we did not expect it. The detour around mile 36, I think, was not marked on the road and did not know where to go so we turned around and returned.
As I said earlier the trail was nice and enjoyed the scenery, just did not care for the road and detours because of trail construction. Later we will try the rest of the trail and hope to find more of the great parts of the trail.
great trail. well maintained, easy access and great scenery. I've been riding this trail for years and have never had any issues with the way it's maintained nor with the improvements they have made throughout the years.
This by far is one of the jewels as far a rail trails go. It is well-maintained and a joy to ride on all sections of the trail system.The people who volunteer and maintain this system should be commended for their fine work.It is a can't miss trail system. Nice elevation changes and a number of interesting sites along the way.
This past September I started my bike journey at Shepherdstown, West Virginia. I connected with my buddy Andy four days later on the GAP trail in West Newton. We spent the next five days exploring Pittsburgh and the surrounding bike trails. One trail that stands out was the Montour trail. Although there was an area under temporary constuction the trail is well maintained, thanks to people like Budd Halpin and his wife. Budd and his wife greeted us at our first overnight camp, offering us refreshments along with information about the Montour trail and its past history. The Montour trail is a trail I look foreword to doing again.
In September for my birthday my biking Pal Tom and I had the wonderful experience of riding both the GAP from West Newton down to the Pittsburgh Point then doing the Montour rail to trail. The Montour was a most pleasant surprise. We were looking for something a little different and found it in the Montour. It was well maintained thanks to the fine work of volunteers such as Bud Halpin and his wife who we just happened to met at our first camp. Not only did Bud recognize me from my riding with Crocs but he really was interested in how we liked the trail. As a Boston/McKeesport Native I can say that it is the volunteers along the trail that make for a fun experience. I enjoyed spending time with Bill Hall at the Mon/Yough trail council and Bud on the Montour was such a genuine individual that I went back the last weekend in September to ride the 13th annual fundraiser. I got to ride with 543 of my new PA friends. I will be back to Western PA.
My many trips
You can donate here
I rode 50 miles today from Library to Westland (a newer branch off of the trail). This ride included the Bethel park branch also. As a whole, it was an enjoyable ride. A downside was that when a detour was needed to bypass parts of the trail that were under construction, it was at times difficult because the signage for the detours (if present) was not always clear.
I rode from mile marker 0 to McDonald a couple months ago and that was a nice ride. There was one more difficult incline on the way back to pedal up, but that was a good workout.
As a whole I would recommend the trail, but I would encourage parents taking small kids to do research ahead of time to make sure that you do not run into the sections that are on roads.
I have been on this trail several times and enjoy the diversity of the surroundings. I live in West Newton so I am familiar with bike trails. The Montour Trail offers sights and view plus an interesting trestle and tunnels that enhance the ride.
What a blessing to have a safe place to leave our vehicles. The manager was ok with us leaving them in a certain area. Very close to the airport so when we got to DC we rented a car and returned it to the airport. Did the Allegheny and the C&O. Can't believe we could bike all that way without being on a road.
We are new to the biking world and really unsure what to expect when we started out today, but all in all it was a great experience!
We live a mile from one of the trailheads in Jefferson. Despite looking at the maps ahead of time, we thought once we started out we would be able to ride on trail till we decided to turn around; unfortunately that wasn't the case. We didn't realize that we would have to ride intermitiently on the road for a couple of miles....that just wasn't going to happen with an eight year old who just became comfortable on a bike. We did not let that dampen our ride, we just looked at it as a learning experience. We packed up the car and moved down to the next parking lot that gave us the longest ride without going the the Library trailhead. We ended up riding 6.3 miles in the end and having a great day! We look forward to donating to the Montour Trail to help them finish so ultimately we can stay off the road as much as possible.
We can't wait to go back and plan a bit more and try the Library portion and head west.
Thank you Rails-to Trails Conservancy what you are doing, it is great for families and towns to both grow and develop. We look forward to future biking!
I did this trail on June 29th, having arrived in Pittsburgh from the C+O and GAP. Stayed at a hotel on Neville Island so that I could be close to the trailhead at Coraopolis. There is construction just after the trail entry and I had to ask locals for a surface road work-around (on N. Petrie St. connecting to Petrie), finally finding the Montour trail at the Hassam Rd. entry point. Once on the trail, it was smooth sailing. Connected to the Panhandle and was into WVa in no time!
Great riding surface with large parts paved in Peters and many new bridges. Way to go trail council! Maybe 40% in the shade. If looking for a place to eat and get a drink in McDonald, try Michael's Tavern. Good food at reasonable prices. Also good place to stop right on the trail 10 miles from Bethel. Back to Bethel wad uphill quite a bit. A good ride.
This trail was great for me when I was starting to get into riding. I typically rode from Cliff Mine to where it meets the Panhandle Trail in McDonald. The grade was mild and the view was good for the most part.
The Mrs. and I took a jaunt on down to the Hendersonville trailhead to ride today. The weather was perfect! We started by heading east from Hendersonville till the trail hits a road section (3.5 miles or so out) then headed back west and north to the MacDonald bridge. Loads of people were out since this is the first really nice day we've had in Pittsburgh. Runners, bicyclists, folks walking the dog, and everyone was nice. Two short but neat tunnels and lots of bridges, large and small. The trail surface was a little bumpy in a couple spots, but for the vast majority of the ride the trail was fast, hard and smooth. Pittsburgh is truly fortunate to have this trail!
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 on this stretch, including a couple near the shopping center at Robinson, they are easy to navigate assuming you're being a safe cycler. The old tunnel just north of the Enlow parking lot was what I really wanted to see, everything else was just gravy. This is an awesome trail and I'm looking forward to riding the rest of it this year before the snow flies!
THERE IS A PORTION OF THE TRAIL CLOSED/UNDER CONSTRUCTION THAT LEADS INTO PETERS TWP FROM THE CLIFTON RD TRAIL HEAD....
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 between 15 and 16 (after the bridge at Quicksilver Golf Course). Watch your speed through these sections. Hopefully the Trail people read this and fix these areas in a timely manner.
In June, whilst on holiday from the UK, I read that the trail had finally been completed linking Downton to the rest of the Great Allegheny Passage. In my rash old age I decided to hire a bike from Golden Triangle Bikes and embark on what most people would think of a marathon 85mile ride which included the Three Rivers Trail, Steel Valley Trail and finally the Montour Trail. Here are my thoughts, and apologies if you read this again on the other routes:
The Montour Trail was without doubt the highlight of my ride. Starting from Clairton and finishing in Coroapolis it was, on the whole, a fantastic experience. Again, there is a common theme here relating to signage. Two areas especially stand out: the crossing of State Highway 51 and around Library where, if it wasn’t for an experience local rider I’d caught earlier in my travels, I’d still be today! You see the signs disappear at both the aforementioned so do your homework before setting out if you are a first-timer.
Having said that about Library, the views when one gets back on the trail at this point are spectacular especially looking over towards the horse ranch – true Americana! In fact the trail just got better and better from this point onwards. There were adequate food stops should I have needed them and there were even a couple of water fountains strategically positioned which were a welcome relief on the day of my ride I can tell you!
There was nothing taxing about any of the trail surfaces which did vary from tarmac to grass but everything was easily rideable. The trail route when following the railway line was a very slight incline – nothing too strenuous. However, it is worth pointing out that when following the sections of the trail that were on the road, whilst the hills weren’t alpine category but I would expect to see most people shift down a gear or two on some of the inclines!
The trail is a fantastic experience with wonderful wildlife and lovely scenery virtually motor-free. It is a great shame that the Montour Trail doesn’t easily link back to Downtown Pittsburgh but one can live in hope that it will get developed in the future!
The trail has completed the bridges over Morganza Rd and Georgetown Rd. There is a bike rental shop Tandeum Connection at the Morganza brigde. You can rent a bike, get refreshments and they also have bike parts if you run into trouble. This part of the trail has wonderful bridges and railroad tunnels.
We rode on the Montour Trail on an August Sunday afternoon from Imperial to McDonald and back. The trail is somewhat bumpy and I got a flat on this trip. Alot of the trail is in the sun, so have water and be prepared to be hot! We had trouble finding the trailhead - we drove out to the airport and then tried to find it, but we got lost a few times. The roads are not well marked out there. McDonald is a fun, small town. There are 2500 people who live there. We stopped at the old train station and talked to two old ladies there who were very interesting and gave of lots of information. The train station is worth a stop! There are lots of pizza places and a Subway shop in McDonald. In addition, there is the best ice cream shoppe I have ever been to with sky-high soft ice cream cones for only $1.85!
All in all, the Montour trail is well maintained, with lovely scenery but be prepared for hot!
At 317 east Lincoln Avenue, McDonald PA you will find everything you need to satisfy your appetite after a long ride. Homemade, very reasonable prices and BIG menu make this our must stop after a long ride. Dine in or take out with daily specials. Today was the 16" cheese pizza ($6.00; additional topping $1.50. Try the cappicola). Traditional pizza (handmade dough, homemade sauce), specialty pizzas (try the pierogie pizza yunz Pittsburgers!), fresh hoagies on Mancini's rolls, burgers, soups & salads, appetizers and munchies. Open daily 11AM. YUMMMMM!
Numerous starting points and well marked when you must leave the trail. Great bridges and trestles and a few tunnels. This trail has it all. Better with a little wider tire but most areas can be ridden on 700X35 or 26" smooth tread. Pleanty of shade and numerous rest areas and water stops.
Can't wait until it connects with the rest of the Great Allegheny Passage
My wife and I rode the Arrowhead Trail portion of the Montour Trail on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. If you are into a paved surface, this is a trail for you. The path surface is smooth and is used by bikers, bladers, runners, walkers and a lot of mothers with baby strollers. This is truly a family trail but for the bikers this means a lot of dodging the other people on the trail. There are a number of good places to stop and get a bite to eat and lovely horse pastures along the way. The Arrowhead Trail is a very enjoyable part of the Montour Trail.
On October 18, 2008 a new section of the Montour Trail was dedicated and opened. It spans a five (5) mile section from Hendersonville west to the U.S.RT.19 corridor on Saddlebrook Road. Three bridges and one tunnel are there to be enjoyed by the traveler. This is definitely a "JEWEL" to be experienced first hand. There are two (2) road crossings that require you to walk down/up embankments but definitely well worth the effort. Foliage during this FALL was outstanding to say the least! Many years of efforts by various entities, both on and behind the scenes made this segment possible!
I am a long time rider of the Montour Trail and I don't know if it gets any better. It can be a very hot trail in the summer but the scenery down around the gun club is excellent. As you get up the other end of the trail it becomes more desolate and peaceful. What is nice about it is that you can do as many miles as you like. It will really be nice when it is finally completed . Also you can hook up with the panhandle trail in McDonald. That is also a nice trail that runs down into Renerdale. That is what I mean when I say you have the best of both worlds. Get out and have some fun. Hope to see you on the trail.
"This trail is great, though still incomplete. I rode from Coraopolis to mile 15 and back, and enjoyed every minute of it. One caveat: the trail gets rough in a few places west of Imperial, so your tires and backside may suffer. The scenery in this stretch is very nice, though. I'm looking forward to the trail's completion."
"This is one great trail -- complete with hills, tunnels and bridges. For the most part it's extremely well maintained limestone (the section between Quicksilver and McDonald needs some attention because of the extremely bad rains we've been having, but they're working on it).
You're crossing between at least three ""watersheds"" so there are some nice grades on it. Yes, there's some work involved going up but the downhill portions are well worth it!
Did I mention trestles? The Montour Trail just opened a 600-foot long and 70-foot high trestle near McDonald that links the Coraopolis section to a new 5-mile or so section that runs all the way to Venice -- and then (with the future addition of a bridge across PA 50) via Cecil Township and a tunnel to Chartiers Creek near Canonsburg. (You can go from the new Venice section to the Cecil one with a short ride on PA Route 50, but BE CAREFUL -- it's a busy road.)
The McDonald Trestle is simply fantastic. It has the best deck (concrete) and workmanship I've ever seen on a large trail bridge.
You can do half-century and metric century rides entirely on this trail. And if there are any problems you're always close to a community -- it's a big half-circle around the western Allegheny and Washington County communities. Two short ride-able tunnels (although they frown on riding) add to the fun. Bring a light for the National Tunnel near Cecil, but the Enlow Tunnel near Imperial actually has lights!
"While in the area on vacation from Florida my wife and I rode this trail. We started from the trailhead in Coraopolis and rode toward Imperial. We had planned on riding all the way to Mcdonald but due to all the fun we had exploring the various ""off trail"" paths that we found we ran out of time.
We found the trail to be very well maintained and a pleasure to ride. We rode into Imperial where we were able to find a great little pub where we had lunch.
We found one water fountain along the trail that was turned off. I guess it is a seasonal thing, and there were plenty of Porta Johns at the various trailheads.
If you have a mountain bike be sure to take some of the paths that leave the main trail. My wife is a very novice mountain bike rider but she had absolutely no trouble on the trails. We will definitely be back when up in the area."
"The best thing I liked about this trail is that it's paved so you can rollerblade, but it's not next to a noisy polluted freeway (as is the Eliza Furnace Trail). It's nice not having cars wizzing by and breathing exhaust fumes from cars as you're biking or skating. There are two minuses to this trail, though: One is that the paved portion is a bit narrow, and on a crowded afternoon it's sometimes hard to get a good full range of motion on skating strokes. The other is that about one mile into the trail, the pavement starts to ripple, making the ride a bit bumpy for both bikers and bladers. Although there are no potholes, there are a few cracks, and this trail probably could use a new paving job soon."
"I've ridden the Montour trail about a dozen times at different times of the day/week. It's a very good unpaved trail, consisting of a crushed limestone surface. It's smooth enough for suspen-less bicycles, but it's a bit tricky if you ride a skinny-tire bike, due to the slightly loose surface & mild crown at some areas. Also, during summer months, occaisional heavy thunderstorms will create minor washouts along the trail due to the lay of the land. these washouts are usually remedied quickly.
This trail can get very busy, especially around noon. Many employees of corporate offices located near the trail use it during their lunch break. Also, you get the standard variety of trail users, from the slow walker to the fast runner & speedy cyclist, so one must constantly be on the lookout ahead & from behind. The trail is wide enough for 2 to pass each other comfortably, but not wide enough to accompany 2-abreast, which you will encounter by surprise from time to time if you're not paying attention.
This trail is expected to link with other trails in the very near future, which may ease congestion a bit.
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