Panhandle Trail

Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Panhandle Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania, West Virginia
Counties: Allegheny, Brooke, Washington
Length: 29 miles
Trail end points: Walkers Mill Rd./SR 3028 (Carnegie, PA) and Police Lodge Rd. at US 22 (Weirton, WV)
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6032178
Trail activities: Wheelchair Accessible, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Panhandle Trail Description

The Panhandle Trail is another jewel in the Pittsburgh metro area trail system. A Conrail line, known as the Panhandle Railroad, once connected Pittsburgh to Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis on this route. The rail corridor has been transformed into a multi-use, non-motorized trail stretching nearly 29 miles, from Weirton, West Virginia, to Carnegie, Pennsylvania.

Today, the wide trail is open to pedestrians and cyclists, with many easy access points along the way. Starting in West Virginia, the start of the trail is actually some 3,000 feet to the east; it’s a dead-end and trail users won’t miss much if they simply begin at the trailhead off Colliers Road. The trail follows the route of Harmon Creek, which itself feeds into the Ohio River, for the entirety of its West Virginia route, and several miles through Pennsylvania (in Midway, Pennsylvania, it picks up alongside Robinson Run and stays with the creek for the remainder of the trail). At the confulence of Harmon Creek and Paris Run, the trail crosses the West Virginia–Pennsylvania state line, marked with a white rail sign.

With such a close relationship with rivers and creeks, the trail features many small bridge crossings as it cuts through the rolling and, by turns, rocky hillside, showcasing many opporuntites for photos, especially in the fall. Spring and summer, when flowering shrubs and wildflowers dress up various landscaped trailheads and access points, are great times to bike the Panhandle. Between June and October, the Collier Friends of the Panhandle Trail sponsors several annual events on the trail.

The trail passes through several small towns, like Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, where you can grab a bite to eat or drink at near-trailside stores or restaurants. This is a region familiar with trail users, particularly when you approach McDonald. Just north of the Noblestown Road crossing, the Panhandle Trail forks to the north to cross the Montour Trail between the village of Primrose and town of McDonald, and ultimately links to Washington, D.C., via the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath. Continue east to finish out the Panhandle Trail where is merges into Walkers Mill Road outside of Carnegie.

Recognized as a valuable resource and landmark for residents, the Panhandle Trail was the 100th successful rail-trail project in Pennsylvania. As such, it generally enjoys speedy and routine maintenance from the many governmental organizations that oversee the trail, though the friends group maintains the 2.6-mile section from Walkers Mill to Greg Station.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the Weirton, West Virginia, trailhead, exit US 22 at Harmon Creek Road, heading south. Turn right on Colliers Road, and then another right to stay on Colliers. Trailhead parking in on the right in a lot under US 22.

To reach the Carnegie, Pennsylvania, trailhead, take Interstate 79 south to Noblestown Road. Turn and head west 1.7 miles to Walkers Mill. Turn left on Walkers Mill Road and then go 0.1 mile to a parking lot on the right where the trailhead is marked.

To reach the Montour and Panhandle trails trailhead near McDonald, Pennsylvania, follow US 22 west from Pittsburgh to State Route 980 just west of Imperial. Take SR 980 south to McDonald and turn right on Noblestown Road. The trailhead parking and access is at the intersection of Johns Avenue and Noblestown Road.

Panhandle Trail Reviews

This trail is one of my favorites. We have ridden from the Carnegie trail head to just across the WV state line and back several times. There is a small section of the trail that is loose gravel, but otherwise it is largely paved and a well-maintained trail. Depending on how far you're going, it does get a bit remote, so bring plenty of water and some snacks. Also, you will spend some time out of tree cover, so sunscreen is also a good idea.

took this trail from the starting point of trail. well maintained. interesting things to see towards the beginning. turns to paved path at Washington county. Easy to find and has a large parking lot. I would recommend to all levels of riding

We rode this trail last week and found it to be a great trail.The trial offers great scenery with evidence of the days gone by are all along the trail. The trail is crushed limestone with nominal incline. If you start in W.V. it is about 4 miles before you would enter Pennsylvania.

Accordion

My compliments to those involved in providing the paving improvements for this trail which includes Allegheny and Washington Pa and Hancock County WV. Washington County has fully paved their section. This trail is a very good trail system stretching into two states. We rode from Allegheny section to MacDonald Pa section on 7/26. We stopped at Hunners? Restaurant for lunch. Very large servings. Very good food and nice people. The trail itself has some very nice features and elevation changes. It does intersect with the Montour Trail. Great trail and nice for the people of Washington County (thanks)for the improvements. Can't miss trail

Me and my dog hiked from Burgettstown to the trailhead at Harmons Creek today. Leisurely 4 1/2 hour hike. Really good surface for walking but the dog preferred the grass along the sides of the trail. Plenty of wildlife out there today. Will do this again some day.

Finally got around to the Panhandle. I was interested in seeing some old RR history so made it out before the trees filled in. Lots of old relics and foundations.
Beautiful path with benches and porta poties in the South Fayette Twp. section. Starts to get a little rugged towards W.V. a road bike would not be a good choice for this Trail past the Collier TWP. section.
Washington County is a little boring, small homes and junkyards.. but the scenery picks up right before the W.V. line.

Also note there is heavy ATV and dirt bike use in the Washington county section. Too many access points to stop them effectively. From them riding up on the banks there are many large sharp rocks kicked onto the trail. I noticed 2 separate bikes with flats. Also tons of ruts from spinning tires to be mindful of.
Not too many hills but a few steady grades to climb. With a hardtail MTN bike and a lunch stop in Weirton I made it out and back in 5hrs 40 mins for 58 miles total distance. if your close it is a good warm up / training ride!
Don't forget to check out the cool PA/WV line marker!

excellent ride, great views, and wildlife.

It's a great ride through small quiet towns. To me the western end is pretty remote and has a lil less traffic between Burgettstown and Colliers but plenty of wildlife and great views. Alot of old Pennsylvania RR artifacts litter the area if your into railroads and that type of things. easy access points and connections with other trails. all around a good trail it really is a hidden gem

Took the mountain bike up to the rail entrance in Weirton...Typically ride the Wheeling Heritage trail and this was a nice diversion. It had poured rain on my car ride to the trail but had stopped and the sun came out. Trail was full of puddles but nonetheless I started out and could see that it was scenic and fun. If your used to riding on pavement this is a nice workout. I saw none on the trial for my entire 10-11 miles ride out. I pulled over and took some water only to feel rain coming again. I decided to cut my ride short and head back and within 5 minutes it was a downpour. I decided to keep going as there is not much shelter along this section of the trail and rode back in about 40 minutes of pouring rain. Soaked in water and mud I did encounter a few walkers once i got to about a mile or so form the trail end back in Weirton...Even thought the bike and I were covered in water and mud I decided that was one of the most fun rides ever. I can't wait to go back and see ore of this trail on a sunny day.

If you are feeling fenced in and need a little space, this is a great trail. For 5-7 miles at each end I ran into some people, but the center section really was "through the middle of nowhere." I saw few to no bikes for 20 miles.

Road end to end and back, starting at Walker Mills. Stopped in Midway (10 miles) to fill my 2 water bottles and drink a water bottle before heading to WV. When I got to the end, I could not locate a water supply, so I had to wait until Midway to re-supply. Covered approx. 40 miles before re-filling water. Make sure you have enough water on the trip.

Very scenic. Very rural. Lots of open space with little tree cover. Use your suntan lotion.

4 stars for long distances between water stations.

This little segment is a virtual treasure chest of Pennsy artifacts, exhibiting some of the most classic vestiges of the Pennsylvania Railroad! Head down to the big gravel pile at the west end of the trail, at Mile 39.7. Look in the towering weeds (They weren't there when I first arrived in 2007), and you'll see the intact ex-double main tracks resuming their course west. We are only a mile east of the site of old Weirton Junction Tower ("WC"). Westbound Track 2 is jointed rail; Eastbound Track 1 is heavy, welded mainline rail. "WC"s old home signal bridge is all that's left of this pre-1985 manned interlocking plant out there at Mile 41. Now, connected with "WC" is that BEAUTIFUL old 4-track signal bridge 0.9 miles east, with the "Panhandle Trail" sign suspended from it. This is a CLASSIC Pennsy multi-track signaling structure, once ubiquitous over its 10,000 mile system. This bridge held bi-directional "distant" (approach) position light signals at Mile 38.8 for "WC" to the west, and for the remote "CO" switches at Colliers, to the east. Heading east, you'll see two little, short "tombstone" trail mileposts 1 and 2. These are NOT railroad related. That concrete chunk on the south side of the trail at Milepost 37.1 is the south pier of the water bridge over five tracks at the old water station here. The water tower stood way over there by what was the old Collier Steel Corporation in 1950, at exactly Milepost 37. FYI, this line was 4-tracked from "WC" to the WV/PA state line. Collier Yard expanded the line to SIX tracks between Mile 37.5 and 36.4. The grade here was a gentle uphill from "WC" at less than 1% eastward to Mile 33.5, where it gets STEEP! "CO", that remote interlocking plant, existed between Mile 36.3 and 36.0. "CO"s eastward home signal bridge was located at 36.7, just west of the the highway overpass, and just east of where that mine siding girder bridge pulls in from the south side. You'd be looking at "CO"s westward signal from the east side of the grade crossing at the Colliers trail parking lot. Now, east of Colliers, here's where the good stuff shows up. The twin double-track steel girder bridges just east of Colliers are bordered by classic "PRR" bridge railing. If you look closely (see the photos), you will see raised "PRR" lettering at the center of each railing base stanchion. Some are eroded off... Some are pretty darn clear! The 4th track stubbed, and the line narrowed to three tracks, at the West Virginia-Pennsylvania line marker (see photos), a beautiful and ultra rare type of classic Pennsy maintenance division marker. The P.C.C. & St. L RR was the original name of the Panhandle Division of the PRR, the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, & St. Louis Railroad. It is wild that this whole southwestern leg of the PRR mega-system was named for this narrow little slice of the West Virginia panhandle that the system passed through right here! The railroad was always known as "the Panhandle" from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville, Saint Louis, and via this route from Columbus northwest up to the west side of Chicago's Union Station! To still see an intact "PCC & StL" marker is simply AMAZING! Triple track concrete "trough style" Bridge "35.09", is still faintly marked as such, in typical PRR bridge marking style ("35" over "09"), on its southwest abutment. The "PRR" railing lettering on this bridge is in BEAUTIFUL condition, especially on the east-facing end stanchion on the north side bridge railing. And finally, but certainly not least... Classic PRR Milepost 35 is the only ex-PRR milepost still remaining actually ON the trail (Milepost 11 exists in the weeds across the street from the Walkers Mill parking lot). And this is a SPECIAL one too, cast concrete with riveted on numerals, beautifully repainted, just like that state line marker. Someone has unsuccessfully tried prying off the marker's numerals, too! PLEASE don't try that! This is a rare treasure that future generations should have the privilege to see, and I am so glad to see that someone is taking good care of it, too! So take a short ride out here on the "Great Panhandle Route", as the old poster once proclaimed. Here are some real ghosts of the super railroad which hosted the great trains that plied this route for over a century!... The Spirit of Saint Louis, the Cincinnati Limited, the Penn Texas, and on and on. So sad that its all gone... Well... MOSTLY! Enjoy the Ride! -Rich Ballash, Latrobe PA 10-6-14.

Several neat vestiges of the Standard Railroad of the World can be spotted on this segment of Pennsy's "Main Line - Pittsburgh to Saint Louis." It's been 35 years since the last passenger train on this line, Amtrak's New York to Saint Louis "National Limited", the direct descendant of PRR's "Spirit of Saint Louis", last plied this route. Note the wide right-of-way, which was occupied by two main tracks and a center siding. The ruling (steepest) grade on this line, over the ridge here, was 1.0%. There were ten tunnels on the "Panhandle" between Pittsburgh and Eastern Ohio. Just west of the short, flat straight spot just west of Trail Milepost 29 (which is also the railroad mileage from Pittsburgh Union Station), observe the deep cut running the length of that first curve. This relatively short Dinsmore Tunnel, Tunnel #4 (from Pittsburgh), was "daylighted" as the railroad was modernizing and widening its former double track line, either by daylighting or bypassing all but one of the original ten tunnels, back around 1950 (YouTube explores several of the still-intact, abandoned tunnels). Three miles further west, down the long, winding descent into the West Virginia panhandle, a striking and amazing remnant from early 20th century passenger service survives at MP32, Hanlin. The pedestrian subway for the station, complete with heavy, solid stairway railing, typical PRR yellow-gold bricks, and even the frame of what was glass block overhead lighting for the tunnel, is still there! Both platform stairways are still there. The Hanlin depot stood on the south side of the eastbound platform at Hanlin. Passengers boarding or detraining from westbound trains would pass under the busy triple-track main from the depot through this tunnel. This is an extremely cool are rare vestige of passenger service that was curtailed at little stations like this way back in the early half of the last century. And before you leave, take a look at that antenna perched way up at the top of that telephone pole on the north side of that station platform. That was a "repeater" antenna which transmitted radio communications between the trains and the manned interlocking towers on this line, from the 1950's, way up through the line's abandonment. -Rich Ballash, Latrobe, PA 9-28-2014

my map my ride says it's 28.68 miles with the gps
the length to the water fountain near the parking
lot @ the end of the trail near Carnegie. Found it
easier going back to Harmon Creek,(more downhill), I saw a couple of road bikes. I wouldn't do it, there's spots of loose dirt, (like sand)on this
trail, gives the legs a workout, if your out of shape I wouldn't do the whole Panhandle trail.

4 wheelers are ruining it, loose dirt now, saw a
fat girl passing me on one going about 30 the other
way on a 4 wheeler. beer bottles here & there.other
then that it's clean.

but I love it with a mountain bike.

I have been living in Florida for the last 15 years
but I'm telling you, if it's hot you may need 2 full water bottles, (unless you want to go in Dollar General or similar.
4 stars because of the danger of being runover by an ATV FourWheeler.

My wife and I started at the Walkers Mill trail head, which was easy to find from exit 57 of I-79 near Carnegie. This is the east end of the trail, which generally heads west to Weirton, WV. We went out about 7 miles and back. The trail's crushed limestone, the surface is generally good. It's a very gradual uphill ride heading west. Pretty rural overall, there are some nice shelters and picnic tables along the route and the ride's reasonably scenic. We'll definitely continue the ride further west to see what we encounter!

Went the whole way from Harmon Creek to Carnegie with my 3 sons. We really enjoyed the trail, well maintained and scenery. Only downside was that we did not feel very welcomed in McDonald, PA, where we were honked at by a motorist and yelled at by someone on a motorcycle. Shame b/c we spent money at the Dollar store there, you'd think they'd welcome the addition to the local economy.

The Mrs. and I loaded up the truck this past weekend and braved a few sprinkles to head out to the Harmon Creek trailhead, which is almost, but not quite, at the western terminus of the trail. By the time we got there, the sky was clearing and we were in for a beautiful, yet windy, day. we took the time to ride all the way out (less than a mile) to the western end of the trail. from the parking lot down there is what appears to be old road millings. Then we struck out east and rode all the way to the MacDonald viaduct where the Montour trail crosses over the Panhandle, then back. Over 41 miles for the day. The grade out of Harmon Creek is slow and gentle, the trail is well-maintained and smooth. Riding back west to Harmon Creek we did hit a bit of a headwind, but this is a nice, quiet trail and a great ride. Enjoy!

I was dissapointed to learn that horses are not really welcome on this trail and that the Harmon Creek parking area and the start of this trail is no horses.

Rode the Panhandle from the trailhead near Carnegie out to Midway (again) yesterday. Just wanted to mention that the wash from the July storms that had rolled through the area was already fixed and the surface was smooth and pleasant all the way to Midway (mile 10.7). Shout out to the maintenanace folks who got things back in top shape for the riders! Have fun and enjoy the ride!

Rode the panhandle today, just a couple days after some big rain storms hit the area. From the eastern end things were still pretty smooth up till Fort Cherry where you cross the road by the Ambulance station. Shortly was a bit of mud, then about 1/2 way to Midway was some serious washout with deep rutting across the trail. I also went up the connector to the Montour trail to cross the Viaduct just for kicks. The bottom half of the connector trail was washed out and had deep sand deposits in places as well. Certainly a rough ride, but about what I expected given the flooding the area had been though just a couple days earlier. This is a really great trail and I'm sure the crews will be fixing what needs worked on before too long, but proceed with caution going west from Fort Cherry for the time being. Enjoy the ride!

I ride a cross bike, typically about 15 mph for flat paved trails. I began my ride at the trail entrance off SR 22/30 in Brooke County. To get there, simply take the Harmon Creek Road exit, which I believe is the last exit before crossing the big bridge into Steubenville (heading west towards Ohio). take that exit, make an immediate left, then an immediate right and there is parking. If you are from south of Brooke County, I recommend taking what is known as the 'Ohio Side', Rt. 7 north. pass steubenville, you will see signs for a left turn to get onto 22/30, then take Veterans Memorial Bridge east toward Pittsburgh. take the Harmon Creek Road exit, turn right off exit, then go to trail parking as described above.

There are no restroom facilities there, but at around mile 1 there is a port a john.

The trail is very smooth cinder surface with mild grades. very good for spinning. I ended up averaging 14 MPH for an hour ride, only about 1 mph slower than I do for pavement which, for a cardio rider is great. I also got a great workout that tested my legs because I had to push harder, due to the softer surface.

as I have discovered with a couple of other trails, there are vertical poles in the trail at road crossings to attempt to prevent vehicular traffic from entering. I only encountered a few of these during my ride, and they were adequately spaced such that I didn't have to gear down.

scenery is exquisite. I will definitely be back to this trail, and kudos to the person/crew that maintains it.

I believe there are plans to connect this trail to the Wheeling/Heritage port system at some point in the future, headed up by Bob Skatterday, but I do not see evidence that this is doable at this point. If you are accustom to riding on the Wheeling trail which is completely flat/paved, this is a fun diversion from that with a varied surface, and only about 1/2 hour north drive from Wheeling. Highly recommend.

I love this trail! I began my walk from the trailhead at Walker's Mill. The trail is wide and well maintained. I passed over 100 people along this trail and yet the trail was wide enough to handle all the traffic. There are small trails that lead off of the mail rail-trail that are well used and easily accessible. I was able to walk off the trail, walk around an outcropping of rocks and spend time at the stream. It was private yet you could see the biker/pedestrian traffic on the main trail! Nice! A new bridge has been installed down the trail a bit, and you can cross the creek and hike up and all around Neville's Woods, enjoyed the Eagle Scout Project that was constructed all through the woods. I look forward to going back to the trail soon.

There’s nothing quite like riding bike on one of the hottest days of the year, and this trail from West Virginia’s northern panhandle into Pennsylvania is a great spot to do it. In 93-degree heat and sweltering humidity we popped lots of cold water into our bottle cages near Weirton, W.Va., and started pedaling east.
The trailhead couldn’t be easier to find – just off the Harmon Creek exit of Route 22 and you’re right there. It’s literally under the highway. There’s LOTS of parking, but no restroom. You’ll find a portable toilet about a mile along the trail.

The first two or so miles are smooth and the trail is lined with markers that click off each quarter mile. But around mile three, as we crossed a big double-wide rail bridge, the trail became progressively rougher. Packed gravel gave way to large stones and the mile markers disappeared. Even so, it was a gorgeous ride along (what I’m guessing is) Harmon Creek and through heavy woods. Even in the heat we saw bunnies, chipmunks and even a curious deer, who popped out of the tall grass after we passed by.

Around mile five we came upon a fairly new tent right at trailside that was slashed and abandoned. We created stories about what happened there, one more fantastical than the next, but in the end were really curious about the scene.

Oh, and there’s something oddly fun about riding across that invisible state line. The spot is nicely noted by an old white rail marker

With only part of a day to ride and water running low, we turned around at the eight-mile mark and headed back to the trailhead. As this direction was ever-to-slightly downhill we got back in good time with a not-as-hot breeze in our faces.

Two thumbs up for trail. We’ll be back in cooler climes to tackle a much longer ride.

Rode the panhandle trial from McDonald to Burgettstown and wanted to give an updated review of what I discovered:

- Trial consists of crushed stone very similar to Montour trial. This results in a very rideable surface. There was no large stones or rough sections on this portion of the trial.

- Area was very much away from it all. Although you pass through small towns, area was very rural with a lot of wildlife. I saw deer and other small game throughout the trip.

- Pennsys restaurant is now closed in Burgettstown. However, according to a local, there is new restaurant opening soon on the trial across from Pennsys.

-Overall, the experience was great and I can't wait to ride other sections of the Panhandle Trial.

I use this trail for biking, running or walking. Not many intersections so cross traffic is no issue. Try it, you'll like it.

wow wee what can i say i rode this trail round trip starting in wv( fantastic ) left me wanting more
it was a littly ruff in some places but it was a great ride and i will ride again next time im in the area great scenery i saw Deere rabbits ground hogs and turkey and other critters my round trip time was 5 hours and 20 min not pushing to hard it was a fantastic ride and i recommend to every cant wait to do it again
enjoy

We road the entire length from West Virginia to Walker's Mill and back Labor Day weekend. A very pretty trail but not many facilities on the western part. No water available on the western end so make sure you have a full bottle. The beginning 6 miles or so are very rough with big loose stones so you have to watch where you are going and even then you will hit the rocks. We have hybrids so it kept us busy trying not to get a flat.

Hunner's Deli in Sturgeon is yummy.

The trail now connects through Burgettstown. I rode the entire length recently while traveling from Pittsburgh to Columbus. (Actually, it was one leg of a cross-country trip: http://www.john.stechschulte.net .)

"This trail is 29 miles from Walkers Mill (Near Carnegie), PA to 1 mile short of Weirton, W.V. I have bicycled the entire length of this trail, and for the most part it can be divided into three sections. Section one runs from Walker Mill to the Village of Primrose. This section is complete for almost 9 miles (8.8 to be exact). This is a very nice section that has lots of interesting things to see, along with many amenities. Some of the highlights are . . .

Mile 0 - Walkers Mill - This is a nice little park that is next to a quarry pond. There are lots of benches and pavilion shelters between here and the first quarter of a mile. There is even a windmill along this section of trail that when spinning provides oxygen to the fish in the pond.
Mile 5.75 - Sturgeon - Permanent restrooms and Hunner's Deli, good place to get lunch (Pizza, Hoagies and more) or a Powerade (Closed on Sunday).
Mile 7.25 - McDonald Trail Station, open on weekends, has historical items on display and free trail maps!!
Mile 8.21 - McDonald Trestle. This is where the Montour Trail intersects with the Panhandle. It is fairly easy to get from one trail to another, but will be better once the connector trail, including the ""Rob Run Bridge"" is finished (which is currently under construction, and soon to be finished). The trestle is one of the highlights of the Montour Trail, and you ride right under it on the Panhandle Trail.

Section two, which runs from Primrose to Burgettstown (a distance of 8.2 miles) is not yet completed, and has a very rough trail surface and is not at all enjoyable except for the bicyclist who enjoys really rough terrain, and wet terrain, because in one section the trail is always covered with water from mine drainage (just after Primrose). The surface is mostly railroad ballast made of large rocks,and it gets worse the farther you go, especially after Bulger. Although there are a few things to see on this section of trail, mostly it is not that interesting, and it really hurts the body to ride 8 miles on big, hard rocks. Ride this section at your own risk. Some things you will see on this section are . . .

Mile 10.5 - Midway - Small town with a convenience store and an air pump (Sorry no Presta Valves), (Which you might need, since this trail is so rough).
Mile 11 - Radio controlled airplane club - sometimes they are flying over the trail. Landing strip not far from the trail, look for the windsock.
Mile 13.5 - Bulger - Small village with an interesting veterans memorial and two artillery cannons. Nice place to stop and rest.
Mile 17 - Burgettstown - Small town with a Restaurant (The Pennsy, claiming to have the best breakfast in town) and Convenience Store right next to the trail.

Section three runs from Burgettstown to Weirton, and has a pretty decent trail surface for most of the way. Mileage from Burgettstown to the trail end is about 12 miles (12.44 exactly). This interstate section of the trail enables you to bike from Pennsylvania to West Virginia and has a really nice picnic area at the state line (mile 24.67) with an old train marker from the P.C.C.&St.L.R.R.

Highlights are . . .

Mile 25.22 - Colliers, WV - There is parking and a little picnic area here.
Mile 26.88 - Pond and Wetlands - Look for the beaver lodge.
Mile - 28.49 - Harmon Creek - This is the main trailhead for the Weirton side of the trail. From here they have mile markers that run almost every quarter mile all the way to mile 4 (From our side Mile 24.38). They also have lots of benches and an interesting use of an old signal bridge to hang the ""Panhandle Trail"" sign on.

Mile 29.44 - Dead End - This is the end of the trail. There is a huge pile of gravel and on the opposite side of the pile are train tracks. There is a picnic table here.

Overall, this trail is really good on the two ends, and when the middle section gets completed, this trail will be an excellent opportunity for recreation and adventure between Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Let's hope the construction for the middle section get underway soon, but in the mean time, be sure to take advantage of this trail's opportunities on either end, and for you hardcore people, get out on the middle section too!

Updated October 12, 2005 - Troy Bogdan"

"This trail is 29 miles from Walkers Mill (Near Carnegie), PA to 1 mile short of Weirton, W.V. I have bicycled the entire length of this trail, and for the most part it can be divided into three sections. Section one runs from Walker Mill to the Village of Primrose. This section is complete for almost 9 miles (8.8 to be exact). This is a very nice section that has lots of interesting things to see, along with many amenities. Some of the highlights are . . .

Mile 0 - Walkers Mill - This is a nice little park that is next to a quarry pond. There are lots of benches and pavilion shelters between here and the first quarter of a mile. There is even a windmill along this section of trail that when spinning provides oxygen to the fish in the pond.
Mile 5.75 - Sturgeon - Permanent restrooms and Hunner's Deli, good place to get lunch or a Powerade (Closed on Sunday).
Mile 7.25 - McDonald Trail Station, open on weekends, has historical items on display and free trail maps
Mile 8.21 - McDonald Trestle. This is where the Montour Trail intersects with the Panhandle. It is fairly easy to get from one trail to another, but will be better once the connector is finished (which is under construction). The trestle is one of the highlights of the Montour Trail, and you ride right under it on the Panhandle Trail.

Section two, which runs from Primrose to Burgettstown (a distance of 8.2 miles) is not yet completed, and has a very rough trail surface and is not at all enjoyable except for the bicyclist who enjoys really rough terrain. The surface is mostly railroad ballast made of large rocks. Although there are a few things to see on this section of trail, mostly it is not that interesting, and it really hurts the body to ride 8 miles on big, hard rocks. Ride this section at your own risk. Some things you will see on this section are . . .

Mile 10.5 - Midway - Small town with a convienience store and an air pump (Which you might need, since this trail is so rough).
Mile 11 - Radio controlled airplane club - sometimes they are flying over the trail. Landing strip not far from the trail, look for a windsock.
Mile 13.5 - Bulger - Small village with an interesting veterans memorial and two artillery cannons. Nice place to stop and rest.
Mile 17 - Burgettstown - Small town with a Restaurant (The Pennsy) and Convienience Store right next to the trail.

Section three runs from Burgettstown to Weirton, and has a pretty decent trail surface for most of the way. Mileage from Burgettstown to the trail end is about 12 miles (12.44 exactly). This interstate section of the trail enables you to bike from Pennsylvania to West Virginia and has a really nice picnic area at the state line (mile 24.67) with an old train marker from the P.C.C.&St.L.R.R. Highlights are . . .

Mile 25.22 - Colliers, WV - There is parking and a little picnic area here.
Mile - 28.49 - Harmon Creek - This is the main trailhead for the Weirton side of the trail. From here they have mile markers that run almost every quarter mile all the way to mile 4 (From our side Mile 24.38). They also have lots of benches and an interesting use of an old signal bridge to hang the ""Panhandle Trail"" sign on.
Mile 29.44 - Dead End - This is the real end of the trail. There is a huge pile of gravel and on the other side are train tracks. There is a picnic table here.

Overall, this trail is really good on the two ends, and when the middle section gets completed, this trail will be an excellent opportunity for recreation and adventure between Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Let's hope the construction for the middle section get underway soon, but in the mean time, be sure to take advantage of this trail's opportunites on either end, and for you hardcore people, get out on the middle section too!

October 2005 - Troy Bogdan"

I was riding on the northern panhandle trail and rode 3 miles of the new section from the West Virgina state line into Washington county. It was just great. Good job on the surface grading.

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