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The 17.8-mile Westmoreland Heritage Trail, a family-friendly multiuse rail-trail, offers opportunities for recreation and connections to nature along its two separated segments between Saltsburg and Trafford. The pathway features reclaimed railroad bridges over the Conemaugh River and Loyalhanna Creek—affording great views of the river hydraulics below, as well as providing opportunities for bird-watching and wildlife spotting.
The trail inhabits a segment of the Turtle Creek Branch of the former Pennsylvania Railroad corridor, which was originally chartered in 1886 by George Westinghouse Jr. to connect Saltsburg and Export. The line transported both passengers and freight between the many towns along its route before it fell into disuse in 2009 (passenger service had ceased in 1936).
Saltsburg to Salem: 8.6 miles
Even on the hottest summer day, you will find yourself enveloped in a lush deciduous canopy on this scenic trail, a portion of which runs along a small tributary, where natural seeps can be seen in the limestone railroad cuts at various points. At its eastern end in Saltsburg, the Westmoreland Heritage Trail intersects with the 15-mile West Penn Trail.
Heading west, you’ll cross over the Conemaugh River and Loyalhanna Creek in quick succession, after which you’ll enter a tree-canopied route that loosely follows Getty Run. The path has a distinct uphill grade along most of the nearly 5-mile length from Saltsburg to Slickville, offering an opportunity for a quick downhill ride back to Saltsburg. From Slickville to Salem, a 3.7-mile segment that opened in 2013 features a steep climb west of Slickville, leading to a rapid descent to Beaver Run Reservoir. The trail skirts the edge of the reservoir before reentering a peaceful, densely wooded landscape.
Export to Trafford: 5.9 miles
This segment of trail begins along US 22, just north of Duff Park at the Roberts Parcel trailhead in Murrysville, and runs 5.9 miles to B–Y Park in Trafford.
Heading west, the trail follows Turtle Creek and then veers away from the waterway to pass underneath the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It then picks up Turtle Creek again for most of its remaining alignment to B–Y Park.
To reach the trailhead in Saltsburg from Pittsburgh, take I-376 E to its end (near mile marker 85) and continue onto US 22 E/William Penn Hwy. Go 18.4 miles on US 22, and turn left onto SR 981 N. Go 7.7 miles. Turn right onto SR 286 E, and take an immediate right onto Water St. Go 0.5 mile, and look for trailhead parking to your right (the parking lot abuts the Conemaugh River).
To reach the trailhead at B–Y Park in Trafford from I-76, take Exit 67 to merge onto US 30 W, and go 1.0 mile. Turn right onto Rocky Road, go 0.1 mile, and then turn left onto Old US 30/Pennsylvania Ave. Go 0.6 mile, turn right onto Brush Hill Road, and go 0.5 mile. Turn right onto SR 993 E, and go 0.8 mile. Turn left onto Manor Harrison City Road, go 0.2 mile, and turn left onto Sandy Hill Road. After 2.5 miles, turn left onto SR 130 W, and go 4.7 miles. Turn right onto the park access road, and go 0.1 mile into the parking lot. Head north into the park to access the trail, which begins 0.5 mile farther west.
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