Westmoreland Heritage Trail


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Westmoreland Heritage Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: Westmoreland
Length: 21 miles
Trail end points: West Penn Trail junction at Water St. and Canal St. (Saltsburg) and Just north of Seventh St. and Forest Ave. (Trafford)
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6123160

Westmoreland Heritage Trail Description

The 21-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.

Parking and Trail Access

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.

Westmoreland Heritage Trail Reviews

Nice Trail, but, a few critical signs s missing.

This is a very nice Trail but there are a couple of issues. If you start in Salzburg when you reach the 4 mile mark you come to a stop sign at a two lane rural road. You have to cross the road and proceed up a dirt road about 100 yard to pick up the Trail again. Unfortunately, there are no signs letting you know that the Trail picks up again 100 yards up the dirt road. Very confusing. One sign at this point with an arrow directing you to where the Trail picks up would be very helpful and save you from riding aimlessly on the county 2 lane, busy, county road looking for the Trail. At the 9+ mile mark the Trail again ends at a two lane, curving, hilly, county road and, again, there are no signs to tell you where to go. Fortunately there was another rider at the Trailhead who informed us that the next section of the Trail has not been completed so you have to ride on the County road (a dangerous road to bike on) until you reach Export. So, despite the description of this being a 21 mile Trail, the actual Trail from Saltsburg to the missing section is only about 9 miles. That 9 miles is very well maintained with mile markers every 1/4 mile; two additional directional/informational signs would make a big difference to those riding it the first time. But, bottom line, if you start in Saltsburgh you are only on the Trail for 9 miles, an 18 mile round trip. We returned to Saltsburg and rode an additional 8 miles on the West Penn Trail which made the trip from Pittsburgh worthwhile.

fall ride

Beautiful fall trail

Ride through history!

On this overcast, brisk (50F) Nov. 1st Monday morning we probably should not have opted to start riding from the John Rangos trailhead (on Athena Drive Ext) to Saltsburg. In trying to stay warm and watch for tree debris on the leaf-covered trail, we chose to brake on the easy ride from Slickville to Saltsburg, rather than take full advantage of the downhill grade. (Brrr, we didn't stop at the Slickville Deli for ice cream.) Where the trail ended we continued across Water St. to look at the eastbound section of the West Penn Trail along the Conemaugh River. That ride would have to wait. It was lunch time.
We turned around and rode west on the West Penn Trail into Saltsburg, looking for GG's Gourmet Cafe -- one of the few open for lunch on Mondays -- 2 blocks east of the trail on Salt St. Was it the made-fresh grilled chicken pesto sandwich, the friendly conversation with the owner, or the self-serve coffee (in real mugs) that made the lunch break so satisfying? All that and still cheaper than a Panera's lunch!
Saltsburg itself, at the confluence of the Kiskiminetas and Conemaugh Rivers, is a historic gem. The museum is only open on Wednesdays, but the outdoor informational signs along the West Penn Trail share details about the canal, railroad, salt mills and buildings of Saltsburg's past. There is a clean public restroom and picnic spot near the salt mill (now a kayak rental shop).
After our ride through history we returned to the Westmoreland Heritage Trail. The uphill section back to Slickville, with sunshine, magically transformed our return ride into a continuous tapestry of sights -- bridges, tunnels, rock cliffs -- all painted in late Autumn colours. In the boggy area where the Loyalhanna Creek makes an oxbow turn, we were free to read the historic information and leisurely snap photos without the pesky summer mosquitoes. Our favourite section of the ride was where the trail crossed the south end of Beaver Run Reservoir. Too bad we didn't bring binoculars to look for birds in the wetlands there.
Our ride was not as scenic as that of the Ohiopyle-Connellsville section of the GAP (to which we compare every ride) and the uphill return was slightly more challenging. Extra points for the interesting historic sights. The leaf and branch debris was a little rough on our road bikes (can't be avoided this time of the year) but the trail is wide enough and good overall. Available potty stops at the trailhead and in Saltsburg are much appreciated. For only 9 miles of biking, it would not be our everyday choice, since our drive time from home is 1 hour. (Travelling by canal from Pittsburgh to Saltsburg would have taken about 20 hours.) We would probably bike this trail again with the addition of a portion of the West Penn Trail and look forward to a longer ride if/when that trail joins the Hoodlebug Trail.

Only the eastern segment is good for biking.

I've ridden both segments of this trail many, many times. The eastern segment (Delmont -- Slckville) is somewhat challenging, scenic, and fun. That can't be said for the western segment (Export -- Trafford) because there are just too many walkers who are pushing baby strollers, or walking four abreast, or ignoring trail courtesies. I rode this western part over 20 times in 2020; even more in 2019. I rode it once this year. That's all for me until we get a chilly day in November when most of the walkers aren't using the trail.
Please note that ALL of us have a right to use the trail. But, with rights come responsibilities.


Salem to Saltsburg and on to W Penn Trail

I started at Salem and rode trail to end at Saltsburg (8.5 miles) where it seamlessly connected to the West Penn Trail. Beautiful shaded trail, with plush forest views. Passed over a reservoir and multiple streams w kayakers. Nice bridges and a tunnel. Encountered turkey and deer. Uphill and downhill both ways. I rode 30m and still felt like I got a great workout! West Penn Trail is a rougher surface with steep grades and ruts from heavy rains. Still- very enjoyable!

Absolutely fantastic trail

Rode from Saltsburg to Rangos and back. This section of the trail lives up to it's five star rating. If you're looking for bridges or tunnels all you get are two bridges and a road underpass in the first 3 minutes of riding but you do ride along the Loyalhanna Creek for a ways. This is just a very nice, shady trail in the woods most of the time and the trail surface is in good condition. The caveat is that after a few miles you start a long, consistent uphill climb. My Garmin bike computer put it at 3% most of the time and at 4% once. There is one small community, Slickville, along the way but I didn't see any amenities there. After you top out you'll go back down a ways and cross a large reservoir before coming to the end of this section. Of course, that climb means a nice run back down on the way back. I thoroughly enjoyed this trail.

great and relaxing!

Trafford to Export and back! Nice relaxing trail! Stopped at nice cafe (Wade’s breakfast & grille) in town Export for halftime meal! Lots of nice people enjoying the weather and exercise! Well maintained!!!!

Great Ride!

We only rode a portion of the trail from Slickville to Saltsburg. Returning to Slickville was uphill but the fall views were amazing!

Fantastic trail -THANKS to all the workers who built this trail!

My husband & I bicycle all over the US (Rails to Trails only) and this little section of trail was a huge surprise. We live in Latrobe PA & use the GAP & Ghost town trails mostly. Plus we have used the Saltsburg side of the WHT a lot. But we never used the Export-Trafford side. WOW what a surprise. The infrastructure of this trail section is special. Whoever was involved in building this one; hats off to you and thanks! The bridges: quality. The road crossings: very safe. The bathrooms: abundant. Just cant say enough about the infrastructure. The trail itself was not paved, but no issues there, most are not. Well maintained trail - both the surface & the green growth on the banks of the trail. Most of this section of the trail is very beautiful, woodsy. Other parts going through Murrysville has traffic noise but that is just an indicator that there are lots of options for food & shopping off the trail. Lots of parking options at varied access points along the trail. The only negative thing i could say is that there were no trail maps (printed) in the map pocket cases at any of the trail heads. I suppose that means the trail is "just that popular". Again - try this section of the WHT - Don't put it off because its a nice stretch of the legs for either a morning ride or after work stress reliever.

great trail

Today was my first time on this trail. I found it well kept, safe and bike friendly. This trail was surprisingly difficult as it has a constant grade to it for a good portion of the trail.

Hometown Trail

Absolutely beautiful ride anytime of the year! Make sure to stop in Saltsburg, cutest little town on the tail. Grab a sandwich and something to drink at GG’s bakery for the rest of your ride. You won’t be sorry.

quick run

Took a short AM run on the trail starting at the Export Trailhead. Lots of cyclists - very nice to see the trail being used. I grew up in the area about 30 years ago and never thought someone would make a multi-use trail around here. Glad to see I was wrong!!

3.3 More Miles of Trail

I was pleasantly surprised to find that an additional 3.3 miles of trail has been opened from Murrysville to Export. Mostly crushed limestone with about a quarter mile of blacktop. Uphill grade to Export but certainly not crazy steep. It is nice to see improvements to this trail. It look like it will take about another 3.5 miles to connect Export to Delmont. Won’t that be nice!

Slickville trail

I am new to biking so the trail from Slickville towards delmont was too steep for me. I am going to stick to the more level trails from now on.

July 7 ride

Parked at Saltsburg and road the 8.5 miles west to the end. This is the eastern part of the trail. The trail path is very solid and easy to bike on and most of it is through woods. At marker 2.5 you will start to pedal uphill until you get to marker 5.25. At this point you will coast downhill to marker 6.5. The trail is then a slight uphill to marker 8.5 where the trail ends in a parking lot. It is very easy to ride back except at 6.5 to 5.25 which is uphill. You will not have to pedal at 5.25 to 2.5. You will pass an old coal slag mound, 2 old oil tanks, ride along a orange stream from mine water, and cross two bridges. We did see many people floating in the stream and river. At marker 4.75 you will be in Slickville. There is a store that you can get sandwiches, drinks, and ice cream.

Great Trail

I rode the trail from BY Park to Murrysville. It's beautiful and close to home. I plan to use it often. Unfortunately 2 kids were on the trail with an ATV. I hope that can be stopped. Also, crossing the road in Murrysville is a scarey experience

Saltsburg to Delmont

We rode from Saltsburg to Delmont and back on the advice of other reviewers. The trail is a little narrow in parts but not too bad. Even though it was 4th of July it wasn't too crowded. There is definitely a grade going to Delmont but there is also some uphill on the way back as well. Challenging for beginners I'm sure but a well maintained trail. Ran out of water on the way back and Slickville Grocery has a back entrance off the trail that was convenient.

hot ride

Road the trail mid day yesterday doing a full circuit end to end and back. It was 88 and humid so the 4.5 mile slight grade from Saltsburg to Slickville had me working up a sweat. It was good to try a rail trail that gave me a little bit of a work out. The scenery is great in several places. I will be back.


Quiet trail, winds through woods, open meadow and over small lake. Great for biking or running. Mostly flat.

Enjoyed the ride

This is a more challenging trail than many "rails-to-trails" because of the steeper climb on the way to Delmont. I enjoyed the challenging ride and plan to come back many times per year since I live close.

great trail

My wife and I just rode this trail last Saturday for the first time from Delmont to Saltsburg and it is gorgeous and a little challenging. The first half to Saltsburg is easy but back is a lot more difficult. I would say to go and enjoy.

Excellent ride

My wife and I went from Saltsburg to Trees Mills and back on a Wed., July 22, 2015 for a late morning 2 hr. ride in perfect weather. I specify the time/conditions in order to offer a different opinion from one reviewer who described the trail as "busy." In mid-week, under these ideal conditions, there was virtually no one on the trail. Perhaps the other reviewer did the trail on a weekend. A second opinion with which I would differ concerns the trail incline out of Saltsburg: here one reviewer described the incline as "steep." Unless you are pathetically out of shape the trail is not steep. Do not let ominous descriptions such as "steep" dissuade you from doing this excellent trail.

Export to Trafford - On the Way Now!

I am NEVER happy to see ANY rail line being torn up, but this one inspires mixed emotions. Westmoreland County recently purchased what was the rail service salvation of the west end of Pennsy's Saltsburg-Trafford line, 1992's Turtle Creek Industrial Railroad. This route will be the westward extension and completion of the current Saltsburg-Delmont Westmoreland Heritage Trail to Trafford, and they are tearing up its track right now (See images). The track has been torn up through Murrysville, from the Cat plant just west of the line's US-22 underpass, to Trafford Road, two miles west. This trail segment is guaranteed to be as spectacular as is its current in-service eastern end trail. West of Murrysville, the route descends to Trafford through a very isolated and wild tight valley. The Westmoreland Heritage Railroad brought its equipment up to Export from Youngwood a few years ago, and they ran a Santa Claus special a mile or so west from Export on the shaky track (Carnegie Steel 1921 rail in place at Export). The railroad was banned from tsking a passenger train down into the Turtle Creek Valley due to its poor track condition and tight curves. We had always hoped they might do it some day, but the the entire line was eventually abandoned, as usual, to truck service. Thankfully, now EVERYONE will soon be able to enjoy what promises to be this certainly most spectacular, and very popular, new trail segment! Stay tuned! -Rich Ballash, Latrobe, PA 1-17-2015.

Round trip run

Tim and I ran the trail from Delmont to Saltsburg and back Saturday morning in early September, starting just before 7am. What a lovely trail! We saw only one other likely round-trip runner, maybe half a dozen bicyclists, a couple of dog walkers, and a small group of Scouts hiking. The crushed stone surface was in excellent condition the whole way, although there were one or two spots where erosion from water runoff could use some attention. One or two of the mile marker covers have cracked or fallen off. The previously mentioned road crossing warning lights are now functional. Being tired on the way back, we certainly noticed the trail is mostly uphill from Saltsburg to Delmont, and were then grateful for the shade provided by that almost complete canopy. A big thank-you to all those who made this great rail trail a reality!

Busy, but beautiful

This trail is very well maintained, and usually quite busy. I've always started this trail in Slickville and worked my way towards Saltsburg. If you are looking to walk or cycle from one side of the trail to the next be aware that the Slickville side is mostly on a hill, which isn't very steep, but a hill nontheless.

When you exit the trail into Saltsburg you can find a public restroom across from the canoe rental in town. In Saltsburg there are a lot of nice places down by the waterfront to have a rest/picnic, or just to watch the canoers and kayakers row by.

Good workut ride

Are you training for the ride from Pittsburgh to DC? If so, you should ride this trail! The climb out from Saltsburg to just past Slickville is a gradual climb, but one that will get your heart pumping. We rode this trail on Saturday and went the whole way to Trees Mills on the new extension. The trail surface is fantastic the whole way and the ride on the old rail bed past the Beaver Run Reservoir was definitely a highlight for me. I really hope a way can be figured out soon to extend this trail through Export and Murrysville all the way to Trafford! Great ride, very quiet, lots of shade. Just be careful crossing Rt. 819 at Slickville.

The New Slickville-Delmont Extension

The long-awaited next phase of the proposed Slickville-Trafford trail is almost completed, and is now usable. The southwestward extension has added 3.7 miles of brand new trail, and the Westmoreland Heritage Trail now terminates at Trees Mills, just a mile short of Delmont. The new extension begins at PA-819, the trail's old western terminus. New bike crossing signals, identical to those at Ghost Town's Dilltown crossing, are in place here, but not yet activated. A steep climb from the Slickville trailhead takes the trail up to a very deep cut, then the trail begins a steep, long, 1.5 mile descent down to Beaver Run Reservoir. A neat old concrete railroad overpass is the only structural remnant of the old ex-PRR Turtle Creek Branch you are riding on. It is located 1.5 miles west of Slickville. The old grade crosses over the south end of the reservoir 0.3 miles farther down the hill, flattens out, rounds the reservoir curve, then begins a gentle climb to a series of mild roller coaster dips. The high fills and deep cuts run the trail through beautifully forested and desolate woodland. This is a most quiet and peaceful trail, totally canopied. The trail terminates at Trees Mills, just a mile east of Delmont. It will be a long time before this trail gets to and through Delmont, as the railroad area has been completely developed through town. It will be a grand day when this trail does eventually reach the ex-PRR mainline junction at Trafford, but, for now, this extension is one beautful addition to an already great trail from Saltsburg. -Rich Ballash, Latrobe, PA 7-28-2013.

Excellent Biking Trail

My wife and I recently bought a couple of single speed cruiser bikes. Took us about 1 1/2 hours from Saltsburg to Slickville. Not a bad climb for two older folks with bad knees. The ride back was great - maybe took all of 25 minutes! Should be really beautiful in the summer. Lots of scenery, wildlife, rivers and streams. Will be back.

Westmoreland Heritage Trail

Although it is a short trail it is one of my favorites. Very colorful in the fall. Views of 3 rivers, lots of parking access from both ends and middle. Terrain is from flat to gradient. I have even meet a black bear on the Slickville end of the trail near Patton.

Very nice trail

I just did the trail yesterday by bike starting from Slickville, and it was a very nice ride. As was previously mentioned, the trail is well groomed and flat. It's also wide enough to pass by others without any trouble. It's true that some will find the ride a little boring, but I don't mind being surrounded by forest. You do get a few nice glimpses of the creek nearby, as well as a couple of nice bridges overlooking the scenery.

In and of itself, the current trail would be very short for a bicyclist (4.75 mi). But, since it runs into the West Penn Trail in Saltsburg (12 mi), one can get a very satisfying, and at times scenic, ride. See others' separate reviews on the West Penn Trail. I only did a small portion of it, but I did notice that it seemed overall a bit more rugged than the WHT trail.

I, too, eagerly await the trail's extension to Delmont and ultimately to Trafford.

Great ride for the laid back type.

Great scenery in tranquil setting. I've gotten back in to cycling and since living in PA struggled with some of the hills around town(I'm from the Midwest and used to flat!). The trail is well groomed and smooth. I use slicks on my mountain bike and did not worry about my tires with the terrain. This trail maybe a little bland for some riders. Looking forward to it extending to Trafford!

Coal Mining and quad bikes

A lot of work went in to this really nice trail. Well done!
It's an uphill grade all the way from Saltsburg to Slickville, though it's nice and easy.
Just about everywhere you can see the coal mining legacy.
There are boney dumps and acid mine drainage.
A great effort has been made to keep quad bikes off the trail.
I didn't see any.
Two cool bridges, a little tunnel, and a playground at Saltsburg would make this a great stroll for the family with little ones.
See the huge "SLICKVILLE" sign erected on top of a boney pile across from the Salem Township Volunteer Fire Department. Parking available.
I'll come back in the summer when the countryside is green.
I'm looking forward to the completion of the trail to Trafford.

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