Summary: The Rachel Carson Trail is 34 miles of yellow-blazed trail from North Park to Harrison Hills Park. It is a rugged undertaking, cutting through suburban areas utilizing whatever space is available. Power line cuts are popular throughways which means that the trail will often climb straight up or down steep hills. The motto of the trailblazers seems to be "Switchbacks are for whimps". It's a primitive trail with no camp sites or trailside amenities.
The trail from Springdale starts by climbing a steep powerline cut and thankfully stays on the hilltop for a while. After coming down off the hill, it's up Riddle Run Road before picking up another power line. The most brutal hill is down to Murry Hill Road and the Sheetz. A 50 degree slope straight down (or up if your traveling south). Someone has tied a steel cable to a tree to help your climb.
The annual Rachel Carson Challenge covers the entire 34 miles in one day. Most don't complete the event.
Trailhead: Parking in Springdale can be had at the VFW/American Legion parking lot on Freeport Road near Butler St. The sign there says parking is at your own risk. (lat: N40 32.584 lon: W79 46.371)
There is a place to park at the entrance to Agan Park on Riddle Run Road. (lat: N40 33.603 lon: W79 46.906)
And there is a lot on Crawford Run Road behind the Sheetz at Freeport Road. (lat:N40 34.930 lon: W79 46.760)
Trail Guides for Rachel Carson Trail - Springdale to Crawford Run:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Springdale Police Department 724-274-9022 (non-emergency)
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Kevin Geiselman, who has posted 96 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Phil on 2/9/2007
I have always enjoyed walking the Rachel Carson trail. There are a lot of very scenic, enjoyable sections. Unfortubately, there are also a few ugly sections. That is the price you pay going through populated areas. It is a difficult trail, it doesn't give you many breaks. I always say, if you lose the trail. just look uphill, you'll find it again! Over the years, I've hiked the complete trail many times, never in one day though....More power to those that do! Try the trail out some day, your bound to find a few sections you enjoy! This perticular section has some nice views of the river and of New Kensington. It is nice to sit on top of the cliffs and watch the traffic (and the world) going by.
Reviewed by Dayna on 8/8/2006
My honest opinion is that this hike is worth the good workout. I was however, rather disappointed by the amount of trash on and around the trail...especially the old tires. What a shame! Rachel Carson would be outraged.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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