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Armstrong Trails

This 52.5-mile long, non-motorized rail trail located along the former Allegheny Valley Railroad corridor along the eastern bank of the Allegheny River in Armstrong, Clarion, and Westmoreland counties is on the main spine of the emerging 270-mile Erie to Pittsburgh Trail. Rich in local history, trail users will find remnants of villages, iron furnaces, train stations, a coaling tower, tunnels, an 1899 railroad bridge, and a railroad turntable along the trail. Flora and fauna blossom and bound along the trail, creating a colorful and lively show throughout the seasons. Currently, 35.5 miles (31 continuous miles) are open for use and have been improved with crushed limestone or asphalt surfaces. Ongoing rehabilitation projects continue on the Brady Tunnel in 2023, which will connect the southern section of the trail to the northern five miles. Additionally, the newly acquired 14-mile section and 4-mile spur at the southern end of the trail will be under construction in 2023. As of the date of this publication, construction on the trail and Kiskiminetas Bridge has not begun. These major pieces of trail infrastructure are closed to the public at this time and are expected to be open to trail users in early 2024. Please check the Armstrong Trails website for up-to-date information on these developments.

Baker Trail

With its Northern trailhead in Forest County and its Southern trailhead in Westmoreland County, the Baker Trail covers 134 miles across six counties. This state-designated hiking trail features forest paths, old Jeep trails, paved roads, and dirt roads as it traverses forests and farmlands and hugs rivers and creeks throughout Western Pennsylvania.

Butler-Freeport Community Trail

The Butler-Freeport Community Trail is a 21-mile scenic rail trail in Armstrong and Butler counties. The trail features a crushed limestone surface and is perfect for all types of non-motorized recreation, including hiking, biking, walking, running, geocaching, and birding. It’s also handicap accessible for all to enjoy.

Cowanshannock Trail & Buttermilk Falls

This short but scenic trail leads to one of Armstrong County’s best-kept secrets — Buttermilk Falls. Follow this 1.27-mile crushed limestone trail on foot or bike from the trailhead at the 7-acre Bernard C. Snyder picnic area as it follows Cowanshannock Creek on an abandoned Pennsylvania Railroad Company corridor.

Great Shamokin Path

The Great Shamokin Path follows a section of the abandoned Rural Valley Railroad corridor for 3.5 miles between NuMine and Rose Valley and connects two lakes: the Devil’s Washbasin and White Lake/Wetland. This gravel and grass-covered hiking and biking trail parallels Cowanshannock Creek and is a great location for observing nature, birding, and picnicking. The Great Shamokin Path gets its name from the route that once linked the Allegheny and Susquehanna rivers from Sunbury to Kittanning.

North Country Trail

The North Country Trail is a 4,700-mile trail managed by the National Park Service. The 57-mile Butler County Chapter segment of the trail begins at Alpha Pass in McConnells Mill State Park and ends in Parker, a city in the northwestern part of Armstrong County and the smallest city in America. Recommended hikes include Hidden River Bridge to Burnside Road (6 miles), Route 528 Bridge to Jennings Prairie (7 miles), and Parker Area State Game Lands 95 (4-8 miles).

Outdoor Discovery Center Trails

There are three public trails at the Outdoor Discovery Center at Crooked Creek. The You Can Trail is an easy and accessible 0.4-mile loop trail that starts next to the parking lot. It will soon be improved upon with the addition of markers and guides for the visually impaired. The Discovery Trail is an approximately 0.6-mile easy to moderate trail with interpretive stations (trail guide located outside of the ODC front door). It also features poetry throughout the trail. The trailhead is located behind the ODC. The Shrub Swamp Trail can be accessed off of the Discovery Trail or from the Outflow Recreation Area. The 0.8-mile trail provides a gentle walk along the outflow of Crooked Creek Lake and provides a great opportunity to see a wide variety of birds, flowers, and wildlife.

Redbank Valley Trail

Named the 2014 Trail of the Year by Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Redbank Valley Trail is a scenic non-motorized, four-season trail maintained by the Redbank Valley Trails Association. This 51-mile trail follows Red Bank Creek from the confluence with the Allegheny River, where the trail connects with Armstrong Trails.

Roaring Run Trail

Roaring Run Trail is a 4.8-mile crushed stone rail trail that’s a part of the Trans Allegheny Trail system. Along this trail and the Kiski River, you’ll find remnants of the area’s past, including stone remains from what was a canal lock when the trail was a towpath on the crossstate Main Line Canal system and mileage markers and a bridge from when the Pennsylvania Railroad had bought the canal system in the mid-1800s and converted it to rail. This area is now preserved and maintained by the Roaring Run Watershed Association.

Rock Furnace Trail

Also managed by the Roaring Run Watershed Association, Rock Furnace is a 1.5-mile spur of the Roaring Run Trail that features a wooden suspension bridge and the stone ruins of an iron furnace from which it got its name. It has a moderate grade and a tar-andchip surface.

Crooked Creek Horse Park (Horseback Riding Trails)

Located at the north end of Crooked Creek Lake, Crooked Creek Horse Park has approximately 30 miles of permanently marked trails. The most popular trails are out and back, but there are loops available. These trails are challenging for experienced riders but not too difficult for novice riders and feature varying terrains. The trail system is maintained by volunteers from the Fort Armstrong Horsemen’s Association.