The Rachel Carson Trail snakes for 34 miles across northern Allegheny County. It is the most rugged trail in Western Pennsylvania as it follows power and gas lines, skirts residential areas, challenges your arches on paved roads, crosses creeks without bridges, meanders through woods and fields and passes along the edge of steep bluffs. Parts of this trail are pretty; parts are wretched; all of it is surprising. Every year some 600 people take the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge and complete the full distance in one exhausting day… with appropriate bragging rights. The Rachel Carson Trail Quest Series let’s you hike the trail in four sections in the direction of this year’s Rachel Carson Trail Challenge. On each hike, we will meet at the hike end point and carpool to the start.
Hike 1: Harrison Hills Park [mile 0] to Tarentum (Bull Creek) [mile 7.3]
approx 9.8 miles; elevation change 4,338 ft est
Meet at the Park and Ride lot, Bull Creek Rd at Ridge Rd, Fawn, PA 15084 (40.615256,-79.759015)
Please note: This is a very strenuous hike. The saying is: “If there’s a possible worst way for a trail to go, that’s where The Rachel goes.” This trail includes sections that are very steep with no switchbacks or alternatives.