Barb Peterson Memorial Trail Orientation Hikes

Rachel Carson Trail Challenge - Saturday June 22, 2024

On this Barb Peterson Memorial Trail Orientation series of hikes, we will prepare for the Challenge by tracing the route just as you will encounter it on Saturday June 22.

  • Everyone is welcome; you do not need to be entered into the Challenge to participate.
  • These hikes can be strenuous. The objective is to acclimate you to the trail and get you accustomed to following it in the direction of this year's Challenge. Leaders will be maintaining an average pace of about 2.4 miles per hour, or a little over 25 minutes per mile.
  • You don't need to notify the hike leader that you plan to attend. Simply show up on time.
  • Please bring at least a quart of water (more if the temperature will be warm) and some energy snacks (e.g. Powerbar).
  • We will meet at the hike end point and carpool to the start point, leaving a sufficient number of cars behind to carry people back to the start when the hike is over.
  • The minimum unaccompanied age is 12.
  • Although dogs are wonderful, please don't bring them on these hikes.
  • All hikes meet at 8 AM. Plan for each hike to take 6 hours (up to 4 hours for the hike plus up to 2 hours for sign-in, announcements, car shuttling, and so forth).
  • The hikes are free. A suggested donation of $3 per person may be given to the hike leader on the day of the hike.

Saturday June 1
North Park Harmar to Emmerling Park
10.8 miles
03:52 duration
Climbing 1663 ft Descending 2030 ft
This hike begins at the Harmar Shelter in North Park, climbs up and over the park, down into Crouse Run valley and Hampton Nature Preserve, up to one of the highest points in Allegheny County, passes Hidden Pond, and finishes with some road-walking, ending in Emmerling Park.Meet at the Emmerling Park lot. Follow Route 910 along the Yellow Belt and turn onto Cove Run Road (adjacent to Emmerling Ice Cream) for 0.3 miles. Map
Sunday June 2
Emmerling Park to Springdale High School
8.7 miles
03:17 duration
Climbing 1889 ft Descending 1752 ft
This hike heads up and out of Emmerling Park, up Rich Hill, Lefever Hill and Log Cabin hill, heading towards Springdale. We end at the Springdale High School.Meet at the Springdale High School parking lot in Springdale. Take Route 28 to Exit #12A (Pittsburgh Mills). At the end of the ramp, turn away from the mall on the main entrance road, then turn left onto Tawney Run Road. After about 1/4 mile turn right on Butler Road. Follow this road until just before the first stop sign, turning left onto Henderson Road. In about 1/3 mile, turn right onto Marion Avenue and immediately turn right again into the parking lot. Map
Saturday June 8
Springdale High School to Bull Creek Road
10.1 miles
04:14 duration
Climbing 2656 ft Descending 2816 ft
This hike begins in Springdale and follows the picturesque bluffs along the Allegheny River, then tackles Murray hill, Crawford Run hill, and more. It ends at Bull Creek Road near Tarentum.Meet at the parking area at the intersection of Bull Creek Road and Ridge Road. Take Route 28 to Exit #14 (Tarentum). Turn north on Bull Creek Road for a very short distance, turn right on Ridge Road, then immediately turn into the parking area on the right. Map
Sunday June 9
Bull Creek Road to Harrison Hills Park ELC
8.0 miles
03:06 duration
Climbing 1949 ft Descending 1638 ft
This hike begins at Bull Creek Road near Tarentum with a steep climb up to a nice view of the Bull Creek valley. Soon we hit Burtner Hill, one of the biggest and toughest hills on the Trail, followed by some easy and pleasant terrain along the bluffs over the Allegheny River and ending in Harrison Hills Park.Meet at the Environmental Learning Center in Harrison Hills Park. Take Route 28 to exit 16, turn east (right if exiting northbound) at the end of the ramp, then right again at the T-intersection with Freeport Road. The park is about one mile down on the left. Take the left fork of the Park entrance road, then the next left and follow it up to the ELC. Map