Rachel Carson Trail is a 8.6 mile point-to-point trail located near Springdale, PA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
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 wimps". 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.
We did this on Mother's Day 2016 and my 6 and 9 year old enjoyed it! We did the land-side trail, leaving the cliff-side trail untouched as they were tired. Lots of fun!
Parts were pretty steep. It was ok in dry conditions but mud may be an issue. The views were cool.
Nicely maintained trail with views of the Allegheny from the western bluffs. Southern sections are within a powerline right of way.
Overall, really fun trail. It actually offers some really great views of the river and surrounding area and it's only 30 minutes from Pittsburgh. My only complaint was all the mud, but that's hardly the park's fault. Trials were otherwise well maintained.
This trail was much harder than I was expecting. I think once I sleep tonight I won't get up until noon. The trail is mostly hardwoods. Popular with dogs.
Challenging first hike of the season. Includes two steep climbs.
1st half of trail (emerling end) is in open space with not much to see. In summer, sun can be hot! Second half is wooded and more pleasant. Steep in spots, but good hike for the area