Saltsburg to Conemaugh Dam via West Penn Trail

HARD 17 reviews

Saltsburg to Conemaugh Dam via West Penn Trail is a 14 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Saltsburg, Pennsylvania that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

14.0 miles
1,230 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly


horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


Trail along the PA Mainline Canal and through SGL 328. (6 miles) Boats of the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal first came through Saltsburg in 1829 only to be replaced by the railroad in 1864. In 1954, the railroad traffic was shifted to a line outside of town leaving this section abandonded for the rest of the century until converted into this biking trail The trail east of Saltsburg has two sections. The nearer is along the old rail line that ran along the canal towpath. Much of the canal was obliterated by the rail but there are a few places where remenants of the canal survive. Approaching Tunnelton, the trail leaves the canal/rail and runs up what was once Coaltown Road, through the Elder's Run tunnel and then up and over the hill through State Game Lands 328 to the Conemaugh Dam. This trail could use a little more work and is quite a climb.

10 months ago

Excellent trail. So many offshoots to explore. Easy hike or run or bike. Great scenery and peace and quiet. I only saw 2 people in a few hours here

Sunday, July 09, 2017

This is a rail trail that gets a little steeper after mile 5. The difficulty of the whole trip is in the length, not the inclines. The trail is bikeable all the way so for someone on foot it's easy if you're fit.

mountain biking
Monday, June 12, 2017

Well, what everyone says is true. the first 4.5 miles are easy, but once you get to the 5th mile it gets difficult due to the hills you have to climb. However, still very fun and a very nice trail!!

mountain biking
Monday, October 10, 2016

OMG Too much work. Part of this trail is very easy and part i difficult.

mountain biking
Monday, October 10, 2016

Never worked this hard on a rail trail. There is a lot of vertical. Some of it is the gentle slope you are expecting and some is a leg burner. It goes over a hill that will provide a serious climb.

trail running
Saturday, August 16, 2014

Visiting this trail as day 2 exploring rails to trails while visiting from San Diego. Picked up West Penn Trail at Saltsburg Park and ran five miles to Tunnelton Road and back. Smooth graded rail trail. I'd call it flat, maybe a 1% grade that you will barely notice. There is a 200ft vertical climb 4-5% grade(?) after the tunnel near mile 4 from my start location, it was short enough not to be much trouble. Lots of great scenery for this desert dweller. Trail parallels the river, rope swing, tunnel, lots of deer. I am loving the rails-to-trails as some of the best running trails I've experienced. Tomorrow will be day 3 and heading East from Tunnelton, I expect to hit the hills that others talk about. Yesterday I ran from Slickville (819) to Saltsburg along the Westmoreland Heritage trail. It was very similar to this stretch of the West Penn Trail.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

large portion of the trail is just flat and paved old railroad bed and rather boring. Would be great for children's cycling. Climb over the tunnel provided a little challenge to the outing. At summit great views of the snaking river and dam.

mountain biking
Sunday, June 16, 2013

Great rails to trails. It is 17 miles long from Avonmore to Saltsburg to Blairsville. I couldn't find access in Avonmore so I started in Saltsburg. The trail is fairly flat and easy until you get towards the conemaugh dam then there is 5 miles of steep hills. It is a great challenge with some nice views as a reward.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

5/25/2009 - kayaking/canoeing- first time I did this stretch of the Conemaugh with my friend Cindy for her birthday and my husband Cliff. We dumped our canoe early in this trip. It was freezing, May but sunny and we managed. On of our 1st water trips. We've done this trip many times since with brother/sister-in-law. They live right at the start of this on the river. A nice trip, fairly short about 2-3 hours depending on water conditions and how big of a hurry you are in. Lots of big rocks to pull over and take a break, have a snack, bottle of wine, or swim from. Great trip for a family, it's calm but the water is deep enough (mostly shallow) to keep you moving but nothing dangerous. It's nice and clean, unpopulated but a canoe rental not too far away so not remote. Nice relaxing jaunt. I'd recommend.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

This trail is NOT difficult as described. It is basically flat the entire 6 miles. It's nice for running/bicycling but is not a HIKING trail.

mountain biking
Sunday, August 21, 2011

Great trail!! I really don't care about the sights but if you want a good workout then this is your trail. Great hills to climb throughout, the trail will challenge any mountain biker and if it doesn't then your not pushing yourself!

1 month ago

cross country skiing
Saturday, August 22, 2015

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Monday, October 01, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012