The Montour Trail is a multi-use non-motorized recreational rail-trail near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and will eventually extend 46 miles from Moon Township near Coraopolis to Clairton. The trail is part of the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP), a trail system that stretches over 330 miles from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. Currently, multiple sections of the trail totaling over 40 miles are completed, with a few gaps in the southern area of the trail. If necessary bypass directions for these areas are provided on the website. There are amenities available, portable toilets every 2 to 4 miles, water fountains every 2 miles in the more populated areas. They are 6 to 7 miles apart in the more rural areas. New sections of trail are being added each year.
trail is covered with a smooth surface of crushed limestone, which makes it
ideal for all forms of non-motorized use: bicycling, walking, running, cross-country
skiing, and nature appreciation. In certain sections, horseback riding is also
permitted, but not on the improved trail surface. A section of the trail located
in Peters Township is called the Arrowhead Trail. This section is owned and
maintained by the Township. The Panhandle Trail stretches 29 miles between Carnegie,
Pennsylvania, and Weirton, West Virginia. This section of the trail in
Allegheny County is managed by the Montour Trail Council.
Montour Trail follows a portion of the old Montour Railroad, which was built
between 1877 and 1914 to link the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad with the
regions many coal mines. Forming a semi-circle around Pittsburgh, the Montour
Railroad also connected other railroads, including the Pennsylvania, the
Pittsburgh and West Virginia, the Baltimore and Ohio, and the Union. Both the
trail and the railroad are named for the creek that runs alongside.
the Montour Railroad ceased operation in 1984, the unused rails became a
popular place for walkers. Eventually, people began to realize that the Montour
right-of-way could become an excellent recreational trail. Upgrades
and improvements to the Montour Trail are always in the works. The Montour
Trail Council (MTC) is a non-profit all-volunteer group which builds, operates,
and maintains the trail. The trail is
maintained and managed by a wide ranging group of volunteers. Trailhead
parking is available at either end of the trail as well as many points in
between. Trail maps are available for parking areas and directions.