OHIO RIVER TRAIL COUNCIL

“Joining communities through fitness, recreation, heritage and transportation networks”

OHIO RIVER TRAIL COUNCIL

Montour Trail — McDonald, PA to Thompsonville, PA

Montour Trail 26 or 34-Mile Bike Ride

Come out for a ride! This is part of a trail ride series sponsored by the Ohio River Trail Council (ORTC) intended to bring awareness to the wonderful trails in our quad-state region (Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia). All cyclists are welcome for this rails-to-trails, moderate-paced ride!

Join us, as we visit the Montour Trail. We meet just outside of McDonald, Pa at the Panhandle/Montour Trailhead (Mile-17), which is under the McDonald Trestle and ride to Thompsonville (Mile-30) before returning to McDonald, Pa. The route traverses the National and Greer Tunnels.  Lights are highly recommended, as the tunnels are dark. You should walk your bike through the tunnels if you do not have lighting. An optional longer ride includes continuing on the landscaped Arrowhead Trail for additional 4-miles for a total roundtrip ride of 32-miles.

Trailhead

Panhandle/Montour Trailhead - 8603 Noblestown Rd, McDonald, PA

GPS: 40.363660,-80.249016

Features and Points of Interest:

The 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 region's many coal mines. Forming a semi-circle around Pittsburgh, the Montour Railroad also connected other railroads, including the Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh & West Virginia, the Baltimore & Ohio, and the Union. Both the trail and the railroad are named for the creek that runs alongside. 

In McDonald, Pa., the impressive McDonald Trestle spans more than 900 feet. Here the Montour Trail connects directly to the Panhandle Trail, which travels east to Collier Township and west to Weirton, West Virginia. Between McDonald and the small community of Southview, the trail offers beautiful rural landscapes. In Peters Township, you will find a paved section of the Montour Trail, known locally as the Arrowhead Trail. The township planted 500 trees along the 4-mile route, which opened in 1985.

The Arrowhead section of the Montour Railroad was not built until 1912-1914. Horses and manual labor cleared and leveled the site. The railroad transported coal 55 miles from mines in Mifflin and Library. Sweeping west and North to a "coal laundry" facility in Allegheny County, the train carried coal to coke ovens, then on to the Ohio River. Its cars also hauled wood to nearby lumberyards, and served general stores along its route. In 1975, the P&LE Railroad purchased the tracks; two years later the local portion was abandoned. Peters Township purchased the 100 acres of railroad right-of-way in 1985. The trail runs from Route 19 to Brush Run Road.

Social

Following the ride a social gathering and dinner will be held at a local restaurant. 

Map

 

Event Photos

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