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FreeWheeling Easy in Western Pennsylvania


Information on Trails

by Mary Shaw and Roy Weil

We are pleased to present selections from the book FreeWheeling Easy in Western Pennsylvania . In most cases, this includes the first paragraph of the description, the summary information, and the trail organization.

Trails In and Around Pittsburgh

Trails East and South: Laurel Highlands

Trails North: Upper Allegheny Valley

Trails West: Lake Eire and Eastern Ohio

Full write-ups, for example of the Oil Creek State Park Trail , include:

For some trails, we also describe local history, attractions, extensions of the route (often on roads), or development plans. For the major trails, the overall information appears at the beginning and separate descriptions give details about the major segments.  

When we talk to people about these trails, their most common questions are "Is there a trail near where I live?", "How do I find that trail?", "What is it like?", and "Can I buy lunch/rent a bike/swim nearby?". We have emphasized this kind of information in the trail descriptions. That's what makes this guide different from others.

Within western Pennsylvania or an easy drive into nearby regions, you will find dozens of trails that are closed to motor vehicles and are graded and surfaced for easy bicycling, walking, and similar activities. Some are short, suitable for a morning, an evening, or a short day with the family. Some are longer, good for a full day's sport touring or several days of camping.

We personally rode or walked all the sections of trails that we report as developed (and many that are not). We re-checked most within the four months just before publication. Trail conditions change with time, though, so what you find may differ. On the one hand, the trail developers may have extended the trail. On the other hand, trails deteriorate over time as a result of weather and use; they need periodic maintenance. Although we mention a number of mountain bike areas, we have not checked them.

A number of trail development organizations are very active now, but they need continuing support. When you find a trail you like, consider supporting its association; they need volunteer time and materials as well as money. Information about joining these organizations is included with the trail descriptions.

[FWE Home] [ Explanations] [about the authors] Trails: [in Pittsburgh] [North] [East] [West] [full Oil Creek write-up]

topOrdering information

FreeWheeling Easy is available in many western Pennsylvania bike shops, outdoor stores, and bookstores for $9.95+tax. If you can't find it there, you can order from us: Shaw-Weil Associates, 414 South Craig St. #307, Pittsburgh PA 15213. We have to charge you for tax and postage, so send a check for $11.93. We usually ship in 1 to 5 days. Sorry, we don't do credit cards, but books does. You can order it from for $9.95 + shipping, but you will pay more for shipping and it will take longer.

The material on these web pages is copyrighted. We are absolutely delighted for you to link to these pages or print copies for personal use. However, if you want to copy the material for any other use, you must ask us first.

Updated 04/11/97 by Mary Shaw
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