Last Updated on by Jeremy
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Devil's Hollow Conservation Area is a 76-acre green space just outside of Sewickley that was acquired by the Allegheny Land Trust in 2016.
While small, this is just one of many great hiking opportunities in the Sewickley area that we just love!
What You Can See at Devil's Hollow Conservation Area
Most conservation areas are fairly non-descript green spaces, and Devil's Hollow in Sewickley is not much different.
That being said, the hollow has one unique feature as it is somewhat bowl-shaped with hills in all directions and a small creekbed running through the middle. This makes for an interesting aspect that I often do not see at other parks (or should I say, hear at other parks)- silence.
Even though I was fairly close to the road throughout most of my hike, the noise of cars was mostly drowned out- likely due to this unique geographical feature. This made for a rather peaceful hike in nature that instantly stuck out at me specifically because of the lack of outside noise.
I could hear animals scurrying from quite far away, birds would fly away when they heard me coming (not close at all, mind you), and I could hear hawks from an untold distance (and even saw one swooping just a few feet from me in one particular instance).
While I cannot guarantee wildlife viewing would happen for everyone here, the quiet of the hollow seemed to make me much more aware of my surroundings more than in other nature reserves, and for that, I can truly appreciate this small green space.
Hiking at Devil's Hollow Conservation Area
Overall, Devil's Hollow follows in similar paths to most conservation areas. That is to say, while the trails are somewhat maintained, it is only ever-so-slightly such that the human impact on the area is minimal. This means that hiking can be a bit of a challenge and you should be prepared when visiting.
Sometimes you'll be walking on the trail and it'll be predominantly tree roots. Other times it'll be comprised of some fairly loose rocks. Elsewhere the path may be narrow. And at other times you may be meandering through a creek bed (that was more or less dry during my late summer visit, although a few muddy spots did exist). While the trails themselves are not that hard to tackle, it is worth noting that conditions change quickly so it is best to pay attention to your footing while exploring here.
Beyond this, I have two notable concerns about hiking here that are worth talking about.
First, the blazes (blue with black arrows) are few and far between. There are certain spots where you may be walking and unsure on if you're on the right path (notably in the creekbed) and have to take it on faith that you're going the right way before a blaze appears. This happened to me more times than I could count.
Second, according to the trail map half of the one park trail is found on private property outside of the conservation area proper. When exploring, it is hard to tell where this boundary is. At a certain point while hiking up the lone hill you'll see a conservancy blaze with a red backing (and on the other side of the same tree the same logo with a green backing). There is no verbiage noting it as such, but I assumed that this was the boundary due to the color-coding.
Shortly thereafter the trail split at a fork and conservancy no blazes could be found. As we like to respect private property as best as possible, I turned around rather than attempting to see if the loop trail continued back to the conservation area's two-car parking area.
Finally, it is also worth noting that there are no blazes on that trail in reverse, so you may have to stop, turn around, and look for the original blazes if back-tracking. I know I did.
Overall, the Devil's Hollow Conservation Area in Sewickley is a peaceful green space that is good for a ~45-minute walk in nature. The terrain is not the best, but the silence I enjoyed made for a great visit all the same.
Devil's Hollow Conservation Area is located at 193 Sevin Road in Sewickley. The parking area is a small gravel pull-off space big enough for two cars if you park toward the edges. The trail entrance is readily visible, but the parking lot is just a bit away from where your GPS may note when visiting.