Kane Woods Nature Area is a small greenspace with hiking trails in Scott Township. But what it lacks in size it makes up in tranquility and local history!
Kane Park Has a Historical Connection
On the surface, Kane Woods looks like just another park in Pitsburgh's plethora of green spaces.
But when you dive down into it more, you find out that this particular spot used to be the home of General John Neville- a name that should be familiar to most Pittsburghers.
John Neville lived in the region around the Revolutionary War, and was the tax inspector in Western Pennsylvania under President George Washington.
He lived at the spot where Kane Woods resides today, and during the famous whiskey rebellion shortly after the war he was put at odds with, well, just about everyone. Neville's house was burnt down in the rebellion after a farmer was killed, he took refuge at what is now Old Saint Luke's Church (more on that below), and generally speaking some of the most important events of American history occurred on the grounds of this gorgeous park in Scott Township.
You won't be seeing much of that when hiking on the trails here, but knowing that going in certainly does help give it a feeling of history that you just don't get on most hiking trails in the region.
Going beyond this, the trails at Kane Woods are well maintained, dog friendly, and can be walked in just under an hour. The highlights include a small stream and supposed historical remains from Neville's homestead; however, we did not see any during our visit. In either case, it is a nice trail worth visiting to reflect on the region's history all the same.
Hiking at Kane Woods
There are five main trails worth exploring which are color coded red, white, blue, green, and yellow, and you'll likely hike on a few if you do a proper loop.
When parking at the small lot off of Main Street (just past the intersection with Scrubgrass Road), you'll begin at Whiskey Point and the yellow trail or blue trail. If you follow the yellow trail it later splits into red, green, and white trails which connect up to each other on the opposite side making for a nice loop no matter which route you take.
The trails are mostly well marked by their color (as well as respective names at periodic postings), and the only thing you'll need to watch out for is the connector to the trail on the other side. If you park at the Whiskey Point trailhead you will not have this problem as much as the white, red, and green trails will ultimately return to the yellow trail in one loop, while parking elsewhere may require paying just a bit more attention to ensure you connect up to the right trail.
Overall, the trails are very easy to hike, offer a nice jaunt in nature with a beautiful stream, and an aura of history about it. Hikers of all skill levels should have no issue here as well and the park is dog friendly.
Stop at Old Saint Luke's Church on the Way
On your way in, or out, of Kane Woods, be sure to stop at Old Saint Luke's Church located at 330 Old Washington Pike in Carnegie, PA.
The history of the church dates back to before the Revolutionary War where it was founded as a stockade church, and over the years has seen its fair share of history- including being at the heart of the whiskey rebellion through its connection to John Neville (a parishioner) who was thought to have taken refuge on the property during parts of the rebellion.
Today the church operates without a dedicated congregation and has numerous services, events, and re-enactments scheduled throughout the year that is supported by its many frequent visitors. Don't be discouraged if you cannot visit this one during an event, as the exterior of the church is worth the stop alone as you can really feel the history of this one- even more so when coupled with a hike at Kane Woods Nature Area.
Kane Woods Nature Area is located at the intersection of Main Street and Scrubgrass Road in Scott Township, PA.