Mingo Creek County Park is a 2,600 acre park located in Finleyville, PA, about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh.
With a beautiful paved walking trail along the creek, covered bridges, an observatory, and picnic pavilions abound, it should be no surprise that this park is often considered to be a favorite among residents of Washington County!
What You Can See at Mingo Creek
There are three major highlights at Mingo Creek County Park that can be seen within an easy stroll.
The first is the creek itself, which winds it way through the park over the course of about two to three miles. The creek itself is easily accessible, fairly wide, and is a fairly serene spot to spend a day milling about.
The second highlight is the two covered bridges found on the grounds of the park, spanning the very same creek as above (and make a starting and turnaround point while hiking). On one end is the 32 foot long Ebenezer Bridge (which was relocated from Fallowfield Township at the current site of I70) and on the other is the 36 foot long Henry Covered Bridge that was built in 1841.
Both bridges are open for vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and are easily viewed on all sides- making them some of the most popular covered bridges Washington County.
The final highlight found at Mingo Creek is the historic Henry House- a brick house built in the early 1800s. Prior to construction of the house the land was owned by a participant of the historic Whiskey Rebellion of the late 1700s, and the Henry House was occupied until the 1960s!
Going beyond these attractions, the park is also home to an observatory that frequently hosts the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh as well as periodic Star Parties on weekends from April to November (we will return to check one of these out soon!) and is also set to have a 200 year old log cabin relocated to its grounds in 2018.
Hiking at Mingo Creek
There are two ways to look at hiking at Mingo Creek. The first is walking on the relatively flat and paved trails, and the second is getting out into the woods for a proper hike. Sadly, when it comes to this particular park, the latter is easier said than done.
For the easy visit, Mingo Creek offers a paved walking trail several miles in length along Mingo Creek Road. A good capstone for this trail is the two covered bridges located roughly 1.5 miles apart from each other, and visitors can get a good walk in by parking at one, walking on the trail along the creek to the other, and returning along the same path.
For the more adventurous, the park offers miles of hiking trails through more rugged terrain, with the 5+ mile perimeter trail offering a solid loop around the grounds. However, during our visit in September we found that nearly all of the entrances to the trails near the main path were overgrown to the point that only those with the keenest eyes would have found their way in.
We take this as a deterrent in most cases as if the entrance to a trail is not well maintained, it is fairly good odds the rest of the trail will be even worse. As such, it may be best to visit this one for hiking in early spring before the paths get over grown, as end of summer and fall is best suited for the main walking path along the creek (not that we're complaining).
But the nice thing about this particular park is you do not have to feel obligated to go on the hiking trails to get the major highlights, as the walking path along the creek and two stunning covered bridges are more than enough to make visitors to Mingo Creek happy.
Mingo Creek County Park is located just south of Finleyville, PA. For trail information at Mingo Creek County Park, click here. For information on the observatory's star parties, check out the 3AP astronomers organization. We visited Mingo Creek during our quest to visit all the parks in the guidebook 60 Hikes in 60 Miles, Pittsburgh Edition. To pick up your copy of the book, click the previous link!
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