The West Penn Trail is a Challenge for Bikers, But Great for a Walk

The West Penn Trail is a 17-mile partially converted rail-trail that is located about an hour east of Pittsburgh and connects the boroughs of Saltsburg and Blairsville.

If you've read our biking in Pittsburgh guide, Saltsburg may sound familiar as this is also the terminus for the Westmoreland Heritage Trail where it intersects with the West Penn Trail (and, in fact, biking that trail to the end was the only reason we discovered the West Penn Trail at all).  

Naturally, only a few weeks later we loaded our bikes onto our car, drove out to Saltsburg, and tackled nearly all of this one. After finishing, we have to admit, we're not sure we'd do this one again- on our bikes at least.

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Kayaking to Sycamore Island from 10.7 Marina in Verona

We love getting out on the water whenever we can, and one of our preferred methods for doing so is in a kayak. 

There is no shortage of kayak options in the Pittsburgh area, and on a recent outing we took out rentals from 10.7 Marina in Verona to explore the Allegheny River a bit upstream from the city. This made for a great starting point as Verona is a short distance away from Sycamore Island- a green space we've been wanting to check out from years that is only accessible via boat.

So we boarded our kayaks and were off!

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The Ghost Town Trail is a Favorite for Biking in Southwest PA

We've been on almost all of the bike trails in Pittsburgh, and have to admit, the Ghost Town Trail starting in Black Lick, PA (about an hour east of Pittsburgh) may be our favorite we've been to so far.

This trail covers 46 miles (~10 miles of which are on an extension trail) from Black Lick to Ebensburg. During our first visit, we hit up the first 25 miles of this route (turning around on the main trail in Nanty Glo) and saw so many beautiful sights.

As an added bonus, this trail was quite an easy ride!

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Exploring the Westmoreland Heritage Trail on Foot or Bike

The Westmoreland Heritage Trail is a popular hiking and biking trail that spans roughly 18 miles between Trafford and Saltsburg, PA. 

We had heard great things about this trail and made the ~45-minute drive out of the city to check it out and were not disappointed. While the trail is broken up into two segments, we made a day of it and hit both during our visit.

Note: As of our visit in 2020 the Westmoreland Heritage Trail is split into two sections, each roughly 9-miles in length. One runs between Delmont and Saltsburg and the second runs between Export and Trafford. Eventually, these trails are supposed to be connected via a 3-4 mile addition. This article will discuss the two sections independently.

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Going for a 10-Mile Ride on the Hoodlebug Trail Near Indiana, PA

While there are many bike trails in Pittsburgh worth exploring, one weekend we decided to go on a bit of a day trip east to Indiana, PA (roughly 60 miles from Pittsburgh) to check out a trail that is new to us.

This was the 10-mile Hoodlebug Trail which runs from Indiana to Black Lick, PA. With a relatively well-maintained path and an abundance of things to see (plus a few breweries nearby we enjoyed after), we certainly had a fun day out!

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Hiking Dead Man’s Hollow for Factory Ruins and Nature

Dead Man's Hollow near McKeesport is a 450-acre park with approximately 8 miles of hiking trails. While this one could be considered a beautiful green space on its own right, there are actually a number of highlights you can see here when hiking as well!

We visited this one on a beautiful spring day and had a rather amazing time out in nature.

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Shelly Pie Review – Large Pizzas in Turtle Creek

Whenever we share our Pittsburgh pizza roundup post, we often receive a ton of recommendations of where to go next. This is not surprising as Pittsburgh has one of the highest concentrations of pizza shops per capita of any metro area in the country. Naturally, this means our to-do list is quite large on the pizza front.

One shop that came up time and time again was Shelly Pie in Turtle Creek (just east of the city) and we decided to visit as quickly as possible to see why this one is so popular.

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Big Rig’s BBQ Review – Tender Meats in Monroeville

We regularly get reader recommendations on where to go next. We try and go to all of them, but with the number of places we still have to visit it is hard to prioritize everything. When we hear the same recommendations over and over again, we know we have to hit those immediately, and Big Rig's BBQ in Monroeville was one such recommendation.

This barbecue spot opened in late 2019 and is making waves within the local community, so much so that we went to check it out just a few days after receiving the (admittedly large number of) recommendations to do so.

A few days was too long of a wait for this one.

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Food Truck-a-Palooza – Pittsburgh’s Largest Food Truck Rally

We're always on the lookout for the best Pittsburgh food truck rallies, and we have to admit that our options for roundups of local food trucks are few and far between.

When they happen, they're often quite small. And when they're free, they often are too crowded or the trucks sell out of food in record time.

So it was with great excitement that we went out to the Monroeville Convention Center one Saturday in January in order to check out the annual Food Truck-a-Palooza event- the largest food truck rally we've been to yet!

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Mary’s Vine Review – A High-End Wine Bar in a Church

Mary's Vine is a high-end wine bar that opened in the Pittsburgh borough of Rankin in late 2019.

This one can be found in a converted church and provides an ambiance and wine selection that is truly unlike no other wine bar in the region.

So if strong attention to detail and an impressive (albeit expensive) wine selection is what you seek, a trip to Mary's Vine is a must.

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