Laurel Summit State Park – Spruce Flats Bog and the Views

Laurel Summit State Park is an interesting one as it is technically only just six acres in size and can be found within Forbes State Forest surrounding it on all sides.

So while all the highlights you may expect to see when visiting this one are technically in Forbes State Forest, they're often described as being part of Laurel Summit State Park thanks to the trailheads mostly being within Laurel Summit. (The state park maps show this as such as well.)

While this is a somewhat odd naming convention, we're sticking with calling the sights as part of Laurel Summit State Park all the same, and there are several interesting things to see here!

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Laurel Hill State Park – One of Our Favorites in the Highlands

When it comes to hiking in the Laurel Highlands, there are a number of parks to choose from. In fact, this region is home to ten state parks and state forests that cover roughly 120,000 acres- and that is not even counting the smaller parks, runs, and green spaces as well.

As such, when we say that Laurel Hill State Park may be our favorite of them all, we say that with some gravity behind it.

This park is simply stunning!

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7 of the Best Places to View Fall Colors in Pittsburgh

Fall is a special time in western Pennsylvania. Our normally green part of the state starts to explode with vibrant colors just about everywhere you look between early-to-mid October and the start of November. 

We'll be upfront in saying that nearly any Pittsburgh park could make for great fall color viewing during this time of the year. But when we get out to chase pretty leaves, we have to admit, we like to go to places that are large and give us a chance to truly explore in the beauty of nature.

Part of this is because color change may be gradual over the various tree types found in any given park- peak color is truly a relative term. But the other part is that when colors are at their peak, we simply want as much as we can get. So the parks we wanted to feature in this fall foliage guide are just that- big parks that tend to be color explosions in the fall!

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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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8 Breweries You Can Visit from a Bike Trail in Pittsburgh

Over the years, we've had a growing interest in biking, and have developed a love of finding more and more bike trails in Pittsburgh. As much as getting out on the trails for ten, twenty, or forty-plus mile rides is something we quite enjoy, we have to admit it is even better when we can finish the ride at a Pittsburgh brewery for a draft (or two).

Thankfully, our beer scene is quite well developed and there are a number of breweries where you can access them straight from a trail (or within a block or two max on city roads). In this one, we wanted to share all of the ones we've hit to date!

Note: Beyond breweries that are located right off of the bike trails, this article will also give shoutouts to other breweries that are close to the trails but may require a short drive or a longer ride on city roads to reach. The accessibility for bikes varies with these. Some have private parking lots and windows where you can keep an eye on your bikes mounted on your car. Others do not. Some are larger and may allow you to bring your bikes inside. Others may not. As such, you may want to look into the supplemental breweries mentioned a bit more to see if you'd feel comfortable taking your bike as all of their setups are different.

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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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Riding the Great Allegheny Passage from Pittsburgh to the Laurel Highlands

The Great Allegheny Passage is a rail-trail leading out of Pittsburgh that can only be described as a gem. This 150-mile path connects downtown Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, and links up with the C&O Canal trail which spans all the way to Washington DC.

While we are working our way up to the multi-day bike ride from Pittsburgh to Washington DC, we have been exploring the sections of the GAP closest to Pittsburgh in numerous outings. In this one, we wanted to share some of our favorite highlights and what you can expect when getting out on the trail for a ride!

This guide covers the first 40-miles of the Great Allegheny Passage between Pittsburgh and Belle Vernon, PA. As we explore further sections of the trail we will update this guide accordingly.

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10 Great Bike Trails in Pittsburgh to Go for a Ride

Although Pittsburgh and southwest Pennsylvania is quite hilly, we are fortunate enough to have a number of fairly flat trails to go biking. Many of these trails are found on former train lines (rail trails), which thanks to their restricted grade makes for prime biking conditions.

In this one, we wanted to share a few of our favorite spots to bike in and around the city. So whether you're simply wanting to take a quick ride around the North Shore River Trail, ride the GAP, or go out for a few miles on a rail trail, this one is for you!

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Exploring the Butler-Freeport Community Trail by Bike

The Butler-Freeport Community Trail is a converted rail trail that opened in 1992. The trail spans approximately twenty miles between the outskirts of Butler and Freeport and offers a great opportunity to surround yourself with nature on an easy-to-navigate path.

We took our bikes out on this one and did an out-and-back ride on the entire trail, and in this one we wanted to share a bit more about what it is like!

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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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