One of the things we absolutely love about Pittsburgh is that you can pick any direction you want to go, drive 10-15 minutes on a highway, and end up out in the middle of nature.
This lends itself to the incredible opportunity of finding hiking trails and nature preserves, well, just about anywhere.
During our exploration of Fox Chapel, we decided to make a small detour to the Trillium Trail that is featured in the book 60 Hikes in 60 Miles (Pittsburgh Edition). This small nature preserve may not seem like much on the surface, but is one of those unique features you expect to find in a nature-oriented city like this one.
What You Can See on the Trillium Trail
Calling this reserve the Trillium Trail is somewhat of a misnomer as there are actually a few trails worth hiking on (each with their own trail names); however, this name seems to be the most popular for the hiking loop as a whole.
Trillium itself is a fragile wildflower that can be seen abundantly in the spring, and the reserve here isolates the blooming flowers as part of a long-term study involving the local deer habitat that just loves to eat them.
Outside of the last few weeks of April, there is not much to see as most of the wildflowers have finished blooming for the year. There is a waterfall noted on the trail map, but it is rather small and impossible to see from the trail (short of climbing down off the marked path, which we do not recommend).
Hiking the Trillium Trail
So why should you visit the Trillium Trail (especially if the flowers aren't blooming)? Well, it didn't take long for us to realize that we were the only people on the trail- possibly for quite some time.
This means that you are alone in nature on the roughly one-mile out and back loop (that is incredibly shaded and cool even in the summer heat).
We can appreciate this fact alone as most of the trails in and around the city are quite popular, but this also brings about another point worth keeping in mind: nature wins on this trail.
Do not be surprised if you find many spider webs crossing the paths of this trail, and at times some of the brush towards the ground can be a bit over grown as well.
This one truly lives up to its reserve status and is a rather nice trail to stop by and visit when you're in the region checking out other nearby parks like Beechwood Farms or North Park. You may not make the trip especially just for this one, but if you are nearby and want to add on an extra mile hike to your day, you can't go wrong here.
The Trillium Trail is located approximately three miles northeast of downtown Pittsburgh just off of Squaw Run Road in Fox Chapel. Download a digital copy of the park map here.
The Trillium Trail is also one of the features in the amazing book “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Pittsburgh Edition” that we are working through as a part of this series. If you are interested in day hikes near the city we highly recommend picking this one up!
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