Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on September 2, 2020.
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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.
What You Can See on the Westmoreland Heritage Trail
For the Delmont to Saltsburg section of the trail, you are mostly alone in the woods. In fact, during our ride we saw very few other bikers and really did feel quite alone in nature throughout most of the journey.
On the Delmont side, you're mostly biking through the woods. As you progress, you'll get peeks of the Beaver Run Reservoir as well as passing along Getty Run, but we have to admit that during summer when the leaves are on the trees you are only going to get obstructed views.
Halfway through one of the highlights was a pig farm in which we saw several large pigs and small piglets right off the trail. From there, on the Saltsburg end, you will bike along Loyalhanna Creek and ultimately cross the Conemaugh River at the terminus. This trail connects up with the West Penn Trail at this point, but we turned around and opted to tackle this one on a future outing.
For the Export to Trafford section of the trail, you get a bit of varied scenery and, based on our experience at least, is one reason why this trail is a fair bit busier than the Delmont to Saltsburg section.
On the Export side, you will be biking through the borough and near the business district (including several road crossings with marked stopped signs). It takes a few miles to really get out into nature here, but it is worth it. Keep going and the trail opens up more of nature and passes by the gorgeous Duff Park and along Turtle Creek. The creek views become more and more prominent as you get closer to Trafford, and makes for one of our favorite sections of the trail (especially if you are walking).
As an added perk, the Export to Trafford segment of the trail has great highlights at either terminus with Helltown Brewing in Export and Parkside Creamery in Trafford. Naturally, we stopped at both and finished in Export purely for a draft!
Hiking and Biking on the Westmoreland Heritage Trail
For the most part, both sections of the trail are crushed limestone and are relatively well maintained. We noticed few, if any, potholes during our ride and no sections where the rock sizes were uneven. This made riding our bikes fairly easy although we'd be wary of a few wet spots if exploring after a rain.
The only sections of the trail we saw being paved outright were about 50 feet segments before/after any given intersection. While most of these were obvious via signs, this was a good second indicator a stop was coming up.
As far as hills are concerned, both sections of the trail offered a fairly long uphill segments at a relatively low grade (~1% or less). We noticed a more consistent uphill section going towards Delmont and towards Export on the two sections respectively. For those who do not like hills at all, on the Delmont to Saltsburg end you may want to stick closer to the Delmont side outright, as the 3-4 miles closest to Saltsburg has a decent grade (away from Saltsburg). On the Trafford to Export stretch, the grade was a bit more sporadic.
Taking all this into mind, there really isn't a bad section of the trail here. We'd recommend picking the sections of trail based mostly on what you'd want to see rather than any given concern hiking or biking; however, we'd reiterate that the bike ride up away from Saltsburg was indeed a haul.
Overall, we were pleased with the Westmoreland Heritage Trail and now consider it one of our favorite places for biking in the region. Here is to hoping the connector between Export and Delmont gets completed soon to turn this one into a long, single trail!
The Westmoreland Heritage Trail has two segments- one between Export and Trafford and a second between Delmont and Saltsburg. Both are roughly 8-9 miles in length. The largest parking area is in Export near the Export Community Park. The parking lot in Delmont had spaces for 10 cars plus a few more on the shoulders. Other limited parking areas can be found along each trail every few miles. More information about access points can be found here.
Looking for more great bike trails in Pittsburgh? Click the previous link to check out all the trails we've been on so far!
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