Harmony Trail

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From the Rachel Carson web site. -- From 1908 to 1931, the Harmony interurban trolley line ran between Pittsburgh, Evans City, Butler and New Castle. Along a wooded valley that parallels today's Route 19, the single-track rail bed followed the only level right of way available through the North Hills' otherwise steep terrain. Today, more than 70 years after service was abandoned, its tracks are gone. Much of its old alignment has given way to pavement, housing developments, and other forms of progress.

Between Ingomar and Warrendale, however, a scenic stretch of the old Harmony right of way remains largely intact. As with many rails-to-trails projects throughout the country, its wide, flat corridor is ideal for a trail. This 4.3-mile section is where the Conservancy is initially focusing its resources.

Harmony Work Day report

by Marian Crossmanlast modified Jan 16, 2012 04:00 PM

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fourteen adults and 10 youngsters volunteered their time to help address some drainage issues on the Harmony Trail. It was a satisfying group project. The erosion problem, caused by water diversion upstream, is corrected. Now it all flows properly into pipes established when the contractor did the fine surface in the summer. This work was in Pine Twp, on the northern half of the one-mile route. Further erosion work is needed to the south in McCandless.

RCTC president Todd Chamber's neighbors brought their pick-up to transport stone and gravel from the supply at the Route 910 end. Everyone had a hand in the loading, unloading, or ditching. It was good to see the neighbors who use the trail most, and know they are glad to participate.

Mark Eyerman, who has mostly done work on sections of the Rachel Carson Trail, was especially pleased to see the kids and their moms there. One volunteer teaches phys. ed in Hampton. She brought her two younger daughters, plus four of their friends. They all took part in loading the truck with gravel for the repairs. They also had a great time when we showed them the stream crossing over into the Brooktree office park, where tracts are deeded for the trail connection up to their sidewalks. This Harmony/Brooktree route is used for the Annual Winter Hike that Mark leads the first Sunday in February.

It's good people had their chance to see a way to cross the brook. Ones who have ‘played in the brook' are likely to want to be there again. It is just .6 mile from there up and over Route 19 to reach the western edge of North Park. Then a half-mile of wide trail leads up to the soccer fields. Beyond them, across McKinney Road, a mile of scout-built trails join the Braille Trail and Latodami on Brown Road.

The Winter Hike goes on from there via the North Ridge trail to the Beaver Shelter, north of the dam on Babcock Blvd. The outing totals about 6 miles.

These connections with North Park give the Harmony Trail even more value, especially for neighbors who live west of Route 19.

 <<narration in order of mileposts, except GAP>>

<<narration – refer to the trail rather than the trail user.  >>That is "the trail goes" rather than "you go".  That way we're not giving advice.  Bummer that lawyers take away active voice.>>




<<style questions : do we say 6th or  6th (the former, I think)>>

<<Style rules: Routes: I79, US119, PA51, PA978, SR3027, T217.  Capitalize Bridge, Road, etc only as part of proper name>>


Location                                                                                                       <<endpoint towns, counties>>

Trailheads                                                                                                              <<trailhead locations>>

Length, Surface                                                                                                             <<nn miles surface
  OR nn mles total,nn miles developed, mm planned; n miles asphalt in zzzz, nn miles packed stone>>

Character                                    <<busy-ness, setting, sun, profile, other from vocabulary below>>

Character   Uncrowded, wooded, shady, definite grade

Usage restrictions                                                    <<chose from No motorized vehicles, No horses,
                                                                                              Snowmobiles permitted, No Snowmobiles>>

Amenities         <<choose from: Rest rooms, water, bike rental, food, camping, lodging, fishing>>

Driving time from Pittsburgh                                                                 <<x hour x minutes NSEW>>

<<Vocabulary for surface: paved, packed crushed stone, crush cinders, >>some segments on road, on road, on road shoulder, dirt, gravel, coarse gravel, small gravel, original ballast, packed ballast, heavy ballast, tar-and-chip double-track, single-track, undeveloped (and combinations); possibly add parallel treadway for horses/buggies/xxx

Various qualifiers: mostly, some >>.                                                                                

<<Vocabulary for busy-ness: little-used, uncrowded, uncrowded to busy, busy, busy to crowded, crowded; possibly modified by usually or sometimes; if on road or shoulder, say auto traffic>>.    

<<Vocabulary for setting: wooded, rural, suburban, residential, urban, industrial, park setting; also xxx to yyy, or mixed xxx and yyyy>>.                                                                                                   

<<Vocabulary for sun: (mostly) sunny, (mostly) shady, mixed sun and shade>>.            

<<Vocabulary for profile: flat, mostly flat, flat with gentle grade, >>flat to rolling, gently rolling, some hills, hilly, rugged; options for % of grade, exceptions; also, find "level" and replace with "flat", short steep hills at road crossings.       

Table styles













Local history, attractions

<<find.  Check for Important Bird Areas, historic Indian Trails, major landmarks>>.      

Extensions of the ride

<<The northern connection to the next Erie to Pittsburgh Trail segment is …>>

<<The southern connection to the next Erie to Pittsburgh Trail segment is …>>

<<connection to parent trail, trail network, spur trail, other networks>>.

<<local low-traffic road loop, route to local attraction, road connection to park loop>>.

Development plans

<<internal development: closing gaps, extending this trail>>.

<<connections to parent trail, network>>.

<<spur trails>>.

<<other enhancements>>.

Access points

Vicinity: Directions begin headed NSEW on <<road>> <<at>>.  To reach this point from Pittsburgh, <<xxx>>

<<One-end>> trailhead: <<from <<point above>>, … Usually, at X do Y and go Z miles (and/or to W). But certainly alternate actions with distances and landmarks.  Per Canoe Guide with style update, turn left/south on PA999 and go A.A miles to PA999. Turn left/south on PA999 and go A.A miles to PA999 … >>.

<<another>> trailhead: <<from <<point above>>

<<Other-end>> trailhead: <<from <<point above>>


Rest rooms, water: <<flush/chemical/composting/pit toilet, …>>

Bike shop, rentals: <<find>>

Restaurant, groceries: <<find>>

Camping, simple lodging: <<find>>

Swimming, fishing: <<find>>

Winter sports: <<find>>

Wheelchair access: <<OK>>.

Trail organization

Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy

PO Box 472

Wexford, PA 15090-0472

(412) 475-8881


Maps, guides, other references

USGS Topographic Maps: in order of mileposts


Text version of 19 Nov 2011 based on newspaper article. No personal visit. Conditions will have changed; you are responsible for your own safety. Oldest segment check 1/1980.

Editors' notes

References: MTL 3/6,