Mt Pleasant to Scottdale in Westmoreland County
The Coal and Coke trail runs for a little over 5 miles from downtown Mt Pleasant to Kendi Park in Scottdale, mostly along Jacob’s Creek. It follows the former route of the Scottsdale Branch of the Pennsylvania RR. The trail incorporates the existing short Jacob’s Creek Recreational Trail that runs along Jacobs Creek in Kendi Park.
A short side trail leads to West Overton Village, which has several historic buildings, a museum, and a distillery.
Coal and Coke Trail
Location Mt Pleasant to Scottdale in Westmoreland County
Trailheads Willow Park, Allegheny Power, Mildred, Kendi Park
Length, Surface total 5.1 miles, 0.6 Asphalt, 4.0 limestone, 0.5 on road>
Character Uncrowded, shady, wooded, flat with several slight rises
Usage restrictions No motorized vehicles, no horses
Driving time from Pittsburgh 45 minutes southeast
Development prevented the trail from being built entirely on the original railbed. The trail developers have found routes around the gaps to stitch together a continuous trail. Accordingly the trail surface varies.
From Mt Pleasant to Mildred Rd it is older limestone due for restoration. It is then on the road for a short segment, then back to old limestone with occasional gravel. When the trail enters Kendi Park the surface changes to smooth asphalt. A grant has been received (2021) to refinish some of the trail surface, but matching funds are needed.
The trail starts in Mt Pleasant just off route 31 at MP0.0, with the railroad immediately on the left and a lumber yard on the right. The trail is sunny until mile 0.4, where a side trail leads to Willow Park with ball fields and playground equipment. After passing Willow Park, the trail enters woodlands and Shupe Run appears alongside the trail on the right, putting the trail between the creek and the railroad.
At about mile 0.6 Shupe Run crosses under the trail and creates a pretty lake on the left at mile 0.7 before crossing the trail again. One final creek crossing occurs at mile 1.7 where the Shupe Run crosses under the trail and railroad, and then dumps into Jacob Creek out of sight. The trail then immediately crosses Buckeye Rd.
Leaving the woods there is a slight climb alongside the obligatory sewage plant to Sewage Lane and the Allegheny Power Trailhead. Since the lane leads only to the trailhead, the sewer plant and a couple of houses, there is little traffic for the 750 ft. At the end of the lane the trail crosses Mt Pleasant Rd diagonally, with a poor slight line to the right. Use caution. Back in the woods, the trail shortly crosses under US 119 and passes a small pond.
At mile 3.9 a brief climb takes the trail up to the Mildred St Trailhead. The trail is now on the low traffic residential Mildred St/Bessemer St. At mile 4.0 there are signs pointing right onto Lou St for the West Overton Trail. The West Overton Trail 0.7 miles long, leading to West Overton. See Extensions of the Ride for details.
At mile 4.2, at the intersection of Bessemer Rd and Overholt Rd, there is a log cabin on the left <<more info on log cabin needed>>. The trail turns left and hops onto a limestone path on the far side of OverHolt Rd. 900 ft further, just before crossing Jacobs Creek the trail turns right up a short hill to follow along a 6 foot high fence. 0.1 miles later it enters Kendi Park and the surface turns to asphalt.
At mile 4.7 a side trail goes into Kendi Park, with its baseball and soccer fields. At mile 5.0 just before the trail turns away from the river there is a canoe/kayak launch on the river. The trail ends at mile 5.1 in a trailhead parking lot.
Extensions of the ride
There is hope of extending the trail northward to connect up to the <<Five Star Trail (see page xx)>>, but nothing is happening.
There is hope of extending the trail further south along Jacobs Cree, but a bridge is missing in Kendi Park where the trail ends. Maybe someday it will get built and the trail will continue along Jacobs creek for 0.8 miles to the Garfield Park Little League Field where there is another canoe/kayak launch site.
The 0.7 mile side trail to West Overton leads to a historic district with several old buildings. Open to the public is a museum, distillery, and event hall. The trail surface is about 0.4 miles of residential road and 0.3 mile of well packed ballast. There is about 200 feet through a firewood storage yard and cutting station which is a little rough, have faith and follow the signs.
The trail group has received a grant to help resurface the trail and is looking for matching funds so they will have enough money to do it.
Vicinity: Directions begin at the old toll plaza on the PA Turnpike at the New Stanton/US 31 exit 75. Stay left at the toll plaza and follow the signs to US119 South. At the end of the ramp stay right and follow signs to US119 South.
Mt Pleasant Trailhead: MP0 Once on US119 S, go 4.8 miles and take the US 31 exit. At the end of the ramp turn left/east onto US31. Go <<xx.xx>> miles and just before the railroad tracks in Mt Pleasant turn right into the trailhead parking lot.
Willow Park Trailhead: MP 0.4 Once on US119 S, go 4.8 miles and take the US 31 exit. At the end of the ramp turn left/east onto US31. Go 1.5 miles and turn left onto Center Ave at the traffic light. Go 400 ft and bear right. Go 0.3 miles and turn left into the parking lot. The trail is about 500 ft from the parking. To get to the trail go out the end of the parking lot and turn left away from the ball field and cross the bridge.
Allegheny Power Trailhead: MP << x.x>> Once on US119 S, go 7.2 miles and take the US 819 exit. At the end of the ramp turn right/east onto US819. Go 0.5 miles and at the Tee, turn right/south onto Mt Pleasant St. Go 0.9 miles and turn left/east onto Sewage Plant Rd. Go 0.1 miles to the parking lot.
Mildred St Trailhead: MP 3.9 Once on US119 S, go 7.2 miles and take the US 819 exit. At the end of the ramp turn left/west onto US819. Go 0.7 miles and bear left/south onto Overhalt Dr. Go 0.3 miles and turn left/east onto Bessemer St. Go 0.2 miles continuing straight when Bessemer changes name to Mildred St. Go 0.1 miles and just after the left bend turn right into the parking lot.
Kendi Park Trailhead: MP 5.1 Once on US119 S, go 7.2 miles and take the US 819 exit. At the end of the ramp turn left/west onto US819. Go 2.2 miles and turn left/west onto Mt Pleasant Rd. Go 300 ft and just before a bridge/culvert turn left. Go 80 ft to the parking lot.
Rest rooms, water: Chemical toilets at Willow Park, Allegheny Power Trailhead, Mildred Trailhead, and Kendi Park.
Bike shop, rentals: None.
Restaurant, groceries: In Mt Pleasant and Scottsdale.
Camping, simple lodging: None.
Swimming, fishing: Tubing from Kendi Park to Garfield Park Little League Field.
Winter sports: None.
Wheelchair access: okay, although there are several road crossings.
Coal and Coke Trail Chapter of the Regional Trail Corporation
PO Box 360
Scottdale, PA 15683
Maps, guides, other references
Trail map/brochure www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/DocumentCenter/View/40/Coal-and-Coke-Brochure
USGS Topographic Maps: Mt Pleasant, Connellsville.
Text version of 6 May 2021 based on bicycling the entire trail 5/2021. Conditions may have changed; you are responsible for your own safety. Oldest segment check 5/2021.