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Westmoreland Heritage Trail

Trafford to Export and Delmont to Saltsburg in Westmoreland and Indiana Counties

Currently (2021) the Trail consists of two separate segments: 9.4 miles from Trafford to Export and 9.0 miles from Delmont to Saltsburg, with a 3.5-mile gap between them. This trail generally follows the former Turtle Creek RR. The Trafford to Export is suburban Pittsburgh, while the Delmont to Saltsburg is rural woodlands. The Westmoreland Trail is one of the trails of the Trans Allegheny Trails System (page NE-183)

This trail can be divided into three distinct segments.

Monongahela River to Trafford Section - <<xx.x>> miles. Not yet developed. This section is in the very preliminary acquisition/grant writing phase and will not be opening soon..

Trafford to Export Section— 9.4 gradual climbing miles alongside Turtle Ck passing through the suburbs of Pittsburgh.

Export to Delmont Section—3.5+ miles. Closed in 2021. Not yet built.

Delmont to Saltsburg Section—9.0 miles through rural, wooded Pennsylvania.

Westmoreland Heritage Trail

Location Between Delmont and Slickville, Westmoreland, Indiana County
Between Trafford and Export in Westmoreland County

Trailheads Trafford, Murrysville, Export, Delmont, Slickville, Sara Steele, Saltsburg

Length, Surface 29 miles planned, 9.0 miles paved, 5.9 miles crushed limestone

Character Uncrowded, wooded, shady, gentle grade

Usage restrictions No motorized vehicles, no horses

Amenities In Trafford, Murrysville, Export, Delmont, Slickville, Saltsburg

Driving time from Pittsburgh 30 to 50 minutes east

Trafford to Export—9.4 miles

The newest section of this trail, which opened in September 2017, runs along Turtle Ck from B-Y Park in Trafford to Export. The trail surface is crushed limestone. There are mile markers along the trail starting with zero in Saltsburg. These maybe moved once the next section is completed.

Although the trail starts near <<MPxx.X) <<B-Y park (MPxx.x>>, the trail group asks that you not park there. The parking lot is small and heavily used by fisherpersons and park users. Trail users should use marked spaces marked for bicyclist along the right side of the <<Parkside Creamery lot at Forbes and Seventh (MPX.X))>>. The trail entrance is a ramp from the fixit station at the right side of the parking lot. Turning left at the bottom of the ramp goes 0.3 miles past B-Y Park to the current (2021) end of the trail <<MPxx.x)>>. Turning right and crossing Forbes Rd goes <<8.8 >> miles to Export.

The trail is mostly in woods, with the creek on one side and a hill on the other side. <<At (MP20.8) miles >>, a sidepath goes to the creek with a swimming hole. We have seen kids jumping off the 20-foot railroad abutment into the creek, but we have no idea whether this is safe. Across th river from this spot is the ruins of a brick factory.

At <<MPXX.X>> the trail crosses Simpson Run. A little farther, on the trail passes by the Saunders Station Rd trailhead and then passes under the Pennsylvania Turnpike and almost immediately passes the obligatory sewer plant.

In the next couple of miles there are several busy road crossings. Use caution and be prepared to stop.

Shortly before Trafford Rd the trail passes between a couple of industrial buildings. After Trafford Rd the trail returns to the woods until it bumps up against US22. Here the trail is just 10 to 15 feet below the buildings along the highway. At <<MPXX>X>> there is path to the Roberts Access Area with a visitor center and picnic tables.

From the Roberts Access Area a foot paths lead off to Duff Park, which has some hiking and mountain biking trails. Duff Park is an excellent destination to see and photograph wildflowers and is known for having one of the best displays of woodland spring blooming wildflowers in the area.

Past the Roberts Access Area, the trail is parallel to Route 22 and not very far from the road. At the Caterpillar rental yard the trail jogs right and passes between the yard and the creek.

The trail ends in Export<<(MPxx.x) by a caboose>>. Near by is a deli, pizza place and several restaurants.

Designated bicycle parking in Parkside Plaza at Forbes Rd trailhead

Export to Delmont—3.5 miles

This section has not yet been developed and is closed. Getting the trail across US 22 is the major issue. The Westmoreland County Parks Department is working on it.

Delmont to Saltsburg—9.0 miles

The second completed segment starts just outside of Delmont at the Delmont/John Rangos Trailhead access. (MP8.5) This section has numerous benchs for a place to stop and admire the woods. The trail leaves the parking lot with an steepish 0.5 mile descent and at MP8.0 continues a gradual descent for 3.0 miles through woods. There are several road crossings in this section with very poor sight lines.

From MP7.2 to MP6.7 on the left is the slitted in/overflow area of the Beaver Run Reservoir, a municipal water supply lake. From MP6.7 to MP7.2 the lake is visible on both sides. The trail is on an embankment in this area, and the Municipal Authority has erected signs requesting trail users to stay on the trail and not approach the lake.

Near the <<???? Trailhead (MPXX.xx>> the trail begins a noticeable climb. Just after crossing SR819 (MP4.9), the Slickville Community park is on the left. Another 900 feet farther on, the fire department parking lot is used as a trailhead.

Opposite the fire department is the “Hollywood” sign for Slickville on top of a coal tailing heap. After leaving Slickville (MP5.0), the climbing ends and the trail begins a long steady descent to the Sara Steele trailhead (MP2.6). Turning left out of this parking lot there is 250 feet of loose gravel on Maple Lodge Rd. After crossing County Rd the trail is briefly alongside the paved road before continuing through shady woods, still descending, although not as steeply.

At MP2.5 the trail travels alongside open fields for a short distance. It reenters the woods at MP1.9, and at MP1.6 Loyalhanna Ck becomes visible downhill on the right. Off on the left, overgrown piles of coal tailings hint at the heritage of the region. Just past MP1.5 one of the original railroad mile markers still remains. At MP0.7 the trail crosses Loyalhanna Ck, passes under PA981 in a culvert, and then crosses the Conemaugh River—all within 1000 feet.

The trail ends at MP0.0 where it intersects with the West Penn Trail (page NE-195). A playground and parking area are on the right.

Local history, attractions

The sidepath at mile 0.7 was a former railroad spur that crossed the creek to the Houston Star brick works. The Houston Star bricks were well thought of and were shipped up and down the east coast. The plant was destroyed by fire in the 1960s. Pictures of the existing ruins and other industrial artifacts from the plant are visible at:

Extensions of the ride

The trail connects at the east end in Saltsburg with the West Penn Trail (page NE-195). This trail goes east for about 12.7 miles to near Blairsville and about 2 miles northwest towards Apollo.

The trail on the west end will eventually travel down the Turtle Creek Valley and enter the town of North Braddock. From there it will cross the river and join with the Great Allegheny Passage to Washington DC and Pittsburgh (See the Southeast Volume of this guide).

Development Plans

The Trail Council hopes to continue the trail past Export for another 3.5 miles and connect to the segment that begins just north of Delmont. This portion is still in the investigation and design stage.

The trail west of Trafford is in Allegheny County and is their challenge.

Access points

Vicinity: Directions begin on I376 East about 14 miles east of Pittsburgh near the Monroeville, Turnpike, US22 exits. To reach this point from Pittsburgh, take the Parkway I376 East.

Forbes Rd/Parkside Creamery (western) trailhead: From the vicinity take exit 84A to follow the signs for PA48 South/Monroeville. Go about 3.5 miles and turn left/southeast on Broadway Blvd. Go 0.5 miles and turn left/east on Forbes Rd. Go 1.1 miles and just after crossing the trail turn left/south into the parking lot for the Parkside Creamery. Trail parking is on the right, away from the building. It is marked with orange paint.

Saunders Station trailhead: From the vicinity take exit 84A to follow the signs for PA48 South/Monroeville. Go about 0.8 miles and take the left fork on to Haymaker Rd. Go 0.5 miles and take the left fork on to Saunders Station Rd. Go 1.5 miles and just after crossing the trail turn right/west into trailhead parking.

Carson Street trailhead: From the vicinity take the left ramp to US22. Go 3.5 miles to just past Trafford Rd and take the right hand ramp to Reed Blvd. Go two blocks and turn right/south on Carson Av. Go one block and just before crossing the trail, the parking will be on the left.

Murrsyville Roberts Parcel trailhead: From the vicinity take the left ramp to US22. Go 4.3 miles, and just past the Fireplace and Patioplace Store, turn right/south into the Roberts trailhead and visitor center.

Murrsyville Roberts Parcel trailhead: From the vicinity take the left ramp to << US22. Go xx.x miles>>

Murrsyville Roberts Parcel trailhead: From the vicinity take the left ramp to<< US22. Go xx.x miles>>

Delmont/John Rangos trailhead: MP8.5 From the vicinity take the left ramp to US22. Go 10.6 miles, and at the intersection with PA66 and take the ramp to PA66 North and go about 1.0 miles. At Greensburg St, turn right/northeast and continue 0.4 miles while it changes its name to Freeport St. At the fork in the road, take the left fork to stay on Freeport St and go 0.1 miles. At this fork, take the right/northeast fork on to Athena Dr and go 0.9 miles. Just past the abutments for a former railroad bridge turn right/east on Athena Dr Ext and go 0.1 miles. At the signs for the trailhead turn right and up into the trailhead parking lot.

Slickville trailhead: From the vicinity take the left ramp to US22 and go 13.2 miles. At the intersection with PA819 turn left/north on PA819 and go 4.7 miles. Shortly after crossing the trail, turn right/east on Main St and go 0.1 miles to the Slickville Volunteer Fire Department parking lot/trailhead on the right. Exit the back of the parking lot to find the trail.

Warning lights at Story Rd Crossing

Sara Steele Access Area trailhead: From the vicinity take the left ramp to US22 and go 13.2 miles. At the intersection with PA819 turn left/north on PA819 and go 4.7 miles. Shortly after crossing the trail, turn right/east on Main St. Go 0.5 miles and at the bend take the slight right/east and continue on County Rd for 1.8 miles to Bartz Rd. The trailhead parking lot is visible on the right, but the entrance is on Maple Lodge Rd. Turn right/southeast on Batrz Rd and then immediately right/west into the lot. The trail here is along Maple Lodge Rd. To go east on the trail, turn left/north out of the parking lot and cross the intersection. To go west on the trail, turn right/south out of the parking lot, go 200 feet and turn right/west on the paved trail.

Saltsburg (eastern) trailhead: From the vicinity take the left ramp to US22 and follow US22 east. Go 2.4 miles and take the PA286 east exit. Go 6.3 miles and continue straight on PA380 East. Go 11.9 mies and continue straight on PA286. (Yes, back on PA286). Go 1.7 miles and at the “Y” intersection bear right to stay on PA286. Go 0.2 miles and at the bottom of the hill, turn left/east following PA286 across the bridge. After crossing the bridge into Saltsburg, immediately turn right/south on Water St. Go 6 or 8 blocks to the end, (depending how you count alleys), enter into the parking lot behind the playground. From the parking lot, exit on the leftmost trail. Within 500 feet the trail crosses a bridge and enters a culvert. This parking lot is also a middle trailhead for the West Penn Trail (page NE-195).


Rest rooms, water: In BY Park, Roberts Visitor Center, Delmont, Slickville, Sara Steele Trailhead, Saltsburg where the West Penn Trail crosses Market St.

Bike shop, rentals: None.

Restaurant, groceries: in Trafford, Murrysville, Export, Delmont, Slickville, Saltsburg.

Camping, simple lodging: None.

Swimming, fishing: Loyalhanna River.

Winter sports: Cross-country skiing encouraged. Snowmobiles prohibited.

Wheelchair access: Okay but narrow. The passage widths at the gates vary, but each barrier has at least one 36” opening.

Trail organization

Westmoreland Heritage Trail Chapter

111 Collinsburg Rd,

West Newton, PA 15089


Maps, guides, other references

Trail brochure available from the Chapter, or on the web.

USGS Topographic Maps: Braddock, Murrysville, Slickville, Saltsburg, Blairsville.


Text version of 8 Nov 2020 based on personal observation while bicycling Delmont to Saltsburg 7/2021, Trafford to Export 5/2021. Conditions may have changed; you are responsible for your own safety. Oldest segment check 5/2021.