The trail begins in the small town of Breaburn across the river from Natronia. It is a limestone trail at this point on a bench about 40 feet above river level, with the magnificent views up and down the river on one side, and a 300-foot cliff on the other side. About mile 2.3 side trail heads 300 feet up/down a hollow on a tar and chip surface to a trailhead on <<xxx road>>. A short distance later, just past a marina, the surface changes to packed ballast, but this can be avoided by dropping 15 off the embankment onto the River Forest Dr. This road provides access to some very nice homes facing the river. 1.6 miles later the road ends with a driveway on the left and a gravel path on the right. The trail goes about 100 feet on this path and then passes under the Freeport bridge, SR356. Just past trailhead parking and the gate, the trail resumes on the crushed limestone on the old railroad grade. It goes for another 1.6 miles to the junction of the Kiskiminetas and the Allegheny Rivers. The township s developing a park at this juncture.
Local history, attractions
The section of trail from Breaburn to Garver Ferry Road was originally created with a gift from Clara and Wynn and was named the Clara and Wynn Tredway Trail
River Forest is a development with a country club on top and homes along the river. The intent was to sell lots along the stretch of land from the Freeport bridge to the Kiskiminetas, but it turned out not to be economically feasible. The number of possible lots would not support the infrastructure nor the necessary utilities, so the township got a grant to purchase the trail from the developer.
Extensions of the ride
The northern connection to the IHTC Pittsburgh to Harrisburg corridor will travel up the Kiskiminetas River to Apollo. A northern connection to the Pittsburgh to Eire Trail was originally to cross the Kiskiminetas River and connect to the Allegheny River Trail (in the Northeast volume of this guide) in Schenley. However, since the Schenley to Rosston section was un-railbanked and taken over by a coal mine, this is no longer feasible.
The southern Connection to the Erie to Pittsburgh crosses the SR366 bridge and connects with the Three Rivers Heritage Trail on the west/north side of the Allegheny.
At the Freeport Bridge, the road climbs the hill to the bridge and connects with the Butler Freeport Community Trail at the top of the hill at the end of the bridge.
From the junction of the Kiskiminetas, one can follow an old road for a least 2.3 miles on the south side of the Kiski towards Leechburg. We have not yet explored it further, but it looks like ATVs are using the road, so we suspect it will connect to Leechburg.
If a crossing of the Kiskiminetas can occur then this trail would connect to the Armstrong Trail, and the Kiskiminetas river trail. There is also a county park at the junction of the Allegheny and Kiskiminetas Rivers.
Vicinity: Directions begin on PA 28 headed north from Pittsburgh.
Lower Burrell trailhead: Take PA 28 to the Tarentum/New Kensington Exit (exit 14). Exit east bound on PA 366. In about a mile you will cross the Tarentum Bridge. From the end of the bridge go 0.6 miles to Leechburg Road and turn left/east on Leechburg Road In about a mile Leechburg Road will bend right at Edgecliff Road. Take the left hand turn onto Edgecliff Road. Go 0.8 miles and turn left at the Tee to stay on Edgecliff Road where Garver Ferry Road start on the right. Bear right when Edgecliff road gets to the river bear and changes name to Lowe Road. Follow Lowe Road along the river, past the lock and dam. Stay on Lowe road when it bends right away from the river where straight is "No Outlet". About a block after the bend turn left on Arnold, just after the fire station. Just past Boggs Street, continue to follow the road (now deteriorating) as it bends left then right past a garage. Continue on this unpromising road past some trailers and docks for about a half mile. There you will see a sign for the trail head and parking.
Freeport Bridge Trailhead: Take PA28 to the Freeport/Millerstown exit #16. Turn right/east at the end of the ramp. Go 0.6 miles to the tee and turn left/northwest onto Freeport Rd. Go 0.7 miles and turn right/south across the Freeport bridge. Go 0.6 miles and shortly after crossing the bridge take a right/southwest onto River Landing Drive. Go 50 feet and take another right to go downhill along side the bridge. Continue downhill to the trailhead parking lot. Do not park by the driveway to the house.
Garver Ferry Road Trailhead: Take PA 28 to the Tarentum/New Kensington Exit (exit 14). Exit east bound on PA 366. In about a mile you will cross the Tarentum Bridge. From the end of the bridge go 0.6 miles to Leechburg Road and turn left/east on Leechburg Road In about a mile Leechburg Road will bend right at Edgecliff Road. Take the left hand turn onto Edgecliff Road. Go 0.8 miles and turn right at the Tee onto Garver Ferry Road. Go about 0.3 miles and bear left where Wildlife Lodge Road comes in from the right. In about 4 miles turn left onto McCane Hollow Road. There is a trail sign on the left, however it is pointed the opposite direction from your travel and is therefore easy to miss. The intersection is a short distance up the hill as you begin to climb out of a dip in the road. The trailhead is about 0.1 miles down McCane Road. There is space for only 2 or 3 cars at the trail head, so you may want to park along McCane Road, shortly after the turn off. Be careful not to block or clutter up any driveways, access roads or gates. This gate is the only way for an emergency vehicle to get access to the trail.
Rest rooms, water: None at the trail heads, An SST along the trail 1.5 miles from Lower Burrell or 1 mile from Garver Ferry Road Trailhead.
Bike shop, rentals: Gattos in Tarentum
Restaurant, groceries: none along the trail. Along Leechburg Road on the way to the trailhead
Camping, simple lodging: None
Swimming, fishing: There are the remains of several summer camps along the River, which could give you access to the river.
Winter sports: Cross-Country skiing.
Wheelchair access: The trail down from Garver Ferry Road is quite steep dropping 300 feet in 0.4 miles.
Maps, guides, other references
USGS Topographic Maps: New Kensington East, Freeport
Text version of 14 Jan 2017 based personal observation while bicycling Breaburn to the Marina 8/2010, Marina to Freeport bridge 7/2017, Skiing Freeport bridge to 2.3 miles past the Kiskiminetas River junction. 1/2018. Conditions may have changed; you are responsible for your own safety. Oldest segment check 8/2010.