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Murrysville Parks
+ Park/Reserve Summary
+ Bear Hollow Park
+ Bear Hollow Trail
+ Duff Park
+ Kellman/Skena Reserves
+ M. C. P.
+ Pleasant Valley Park
+ Sardis Park
+ Townsend Park

Westmoreland Conservancy Reserves
+ Caywood Reserve
+ Flinn Reserve
+ King Reserve
+ McGinnis Reserve
+ Morosini Reserve
+ Potter's Corner
+ Tomer Reserve
+ Walter Reserve

Cross-Murrysville Routes

Turtle Creek Rail Trail Project

Trails Beyond Murrysville

Outdoors Related Sites


Trail Activities

From 2015, we've shifted postings of Trail Activities to
the Murrysville Trail Alliance Facebook page.  Please visit and "Like"
our Facebook page to receive up-to-date news!

Thank you Susan Karas for organizing a great year
of 2014 MTA hikes, and thanks as well to everyone
who helped out or joined us!

Duff Park hike November 2014

Friday October 3, 2014  WLT Celebration


The Westmoreland Land Trust celebrated the expansion of Duff Park and 5 years of conserving land in Westmoreland County. The Land Trust thanked the van de Vennes for their donation of land, and many others who helped to expand Duff Park.

WLT Celebration
WLT Celebration
Cake from WLT Celebration

Friday & Saturday, Sept. 26 & 27, 2014  Bioblitz


2014 Duff Park Bioblitz poster
Dr. Kyle Selcer of Duquesne University organized a 2014 Bioblitz at Duff Park.
It was a great day,
with many joining experts for science
and fun!


2014 Bioblitz

2014 Bioblitz
2014 Bioblitz
2014 Bioblitz
2014 Bioblitz
2014 Bioblitz
2014 Bioblitz

Saturday September 20, 2014  Outdoor Expo

The MTA participated in Murrysville's September 20th Outdoor Expo at Townsend Park.

2014 Murrysville Outdoor Expo
2014 Murrysville Outdoor Expo

Saturday September 20, 2014 Hike

Thanks to Tom Ronksley for leading, and to Nancy Fischione and Donna Ronksley for helping with, a Cross-Murrysville hike on a beautiful September morning.

Fall 2014 Cross-Murrysville Hike

Thursday September 18, 2014 Green Luncheon

Westmoreland County's Citizens Advisory Board held its annual Green Luncheon at Twin Lakes Park, dedicated to people and organizations that support Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation.

2014 Green Luncheon

Saturday July 12, 2014  FOMP Townsend Walk

FOMP Townsend Hike 7/12/14 FOMP Townsend Hike 7/12/14
On a beautiful Saturday morning, Dr. Kyle Selcer led an enjoyable and informative nature walk in Townsend Park, sharing much knowledge along the way while discussing characteristics of many species of trees and native and non-native plants.

Saturday June 21, 2014 Cross-Murrysville Hike

Unless you were one of the sixteen adventurers (and one dog) pictured below, you missed a great 5-mile cross-Murrysville hike on June 21st. Our thanks to Susan Karas for organizing and leading the hike, plus providing delivious muffins, cookies and watermelon at the end. Perhaps a little muddy at times with a few light showers, but a good day for being outdoors. Plus, we didn't lose a single person along the way!
The hike followed the Don Harrison Community Trail starting at Townsend Park, passing along the Sloan Elementary School property, through Potter's Corner, the King and Caywood Reserves, and then finishing at the Murrysville Community Park (MCP) wetlands. After the refreshments, the hikers shuttled back to Townsend Park.

MTA Hike
              (Photos courtesy of Susan Karas) 
MTA Hike
MTA Hike

June 6, 2014 FOMP Nature Hike in PV Park

On a gorgeous June morning, naturalist and retired Sloan Elementary School science teacher Tom Pearson led a nature hike through Pleasant Valley Park. Sixteen people enjoyed the hike listening to and identifying well over twenty different bird species. The invasive multiflora rose was in bloom and lent a pleasant fragrence to the air. In addition to the birds, several plants and insects were also identified.

May 17, 2014 MTA Hike at Pleasant Valley Park

On a crisp morning, 7 hikers and 3 dogs met for exploration of Pleasant Valley Park.Buzz Wichmann led the group on an exploration of the perimeter trails, seeing many wildflowers and dogwood trees in bloom. The dog hikers especially enjoyed the park's streams and those stretches of trail that were wet after a nightime rain.

May 2014 Hike at PV
Mayapple at PV May 2014Dogwood at PV May 2014
(Photos courtesy of Dana Spiardi and Charlie Beard)

May 10, 2014 FOMP Duff Park Walk

On May 10, Dr. Kyle Selcer led a Friends of Murrysville Parks (FOMP) walk in Duff Park, especially discussing pollination and dispersion of seeds. Walkers enjoyed seeing many spring ephemerals in bloom, including Trillium grandiflorum, Wake Robin, Mayapple, Solomon's Seal and Jack-in-the-Pulpit.

5-14 Hike at Duff
5-14 Hike at Duff
(Photos courtesy of Betsy Aiken)


May 5, 2014 Westmoreland County Bike/Ped Meeting

The first meeting of a Westmoreland County Bike & Pedestrian Committee was organized by Westmoreland County Planning and Development and held at the Latrobe Municipal Building. Among the topics discussed were:

Latrobe's Lincoln Avenue Greenway Trail
The League of American Bicyclists' 5E Approach to Planning
Drafted Southwestern PA Commission Bike Suitability Maps
Westmoreland County Trail News and Developments
Funding Possibilities for Bike and Pedestrian Improvements.

It is likely that future meetings will be held quarterly. Anyone that might wish to participated may email Brian Lawrence at and ask to be added to the email list for future meetings.

April 16, 2014 Duff Park Hike

The spring wildflowers were blooming in Duff Park, and twelve hikers and three dogs ventured out along the trails on a 4.4 mile long MTA-led hike to enjoy the spring beauty.   The weather was spring-like, starting a little cool and then warming up by the end of the hike.  The trillium was in bloom throughout the park, with both the white trillium and red (wake-robin) trillium showing abundant blossoms.  Other flowers in bloom included Trout Lilies, Virginia Blue Bells, Dutchman's Breeches and abundant Spring Beauties.

April 2014 Hike in Duff Park April 2014 Trillium in Duff Park
April 2014 Wake Robin in Duff Park April 2014 Cut Leaved Toothwort in Duff Park
Hikers, Trillium grandiflorum, Wake robin, Cut-leafed toothwort (Photos courtesy of Charlie Beard)

April 12, 2014 Full Moon Spring Peeper Hike

On a warm April Sunday evening, six hikers and three dogs met at the Murrysville Community Park to enjoy the beautiful weather and the sounds of spring. After a pleasant hike along the Valley Trail, the group then walked the Wetlands Trail. The nearly full moon provided a picturesque scene while the spring peepers added a musical symphony.

Spring peeper
Spring Peeper (Photo courtesy of Dale Matuza)

April 2014 Hike at MCP
(Photo courtesy of Ed Gerstenhaber

April 11, 2014 Murrysville Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Murrysville's 2014 Easter Egg Hunt was held on the evening of Friday, April 11, at Murrysville Community Park. The Egg Hunt was enjoyed by the children that participated, the adults that watched, and also by the 25 dogs that engaged in a separate Doggy Egg Hunt.

2014 Easter Egg Hunt
(Photos courtesy of Betsy Aiken)
2014 Easter Egg Hunt

March 29, 2014  Murrysville March For Parks

With good early spring weather, many gathered for the Murrysville March for Parks to support the Turtle Creek Rail Trail Project.  The Murrysville March, based at Sportzone, raised $33,265 for the project, of which the MTA team raised $3516! Sponsored by the Citizens Advisory Board for Westmoreland County Parks, simultaneous hikes occurred at Twin Lakes Park, Cedar Creek Park as well as the Murrysville SportZone.  Total funding of $105,000 was raised by all three events.  Thank you to all the volunteers and supporters who helped to make these events so successful!

    (Photos courtesy of Charlie Beard, Ed Gerstenhaber, Douglas Granger and Buck Skena)
2014 March For Parks2014 March For Parks2014 March For Parks
2014 March For Parks
Yoda at 2014 March For ParksMTA Volunteers at 2014 March For ParksMTA Table at March For Parks
2014 March For Parks2014 March For Parks
2014 March For Parks2014 March For Parks
2014 March For Parks2014 March For Parks
2014 March For Parks2014 March For Parks
2014 March For Parks2014 March For Parks2014 March For Parks
2014 March For Parks2015 March For Parks2014 March For Parks
2014 March For Parks

November 16, 2013  Duff Park History and Hike  

On a gorgeous November morning, 35 hikers met at the pavilion in Duff Park near the 330 year old white oak tree. A brief history of the park area was given, starting with the local Indians.  General Forbes led his troops through the area on his way to Fort Duquesne in the French and Indian War - one of the trails in the park is named Forbes Trail.  On their return, a scouting party was ambushed as they crossed Turtle Creek near the west end of Duff Park. Hike at Duff Park, November 2013
November 2013 Hike at Duff Park Early inhabitants used Forbes Road and built their homes near it. The 1852 Staymates log cabin lies not far from Duff Park.  The 1878 Haymaker Gas Well, the first commercial gas well in the country, lies just west of Duff Park.  In 1886 a railroad was built along Turtle Creek, and will become a rail trail over the next few years.  The initial land for the park was purchased in 1968.  Old pastures within the park have been reverting to forest.
Thanks Sue M. for the historical research and planning!  The group divided up into three groups based on the level of hike difficulty and exertion desired.  The most strenuous hike covered 4.3 miles and included a visit to the top of Round Top Hill for the view.  All of the groups stopped at various locations in the park, including the ambush site, to discuss the local history.  At the end of the hike, hot apple cider and pumpkin cake awaited the hikers -- thank you Susan K. and Buzz!  The great weather, enthusiastic hikers, advanced planning and research, and historical stories all made for an interesting and stimulating event to enjoy outdoor Murrysville.  
Yoda and friend at November 2013 hike at Duff Park
Refreshments after November 2013 hike at Duff Park

November 14, 2013  Westmoreland Heritage Trail Board Meeting
The Westmoreland Heritage Trail (WHT) chapter of the Regional Trail Corporation met at the SportsZone in Murrysville to discuss the agreement to purchase of the Turtle Creek Railroad right-of-way. 

Westmoreland County has signed an agreement to purchase the property from Export to Trafford within the next year.  Grant applications have been submitted to obtain much of the funds necessary for the purchase, but some of the grants will be matching grants requiring local fund raising.  In total, over $3 million will be needed to purchase the property and then build the rail trail.  Check out the link to the left for more information and updates on the Turtle Creek Rail Trail Project.

November 2013 meeting of WHT in Murrysville

October 20, 2013  Westmoreland Heritage Trail

WHT Sign at Athena Drive Parking Lot With the Grand Opening of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail from Delmont to Saltsburg, it is seeing significant bicycle and foot traffic during October to view the fall foliage.  On this Sunday afternoon, the parking lot on Athena Drive was full and cars were parking on the side of the road.
WHT October 2013
The trail crosses the Beaver Run Reservoir, passes by Slickville and ends in Saltsburg.  While a rail trail, it does have several grades that provide a decent workout. In Saltsburg, one can learn about the canal that passed through or head out on the West Penn Trail toward Blairsville.
Saltsburg October 2013

October 19, 2013  Townsend Park Fall Foliage Hike

Townsend hike Fall 2013

It was a cool October morning for a pleasant hike around Townsend Park. The hike was publicized in Murrysville and on the Pittsburgh
Hiking Meetup

website, enticing twenty-two hikers and two dogs to participate. At the start of the hike it was noted that there is an ongoing contest for naming three well-used, but unnamed, trails in the park.  Those three trails were highlighted as they were traveled. 
The weather stayed comfortable, and there were many colorful displays of fall foliage.
Townsend Fall Foliage
Through the distant haze, the USX and Mellon Bank buildings to the west as well as the Homer City Power Plant to the east were faintly visible at the Heartattack Hill viewpoint.
View from hilltop in Townsend
Townsend hikers Fall 2013
It was a friendly hike appreciating the wonders of nature in Murrysville.

October 13, 2013  New Bridle Path at MCP

Some of the volunteers that helped build the new bridle path at Murrysville Community Park gathered for a morning ride, appreciating the months of work that went in to building the trail. Pictured are Marlene Campos on Bucky, Amy Ranier on Grover Dill, and Diana Lewis on Fern.
Horseback riders at MCP

October 13, 2013  FOMP Mushroom Hike

While enjoying the fall foliage on a mild October afternoon, nine hikers went on a mushroom discovery hike at Pleasant Valley Park.  The hike was organized by the Friends of Murrysville Parks (FOMP) and led by Scott Hamilton, who impressed all with his vast knowledge of PA fungi.  
Mushroom hike
Many different varieties of mushrooms were found and discussed, including some that were edible, such as honey mushrooms and the hen-of-the-woods (or sheep's head) mushrooms.  All thoroughly enjoyed the adventure. 
Mushroom hike
Mushroom hike

October 5, 2013 Grand Opening of
Phase II of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail

A brief shower couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd that gathered at the Slickville Lions Club Baseball Field to celebrate the opening of the Phase II Extension of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail (WHT). Participants enjoyed refreshments and a program that included expressions of appreciation from Roy Lenhardt of the Westmoreland County Parks & Recreation Citizens Advisory Board, Malcolm Sias (Westmoreland County Parks & Recreation Director), Judge Jill Rangos, and the three Westmoreland County Commissioners (Charles Anderson, Tyler Courtney, and Ted Kopas). After the program many enjoyed a walk or bike ride to inaugurate use of the trail.

The WHT is a multi-use trail that now extends 8.7 miles from Saltsburg to Athena Drive in Delmont. Plans are underway to continue the trail into Export and then, using the Turtle Creek valley, through Murrysville, Monroeville, Penn Township, and on to Trafford. More information on the WHT can be found at

WHT Opening
  WHT OpeningWHT Opening
WHT Opening
WHT Opening

October 5, 2013 Murrysville PA Hero Walk

Many participated in this walk on Saturday morning to honor veterans and raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. The walkers started at various points (including Tractor Supply, the Franklin Regional complex, and Sinan Farms off of Hills Church Road). All eventually joined up and proceeded to the emergency services memorial at Murrysville Community Park. Several veterans also walked, preceded by the Seton Hill Bagpipe Band. After tributes to the veterans, the walk's participants enjoyed food and an exhibition game at Murrysville Community Park's Bill Mazeroski Miracle Field.

2013 PA Hero Walk
2013 PA Hero Walk
2013 PA Hero Walk
2013 Hero Walk
2013 Hero Walk

September 21 & 22, 2013 Cross Murrysville Hike

Although the Cross-Murrysville hike planned for September 21 was postponed due to expected thunderstorms, twelve hikers nonetheless met at the Townsend Lower Pavilion and hopefully set out on the cloudy morning.  Their hike followed the Don Harrison Community Trail starting at Townsend Park, passing along the Sloan Elementary School property, through Potter's Corner, King and Caywood Reserves, and then finishing at the Murrysville Community Park (MCP).  They were quite wet when they reached the MCP Wetlands Pavilion, for the rains did come (no thunderstorms, though), but all enjoyed the hike.
Twelve more adventurers hiked the trail on Sunday afternoon at the rescheduled time.  In hiking the trail, this group took a short detour on the recently completed equestrian trail in MCP.  Both groups appreciated shuttle rides back to the starting point in Townsend Park.   September 2012 Cross-Murrysville Hikers

On Sunday, after all enjoyed refreshments at the Wetlands Pavilion, two of the hikers even hiked the return trip back to Townsend for a total round trip hike of 11 miles.

The groups observed the beginning of fall with the red maple, dogwood and sassafras tree leaves starting to change.  The cattails and the goldenrod around the wetlands added beauty to the cloudy days.  

June 15, 2013 Cross Murrysville Hike

Twelve hikers, accompanied with four dogs, enjoyed a beautiful, sunny morning while hiking the Don Harrison Community Trail across Murrysville with the MTA.  The five mile hike started at Townsend Park and passed through Potter's Corner, King Reserve, Caywood Reserve and ended at the wetlands in Murrysville Community Park.  The hike was capped off with fruit, cookies and drinks.

6-15-13 Hike
6-15-13 Hike6-15-13 Hike
  (Photos courtesy of Clarence Skena)

May 18, 2013 Hike at Townsend Park

Ten hikers, accompanied by two dogs, enjoyed a morning hike through Townsend Park on Saturday, May 18th. Ed Gerstenhaber led the hikers over many of Townsend's wooded trails, for a good workout and many beautiful views. During the hike participants discussed the MTA's current effort at updating the trail map for Townsend Park. Afterwards Jersey and Ariel enjoyed a brief dip in the pond.




Townsend hikers

Townsend hikers  


Spring 2013

The Murrysville Trail Alliance, Friends of Murrysville Parks (FOMP) and the Westmoreland Conservancy have all led walks within Murrysville this spring to enjoy the new awakenings of the parks and reserves.  In addition, many people have hiked the parks on their own, enjoying outdoor Murrysville.  The wild flowers in Duff Park were quite spectacular this spring – hope that you had the opportunity to enjoy them.  The Dutchman's Breeches and Spring Beauties were out in early to mid April, while the Trillium displays were fantastic at the beginning of May.  The accompanying photos give a hint of the beauty in the park.  In Townsend Park, although an invasive plant, the multiflora rose was in full bloom in early June and the multitude of showy white blooms were very fragrant. 

          Spring 2013          

Winter 2013

Winter brings its own beauty to the parks with snow and ice.  Many enjoyed the serenity of a hike in the woods in one of the parks after a snowfall.  Neighborhood trails, such as Bear Hollow Trail, provided a quiet walk without driving on the icy roads.

Past Trail Activites

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