Biking and Hiking Biking and Hiking


Biking and Hiking Trails in Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands

Outdoor lovers, grab your gear and head to the Laurel Highlands, where you'll find a network of amazing Western PA biking and hiking trails that are enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels.

The Great Allegheny Passage 


Start your Western Pennsylvania biking trip in the Laurel Highlands In addition to the miles of beautiful bike trails throughout our numerous state parks and reserves, the Laurel Highlands is home to The Great Allegheny Passage, an award winning Pennsylvania rail-trail that can be enjoyed by all, regardless of experience level. Bike the GAP in sections with the family, or head out for the long trek adventure. You can bike (or hike) this 150-mile rail-trail at a casual pace, or you can really get your heart pumping. No matter what kind of experience you seek, this nearly level rail-trail is sure to please. You can even follow the trail all the way to Georgetown in Washington, D.C.

The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail

Laurel Highlands Hiking TrailDon't leave Pennsylvania until you've explored one of our region's most popular trails, the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. This celebrated Pennsylvania hiking trail is also known as Laurel Ridge State Park, running from Ohiopyle State Park to the 1,600-foot-deep Conemaugh Gorge near Johnstown.

Along the way, you'll pass eight overnight areas, each equipped with Adirondack-style shelters, tent pads, comfort stations, and potable water. So you're never really far from a place to rest and relax.

Both the Great Allegheny Passage and the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail are part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. 

Hiking at Laurel Hill State ParkPennsylvania State Parks and Other Great Trails

The Laurel Highlands offers several other fantastic places to get out and enjoy biking and hiking in Pennsylvania. Check out the many hiking trails in all of our 10 state parks and forests. Additionally, explore our smaller rail-trails or our mountain bike areas, all of which will invigorate you amidst natural wonders running the gamut from sparkling waterfalls and craggy rock formations to lush and vivid foliage.

Rails to Trails!

No matter what part of the Laurel Highlands you're in, there's a family-friendly, nearly level rail-trail that's built on a former railroad that's been converted to a trail. Bring your bike or rent one nearby to enjoy the fresh air, stretch out your lungs and learn about nature and history along the way.

The most famous rail-trail in the Laurel Highlands is obviously the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD, where it meets the C&O Canal Towpath connecting to Washington, DC. The Laurel Highlands also offers many other, smaller trails with phenomenal scenery and history.

The following four trails, along with nine parks, are managed by Westmoreland County Parks & Recreation:

  • Coal and Coke Bike TrailExplore the 5-mile Coal and Coke Trail linking Mount Pleasant and Scottdale along Jacobs Creek past historic coke ovens.
  • The 8-mile Five Star Trail connects the city of Greensburg through open space to the Westmoreland County Community College and the village of Armbrust.
  • The Westmoreland Heritage and Turtle Creek Trails combine for 9 miles of fun from Trafford to the historic town of Saltsburg, where it connects to the West Penn Trail.

Near the Donegal Turnpike exit, the Indian Creek Valley Trail has an 8-mile finished section and a 5-mile fairly steep and unfinished section offering a very scenic alternative to the often busy Great Allegheny Passage in nearby Ohiopyle.

The West Penn Trail, part of the Main Line Canal Greenway, is among the region's longest trails at more than 15 miles but has a few sections that are not rail-trail grade, such as the scenic climb at Conemaugh River Lake.

The 2-mile Sheepskin Trail connects the Great Allegheny Passage to the historic town of Dunbar, where the local historical society has built a replica of the coke ovens that converted coal into coke and fired up the Pittsburgh steel industry.

The 2.5-mile Tredway Trail follows the Allegheny River near New Kensington.