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Pittsburgh, PA: Raccoon Creek State Park

This 10-miler treks through babbling creeks, along an unending series of up-and-down slopes, and under the cover of white pine and hemlock forest.

Rating

This 10-mile day hike kicks off following Nichol Road south to pick up the Heron Trail as it snakes into the trees along a roller-coaster elevation profile. After dropping down to Upper Lake and its neighboring wetlands, the trail meanders north and joins up with Nichol Road again for a brief stretch before darting back into the trees just 0.3 mile later. From here, follow the Forest Trail is it traverses manageable mounds and descends contour lines along a steep ravine before crossing several creeks under the cover of a dense white pine forest. Turn around at the final creek crossing, or wander south to Raccoon Lake, following the Lake Trail as it returns west to rejoin the Forest Trail on the return trip. -Mapped by Mike Ciccone

To Trailhead

From Pittsburgh, take US 22/US 30 west and continue west on PA 60 (10.5 miles from downtown). After 7.5 miles take exit 7 (Clinton Rd./US 30) and make a left on Clinton Rd. In 1.1 miles, turn right on US 30. Go 8.5 miles and turn left on PA 18. Continue 3.2 miles and turn right on Raccoon Park Rd. In 0.8 mile, bear right on Nichol Rd. and continue another 1.1 miles to trail parking on the left.

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