I lost/found something along the Trail. What should I do?
There’s a leaning/downed tree on the Trail … a washout … a dangerous beehive … a fence that needs to be fixed … a lost dog … Who do I notify about it?
- The Facebook Enthusiasts group is a good way to spread the word quickly, even though it is not an official MTC site, to let Friends group volunteers and other users know about hazards. And since we all “own” the pathway, if it is something small that you can take care of on your own, we encourage you to do so. Just be safe.
- For concerns that are less immediate, call the Trail office or send an email.
- Of course, if it’s an emergency, call 911 and give the dispatcher the nearest mile number.
What is the best/easiest/nicest/most popular place to get on the Trail?
The answer depends on what you are interested in. Do you want a place close to where you work or live? If so, use the map page to get an idea of what’s near you. Every part of the Trail has something interesting to offer. Do you want shade or sun? Are you interested in geology, railroads or tunnels? A section with restaurants? You can find some of this information on our website. You can also ask for recommendations from other Trail users on the unaffiliated Facebook Enthusiasts group.
Where would I find a list of restaurants that are near the Montour Trail?
Currently, MTC has no no definitive list of eateries, since an updated and accurate accounting might be difficult to maintain for our all-volunteer organization. You can search the unaffiliated Montour Trail Facebook Enthusiasts group for “restaurant,” as that is a frequent topic of discussion among its 10,000+ members! We also recommend a Google Maps search, using the layer that includes bicycle paths, then look for restaurants.
That said, there are a number of places to eat nearby the Trail (a short walk or ride off the pathway), but only a few actually on the Trail. Taverns, fast-food establishments, convenience stores, pizza joints, sandwich shops, cafes, etc. are usually located near larger towns — Coraopolis, Robinson, Imperial, McDonald, Cecil-Hendersonville-Southpointe, McMurray-Peters Township, Bethel Park, Library, and Clairton.
What is the Trail surface made of?
The Montour Trail is paved with a relatively smooth surface of crushed limestone, which makes it ideal for all forms of non-motorized use: bicycling, walking, running, cross-country skiing, dog-walking, and nature appreciation. There can be unexpected gravelly spots, troughs, and washouts. For example, after the winter thaw and heavy rains, the surface might be soft, which can affect bike handling. At any time of the year, there can be downed trees. Check for any posted Trail alerts on the home page. Many people use the unaffiliated Facebook Enthusiasts group to report (and learn about) unusual or hazardous conditions.
I’ve noticed side trails while walking along the Montour main line. Is it okay to explore them?
Most of the land that borders the Montour Trail is private property. MTC recommends that you stay on the Trail unless you have specific permission to enter adjacent parcels.
Is hunting allowed on the Montour Trail?
Absolutely not! Hunters are allowed only to use or cross the Trail to get to a legal hunting location on adjacent property, and weapons must be unloaded. Montour Trail is not public land, and MTC owns the right of way. See rules. If you are concerned about using the Trail during hunting season, wear bright-colored clothing and/or select a more-residential section for your outing.
Can you cross-country ski on the Montour Trail?
Definitely! When it snows more than a few inches, the pathway is skier-friendly, but no volunteers “groom” the Montour Trail. Notice that users made ski tracks off to the side of the trail — try not to walk through these (or let your dog trod on them), since the first skier expended a great deal of effort to break through the fresh snow. Skiers use the same set of tracks no matter the direction they are heading, so be respectful of others who you encounter. Since the Trail closes at dusk, we do not advise night skiing. If you are thinking about trying the sport, you’re likely to find a retail outlet in the Pittsburgh area that rents cross-country ski equipment.
Are horses permitted on the Montour Trail?
Horses are permitted on the shoulders of the Trail in Cecil between Morganza Road and the crossing of Route 980 and Route 50. Equestrians are requested to clean up after their horses and walk them through the tunnel. Check here for rules and guidelines.
I want to plan a group event on the trail. Is there anything I need to do?
How can I get involved with the Trail?
There are lots of ways! Start by signing up for the unaffiliated Facebook Enthusiasts group (with 10,000+ like-minded members) to find out what other users are doing. Join the Montour Trail Council to receive our newsletter and find out what help we need. To sign up as a volunteer, send a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, email address, phone number, and general areas of volunteer interest. You can also contact your local Friends group to learn how you can help with Trail maintenance.
I sent a request for information a week ago. Why haven’t I heard anything?
We are an all-volunteer organization. Those answering the phone or emails generally have full-time jobs and do not have back-ups for when they are on vacation, out of town, ill, or just plain swamped with other commitments. We’ll do our best to respond as quickly as we can, but we ask for your understanding if you catch us at a busy time. Sometimes you can get a faster response to some questions if you post on the unaffiliated Facebook Enthusiasts group. Just be aware that Facebook users aren’t necessarily in the know about MTC policies — but the group’s administrators are.
Serious Ride Planning
What is the Great Allegheny Passage?
The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) rail-trail offers 150 miles of hiking and biking between Cumberland, Maryland, and Pittsburgh. It connects to the Montour Trail system in Clairton, a town southeast of Pittsburgh. In Cumberland, the GAP joins the C&O Canal Towpath, creating a continuous trail experience, 320 miles long, to Washington, DC.
How can I find out more about planning a trip on the GAP?
Are there any other lodging opportunities not listed on the GAP web site? There seem to be very few options listed for the eastern half of the Montour Trail.
There are no hotels in Clairton, Glassport, or McKeesport, which are towns just beyond the Montour Trail’s southeastern terminus. Your only options along the route are in Jefferson Hills: a nice-but-pricey bed & breakfast or a motel on Route 51 that involves riding 2 miles north of the Trail on fairly busy four-lane Route 51 that has no shoulders (which we do not recommend you do). Alternately, you can travel ahead to a hotel or bed & breakfast between McKeesport and Boston, which is about 10 miles from MP46, the southeast end of the Montour Trail, along streets that are shared with vehicles. Retail establishments are linked/listed here as a public service, not as an MTC endorsement of services.
I am flying in to Pittsburgh with my bicycle to ride the Montour. Are there hotels near the Trail that provide free airport shuttle service?
There is a hotel right at the Pittsburgh International Airport, and you can get on the MTC’s Airport Connector trail that starts in the airport parking lot, linking with the Montour Trail at MP 7.8 (Enlow) — eliminating the need for a shuttle.
There is also a hotel near Coraopolis a few miles from the Trail terminus and a number of hotels in Robinson Township about 10 miles southeast of the airport. These may have free shuttles for their guests, so you can start riding the Trail first thing the next morning. The most convenient hotels are located around Trail MP 5.3 (along Cliff Mine Road). Call in advance to ask if they can transport your bike. Retail establishments are linked/listed here as a public service, not as an MTC endorsement of services.