Proposed Path Winds 8 Miles Along Creek

Chartiers Creek drains the fourth largest watershed in South-western Pennsylvania. Several years will be needed to complete the entire 25-mile trail as envisioned in the Lower Chartiers Creek Trail & Greenway Feasibility Study. 

Completing the first urban eight-mile stage from Carnegie to McKees Rocks could take three to four years, if there is enough citizen interest in making it happen.  

Access to greenspace for the watershed's urban residents is compelling. Improved trails along this urban corridor will provide backyard recreation for nearly 100,000 residents. 

Imagine all this natural wilderness in the steep hillsides and riparian floodplains adjacent to the creek and its tributaries. Just a step away from the crowded city.

Hiking the entire eight miles takes at least four hours, especially as improved trails currently cover only a small portion of the route.  These trails are found on conserved land, along the flood control levee, and as paths through undeveloped property. But with continued land preservation in hand with conservation easements to create a trail through public property, developed parcels and private lands, a continuous natural corridor with access to parks and natural greenspace can be created.   For the enjoyment of us all.

Pedestrian Bridge Links Panhandle Trail to Hillside Trails in Collier Township

The upstream suburban parts of the lower watershed contain several conservation areas providing residents with access to land and local trails.  Some follow the main channel of Chartiers Creek, while others are nested along its tributaries.  

A goal of the Trail & Greenway Feasibility Study is to obtain conservation easements to build a trail to link these parcels.

One of the most pristine parcels of land, Neville's Woods,  is located in Collier Township along Robinson Run by the section of Panhandle Trail between Walkers Mill and Rennerdale stations. 

This natural wooded hillside links to the Panhandle Trail via a pedestrian bridge and contains rugged trails that bloom profusely with rare native wildflowers in the spring.  

Linking the Panhandle Trail to the proposed Chartiers Trail is another vision outlined in the study. It would unite two trails, linking their subsidiary trails system into an inter-connected network of greenspace. It provides greater access for residents to enjoy the nearby nature, while strengthening ecosystems by enhancing and protecting the wildlife corridor.  

Kane Woods Defines Local Greenway 

The 44 acre wooded hillside perimeter of the old Kane Hospital is now used by scout troops, hikers, runners, outdoors enthusiasts and nature lovers in general. Scrubgrass Run winds thru its valley. Beautiful in all seasons, home to abundant wildlife and delicate wildflowers, the forest sports ancient, stately trees, including a stand of 100 year old Tulip poplars.  

The Scott Conservancy, who purchased the property in 2004, has developed hiking trails  which connect this largest remaining greenspace in Scott Township to adjacent communities. 

The Whiskey Point Trailhead connects Collier Township, Heidelberg and Chartiers Creek with the woods while the JCC and planned Providence Point Trailheads service residents of the adjacent municipalities of Upper St. Clair and Mt. Lebanon, making the Kane Woods a true greenway corridor.

Chuck Tague endorses the greenway idea, saying, "The property is in a densely populated area and still is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. It can remain undisturbed for many years to come if it is protected. I have observed a number of plants native to Pennsylvania on this property along with a variety of birds, deer, and squirrel. One area of the property, although not a true wetland, does support some species of plants that are found in wetland areas."

Kane Woods connects to favorite trails throughout Scott Township and is adjacent to Scott Park. This important greenway corridor could easily join with the proposed trail and greenway of nearby Chartiers Creek.

 Model Comprehensive Park Plan
Includes Wetlands Trails

Boyce Mayview Park in Upper St. Clair Township balances the community's needs for passive, nature-oriented activities with active recreational activities.  Miles of trail thread through open meadows and forests, gently traversing high value habitats and restoration areas  Eighty-six percent of the 475 acre park is slated for passive, nature-oriented activities served by trails, overlooks and seating areas.

Chartiers Creek and the extensive wetlands constructed and owned by PennDOT form the western boundary of the property and the creek and wetlands together with park land, provide diverse habitat to waterfowl, birds, plants and wildlife.  

The park masterplan and the process that examined potential development and conservation opportunities serves as an exemplary model for other progressive communities that seek to preserve their vital local greenspace.

Upper St. Clair commissioners adopted a park master plan in November 1999, which demonstrates the capacity of the property to accommodate the diverse recreational and preservation interest of the township. The plan is the product of intensive public involvement.  Environmental preservation and recreation are placed in the context of a larger message of sustainable development and community. 

Two major elements of the plan are the new Regional Environmental Education Center and a community center complex. 

Upper Watershed Can Plan Now 

The Allegheny Land Trust has a conservation easement on the 103 acre Linder Farm and owns the 68 acre Moreno property.

Setting aside the steep slopes and sensitive riparian zones along Chartiers Creek and its tributaries creates prime recreational opportunity.  The upper watershed boasts rich farmland on rolling hills and a heron rookery.  Wildflowers bouquet the creek banks and riparian zones. 

Rural, upper watershed land is beginning to come under development pressure. Citizens in these communities can protect their property values by having the foresight to preserve crucial ecosystems.  By creating an Environmental Advisory Committee, or EAC, to work within their municipal government, like the residents of South Fayette, people living in the upper watershed can steer their community governments to adopt "green" ordinances.  Model ordinances can be found in Upper Chartiers Watershed's Rivers Conservation Plan. 

Keeping land in its natural state preserves valuable wildlife habitat, improves water quality and mitigates erosion and flooding problems.  Preserving greenspace creates recreational opportunity for us and our children. Communities near parks and trails enjoy better property values. Investment in nature protects the investment in our property and in our future.