Bear Run Nature Reserve, Pennsylvania

Did you expect me to have a 4 day weekend without fitting in a hike somewhere? You know me better than that.

I contacted more than a few hiking clubs in the Pittsburgh area begging for someone to take me hiking. Unfortunately, I asked for a long hike with lots of elevation changes and, well, the Pittsburgh hikers thought I was nuts. However, the Allegheny Sierra Club claimed to have a 9 miler at the Bear Run Reserve near Ohiopyle on Sunday. I tried to call the hike leader but his phone wasn't working properly, all I got was a beep. But that didn't deter me, I figured I would find the place and show up, which I did.

The Sierra Club didn't show up, but one other person was there looking for them too. So we went on a hike together. This unassuming nice hiker named John probably didn't quite understand what he had gotten into when he agreed to go hiking with me. After 10 minutes of hiking we had lost the trail so I suggested an nice bushwhack(after a Ranger Lady told me not to bushwhack) through the woods which was sucessful, we found the trail. This nature reserve boasts a good set of trails and you can actually squeeze out a 10 mile loop with about a thousand feet of elevation change. The western perimeter of the property abuts the Youghiogheny River but the trail stands about 100 feet above the water so you can get a good view in winter. Unfortunately, there is also some railroad tracks so it can be a little noisy with the trains.

On my way home I stopped in Ohiopyle to take a closer look at the 43 mileYoughiogheny River Trail which is a crushed stone bike trail very much like the NCR. I went into a store and asked about the possibility of tubing and someone informed me that tubes aren't allowed. The place would be idea for my one of my tube and bike extravaganzas, it's a shame. I did see a few people kayaking in the very cold water which means there are some hardcores around here. I will need to do some more exploring next summer.

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