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Distance:
2.1 Miles / 3.4 km
Type:
Loop
Difficulty:
Moderate
Time to Hike:
1 hour, ~5 minutes
Features:
Surface Type:
Dirt
Park:
Hays Woods
Town:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Directions:
40.398175, -79.963187
3
Added:
April 07, 2019
Updated:
April 07, 2019

The Hays Woods Loop Trail is a moderate 2.1 mile trail that passes through the western side of Hays Woods with lookout points above the Monongahela River.

The trails at Hays Woods can be a bit confusing, so heading into the woods with a map and GPS device are recommended. Also note that this trail was tracked in April 2019 and Hays Woods is going to undergo changes in the future as the City of Pittsburgh has plans to revitalize the area.

The trail starts off at the parking area and follows West Agnew Road beyond the gate and into Hays Woods for about 0.15 miles until you reach the power lines. Follow the power lines trail downhill and back uphill for almost exactly 0.5-miles before the trail heads north and away from the power lines and then northeast towards a lookout point along the Monongahela River with views of the river and the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh.

After visiting the first lookout point, follow the dirt road which heads west and then northwest. Most of the short trails to your left just head back to the original power line trail you followed to get to the first lookout point. After following the dirt road from the first lookout point, you'll pass a large dirt ditch and shortly after the ditch is another fork in the road -- stay right at this fork to head to the 2nd lookout point. This right-hand fork is located roughly 1-mile into the hike from the parking lot (see the elevation chart).

At the 2nd lookout point, you'll get views of the US Steel / UPMC Tower in downtown Pittsburgh along with the Cathedral of Learning at the University of PIttsburgh across the river. Following the trail from the 2nd lookout is a bit confusing, but head towards the western powerline tower and hike down next to it, following some short switchbacks to head back downhill.

After visiting the 2nd lookout and hiking down the switchbacks heading west, you'll start hiking back uphill on your way out of Hays Woods. From this point you can follow the dirt road all the way until you reach a large hillside with a barbed-wire fence at the top of the hill. There's a trail to the left of the fork and heads back to the parking area. You can also stay right to stay on the road, but the hike out is much longer as you have to hike all the way around this school. As of April 2019, the section of this part of the hike was under construction.

Parking: Parking can be found at the very end of West Agnew Road in Pittsburgh at the parking coordinates provided.

Explore 218 trails near Pittsburgh, PA
  1. Parking

    40.398175, -79.963187
  2. Main Trailhead

    40.398112, -79.962947
  3. Heading down power lines

    40.400847, -79.957986
    Heading down power lines
  4. 1st lookout

    40.403661, -79.955711
    1st lookout
  5. 1st lookout

    40.403939, -79.955178
    1st lookout
  6. 2nd lookout

    40.407803, -79.956597
    2nd lookout
  7. 2nd lookout

    40.407639, -79.957475
    2nd lookout
  8. 2nd lookout by switchbacks

    40.407464, -79.957794
    2nd lookout by switchbacks
  9. Trail connects to the road - hike back to parking

    40.399983, -79.963875
    Trail connects to the road - hike back to parking
  10. Trail that cuts just east of the schools

    40.401292, -79.962714
    Trail that cuts just east of the schools
Explore other trail routes for this hike, added by the MyHikes Community via Trip Reports.
No community routes found. To add your own route as a Community Route for this Trail guide, please leave a Trip Report with a GPX file on this Trail.

Hazards

Ticks - Lyme Disease More Info (CDC)

Seasons

All
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200 '

Total Change
345 '

Ascent
352 '

Descent

Photo Albums

4 Trip Reports

No Star-Ratings
Write-up by:
Admin user profile picture
2.1 miles / 3.4 km
Trail added
April 07, 2019
Hiked on
April 07, 2019
Updated on
April 07, 2019
2.1 miles / 3.4 km
May 31, 2021
Trail was overgrown once off the gravel road, almost impassably so at points. At one of the lookout points I accidentally ambushed a turkey vulture; not the finest moment for either of us. The view was worth it.
Hiking
2.1 miles / 3.4 km
August 17, 2020
Update from Aug 2020.. trail is very overgrown when you turn off of the gravel road from Agnew. Ended up turning back due to dense foliage. It's not unhikable but just be prepared to do a thorough tick check afterwards. Also, there are "No Trespassing" signs near trailhead so I didn't feel great about that either.
Hiking
2.1 miles / 3.4 km
April 06, 2019
Hiking

Weather Forecast

In Pittsburgh, PA

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