38.2 Miles / 61.5 km
Time to Hike:
19 hours, ~6 minutes
Surface Type:
North Park
McCandless, Pennsylvania
40.597955, -79.996895
January 04, 2017
February 21, 2019
561 '

Total Change
6,328 '

6,141 '


The Rachel Carson Trail in western Pennsylavania is a 38.2 mile trail that runs from North Park in McCandless, PA and ends in the northern end of Harrison Hills Park in Natrona Heights, PA. It's one of the longest continuous trails near Pittsburgh for day hiking. Camping and backpacking is not allowed along any parts of the Rachel Carson Trail unfortunately, so if you plan day hikes, make sure you pack enough water and food for out-and-back trips. Hiking the entire trail in one day is also possible, but very difficult - only experienced hikers should attempt a full day thru-hike. Alternatively, if you hike with a friend, you can park at different trailheads along the route.

The trail is strenuous due to its length and elevation gain of over 6,300 feet and elevation loss of about 6,100 feet. The trail winds through various parks, passes meadows, farms, and creeks, winds past houses, and follows power lines and gas lines. By following the entire Rachel Carson Trail, you'll see what northern Allegheny County has to offer from the woods to suburbs to local parks and towns.

Dogs & Bikes: Please note that the Rachel Carson Trails organization (http://www.rachelcarsontrails.org) wants hikers to refrain from bringing dogs and bikes on this trail.

Private Property: Many parts of this trail pass through private property so you must stay on the trail at all times.

For more info (trail guide and trail conditions), check out the following link:

Explore 222 trails near McCandless, PA
  1. Parking

    40.597955, -79.996895
  2. Main Trailhead

    40.599699, -79.996752
  3. Trail junction with Big Rock Rd

    40.581975, -79.982128
    Trail junction with Big Rock Rd
  4. Trail runs adjacent to Rocky Dell Run creek

    40.581133, -79.981633
    Trail runs adjacent to Rocky Dell Run creek
  5. Trail junction with turn (yellow blazes)

    40.579464, -79.975081
    Trail junction with turn (yellow blazes)
  6. Yellow blaze adjacent to railroad tracks

    40.578475, -79.973369
    Yellow blaze adjacent to railroad tracks
  7. Turn onto Sample Road

    40.577431, -79.969911
    Turn onto Sample Road
  8. Trail junction off of Sample Road back to the Rachel Carson Trail

    40.579883, -79.967
    Trail junction off of Sample Road back to the Rachel Carson Trail
No community routes found. To add your own hike as a Community Route for this Trail guide, leave a Trip Report with an attached GPX file.


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38.2 miles / 61.5 km
Trail added
January 04, 2017
Hiked on
January 04, 2017
Updated on
February 21, 2019

Weather Forecast

In McCandless, PA

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