Book Purchase

2017 Pennsylvania Calendar and Book Buying Options

4.14.2016

Wildflowers, Waterfalls & More at Braddock's Trail Park: North Huntingdon, PA, Westmoreland County

It is well known that I am a waterfall chaser. We travel far and wide to see as many waterfalls as we can. I primarily visited Braddock's Trail Park in North Huntingdon Township one day on my way back to work to take a short walk and see a waterfall at the park. I ended up spending a few hours at the park, hiking on the awesome trails, checking out the world renowned trillium wildflowers, walking through the forests, checking out a spectacular vista that overlooks a big bend in the Youghiogheny River, lots of butterflies, and more. I expected this to be a nice place, but all of my expectations were really blown away. The wildflowers in bloom were spectacular. The flower cover was so beautiful that it almost looked as if there was a fresh snowfall on the ground. The most spectacular display of wildflowers that I have ever seen. Additionally, this is a very historic spot, being home to a portion of the original Braddock's Military Road that went from Cumberland, MD to Braddock, PA. 
There were so many Blue-Eyed Mary plants throughout the forest floor that it almost looked as if there was a dusting of snowfall on the ground. Someone has even written a blog about the spectacular wildflowers at this park. 
Braddock's Trail Park - North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, PA
There is an awesome network of trails throughout this park that spans over 100 acres.
A number of the developments of trails and structures throughout the park were community driven through the Boy Scouts program. Young men completed many projects throughout the park to develop it into the awesome facility that it is today. Even though this place is a community park, the upkeep of the trails rivals that of even the best state parks throughout the state. It is clear that real care is taken with this park. Over three miles of trails meander throughout the park, with several hundred feet in elevation change.
There are a number of mini waterfalls along the creek in the park. 
The hike up to the main scenic overlook is a ton of fun. There is a nice and moderate elevation change heading up, making for a fun hike. All of the trails are well maintained, with decently packed and smooth dirt. No ankle buster rocks in the hike. I ended up hiking around three miles. As far as short hikes go, this has quickly become one of my favorites in western PA. 
Getting higher up!
Naturally, where there are wildflowers, there are butterflies. 
Now we have reached the summit. Out in the distance you can see the Buena Vista Historic Site.



The overlook shows a beautiful bend in the Youghiogheny River. Along the river you can see the rail line and the Great Allegheny Passage Rail Trail
Wildflowers everywhere!

The portion of Robbins Station Road that was closed for the park. This section makes for a nice and handicap accessible place to enjoy this nature area.
A good bit of the infrastructure at this park was built as Eagle Scout projects. They have really done a tremendous job. 
This split rail fence was an Eagle Scout project for Michael Sweeney Jr, a young man that wanted to make a safety barrier so people would not fall down into the large gorge of the waterfall we are about to check out. His plan to build this fence was in action in his senior year of at nearby Norwin High School, when he died suddenly of illness in September of 2013. In his honor, the community came together to complete the project that would have landed him his Eagle Scout honor. 
This bow around the fence was erected in his memory. I did not see anyone else at the park when I visited, but apparently his parents took a nice walk, as noted on their "Michael's Acts of Kindness" blog on the same day as well at the park. It seems like he was a great young man and it is awesome that his legacy lives on at this park. I never met the young man, but his actions have made an impact upon me in visiting this beautiful place.
Here is the main waterfall at the park. I would say that this is probably just over twenty feet total height, with three tiers of trickling water. While this set of falls is little more than a trickle, it is still quite beautiful.

Here is the gorge as it works its way down to the Youghiogheny River.
I am not sure what these remnants are from. It looks like it could possibly be from an old furnace, some sort of old industry, or even from an old building of some sort. Regardless, it seems that Mother Nature is pretty close to fully reclaiming it, with trees growing out of it, and wildflowers within and surrounding the walls. No, there was not a dusting of snow, that is just how many wildflowers are in bloom right now. Simply stunning beauty. 

In short, I expected to only be taking a short little walk as a detour on my commute back home from a day at work, but I ended up being fully impressed with this place. I certainly did not look like a hiker on this day, still wearing my shirt and tie from work, though I was wearing hiking boots. I was fully taken away by the absolute beauty of this little park. I've never seen anything quite like this place. The over three miles of trails are perfectly taken care of, the hikes are decent, with nice elevation changes, overlooks, a waterfall, and more. Additionally, this place has the most spectacular wildflowers that I have ever seen. I expected to visit this place with it being a normal community park area. I left this place so impressed that I consider it to be on the same level of some of the best state parks within this state. The community of North Huntingdon Township does a fantastic job with this place and I highly recommend setting aside an afternoon to really enjoy this awesome place. 

No comments :

Post a Comment

Blogger Widget