I was on the trail yesterday going to McKeesport and I didn’t realize there was a split there. You can either go to Boston, or go on the steel valley trail. So, it’s possible to actually get from say the waterfront all the way out to Robinson township with trails?
How is the trail from McKeesport to Robinson? How long do you think the trip would take with say mid-day weekday trail traffic?
Some of the route is on-road. From McKeesport, there’s a 5 mile Clairton Connector to the end of the Montour, and that’s all on roads (mostly light traffic). Then about 6 miles of the 40 mile trip on the Montour Trail to Robinson is on roads (either nice share-the-road or slightly less nice bypasses around unfinished sections). (Well, 8 of 40, with a current detour.)
Most of the route is virtually flat, but on crushed limestone. It would take me 6-7 hours, but I’m slow. Figure maybe 3-4 hours if you can maintain 15 mph under those conditions.
The trail has some damage from flooding last month, but it’s fairly localized, and all but one short bit was rideable as of last week.
1) Exit Trail going S on Stewart and immediately reaching Brownsville Rd.
2) Right (W) on Brownsville Rd to 88/Library Rd
3) Right (N) on Library Rd and make a left onto Royal Rd just before the railroad tressel
4) Stick to the right going up Royal Rd and into the complex and reach the trail again soon.
I had the Montour trail map with me but had a passing motorist not stopped and given me directions, I don’t know that I would have found the way.
There are supposed to be map boxes at both ends of that detour. They include a sign showing the detour, and paper detour maps you can take along and return to a box at the opposite end of the detour. But they’ve just put a new surface on the trail and parking lot at the east end of the detour (Stewart Road) and it’s possible the map box wasn’t in place for a while.
This might only apply to those of us who bumble through life in a state of chronic confusion, but my first rides on the Montour invariably involved some kind of wrong turn when the trail switched to roads (and yes I had a printed copy). On the positive side, you do get to explore the surroundings, just like getting off the turnpike and discovering some bucolic pastoral scene…
But back then I didn’t have a phone with a GPS; I expect that would have solved many problems.
Re the Clairton Connector: It’s annoying and the drivers are a pain. Just like anywhere else (except with maybe faster speeds). But the road is pretty wide so it works.