Town to Aspinwall
I’m headed to Aspinwall about 7 this evening. Google says to go out Bulter to the Highland Park Bridge – probably what I’ll do.
Any better suggestions?
it’s too bad you can’t take the north shore trail all the way to millvale.
I had my research at PWSA in Aspinwall. I commuted from the Southside. I either went the strip to Butler to Highland Park or Fifth Ave to Washington Blvd to Highland Park Bridge. Be safe the bridge is a bit sketchy.
On HP Bridge watch those expansion joints if it’s wet out. They’re like slimy dragon teeth in the rain.
You could also take 62nd st bridge over to Main St. in Sharpsburg…. Main turns into Freeport at the other end of the HP bridge.
Whenever I ride out that way I tend to cross the 40th St Bridge and take the trail next to the tracks into Etna and then follow the surface roads through Sharpsburg to Aspinwall. Or go across the 62nd St Bridge and follow the same roads.
Like what Brad said. North Shore trail through Millvale, follow tracks to Sharpsburg, follow main drag.
Just watch the Highland Park Bridge intersection w/ Freeport Rd…gets a little exciting, with traffic off the bridge coming up on your right elbow.
Whenever I ride out that way I tend to cross the 40th St Bridge
I’ve only ever crossed that bridge in a car coming inbound but it seems to smack right into Route 28. Is crossing outbound on a bike better than it seems or just something you get used to?
I’d have recommended the 62nd street bridge, with the caveat to remember that you have to be in the left lane to drop down to Freeport Rd.
I commute between downtown and Sharpsburg everyday.I don’t recommend the dirt maintenance road between Milvale and Sharpsburg during the day because the RR is doing alot of work on the RR up by the Sharpsburg end. Theres alot of heavy equip and stuff using the maintenace road, but the workers themselves won’t bother you if your desperate to go that way. But by that time of day (7pm) they’ve all gone home so I’d say its OK to go that way – I’ve only been stopped by the RR police once in a year. The dirt road isn’t in bad shape and its kind of fun to ride on. But also Butler Street usually isn’t that bad at that time of day either in my experience. If I take Butler Street I use the 62 St Bridge, either the sidewalk or the road itself depending on how the traffic is. There’s a sign on the E side sidewalk that says its closed, but you can go that way if you want, there’s no holes or anything like that in it.
Don’t be afraid to take the sidewalk on the Highland Park bridge. Better views and less traffic.
You need to exit the 62nd Street bridge in the left lane to avoid ending up on Route 8. Once across the bridge the ride is pretty nice into Aspinwall except the area near the Highland Park Bridge.
I hadn’t ridden the trail next to the tracks between 40th street and Etna in months. Wouldn’t recommend it on a skinny tired road bike. It used to be mostly dirt with some stones, but is now mostly stone with some dirt.
I’ve 700 X 38 tires with some treads. Not skinny at all.
I’m probably cross over to the north side, paths out to Sharpsburg and the roads.
Unless the rain hits and I’ll likely do Butler -> 62nd street bridge and roads.
Beyond Millvale the”path” follows the railroad and is comprised of heavy ballast – often fist-sized stones, all the way to Sharpsburg. Also, railroad police/security are fairly active there, but it usually amounts to a “keep out” type warning.
Freeport Road through Sharpsburg to Aspinwall is probably a little busier and quicker and hostile than it ought to be, but its a pretty quick dash.
On the other side of the river, the perils of Butler Street are well documented, but once you get to the zoo, I usually hop onto the sidewalk to cross the HPB – just keep a wary eye as the gravel is pretty well intermingled with various broken bottles.
Butler street on Sunday is fairly mellow compared to a week day.
It’s all a wash, IMHO. There are expansion joints on 62d, too. It’s longer than either the 40th St or HP bridges. In my experience, it usually has less traffic than either one, though. The sidewalks of any of those bridges often have PADOT signs on them, as well as broken glass and sharp stones. the HP bridge (from your direction) has a long uphill single-lane “onramp” that you can’t safely share, and it seems like forever with someone breathing down your neck behind you. But as long as you keep them behind you, you won’t get brushed off. If you go that route, it’s most comfortable if you wait for a good-sized gap in the car platoons, and then go for it.
@jeff, 40th st outbound is indeed better than it seems – once you get to the traffic light, the downhill to Millvale is easy. Coming back that way is harder. I rode that “path” along the rail line one night a few years back. I posted about it here. It was highly nerve-wracking, between the stones and the trains and the random people lurking in the trees next to the river, and all.
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