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Contact: MaryEllen Snyder, (724) 329-8131
If you're in southwestern Pennsylvania and looking for an outdoor activity that indulges your historic curiosity, you're in luck. On June 1, the American Hiking Society and the National Park Service will celebrate National Trails Day by encouraging visitors to spend a day hiking in National Parks. The Western PA National Park sites have over 31 miles of maintained hiking trails.
This summer Western PA Parks announce a new series of special programs that cater to everyone—especially those interested in the outdoors. The new hiking campaign, "Take a Hike, Call Me in the Morning," will kick off on June 1 at the Johnstown Flood National Memorial. Interested visitors can participate in the "Path of the Flood Hike," as they travel along the historic path of the flood that forever changed Johnstown. Reservations are required, though, as there is limited space for this seven to eight mile hike.For more information on this event and others planned hikes and tours visit www.nps.gov/jofl or call 814-495-9566. Ranger guided tours will be offered throughout the summer.
In addition to the Flood Memorial, there are many other hiking opportunities in the Western PA parks. Located in the heart of the Laurel Highlands in Farmington, Fort Necessity National Battlefield is rich in scenic beauty and tangible history. While visiting the mountains, you can take part in a self-guided tour of Braddock's Road Trace. Sections of the trace are within in the Battlefield boundaries and visitors can pick up a Braddock's Road Trace guide at the Visitor Center and follow the historic steps of General Braddock and his troops. There are signs and plaques along the trace to guide hikers on the historic path. For more information, call 724-329-5811 or visit www.nps.gov/fone.
Additional events will be conducted at Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site. On July 28, the Park is hosting a "Heritage Hike: Lower Trail Tour" at the Williamsburg Trailhead. Bring your bicycles with you as you explore the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal and surrounding areas in the Allegheny Mountains. Heritage Tours are scheduled on August 11 for the "Staple Bend Tunnel Hike," September 15 for the "6-10 Hike" and on September 29 for the "Hollidaysburg Canal Basin Hike." In addition, the Allegheny Portage Railroad calls all bikers for the "West Penn Bike Tour" in Blairsville. For more information on these events, visit www.nps.gov/alpo or call 814-886-6150.
While visiting your National Parks in Western PA, you can also tour the home of Albert Gallatin at Friendship Hill located in Point Marion. The restored 23 room mansion and landscaped grounds are aesthetically pleasing and the grounds are perfect for a walk with your family or your dog. With National Recreation Trail designation Friendship Hill NHS has over ten miles of hiking trails, including maintained paths to Sophia's Pond and a trail along the Monongahela River with great opportunities for bird watching and viewing wildflowers, it's the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. For more information, you can visit www.nps.gov/frhi or call 724-725-9190.
About the National Parks in Western PA: To obtain driving directions, fee information andobtain a listing of the special events presented at the five National Parks located in Western PA visit thepark websites, or Facebook. You may also write to: Superintendent, Fort Necessity NB, One Washington Parkway, Farmington PA 15437 Attn: Special Events Calendar.