a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Trim your beer belly here

The Yough River Trail is the greatest stress reliever that I have found since kicking cigarettes.
Within a few minutes after hitting the hiking and biking path along an abandoned rail line due south of Pittsburgh, my nerves settle into a tunnel of green and all the nature it affords. The quiet is occasionally broken by the exciting shrill of an Amtrak train that follows the rails on the opposite side of the Youghiogheny River.

We are fortunate in Southwestern Pennsylvania to be home to this park, which is part of the Great Allegheny Passage, a 316 mile trail that connects Cumberland, Md., and Pittsburgh. A newcomer should expect adventure, especially in the remote sections. One day, a squirrel fell out of a tree and landed in the spokes of my bicycle’s front tire. He was stunned, but his injuries did not appear to be life threatening. Another time, I had to turn back after scouting a rabid red fox about 50 yards ahead of my handlebars. You also can explore the village of Whitsett, where there are ancient Anica Mine and Coke Works buildings. One is surrounded with poisen ivy and leads to a scary, dangerous portal into the deep mine that should have been sealed a long time ago to keep out the kids.

This place, meanwhile, is home to wildflowers and butterflies in their natural settings rather than in some habitat garden built in a city park.

A dad sporting a mullet can take his son here to bond over some fishing.

You never know, you might even encounter a cowboy out of his element.

But, the best part.....


Heidi Price said...

I have never been on this trail but I have wanted to for some time.

You inspired me. A weekend bike trip.

Keep it up.

a.k.a. Zooomabooma said...

Looks like a great trail for people to enjoy! But why even bring a cell phone? There really are times when that thing should stay home! Why bring the potential distraction? Thank goodness there's no service out there but surely soon enough someone will want to make sure the area is covered. Afterall, can't leave home with your phone, right? Isn't that becoming the American way?

Scott Beveridge said...

A cell phone could come in handy if a 50-year-old man with a beer belly suffered a heart attack in the woods.
Really, though, I passed a girl on a bike, talking on her cell phone, and I wondered, "What is wrong with that picture?"