Indian Creek Valley Trail

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The Indian Creek Valley Trail is a walking and biking trail constructed on the former railway of the Indian Creek Valley Railroad. It is located in the Indian Creek Valley nestled between Laurel Hill and Chestnut Ridge in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands region.

History

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The Indian Creek Valley Railroad was established in 1906 for Laurel Hill timbering operations.  By 1910, 22 miles of railroad were complete from the Jones Mills to the Youghiogheny River, passing through the small towns of Champion, Melcroft, Indian Head and Mill Run.  By this time, four passenger trains were running per day in addition to the freight trains carrying coal from local mines.  In 1969 the railroad was abandoned as timbering and deep mining declined and much of the coal that continued to be mined in the valley was transported by truck.

After abandonment by the railroad, Saltlick Township acquired ownership of the portion of the RR grade in their township, and MWA acquired the grade from Jones Mills to Champion and downstream from Indian Head approximately 2 miles.

Our goal is to develop the entire 22 miles of the former railroad into a bike, hike and ski trail, eventually crossing the Youghiogheny to join with the Great Allegheny Passage.

Watch the video outlining the history of the Indian Creek Railroad. It is very informational for the history buffs out there!

Visit the Trail

Currently, there are 10 miles of finished and 5 miles of unfinished trail.  The trail is open for four season use for activities including walking, biking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.  Portions of the Saltlick Township section are plowed in the winter for walking.

To express any general trail concerns, please contact taylor@mtwatershed.com or 724-455-4200 ext 5#. If you have a concern about the County Line Road to Indian Head trail section, please contact Saltlick Township at 724-455-2866.

Follow us on the Indian Creek Valley Trail Facebook page to get up to date information about the trail!

JOIN A TRAIL WALK OR EVENT

3rd Annual Golf Scramble

Posted in
June 24, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Save the date for the 3rd Annual Golf Scramble. Proceeds benefit the Steyer Bridge project on the Indian Creek Valley Trail.   More information to come!

Gather: Film & Dinner

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December 4 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

MWA, in partnership with Rural Cinema, is hosting a showing of the documentary Gather at SanaView Farm on Sunday, December 4. Dinner will start at 5:00pm. The Film will begin at…

Winter Card Making Workshop

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December 4 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The event will be held on December 4th from 12-3 at Nino’s Restaurant in Mt. Pleasant, PA. We will be making holiday cards inspired by snowflakes for the art activity.…

Current Trail Projects

STEYER BRIDGE TRAIL

There are still sections that need completed to finish the Indian Creek Valley Trail from Route 31 to the Youghiogheny River—a full 19 miles of what remains of the abandoned Indian Creek Valley Railroad.

In 2019, MWA completed the ICV Gorge portion, a 4-mile walk past the Indian Creek reservoir and through a heavily forested, steep-sided gorge that ends where Indian Creek pours into the Yough.

Our next trail completion project lies north of Route 381, and will be accessible from the Gorge parking area. That project is the Steyer Bridge, a 140-foot long railroad bridge across Indian Creek, and the trail that takes you to it. This project started in the summer of 2020.

Adding the Steyer Bridge to the Indian Creek Valley Trail

By Jace Marsh | June 5, 2020

There are still sections that need completed to finish the Indian Creek Valley Trail from Route 31 to the Youghiogheny River—a full 19 miles of what remains of the abandoned…

Photo Taylor Robbins

In addition to adding decking and railing to the Steyer Bridge, the trail itself needs a gravel surface, has several areas that require drainage and regrading, and has a temporary round culvert crossing over an unnamed tributary to Indian Creek that needs completely removed and replaced since it’s restricting stream flow causing upstream erosion of the banks. Instead of the current 2 round culverts that the crossing consists of, it will be replaced by a permanent, flat-bottomed “D” shaped culvert that will open up the streambed of the unnamed tributary, once again allowing free flow of water and ample fish passage.

Steyer Bridge Decking/Railing

  • 140 ft. railroad bridge needs new decking and safety railings

ESTIMATED COST: $90,000

Improved Trail Surface

  • Needs drainage, regrading, and new gravel surface for 6/10th of a mile from Rt. 381 to the steyer bridge

ESTIMATED COST: $240,000

Fundraising Goal for Steyer Bridge
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Would you like to volunteer for the ICVT?

If you are interested in volunteering your time for trail maintenance, construction, fundraising, or information tabling, please contact our Conservation & Recreation Manger, Taylor Robbins, at taylor@mtwatershed.com or call 724-455-4200 ext 5# and leave your contact information.