Settlers Cabin

 10 votes

6.2 Miles 10.0 Kilometers


90%

Singletrack

924' 282 m

Ascent

-931' -284 m

Descent

1,243' 379 m

High

901' 275 m

Low

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

15%

Max Grade (9°)

Minor Issues

42 days agoUpdate

A mix of good singletrack and wide open trails to accommodate riders of all skill levels

Adam Sullivan

Overview

Settlers Cabin used to be known as the place to take your road biking friends who want to try MTB but are afraid of the Dr. J Trail. This system had only one minor climb and very few technicalities. However, the park has undergone a renaissance of sorts and now boasts more than 9 miles of singletrack, with three brand new trails and more being planned.
Family Friendly: Great for kids!
Dogs: Leashed

Need to Know

Each trail in the park is marked either with paint blazes on the trees, signs, or both. Each of the coloured trails can be ridden as individual loops, or combined into a continuous 9+ mile loop of the park. The best flow depends on how much of the trail you plan to ride. For the TeePee Trail (Blue Loop), it is best to ride from the Tennis Courts and back. For the Red Trail, it is best to ride counter-clockwise from the Gilbert Love shelter, then take the connecting Stone Crest trail back to the TeePee (Blue Loop).

Description

The trail system can be ridden in sections or as a continuous loop with access from the Algonquin, TeePee, Iroquois, Arrowhead and Gilbert Love shelter parking lots, as well as Greer Road and the old Park office.

The Teepee Trail, AKA the Blue Loop follows an old jeep line (hard pack dirt, no gravel) until it meets the Blue-Green Connector. There is a T where the trail to the right continues the Blue Loop up to a parking lot, but the trail to the left takes you to some more singletrack awesomeness. The Blue-Green Connector follows the back on the other side of the valley that you crossed on the Blue Loop. This section crosses through tighter singletrack with a few sweeping open-field crossings.

The Blue-Green Connector will turn into the Purple Loop if you do not turn. At the start of the Purple Loop, there will be a steep short climb on the right, which is the end of the loop. If you continue straight instead of taking the climb, you'll circle around a hill on your right. When you get back to a T, you take a right and start climbing. This climb and descent will drop you back onto the Blue-Green Connector, which you can reverse track and head back to your car. Ridden as an out and back loop, this trail offers beginner riders an opportunity to get some miles under their tires without fear of getting in over their heads.

For those craving a little more adventure, the 2.73 mile Red Trail is the place to ride. Leaving from the Gilbert Love shelter parking lot, the trailhead is at the end of the parking lot and marked with a sign showing all of the trails in the park. Once on the trail, you begin a 75-foot climb up to 'Settlers Peak', the highest point in the park on the trail system.

From there, you enter the woods and begin a 2/3-mile descent to Greer Road, featuring some tight, technical turns and a few obstacles. Once you reach Geer Road, the Red Trail continues straight ahead, entering an open field, before dropping 55 feet into the valley below. Riders can get a lot of speed on this section as it is wide open and generally downhill with good sight lines and excellent drainage.

The Red Trail continues through an open field to a T intersection with the .6 mile Lake Loop trail going right and the Red Trail continuing left. Riders wishing to take the Lake Loop will be rewarded with a series of technical descents, many obstacles along the valley floor, a mud-bog and then a grueling climb back to the Red Trail just beneath the power lines. Riders who skip the Lake Loop will turn left, then drop down a bit of a hill before reentering the woods and eventually meeting back up with the Lake Loop trail.

From the power lines, the Red Trail dives back into the woods again, where it meets with the newest section and weaves its way back and forth along Pinkerton Run, with two good drops into stream valleys and a healthy climb on the other side. The Red Trail eventually dead-ends onto Greer Rd, which can be used to access other trails in the park.

From Greer Rd, the Stone Crest or Yellow Trail is accessed about 30 feet above where the Red Trail dumps you out. This trail is very steep and requires a good bit of strength to climb. The connector comes to a T where riders can do the 1 mile Stone Crest (Yellow Trail) loop. This trail runs parallel to both Greer Rd and the Purple Loop, offering a more technical challenge for skilled riders including several obstacles and difficult climbs.

The Valley trail (Green Loop) can be accessed from the TeePee trail or from the Purple trail and comprises its own 1.2-mile loop. From the tennis court, the Valley Trail is .71 miles and features two technical drops into the Waterfall Valley. Riders can cross the waterfall and ride the upper Valley trail as a small loop, or they can turn left and ride into the Valley.

History & Background

Archaeologists from Carnegie Museum of Natural History helped identify the origins of the 1780 log cabin that gives Settlers Cabin Park its name. The themes of the 11 groves and shelters are Indian names: Algonquin, Seneca, Apache, Tomahawk.

The region was famous for its high output of shallow coal and was a maze of abandoned open and back-filled mines when the county secured it. Active wells and exposed oil and gas lines were initial problems, but the grading and reforestation of the land have restored it to rolling wooded slopes and meadows. At 1589 acres, this park was intended to be the largest of the regional parks and still has a wild, rugged, and unexplored quality not found in the other parks. Located between the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport and Pittsburgh, this large 1589 acre park will see development in the future as population west of Pittsburgh increases.

Contacts

Local Club: Trail Pittsburgh

Land Manager: Allegheny County, PA

Rate Featured Ride


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3.8 from 10 votes


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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Sep 12, 2017
Tyler Bingle
Take the lake trail around because part of the settlers cabin trail is closed
Jul 16, 2017
Neil Kulas
Nov 27, 2016
Jeremy Jock
Started at the tennis courts... First time riding this loop and definitely will not be the last!
Nov 27, 2016
Matthew Menard
Oct 14, 2016
disconnected rider
Dry , despite yesterday's rain 10.4mi
Oct 9, 2016
Matthew Menard
Sep 25, 2016
Matthew Menard
Jul 28, 2016
G1 M2
Start at tennis courts, ride red to yellow to purple to green to blue. Fast big loop done in under an hour 9mi — 1h 00m

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Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 10 votes

#1659

Overall
  3.8 from 10 votes
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Rankings

#49

in Pennsylvania

#1,659

Overall
176 Views Last Month
5,672 Since Apr 14, 2014
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

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Conditions


Minor Issues 42 days ago
Muddy, Fallen Trees - The trail itself if nice. There are spots that are tight and could be trimmed but its still very nice. The trails are kind of hard to follow. Also there was a lot of mud. However its a great ride
Update ConditionsHistory

Getting forecast...


 
This description will be updated. The trail signs are coming this winter, but all major trail systems are blazed. And we strongly invite you to try the green trail now, it has been rerouted and improved (go left above the waterfall to get to the valley.) Best point to start is Summit Trail, connecting Gilbert Love parking to the Red trail. Oct 18, 2015

 
Also, remember that the TeePee Trail (blue) is THE most used trail in the park, with dogs and children and hikers. Please don't use it as a personal raceway. Oct 18, 2015
Good trails and lots of fun but signage could've been better. Watch out for hikers and dogs. Jul 3, 2017

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