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Settlers Cabin

 3.6 (12)

6.2 Miles 10.0 Kilometers


90%

Singletrack

924' 282 m

Ascent

-931' -284 m

Descent

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

15%

Max Grade (9°)

1,243' 379 m

High

901' 275 m

Low

Shared By Adam Sullivan

Conditions


Minor Issues 15 days ago
Muddy, Fallen Trees: Fair number of downed trees and pretty muddy, but passable. History

Getting forecast...

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

Adam Sullivan

Dogs Leashed

Features -none-

Family Friendly Great for kids!

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.

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

Nov 7, 2018: Doing the work with Dirt Rag

Oct 11, 2018: Landslide at Boyce Park

May 9, 2018: Alameda Trail Fund

Land Manager: Allegheny County, PA

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Aug 12, 2018
Kristen Hussar
Jul 5, 2018
Kelly Gant
Jun 26, 2018
Jeffrey Fisher
Trail was horrible and not maintained at all 8mi
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 20, 2016
Dan Miller
6mi

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 12 votes

#1869

Overall
  3.6 from 12 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
8%
1 Star
8%
Rankings

#49

in Pennsylvania

#1,869

Overall
82 Views Last Month
7,231 Since Apr 14, 2014
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

9%
55%
27%
9%
0%
0%

 
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
These trails are intermediate on a good day. I wish people had rated the trail more appropriately, as I wouldn't have wasted my time trying to ride my bike 3.5 miles over the course of 55 minutes on trails that were covered in downed trees and thick mud. Even had the trail been dry (and it's Pittsburgh so we get maybe 2 decent weeks of dry trails all year), many sections are really steep and covered in rock gardens, loose rock, switchbacks and tree roots. I spent more time hauling my bike through and over problems than I did riding. I normally ride Bavington, and I'll resume Bavington for sure now. Aug 12, 2018

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