July 03, 2019

The Joshua C. Whetzel Jr. Trail may just be the newest trail in southwestern Pennsylvania. This hiking trail, within Casselman River Conservation Area, is owned and managed by Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Joshua C. Whetzel Jr. Trail is a delightful walk anytime of year. Follow below as we describe this hike, then get out there and enjoy this area with your Ohiopyle-Laurel Highlands Lizard Map!

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

The trailhead lies just south of Confluence at a parking access to the GAP trail off of River Road. Use the Laurel Highlands side of our map to make your way to Confluence, then use the Ohiopyle side of the map to locate the specific parking area. Take a minute to read the interpretive media when you arrive, then set forth to climb uphill for a bird's eye view of Confluence!

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

The hike begins as a path through a grassy area then immediately transitions into a rock stair climb. It is obvious to see that much effort was put into the design and placement of this stonework. Although the short set of stairs are steep, they are much more enjoyable then sloughing through muddy, eroded trails. Luckily, there are several short sections of stonework to enjoy along this trail to the vista.

Joshua C. Whetzel Jr. Trail Western PA Conservancy

This new trail is well marked with with white metal medallions and the treadway is a well dug out path that is easy to follow. There are two old roads that intersect the trail along the way, but otherwise no intersections to create confusion for inexperienced hikers.

Joshua C. Whetzel Jr. Trail Western PA Conservancy

Be sure to look around the forest floor to appreciate the wildflowers and wild plants, along of course with the excellent display trail building for the hiking path. The north facing slopes traversed by Josh Whetzel Jr. Trail include several species of hardwood trees, which are local to the region and will create an excellent atmosphere for a fall foliage hike!

Joshua C. Whetzel Jr. Trail Western PA Conservancy

And of course with all of the surrounding water sources, hikers are bound to encounter wildlife on this trail. The trail maintainers have notched a forest chair alongside the trail. This can act as a good rest stop, and a good place to sit quietly and enjoy the forest. When we visited in the spring, we spotted a deer in the early morning forest! 

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Just as the climb becomes long and you don't think it will ever end, the trail reaches the summit and hikers can enjoy the new vista. The appropriately named town of Confluence and all the surrounding waterways are visible from this vantage point.

Joshua C. Whetzel Jr. Trail Western PA Conservancy

The new vista is a bit blocked with trees, but luckily plans are in the works to clear more trees to provide a more expansive view. Take a few photos and enjoy being on top of the mountain before hiking down the same way you climbed!

Make Your Own Laurel Highlands Adventure

 

Create Adventures On Every Lizard Map!





Also in Lizard Adventure Blog

Take A Walk On The Mid State Trail in Rothrock State Forest, PA
Take A Walk On The Mid State Trail in Rothrock State Forest, PA

March 18, 2020

The Mid State Trail (MST) is a long distance backpacking trail, which extends over 500 Kilometers (around 320 miles) from the southern border of Pennsylvania, through the heart of the ridge and valley region, to the northern border of Pennsylvania. Approximately 45 miles of the MST cut through Rothrock Forest. The blog below will highlight a long, dry linear stretch of the MST, which is lined with excellent vistas from near Huntingdon to Pine Grove Mills. Follow along as we lead you on a hike of the MST in Rothrock State Forest! 

Continue Reading

Spring Adventure in Quehanna Wild Area, PA: Mosquito Creek Trail Loop
Spring Adventure in Quehanna Wild Area, PA: Mosquito Creek Trail Loop

March 18, 2020

Adventurers looking for a one or two day hike in Quehanna Area won’t be disappointed by this loop! It is relatively flat which makes for easy hiking, with fantastic vistas and beautiful stream along the way.

Continue Reading

Sheepskin Trail and Other Great Local Paths in Uniontown, PA
Sheepskin Trail and Other Great Local Paths in Uniontown, PA

March 17, 2020

Uniontown Pennsylvania and a few surrounding municipalities having been working hard to design and implement hiking and biking paths throughout the area. Their efforts are paying off, as we learned when we visited this area to create our Ohiopyle-Laurel Highlands Lizard Map.

Continue Reading