Best Hikes (and Runs) in Ebensburg
Traffic jams, honking horns, ringing cellphones – there is plenty of chaos to keep us busy throughout our days, and with it comes so much stress.
All those deadlines you have to meet, all those soccer practices you need to attend, and all those house chores that never seem to end may have your head spinning most of the time, but there is something that can still bring you peace of mind – nature.
Nothing like the chirping birds and gentle breeze on your face to calm those nerves and help you unwind. And, thankfully, we are blessed with some beautiful hiking and running trails right here in our very own backyard!
Western Pennsylvania is filled with trails, most of them converted from old railroad lines – a perfect metaphor for the region’s transition from an industrial hotspot to a healthy, socially conscious place to live. Whether you prefer to hike or run, these “greenway systems” are some of the most powerful symbols of our progress.
So if you are looking for your next hiking adventure, look no further. You can strap on that backpack and hit some of Ebensburg’s trails for a couple hours or even days! And since our team of experts at Premiere Podiatry Group also love to be active, we decided to highlight some of the most scenic trails you should definitely consider.
Don’t worry, we also have some great tips on how to enjoy your hike with happy and healthy feet, too! (We are podiatrists, after all.)
Joseph P. Whipey Hiking Trail
Length: 1.5 miles
If you are looking for a short walk, hike, or run, Joseph Whipey Hiking Trail is perfect!
This trail runs along the length of a dam (but through the wood line). It starts by the pavilion on the eastern flank of the dam. The first part of trail is easy walking, but the second half is rather steep as the trail heads up to the overlook where hikers can view the whole reservoir below.
Be aware of your steps and stride to help prevent any foot or ankle injuries like sprains, especially if you are planning on hiking that second half of the trail. Take shorter, tighter strides when hiking through these challenging areas – this will improve your recovery chances should you take a mis-step.
The Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail
Length: 3.1 miles
The Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail is a delightful urban trail on the east end of the city of Johnstown. Following the Stonycreek River, the trail begins in Riverside on Michigan Ave. and ends in Hornerstown on Messenger St., near Sandyvale Memorial Gardens & Conservancy.
This trail offers beautiful views of the river, abundant bird-life and wildflowers, picturesque Buttermilk Falls, and serenity within an urban setting. The Riverswalk is nearly level, and its surface is groomed and easily ridden or walked.
Make sure to pack some bug spray with you and, of course, wear shoes that are appropriate for the activity and that provide the cushion and support you need.
Honan Avenue Community Trail
Length: 3.5 miles
The Honan Avenue Trail begins at the aforementioned Riverswalk Trail in Johnstown’s Cambria City Historic District, then heads north for three miles along Honan Avenue to the Hickston Run Reservoir. At that point, it provides access to the Eagle Trail and the Joseph P. Whipey Trail.
This trek provides a scenic, lively journey for trail users, who are likely to spot wildlife such as deer, eagles and beavers, as well as a large waterfall at the trail’s end. There are trailside benches for anyone needing a rest, as well as interpretive signs to educate children about wildlife in the area.
Again, pack some bug spray, as well as sunscreen and water. Also be sure to address “hot spots” on your feet immediately – if you notice your skin is becoming sore or irritated, cover it with a tape or bandage right away to help prevent it from becoming a blister.
Yellow Creek State Park
Length: 5 miles
Yellow Creek State Park is located in Indiana county of Pennsylvania, just off route US422 (about halfway between Ebensburg and Indiana). Located on the Allegheny plateau of the Laurel Highlands, Yellow Creek State Park offers a variety of activities, including boating, fishing, swimming, and hiking.
There are three hiking trails available within the state park. All of the trails are easy to hike and well-marked. (They make for great hikes with young children). The three trails can offer up to 6 miles of hiking, with the shortest hike being the Laurel Run Trail. The Damsite trail takes you to a vista of the dam at Yellow Creek, while the Ridge Top trail is probably the most demanding as it ascends to the top of a small ridge line.
Make sure you stretch every morning before you start your hiking venture, as well as after you’ve completed your journey. This will help improve blood flow to the muscles, make ligaments more flexible, and prepare your feet for the strain.
Roaring Run Natural Area
Length: 6.6 miles
Roaring Run is a pristine, spring and rain-fed mountain stream that originates entirely within Roaring Run Natural Area. The area covers 3,593 acres in the rolling mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania. Its location, layout, and terrain make it ideal for spontaneous weekend trips and shakedown hikes designed to break-in new gear.
The area features five trails that connect at 17 points to form a 15-mile loop system. About half of the system covers level terrain (popular with cross-country skiers in winter), although some of the steeper trails can rise more than 150 feet in a quarter mile. This loop arrangement is ideal for solo outings because you don’t have to retrace your steps to your car.
The trail can be muddy and slippery in places, especially if it has rained recently. So use a walking stick whenever you can to help steady your stride and prevent any tripping or falling.
We Are Here to Help You – No Matter Where the Trails Take You!
Whether you are an avid hiker or if you prefer to run toward your goal, our team of foot and ankle experts at Premiere Podiatry Group is here to help you keep your feet and ankles as healthy and comfortable as possible so that you can get through many more miles – now and in the future!
If foot problems are holding you back, or if – knock on wood – you experience a foot or ankle injury while hiking or running, don’t hesitate to call our office at (814) 472-2660 to schedule an appointment today. Or take advantage of our handy request form online and one of our trained staff members will reach out to you.
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