Arts & Culture
10:55 am
Thu July 11, 2013

8th Annual Trail Fest Coming to a Park Near You

The Pittsburgh Trail Advocacy Group (PTAG) is trying to attract more bikers, hikers and visitors to Allegheny County’s trails by broadening this year's celebration.  

The eighth annual Trail Fest, formerly the Mountain Bike Fest, will feature a wider variety of events than in years past. Trail running and hiking have been added to the list of activities,  with the mainstay — mountain bike riding returning.

Peter Greninger, president of PTAG, said the festival is for any nature lover.

“It’s going to be a great weekend, an exciting opportunity to get together with other trail users,” Greninger said. “Whether you’re a mountain biker, trail runner, a hiker, a bird watcher — if you just like to spend time outdoors, this is a great opportunity to discover a new park.”

The environmental appreciation celebration will take place July 12 to 14, with a different park in the area taking center stage.

Friday features bike rides, trail runs and guided hikes beginning at 6 p.m. at Hartwood Acres Park. Bike rides, runs and hikes start at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. followed by a lunch  at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Boyce Park. The event comes to an end  Sunday at North Park with scheduled rides, runs and hikes and  concludes with a potluck party  at 4 p.m. 

Greninger said the festival is part of a larger effort to get people off of the couch and into a park.

“One of the problems that we have in the area is that the trails aren’t very well marked or mapped, which has created a barrier to participation,” Greninger said. “And one of the ways we’re trying to overcome that barrier is to offer these guided rides, runs and hiking trips.”

All events are free, but runners, hikers and bikers are encouraged to give what they can to help cover food costs.

Founded in 2001, PTAG is a nonprofit organization run by volunteers working to promote responsible singletrack trail use for mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, cross country skiers and horseback riders in Western Pennsylvania.