Exploring our surroundings: Lockhart trail

5 06 2012

Just a few steps down Trillium Trail, across the road, we found Lockhart Trail. We were not planning to go there, but it seemed just as good as any other trail, so we put the baby in the carrier and after a short reconnaissance look we just walked ahead.

Lockhart Trail is a very nice trail, different from Trillium Trail in its difficulty, this one is more challenging, but still easy enough as for me to do it no problem with a one year old on my back. It starts with a steep slope going upwards but soon levels off, there are multiple areas in which there are slopes, sometimes presenting steps. This trail was not as plentiful in wildflowers, but nevertheless we saw enough impressive flowers as the Ghost Plant (or Indian Pipe) a parasitic flower that has no pigment at all, or Squaroot, also a parasite.

The nap said that it was the same length than Trillium Trail, which is roughly 3 miles taking all the loops, something we did in about 45 minutes. However, we found this not to be the case. The main loop is longer than that and there are multiple inner loops that will add up to the trail. I couldn’t tell how long it is, but it took us about 2:30 hours to complete it (inner loops included), yes, it was a tad more challenging, with the slopes and springs, but we didn’t find that our pace was too slow.

One thing you should consider is that the loop is interrupted. We arrived at a private driveway flanked by walls, fences and gates, and we thought we were lost, so we just turned around and walked our way back. Later we found a man who is familiar with the trail who told us that we were not lost and that there were small paths hidden to the sides of the gates and walls, so you could actually complete the loop if you wanted. We just tracked back. Also things to consider: It is a fairly transited trail, so you will not be all alone, and people will be there to give you directions if needed. People walk with their dogs, it is a dog-friendly trail, including hours of unleashed dogs allowed. The trail was interrupted several times by fallen trees and brushes, we just ducked and kept going.

We really enjoyed this trail and would love to come back to do it in the early spring when more flowers should be blooming. The difficulty was a nice middle point, and the slopes made the walk work great as an excellent cross training exercise!


Exploring our surroundings: Trillium Trail

9 05 2012

Trillium Trail is a lovely hike area a few minutes from Pittsburgh, it is located in Fox Chapel and it is a wonderful spot for wild flowers. I have been wanting to do this trail for some years now, but for some reason or another I found that the spring time would pass and I would have not gone. The recommended time for seeing the best flowers coverage is the first week of May. We went on the 5th, but the prime was past, probably because the beginning of Spring was so warm! However we got to see an amazing sight of blooms and had a wonderful time.

Red deer had decimated the Trillium in the past, one plant takes years to recover from loosing its flower. Fortunately efforts are being made to keep the deer away and the trail is starting to look glorious once again. When you go you will see a lot of fenced areas, these are to protect the plants.  There are three trails: Trillium trail which is the one that h as the most amount of trillium and wild flowers, it is easy for the most part but it has some mild slopes, Zen trail runs parallel, with a stream of running water, it is easy and gentle and connects to Trillium trail in two spots. Lastly, there is the Falls Trail which is steep and more challenging, but nothing major, however I would not recommend this one to people who have a hard time with steps and slopes. All this is about 3 miles  long and should take about one hour to walk leisurely.

Trillium Trail is just a great area very close to home! If you have not checked it out, do yourself a favor and go spend a lazy hour among the trees and blooms!