614 Dorseyville Rd, Pittsburgh, PA | Directions 1523840.542927 -79.909288
The largest private nature reserve in Allegheny County. – The Skinny
This 135-acre nature reserve is operated by the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. Unbelievably, it's mere minutes from the heart of Downtown, and you can get there by taking Route 8 north of the city.
Upper Fields is considered an excellent place for bird viewing, the Goldenrod Trail is named for the flowers which proliferate there in autumn, the Violet Trail has an abundance of the purplish flowers, and Meadowview takes you through fields where you're bound to see more local flora. In addition to being a terrific place to spot wildflowers, there are 100-year-old oak trees along the Spring Hollow (great for viewing plants native to the Ohio Valley) and Woodland Trails.
The five miles of trails are open to hikers but not bikers, so leave your wheels at home. An old farmhouse doubles as a gift shop filled with handmade crafts and ornaments around Christmas, and a small pond on the premises is filled with all that is slimy and creepy. (The kids'll love it.) The reserve has a new plant nursery, inaugurated in the spring of 2000, where walks are held every Wednesday, rain or shine. Educational courses are offered for all ages by a friendly staff.
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