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Hemlock and Scout Loops
1 Photoset

2022-07-26  
mini location map2022-07-26
21 by photographer avatarDarthStiller
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page 1   2
 
Hemlock and Scout LoopsNorth Allegheny, PA
North Allegheny, PA
Hiking9.56 Miles 804 AEG
Hiking9.56 Miles   3 Hrs   59 Mns   2.40 mph
804 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Last hike for this trip back to PA, I did some loops at the Laurel Mill area, which doubles as a hiking and cross country ski area. At the trailhead there is a huge pavilion with several picnic tables and a large stone fireplace. This has been here as long as I can remember and I have never seen anyone use the pavilion, let alone make a fire there. Of course there’s freshly burnt wood there and in front of the pavilion, so someone’s using it.

I did these trails back in 2008 for the first time, but my GPS then was wonky and some of the tracks didn’t get recorded right. I started off by hiking clockwise on the northern loops , which are the Elk, Scout, and Hemlock loops. The northeast corner of the Hemlock loop is right next to the Ridgway reservoir and water treatment plant. The reservoir is fished in regularly, and where I did a fair amount of fishing throughout my childhood. Once I got to this area, I noticed a trail connected to the Hemlock loop that continued further north on the west side of the reservoir. At this point, the forest also changed from heavily deciduous vegetation to mainly pines. I hiked up it for a bit and then turned around. This one will be on my list to go back and explore further. I know there’s a similar trail on the east side of the lake It would be great to make a loop, but the creek crossings might make that kind of difficult.

On the way back on the Hemlock loop, there was a crew working on it. They said they were re-routing the loop. That might be interesting to check out in a few years. The crew was also very young, all in their early 20s. This was encouraging to see younger people doing this kind of work and seeing more activity and interest in this area overall than what I saw just 14 years earlier.

After that, hiked the Scout loop in a loop-de-loop manner and then took the other half of the Elk loop to the trailhead. Then I hiked a part of the southern loops, the Eli-Cook and One Mile loop. All the trails looked in better shape than 14 years ago and I saw many more people along them. It’s very nice having this system of trails nearly right next to my camp, only a 2+ mile drive away. The weather was cooler than it had been in recent days, making things a veritable paradise compared to the heat back in Phoenix this time of year.
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