Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Mill Creek MetroPark - Gorge & Cohasset Trails

A few of you have mentioned to me that while you love the concept of hiking, you have no idea where to start. "No idea where to start" can mean different things - but I know even for me it can be hard to find good places to hike. Or, if I do hear mention of a trail, it can be difficult to find information.

Where is the trailhead?
Is there parking?
Are there bathrooms?
How long is the trail?
How difficult is the trail?
Is there anything neat to see (besides nature) along the way?

So, while I can't take the guess work out for everybody, I can help take it our for some fellow Pittsburgher's. As I complete more new hikes, or even repeat some local favorites I'll aim to create a post with the need to know information as well as my own personal thoughts & a few pictures.

Mr. Sass and I were looking for a hike Saturday morning - we were both wanting something different, but knew we would have some time constraints because we had a wedding to attend Saturday evening. After some google-ing I found Mill Creek MetroPark.

Located in Youngstown, OH the park is just over an hour from Pittsburgh via the Turnpike.
{Tip} - take the turnpike there, you'll spend just $.75 in tolls - but take 422 to 79 or some back roads home, the PA turnpike will charge you almost $10 just to roll your wheels on into the state. And the scenic drive will only set you back about 10 minutes.

Hike : East & West Cohasset Trail + East & West Gorge Trail (park maps here)

Parking : We parked here - by the Suspension Bridge.
{Tip} Map directions for Volney Rd & Parkview Ave, Youngstown, OH. Continue straight on Parkview Ave and into the park. When you reach Valley Dr. turn right, and continue until you reach a small lot on your right. If you cross the suspension bridge, you've gone too far. If you'd like to start at an alternate point, there is parking on E.Park Dr. near Lanterman's Mill

Trailhead : If you park at Lanterman's Mill, follow signs to the Mill. From there you can join the East Gorge Trail on the same side of the water. Alternatively, if you park where we did, cross the suspension bride, and the trail starts with a few rock steps just ahead of you.

Round Trip : 5 miles - if you park at the suspension bridge, each trail is about 2.5 miles with the ability to stop at your car in between.
Difficulty : Easy, these hikes could be completed with tennis shoes & are family friendly.
Hike Time : 2 hours
Elevation gain : Minimal, with gentle grades, and some steps.
Restrooms : Yes, at Lanterman's Mill

These trails are easy to hike  and follow the water.  Maps are available online, but show little detail, we started our hike on the West Cohasset Trail, which meant the water stayed on our right, even as we crossed the bridge to the East Cohasset Trail and headed back towards our car.

While the trail was well maintained, it was not marked. There were several intersections - all of which had no indication of which way the trail continued. Luckily Mr. Sass has an excellent sense of direction. Several of these trails went up and away from the water. I think if you stay alert and keep the water on your right you'll be alright.

We opted for a brief stop back at the car, which is possible by parking at the Suspension Bridge, but not by parking at Lanterman's Mill.We then crossed the Suspension Bridge again, this time turning left to enter the West Gorge Trail, which kept the water on our left.

A large field near the suspension bridge would lend itself well to packing a picnic - as there were no food options inside the park. But, if you're looking to make a day of it, the wineries of Lake Milton are only 20 - 30 minutes away, and would make the perfect cool down after a morning hike.

This is definitely a park worth spending time at - there are 15 miles of trails, of which we explored about 5. We saw many folks running on the trails - and many biking on the 20-ish miles of paves roads that run through the park.

Pittsburgh people - Are these hiking posts something you think you'll find helpful?
Especially if they're all aggregated into a new hiking tab?

What is some other information you'd want about each hike?


  1. What a great detailed post! That bridge is gorgeous, so unique!

    1. Thank you! I made Mr. Sass take a million pictures of me with that bridge...he was soooo happy. haha.

  2. Love this post! Great information for people who may not know where to start. I'm glad you had Mr. Sass with you for directions.. as you & I both know you're not the best ;)

    1. I don't know what you're talking about. ;)

  3. Nature hikes makes me nervous. I'm always afraid of snakes... & weird people popping out from trees... & the need to get to my car & get outta there. Plus, I trip a lot. Roots arent my friend.

    1. You're too funny! Definitely no snakes on this hike - but a fair share of roots and rocks and trip hazards for sure! Maybe not your best bet.

  4. This post is so awesome and helpful. If you could do a post like this for every hiking trail within 100 miles that would be great. THANKS

    1. I'm on it! Haha. Have 2 x Ohiopyle hikes we did this weekend + another park near wine in Ohio. :)

  5. I think this is awesome! We're in Boulder, and have lived here our whole lives, so hiking the trails is second nature to us. But then I realized how confusing and intimidating unfamiliar hikes can be when we went to Hawaii and hiked there. NO idea where the trailheads were, NO bathrooms (hello bushes), and not a clue where the trail was supposed to go. Now I have so much more respect for everyone starting out in the hiking game - and posts like these make it so much more accessible!

    Susie |

    1. I would love to get out to Boulder & do some hiking! All those mountains are incredible!

      It's hard too since some parks are so well marked with great maps on the internet or on paper, and some have NOTHING!

  6. PA has so many great trails to explore but knowing where to park and how difficult it is and what to carry, I think intimidates folks. I love the views on this hike!
    You did a great preparing anyone who may visit. I always scan trail sites to see any parking tips, etc...before I go :)

    1. I have a post coming up too on what I carry in my pack & how I modify based on the distance or type of hike I plan to cover!

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  8. Hi Jessie- I stumbled across your blog via the Hungry Runner Girl email- I usually don't follow those links but so glad I did! I live about an hour from Pittsburgh- but my son and his family live in Mt Washington and so I visit frequently (love Pittsburgh!)- I have even run with the Steel City Road Runners a number of times (need to renew my membership!) have you? I am currently recovering from a broken back and so can relate to the frustration you feel due to your bike accident injuries. Active people have a hard time slowing down for sure! I have a marathon scheduled in October and so not sure at this point if that can even happen. How are you feeling? I wish I had the time to read your blog from the beginning- love your writing style and your goals! Keep up the great work!!

  9. I love love loveeeeeeee that bridge!

    This trail looks so lovely!


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