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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

As the weather in Pittsburgh starts to warm up, I’m sure we’re all looking for more ways to get outside. One of my favorite things to do in the warmer weather is hike, however it can get a little boring just walking around Schenley Park. I’ve recently become a fan of an app called AllTrails, which lets you sort through hundreds of nearby trails by difficulty and features. It’s also community based, so you can see current trail condition reports from other hikers and read their reviews. Whether you’re an avid hiker or just someone who wants to go for a little day trip, I’ve picked out my top five hikes around Pittsburgh that are less than an hour away!

Kildoo trail

IMG 3110Located in McConnells Mill State Park, Kildoo trail is only 43 minutes away from Pittsburgh. It’s an out and back trail type, which means it doesn’t go in a loop, and is 2.3 miles long. The trail itself is considered moderately challenging, but with only 249 feet of elevation gain, it is very accessible to all skill levels. There’s a creek that flows next to the trail and a bunch of waterfalls scattered along your walk, which make for excellent scenery and photo-ops. Overall, it’s my favorite nearby trail that I’ve done because I loved the views and atmosphere. There are also other trails to explore in the park and, if you’re feeling brave, some beautiful off trail sites to traverse. Because of this, Kildoo trail is perfect for a short day trip, or you can stay in the park for an all day excursion.

cool spirit trail

Cool Spirit trail is located inside Dead Man’s Hollow Conservation Area near McKeesport, PA. Closer than Kildoo, it’s only a 32 minute drive away and features a 1.9 mile loop trail. This trail is on the shorter side, as it only takes an estimated 50 minutes to complete, and is considered to be easy to moderately challenging. While there isn’t a rushing creek, the trail does feature interesting rock formations and is surrounded by beautiful trees and has an overlook area for the nearby lake. Since this trail isn’t too far away or long, it’s a great hike for people looking to get outside and not spend all day there.

Toms run nature reserve

A bit closer, Toms Run Nature Reserve is only 23 minutes away. The trail is a 3 mile loop with 449 feet of elevation gain. Despite the elevation, it’s definitely beginner friendly and offers an exciting challenge for those just starting out in hiking due to its range of incline and decline along the trail. Many describe the trail as pleasant and it features a lovely view of multiple streams and surrounding scenery. I’ve been told it’s especially beautiful when everything is in full bloom in the spring and summer, so it’ll definitely be worth a visit in the coming months.

round hill park loop

The Round Hill Park loop is another great hike option coming in at 2.8 miles with 433 feet of elevation, and it’s only a 34 minute drive away. While some of the elevation may be considered moderate, a majority of the trail falls into the easy category. A lot of the path is well maintained flat, grassy areas, and in some sections it’s surrounding by luscious trees, especially in the spring and fall. There’s a small stream crossing on the path and a nearby animal farm in the park that’s open all year round. If you’re looking for a more casual hike with the option of exploring what the surrounding park has to offer, this loop is definitely a good choice.

emerald view trail

Finishing off the list at number five we have the Emerald View Trail. This one is the closest of all trails on the list, as it’s only a 17 minute drive and can be accessed by bus. This 2.3 mile loop features a picturesque view of the city along with areas of wooded trail. Compared to the others on this list, Emerald View would be considered more of an urban hike as it is still close to the city. This hike is great for those looking for an intro to hiking outdoors without having to throw yourself straight into the thicket.

Happy hiking!

Grace is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh studying Media & Professional Communications. She is an editor for the Pitt chapter of Her Campus and likes to write about current events at the University as well as on topics local to the area. She is an intern for the Pitt Eats sustainability team this year and looks forward to using her media and communications skills to improve sustainability on campus and spread their message. In the future, she would also like to utilize these skills along with her writing capabilities in order to pursue a career in marketing and public relations. Besides Her Campus, Grace is also a member of Food Recovery Heroes and a captain for the Women's Club Rugby Team at Pitt.