Point of Interests Nearby

Coal Conveyor – Industrial Artifact

This conveyor was used to transfer coal from railroad cars ro barges. Loafed hopper cars of coal were winched along a track by a cable until they were over a bin. Coal was released into a bin, with the conveyor belt at the bottom. Coal was then conveyed to a chute over the river and dumped into barges. This tipple is along the north shore of the Monongahela River near the Homestead Gray’s Bridge.

Opposite Sandcastle Water Park on far shore, not seen from Steel Valley Trail, but visible from Duck Hollow Trail.

Salt Well near Saline St

Salt Well Along the Monongahela River at the mouth of Nine Mile Run, opposite the waterfront. Boyle Irwin bored the first salt well west of the Allegheny Mountains in 1824. It produced 2,000 barrels of salt per year. Saline Street leads to the Salt Well site.

Which is why the street is called Saline.

Nine Mile Run

Nine Mile Run Watershed  Nine Mile Run flows openly through Frick Park for over two miles and then drains into the Monongahela River.  Nine Mile Run has recently undergone the largest aquatic ecosystem restoration in the U.S., managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Bost Building

“Homestead gained international notoriety in July 1892 as the site of a violent clash between locked-out steelworkers and hired Pinkerton guards, known as the Homestead Strike. The Bost Building served as the base for American and British newspaper correspondents during the Strike informing the world about events as they happened. River of Steel has more information about the building

Carrie Furnaces

The furnaces are rare examples of pre-WW II iron making technology. Opened in 1884, the site is a relic of the industrial age that gave Pittsburgh its identity. The furnaces produced iron for the Homestead Works from when they were built in 1907 to 1978. During the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, Carrie 6 and 7 consumed approximately four tons of raw materials comprised of iron ore, coke, and limestone for every ton of iron produced.

The Carrie Furnace site, along with the Pump House (a trailhead across the river), are owned and operated by the Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation.

For more information about tours that Rivers of Steel has at the site (which is not open to the public at this time except for tours and special events), please click here.

Photo by Paul Wigman

U.S. Steel Edgar Thomson Works

In April 1995, the mill was designated a historic landmark by ASM International, a society that honors works of structural engineering. Wikipedia

St Michael Orthodox Greek Catholic Church.

St Michael Orthodox Greek Catholic Church. 146 Third Street, Rankin, PA. In the heart of the Monongahela River Valley is one of the earliest settlements of Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants. St. Michael’s is a superb example of a Rusyn church as they exist in Europe. Built in 1907, it is virtually untouched from its earliest days, and its golden domes dominate the Mon landscape. It is similar to the church that Andy Warhol experienced.

Braddock Public Library

Braddock Library is the first Andrew Carnegie Library in the United States, which was completed in 1889.

The library was conceived for the benefit of Carnegie’s employees who worked at his first major steel mill, the Edgar Thompson Works.

It is on the National Register of Historic Places in the heart of the Monongahela Valley.

Battle of Braddock Field

“A historic battlefield on the banks of the Monongahela River, at Braddock, Pennsylvania, near the junction of Turtle Creek (Monongahela River), about nine miles southeast of the “Forks of the Ohio” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Here, in 1755, was fought the Battle of the Monongahela which ended the Braddock Expedition.” Wikipedia

U.S. Steel Duquesne Works

“The Duquesne mill had its origins as a state-of-the-art Bessemer steel rail mill, built on the Monongahela River across from McKeesport and the National Tube Works. Its owners began production in 1889 with a new “direct” process for rolling rails. They soon added a twelve-furnace open-hearth steel plant, each furnace pouring out fifty-ton heats of steel up to three times each day.” More History

U.S. Steel National Tube Works

National Tube” had its origins with the Flagler brothers of Boston, John and Harvey. They had operated a small plant welding iron tubing in East Boston, but decided to move their operations to the Pittsburgh district to be closer to iron makers. They purchased the Fulton, Bolman Company of McKeesport, and built there in 1872 a new mill for welding tubes. Within a year the mill was turning out tubes as large as fifteen inches in diameter and twenty feet long.


John McKee, an original settler of Philadelphia and son of David McKee, built a log cabin near the confluence of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers, the site of present-day McKeesport. After taking over his father’s local river ferry business, he devised a plan for a city to be called McKee’s Port. John set out his proposal in the Pittsburgh Gazette, as part of a program under which new residents could purchase plots of land for $20.00 (a lottery was the means to distribute the plots to avoid complaints from new land owners concerning “inferior” locations). Around the time of the French and Indian Wars, George Washington often came to McKeesport to visit his friend, Queen Alliquippa, a Seneca Indian ruler. After being settled by the McKee family in 1795, McKeesport began to grow in 1830 when coal mining began. The first schoolhouse was built in 1832, with James E. Huey as its schoolmaster (Huey Street in McKeesport is named for him). The city’s first steel mill was established in 1851. The National Tube Company opened in 1872 and became part of U.S. Steel. In the years directly following the opening of the National Tube Company, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, McKeesport was the fastest growing municipality in the nation.[2] The city’s population reached a peak of 55,355 in 1940. Families arrived from other parts of the eastern United States, Italy, Germany, Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, with most working at the National Tube Company. National Tube closed in the 1980s, along with other U.S. Steel plants in the Mon Valley. Wikipedia

McKeesport City Hall, formerly McKeesport National Bank, built circa 1890

Bulgarian-Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center

Bulgarian-Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center

This center houses the oldest Bulgarian-Macedonian organization in the USA.

Hosting numerous cultural events.

It is located in West Homestead, about 0.8 miles from the trail.

Youghiogheny River

In the colonial era and in the early United States, the valley of the river provided an important route of access through the mountains for settlers and military forces from Virginia to western Pennsylvania and the Ohio Country. In 1754, as a militia officer of the British Colony of Virginia, George Washington followed the river in an attempt to find a water route to Fort Duquesne, then held by the French.