Point of Interest

MP141.8 Sandcastle WaterPark

“Sandcastle is a water park located in the Pittsburgh suburb of West Homestead.The site where Sandcastle currently sits was formerly a railroad yard for U.S. Steel.” Sandcastle Waterpark Website

141.3 – 139.8 The Waterfront Shopping Center

The Waterfront is a super-regional open air shopping mall spanning the three boroughs of Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall near Pittsburgh. The shopping mall sits on land once occupied by U.S. Steel’s Homestead Steel Works plant, which closed in 1987. Waterfront website

MP140.0 Goats as lawnmowers

Goats have been brought in to control the vegetation on the very steep river banks through the Waterfront. The trail is about 60 feet above the river, on land that was artificially created to accommodate the steel mill. Because it was slag, the hill could be very steep, and imposible to traverse. Goats can move along the steep hillside, and will eat anything that grows, making them the perfect lawnmowers.

MP139.4 Pump House

The Pump House was once part of the U.S. Steel Homestead Steel Works. It is now owned by Rivers of Steel and used as an event center and a trailhead for the Steel Valley Trail. It was the scene of the “Battle of Homestead,” which represented a stunning setback for unionization in the steel industry

MP 139.3 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.

Not open to the public. For more information about the site and tours

MP138.0 Whitaker Flyover bridge

This bridge was constructed for the trail. It crosses the rail yard so the trail could travel along what was previously a pipeline that delivered coke oven gas to the Steel Valley mills from the Clairton Coke Works.
In 2010 the railroad shut down for four hours so the bridge could be erected across the tracks. One of our members (thank you Paul) created videos of the erection process over the tracks.
On August 18, 2010 one of the ramps to the Whitaker Flyover was erected. One of our members (thank you Paul) created videos of the ramp erection.

Coal Gas Pipeline

US Steel’s coal gas pipeline, moved coal gas from the Clairton Works to the Homestead Works. It was two 4’-diameter pipes that sat on top of concrete foundations, many of which are still visible.

MP136.9 Kennywood Amusement Park

The park first opened in 1898 as a ‘Trolley Park’ at the end of the Monongahela Street Railway. Kenneywood Website

MP136.6 Braddock Locks and Dam U.S. Corps of Engineers

Braddock Locks and Dam is one of nine navigation structures which provide for year-round navigation on the Monongahela River between Pittsburgh, PA and Fairmont, West Virginia. It maintains a pool for 12.6 miles upstream to Locks and Dam 3 at Elizabeth, PA. US Corps of Engineers

MP136.1 Port Perry Railroad Yard

This is the second bridge constructed to get the trail past the rail yards. The town of Port Perry was actually across the river where Turtle Creek joins the Monongahela. The town was gone by 1945 due to the expansion of the mill and rail lines. At one time this was the busiest railroad junction in the world and a major strategic area during World War.

MP136.1 Port Perry Osprey Nest

In the middle of the pipe yard is a tower that has an osprey nest. It has been occupied for several years by the same pair of osprey.

MP135.8 Thompson Run Waterfall

See if you can locate the Thompson Run waterfall. It is to your right as you come down the ramp from the Port Perry Bridge next to the pipe storage yard. Once leaves are on the trees, it may be tough to see, but it can still be heard.

MP134.0 Riverton Bridge

The bridge, now part of the trail, provided the rail connection between the National Tube Works at McKeesport and the USS Dorothy Six blast furnace of the Duquesne Works

Photo by Paul Wiegman

MP133.5 Osprey Nest

A pair of Osprey built a nest on a power line pole. Duquesne Power was concerned that the nest or birds could interrupt power. Due to the migratory bird act they could not just evict the birds, so Duquesne erected a separate pole and platform 40 feet away for the birds. They remove the existing nest and attached poles to make inconvenient for the birds to return. The birds took the hint and moved nextdoor.

MP133.6 City of Mckeesport

McKeesport was the fastest growing municipality in the nation. 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