Registration and check-in is in the Town Square at the Waterfront (~270 West Bridge St, West Homestead, PA 15120), starting at 8:45am. If driving to the event, please park in the South Parking Lot (over near PF Chang and Panera Bread). It is only a three-minute walk to the registration table. The Waterfront requests that you please do not park in Town Center itself.
Because each site will have only a few viewing scopes there will not be a mass start. You can start your ride anytime between 9:15 and noon. Slow or casual bike riders should start by 11:00 AM to allow for time to get to all the nest sites while the birders and scopes are still at the sites. The closest sites will open at 9:00 and shut down around 12:30, while the more distant sites will open at 30 minutes to an hour later and shut down between 1:00 and 2:00. (nest & trail map is at tinyurl.com/raptorrow18)
There will be six or seven viewing areas. Note there is no guarantee the the birds will be home, but they have been there in the past. Check back on this page as the date gets closer to find out the status of the nest occupancies.
- The eagle nest at mile post 140.1 (3/6 – The Hays eagles are tending three eggs not yet hatched)
- A captive owl on the porch of Eat’n Park
- The red-tailed hawk nest under the Homestead Grays Bridge
- The red-tailed hawk nest (inactive in 2018) and multiple Canada goose nest at the railroad bridge next to the Pump House
- The red-tailed hawk nest (inactive in 2018) just across the Whitaker trail bridge
- The osprey nest at the end of the Port Perry Bridge
- The kestrel nest in McKeesport and a new (2018) osprey visible near milepost 132.
There will be a snack station at the SVTC’s maintenance headquarters (Mile Post 135.2) and at the Hays eagle nest viewing location.
The ride is on the Steel Valley Trail section of the Great Allegheny Passage. The round trip will be approximately 13 miles or 18 miles, depending if you turn around after the osprey nest in Duquesne or continue to see the nests in McKeesport.
There will be a extra cost VIP ride led by Roy Bires, who has intimate knowledge of the various nests and who also is an avid trail rider and a member of both the SVTC and the 3RBC. Your guide coordinated the monitoring of the Hays Bald Eagle Nest in 2013 and was on the trail observing this nest before the first egg was laid in 2013. He will share his knowledge with this group of riders and will lead you to all the stops along the ride and make sure you get to talk to the experts at these stops and get to use their scopes to view the nests and any raptors that might be in the area. He will also point out areas of interest along our historic trail. The size of this group will be limited, so sign up early. It will meet at 8:30 and leave at 8:40.
This ride is a fund raiser for the Steel Valley Trail Council. Just in 2017 we spent $88,456.23 on dealing with landslides and $1,500 on porta-potties. This year (2019) we will be paving in asphalt the Waterfront section of the trail. Some of which was covered by grants, some by dues, and some by this ride.
In addition there were over 500 hours per year of volunteer labor in grass cutting, tree trimming and removal, small landslide cleanup, etc. Come join us. Find out about maintenance partys at https://steelvalleytrail.org/volunteer-opportunites/
A poster is available for you to print and post at your local place, or to put on your Facebook page.
Spotter scopes and docents are provided by the Three Rivers Birding Club.
Cost for member is $25, non-members $30, couples $40, non-member couples $50, children (16 and under) free.
Online registration is open or register in-person on the morning of the event.
Bike rental may be available check back with here in about two weeks. In order to rent a bike, since the ride is before they open for the season, you will need to reserve a bike for the ride ahead of time (before Friday at 4:00 PM). Rentals will be $20?? to reserve it for the duration of the ride, with the rental being available starting at 9:00 AM with the bikes due back by 2:00 PM at the latest. If you want to reserve bikes for the ride, please call them directly at 412-??-???? and reference the Raptor Row Ride.