Washington County, PA
If you’re ever craving some hiking in Washington County, look no further than Mingo Creek County Park. This huge park is perfect for all sorts of outdoor activities and is a popular place for gathering in the summer. Our early spring visit was full of wildflowers, families playing in the creek and tons of people using the paved trail. The natural trail can be a bit harder to find but if you check out the blog post, I’ll show you how to find the elusive Orange trail at Mingo!
THE HIKE: Mingo Creek – Orange Trail
Length: 7.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 700 ft
Time: 2.5-3 hours
Trail use: Hiking, leashed pets, horses, bikers
Parking: Large lot throughout park
Mingo Creek County Park is located in Washington County and is managed by the county’s Parks and Recreation division. The park is probably best known for its two red, covered bridges situated about 1.5 miles apart along the Mingo Creek. This park is the perfect oasis no matter what your outdoors activities may be! There’s plenty of creek for fishing and splashing around, lots of pavilions to rent and space to have a picnic. There’s a 3-mile paved walking trail, numerous playgrounds, and even an observatory! But for us, we were on the hunt for the hiking trails. Now I have read on a number of blogs and trail sites that this trail is difficult to find and completely overgrown. I’m here to say that you shouldn’t go by everything you read!
Now, I will say, the signage for the trails is not great. It’s very clear where the paved trail is, but you have to keep your eyes peeled for the natural trail. There are no signs and the trail blazes are very small. We park at coordinates: 40.200415039419916, -80.02756796434414 because I caught a glimpse of a trail going off into the woods. This trail eventually met up with the orange trail and then we had a lovely hike. HOWEVER, if I were to go back, I would suggest parking at The West Entrance (40.1931395787859, -80.05565122282385). The orange trail goes into the woods before the parking area, by the trail sign posting! Now keep in mind that I did this hike in the early spring so it is very likely that others’ experiences of overgrown paths and difficult trail entrances can be the case as the summer wears on! Another potential deterrent for some hikers is the fact that it is a mixed use trail, one of the uses being equestrian. I’ve found some equestrian trails to really suffer from mud but thankfully this one wasn’t too.
Okay now some really good things about this trail! SO many wildflowers! I was thrilled to find Dutchman’s Breeches, trillium, Virginia bluebells, and so many more. This trail was also very secluded and we only saw a few other hikers on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Finally, I liked that the trail offered some incline changes and was a great workout. Someday I’d like to come back and complete the whole 12-mile perimeter loop! And the absolute best part of this trail? Dipping your sore feet into the refreshing stream at the end. This is an ideal hike to pack a picnic to have beside the creek at the end!
Overall, despite some of the negative reviews I had seen, I thought Mingo Creek County Park was absolutely delightful and one of my favorite hikes of the year so far. I know that we’ll be back!
THE BEER: Monday’s Brewing Co.
Address: 1055 Waterdam Plaza Dr, Peters Township, PA 15317
Distance from Trail Head: 8.3 miles, 15 mins
Food?: Light snacks, BYOF
Details: small outdoor patio, dog friendly outside
So what makes this Peters township brewery unique? I think you can probably guess from the name! Monday’s Brewing is always open on Monday, a day that most breweries are closed. In fact, they offer special deals for service industry workers on Monday, since that is the day a lot of bars and restaurants are closed!
Mondays Brewing Co. is located on Route 19 in Peters Township. They’re in a small storefront that has indoor and outdoor seating. Typically you can find 12 taps, sometimes featuring other local craft beers or beverages. When we visited, they had one guest tap, Arsenal cider, Apis mead and the rest all in house brews. They also have a small cocktail list for anyone that’s not a beer drinker! Mondays like to showcase a wide variety of brews so odds are you’ll find a new favorite on the list!
This one has been on my list for a while and I’m so glad we were finally able to squeeze in a visit! I’m always glad to have another place in the South Hills to find good beer.
- Pink Boots – NEIPA – 6.5%
- Tangled Aggression – Red Ale – 6.8%
- Haze Agitated – NEIPA – 6.8%
- Plaza Beer – Mexican Lager – 5.3%