Five Star Trail

The Five Star Trail is named for the 5 towns that cooperated to develop it: Greensburg, South Greensburg, Southwest Greensburg, Hempfield Township, and Youngwood. It parallels US119 for 6.1 miles from Lynch Field in Greensburg to the Railroad Museum in Youngwood and then to Hollis Rd. A branch trail, the Sewickley Creek Trail, runs 1.6 miles from Youngwood to Armburst.

For most of its length the trail is finished in packed crushed limestone and asphalt, though a mile is on a low-traffic road. Numerous trailside benches offer places to rest and enjoy the trail. Because of its urban character and location close to busy US119, and lack of connectivity to other trails, this may become foremost a transportation and local recreation trail rather than a major destination. The mileposts start at zero in Lynch field.

  Location Greensburg to Youngwood to Armbrust, Hempfield Township  
  Trailheads Lynch Field, Highland Av near Pittsburgh St, Huff Av, Midway, Buncher Park, Youngwood  
  Length, Surface 6.9 miles packed crushed stone, 0.9 mile on road  
  Character uncrowded, mixed residential and industrial, shady, flat  
  Usage restrictions Stay off RR tracks and out of buffer zone between trail and tracks no motorized vehicles  
  Amenities Rest rooms, water, , food, lodging  
  Driving time from Pittsburgh 0 hours 42 minutes  

This trail is unique in western Pennsylvania in sharing an unfenced corridor with an active rail line. The Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad runs 2 to 4 coal and freight trains daily. These are mostly short and slow, as trains go, but they still require caution. Please help make this combination “rail-with-trail” a success by avoiding conflict with the trains. Stay off the tracks

The trail begins at Lynch Field (MP0) in Greensburg. Bike riding in the park itself is restricted. The trail starts at the southeast corner of the western parking lot near the rest rooms. It switchbacks steeply uphill past the swimming pool and through an underpass beneath the active Conrail track. This underpass is unlighted, but short and it has been decorated with murals. At the other end of the underpass, the trail continues up a short steep hill to the level of the rail trail. (MP0.2)From here for the next 5.8 miles the trail is right next to the railroad tracks. The trail continues alongside an old industrial area to the bridge over Pittsburgh St (MP0.5).

After this bridge the trail runs for a few blocks next to the Greensburg Shopping Center and residential back yards, then enters a bench cut into the hillside. Here the hill rises on the east side, punctuated by occasional access stairs and ramps. To the west the ground drops away, providing a great view of central Greensburg. After 0.7 mile, you cross a bridge and enter the mixed residential and industrial areas of Southwest Greensburg, then pass under the Greensburg bypass and into South Greensburg at Huff Av (PA819) (MP2.7).

The half-mile from Huff Av to Fairview St runs close to the tracks behind industrial buildings. Be especially careful crossing Fairview St. Soon after Fairview St two bridges over Jack’s Run have been rebuilt for the trail. The obligatory wastewater treatment plant (every trail seems to have one!) (MP5.2) is just past the second of these bridges. Past the water plant, the trail parallels Broadway St, the residential street of Midway. A mile from Fairview St you reach the road crossing at Shady Lane (MP3.8) in Midway;

After Midway the trail runs through woods beside Jacks Run for 0.7 miles to the entrance to the Buncher Commerce Park MP4.3). You’ll hear both birdsong from across the creek and traffic noise from parallel US119. At the entry road to the Buncher Commerce Park, the creek has been re-channeled away from the tracks, and the trail shares the low-traffic road that runs between the new creek channel and the warehouses. To continue on the trail, turn left where the trail emerges on the road and use the bike lane along the road for 0.9 mi. Where the road leaves the Commerce Park at Mt Pleasant Rd/Depot St, (MP5.5) the creek returns to its original channel and the trail forks.

The right fork is almost straight ahead. Cross the road and pick up the trail just across the tracks from the Railroad Museum on Depot St in Youngwood. The limestone surface resumes here, and the trail continues another half-mile alongside the tracks to Hillis Dr/Fairgrounds Rd, (MP5.9) where the trail ends.

The left fork, the Sewickley Creek Trail, cosses a bridge on Depot St., immediately turns right onto a paved trail. This leads half a mile through a wetland and up a short hill. At MP5.8 the trail passes a tall wall that hides a commercail bride fabercating plant. The wall has a train mural painted on it. The trail contiues into the campus of Westmoreland County Community College. The trail winds through the college to Fairgroud Rd (MP6.4). Here the trail narrows and parallels the road almost to Armbrust, where it ends at the creek where a bridge once crossed (MP7.0).