Hartwood Acres

If you’re searching for a scenic, dog-friendly hike in the woods, look no further! Hartwood Acres offers 629 acres to explore with your canine companion.

   

Hartwood preserves one of the largest and most spectacular country estates in the region.  The grounds include a Tudor mansion built in 1929, stable complex and gate lodge.

The mansion was designed by Alfred Hopkins for John and Mary Flinn Lawrence.

Mary built her estate with the money she inherited from her father, William Flinn, a powerful Republican political boss and construction magnate.  Along with Flinn’s political ally Christopher Magee, the two ran the Republican Party machine that controlled Pittsburgh.  In 1890, Flinn became a Pennsylvania State Senator.

Flinn’s construction firm, Booth & Flinn, built most of the streets, trolley lines and bridges in Pittsburgh.   In later years, Booth & Flinn constructed the Holland Tunnel between New York City and New Jersey.  The Allegheny County segment of PA State Route 8 was named Willam Flinn Highway, after Flinn.

Mary’s death in 1974 opened the estate to the public.  The mansion and its formal gardens are open to tours.  The mansion is especially beautiful when it is decorated for the Winter Holiday Season.  The mansion boasts an excellent collection of original English and American antiques, including 19th century chairs and 17th century Flemish tapestries.

The estate’s grounds are showcased every winter during the Celebration of Lights.

The annual Family House Polo Match is held at Hartwood each September.  It is one of the largest charity polo events in the country.

The park also features an outdoor stage and amphitheatre for summer concerts and theater.

Hartwood has over 30 miles of trails for horseback riding, biking, hiking, and cross-country skiing.  The trails are especially popular with mountain bikers due to their rock gardens, log crossings, switchbacks, skinnies, drops and steep plunges and flowing downhills.

We hiked the Hidden Field and Hoover Sweeper trails.

Hidden Field Trail takes hikers through the woods, into an open meadow and up to the stable complex.

In addition to some uphill climbs, expect the path to narrow as it meanders through the field.  The views the trail offers are spectacular for those willing to put forth a modest amount of effort!

 

Shortly into the Hoover Sweeper, we realized the trail is aptly named!  This trail begins at the crest of a hill and winds its way downhill, coil after coil.

    This is a popular trail with deer.

 

Many things perked our dog’s curiosity on this hike!

A tired dog is a happy dog!  Hartwood certainly has enough to keep you and your dog smiling!

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