We have driven by Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve countless times without paying much attention. A small placard announces that it is the headquarters of the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania (ASWP). Only recently did we discover that Beechwood Farms has 5 miles of hiking trails.
Retired Senator-turned farmer, William Flynn purchased the property known as Beechwood Farms in 1903. He raised rabbits, poultry and cattle. In fact, Beechwood’s herd of Guernsey cattle provided most of northern Pittsburgh’s dairy products.
Rachel Mellon Walton and her daughter, Farley Walton Whetzel, acquired the bulk of the old Flynn farm and generously donated the land to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in the 1970s. Although the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy owns the property, the ASWP operates the land through a lease agreement.
The trails within the 134-acre nature reserve are easy to hike, with the exception of the aggressive Pine Hollow Trail, which has a steady uphill climb.
Our route joined the Spring Hollow Walk, Meadowview Trail, and Pine Hollow Trail.
The Spring Hollow Walk traverses through hardwood forest, meadow, pond, and stream hollow.
Narrow and hilly, Pine Hollow winds through fields, shady forest, and an old pine plantation.
The Pine Hollow Trail passes over Beechwood Falls.
Beechwood Farms is abundant in wildlife. Birds, deer, skunk, raccoon and screech owls are common companions. The pond often attracts mallards and Canadian geese.
We are looking forward to spending more time exploring the rest of Beechwood’s trails. Hopefully, we have encouraged you to do the same.
If you are planning a visit to Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve, dogs and bicycles are not permitted.