Montour and Panhandle Trail users are welcome to utilize the McDonald Trail station’s parking lot at any time. The trail station is located in downtown McDonald, directly adjacent to the Panhandle Trail and about a half mile from where the trail intersects with the Montour Trail. From the station, the Panhandle Trail’s 17-mile paved section extends west all the way to the West Virginia border. Non-paved sections also extend further into West Virginia and east into Allegheny County. In total, the trail is approximately 27 miles long. The Montour Trail is not paved but rather consists of a crushed limestone surface. From the intersection with the Panhandle Trail, the Montour Trail extends into Allegheny County and further into Washington County. Thanks to a number of projects completed in recent years, the Montour Trail now consists of over 40 miles of continuous trail.
The McDonald Trail station itself is only open during the weekends, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., from April 1-Oct. 31. During that time, visitors may use its amenities and visit its history exhibit. However, trail users are welcome to use the trail station’s parking lot anytime.
As well, numerous businesses in McDonald are ready to serve trail users. These businesses include a grocery store, restaurants, banks, pharmacies and more. See the Local Businesses tab at the top of this page for more.
In anticipation of the popularity that the Panhandle Trail would receive from outdoor enthusiasts, the McDonald Area Redevelopment Association (MARA) purchased a depressed property directly adjacent to the trail in 2002. The property was then extensively remodeled and opened to serve as a McDonald Borough and Washington County welcome center for trail users passing through the community and the county. In addition to serving as a welcome center for visitors the McDonald Trail Station and History Center, it also serves as venue for the preservation and display of historical artifacts, pictures and facts from McDonald’s storied past.
Serving as the Panhandle Trail’s major focal point for information and services available to trail users, the trail station also provides information regarding McDonald businesses and amenities available and other Washington County tourism venues.
The Trail Station is open Saturdays and Sundays, April through October, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.