Today on my way to Connellsville I decided to stop and ride the Coal & Coke Trail, which runs from Scottdale to Mt. Pleasant, PA. This trail is short but sweet, running only about 5 miles from end to end. It is a nice little ride in the countryside, I imagine this trail is popular for afternoon after-dinner rides for the people that live in the nearby neighborhoods. I'm not sure how often I'll come back to ride this trail due to it's short length but I'm glad to have ridden it at least once and had a very enjoyable ride!
I followed some road signs for a "West Overton Village Trail", which led me a few blocks for an on-road segment before dipping into a short wooded area with an overgrown (but totally rideable) trail surface. The trail ends at a highway with no safe crossing, across from West Overton Village, a small historical area with old buildings and notable for being the birthplace of Henry Clay Frick.
After the 11-mile ride I packed up and headed to Connellsville for a ride on the Great Allegheny Passage.
I took a detour and rode the Sheepskin Trail 2 miles to Dunbar.
Heading toward Ohiopyle, I stopped near Camp Carmel to take in the view of the stream that runs below. I happened to turn around and notice this huge RATTLESNAKE on the side of the trail about 10 feet behind me. I've never seen a real, live rattlesnake. My first thought was 'Wow, that's a big snake" and then "Hmm, interesting pattern..." and then "Oh shit, a rattle!" My jaw dropped. I kept a very safe distance then got the hell out of there. Definitely a little lesson the be learned about pulling off the trail in random spots, if I had stopped 10 ft sooner i would have stopped right on this rattlesnake!