Hiking again in Boyce-Mayview Park three months later

For the New Year in January, Abby and I went on a brisk winter hike through the Pittsburgh hiking meetup group in Boyce-Mayview Park, which was new to us at the time. We enjoyed the experience so much that we knew that we were going to return in the spring.

So on a warm and sunny afternoon (temperature rising beyond 70 degrees F), we went (by ourselves) to Boyce-Mayview Park to do some hiking. We ended up doing maybe eight miles. Obviously, things just looked different without the snow and ice, and with some vegetation and more active life forms.


(You can download a detailed map of the park here.)

We originally headed to parking at the trail head right next to Ardolino’s Pizza, off Boyce Road, but the small parking lot was full, not unexpectedly, so we drove all the way around to the Boyce-Mayview community and recreation center entrance from Mayview Road, to park in a lot further in near the Outdoor Classroom, use the restroom building next to it, and enter the trail systems from there.

Our hike

We encountered a bit of mud on the trails that we took, but nothing too unpleasant. We both wore our Vibram FiveFingers KSO Trek shoes.

We just basically wandered around, without any map or GPS, knowing that as long as we kept Chartiers Creek in sight, we could get back to where we started. Also, with all the many elevation changes, we could often see the community and recreation center up high. So we did not have to worry about getting lost.

I very much enjoy hiking in the vicinity of water, seeing it and hearing it, so we spent a good deal time on the trails near Chartiers Creek, just following its curves.

At one point in the wetlands we got excited and thought we saw an island and so we went there and hiked a trail there all the way till we realized it wasn’t really an island after all. It was fun being surrounded by water on both sides on a strip of land, but also that part of the hike involved a lot of bugs happy to try to bite us!

After about two hours, we eventually ended up at the Boyce Road trail head and I was really hungry and peeked into Ardolino’s, but Abby didn’t think it was a good idea for us to order pizza (we had packed our own lunch anyway), so we turned around and hiked back up, and stopped somewhere on a trail to sit and eat lunch.

Then we made our way back to our start. At one point it wasn’t clear how to get to a trail connecting where we were, high up, back to the trail next to Chartiers Creek, so we just took a “shortcut” (hiking poles are very helpful for the Boyce-Mayview Park in general), scrambling down to that trail.

A few photos of stuff we saw

View from where we parked:


The Outdoor Classroom and the restroom building:

Abby spotting an interesting bird:

A view of Chartiers Creek:

A little garter snake crossed our path. You might be able spot it in this photo. At my request, Abby did not pick it up to show to me.

A sample trail winding around a hill:

Rapids! We did see someone in a canoe further upstream.

Flowers (sorry, I know very little about identifying flowers):

Crossing over to the “island”:

We saw woodpeckers, geese, vultures, groundhogs, and other critters during the hike.

Without leaves on trees obstructing the view, it is fairly easy to see where one is, as far as elevation and landmarks (we knew we had to get back down to the creek level and then back upward to where we parked):


It was great to return to Boyce-Mayview Park in the spring. I expect that we’ll go back in a couple more weeks, as more vegetation grows and even more birds hang out. I highly recommend checking out this park, located in Upper St. Clair just half an hour drive from the city of Pittsburgh.

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