Barking Slopes includes the Barking Slopes Biological Diversity Area (BDA), which boasts ridges and steep, wooded slopes. It is located along the Allegheny River, near the Oakmont Country Club, and near Lock and Dam Number 3. Awesome views of the river valley and Springdale – the childhood home of Rachel Carson – are available from the trails. This conservation area is characterized by a steep-walled and forested valley, and is enhanced by the wide range of exposed bedrock, soils, and moisture conditions resulting in a unique forest community that supports a wide range of birds and animals, including neo-tropical migratory species.
Due to the steep cliffs on Barking Slopes, a fragmented trail system extends from the ridge’s top to its bottom with no direct connection on ALT land. Rough terrain and indirect access may be less enjoyable for those looking for a leisurely hike or bike ride. However, if you’re looking for a challenging hike with rewarding sites, this would be a great spot. Parking and trail access is available on Coxcomb Road requiring a steep hike around a Duquesne Light substation to reach the forested trail. The lower trail and parking area is accessible on Barking Road.
Unauthorized motor vehicles and a history of mixed and unplanned trail use has resulted in unsustainable trails on the property. ALT is working with volunteers to repair and build a new trail system, check out our volunteer page (link to volunteer page) to get involved.
Open Hunting is permitted at Barking Slopes. We ask that hunters read our Hunting Policy (link to hunting page), and apply for a free permit before hunting on any conservation area.
Barking Slopes comprises several acquisitions Allegheny Land Trust made between 1997 and 2005 in an effort to permanently protect the biodiversity, environmental, and scenic qualities of Barking Slopes. Man-made features within or near the site have caused disturbance to the forest in the past include the railroad and adjacent road that parallel the river at the base of the slope.
In some areas of the site, particularly in the lower areas along the river, man’s activities have invited several exotic and non-native species such as Japanese Knotweed, Garlic Mustard, and Multi-Flora Rose. Allegheny Land Trust site stewards are actively working to mitigate and remove these species to meet our goal of returning the site to its natural state.