- 165 Acres
- 3 Miles of Community-Forged Trail
- 100000 Residents within a 3-Mile Radius
NOVEMBER 2023 UPDATE: Shaler Area High School Sustainability Students held a t-shirt design contest to support Girty’s Woods. Supporters voted and picked student Leonie Taylor’s design as the winning Gir-Tee!
All proceeds go to Girty’s Woods maintenance fund to ensure this green space not only remains forever green, but also has the resources to improve the quality of its habitat, trails, and programming.
The 165-acre Girty’s Woods slopes from the peaceful, residential streets of Reserve Township, past the southern end of Shaler township, down to the densely-populated Millvale Borough. The protection of this land creates passive recreation opportunities, absorbs heavy rainwater that would otherwise overwhelm Girty’s Run watershed, and preserves habitat for a variety of native flora and fauna already calling it home.
Girty’s Woods features an informal network of trails winding through the green space passing scenic overlooks, open fields, wetland areas, historic relics, and a recovering woodland. Visitors can enjoy biking, hiking, bird watching, on-leash pet walking, and other passive activities. The area also permits archery hunting during our limited hunting season from September 1 through January 31 with an ALT permit. Visit our Know Before You Go page for more information on ALT policies.
Check out the media buzz created in 2020 and early 2021 during the effort to #SaveGirtysWoods: Post-Gazette [July 13], Shaler Area School District Newsletter [September 22], Tribune-Review [September 23], Tribune-Review [October 13], Tribune-Review [October 21], KDKA [January 21], KDKA [April 6], Tribune-Review [April 8].
Planning on heading out to Girty’s Woods, please note that all existing trails and trailheads are community-forged and frequently cross steep, uneven terrain. Parking locations are suggested on the trail map, but space is limited and standard parking rules apply. Please do not block residential homes’ driveways or park on private property.
Named for the watershed it sits within, Girty’s Woods has long been enjoyed by neighbors of the property – who have long referred to it simply as “the woods” and “the mines” . When nearby residents noticed it was being logged, they wondered about the green space’s future, and began making strides to ensure it would forever remain green space. A group of grassroots organizers in Millvale brought the project to ALT, and in the first quarter of 2020, the campaign to Save Girty’s Woods was launched. ALT devised a plan that included potential government, corporate, and foundation funding sources and began to pursue grants from those sources, while working with local leaders to plan a grassroots community funding campaign. Then the pandemic hit. Grant writing continued, but grassroots fundraising efforts were put on hold until July 2020; despite this delay and the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the community grassroots campaign surpassed the initial local goal and went on to raise $88,000 for the project. ALT was inspired by this strong community effort that included contributions from more than 650 individuals and local businesses to save Girty’s Woods!
A big thank you to the community organizations that made financial contributions or otherwise helped raise funds and awareness of the Girty’s Woods conservation project.
In addition to funding raised by the community the project was supported by major grants/donations from PA DCNR, Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority, the Triboro Ecodistrict, and the Borough of Millvale. ALT also thanks Representative Sara Innamorato’s office, Senator Lindsey William’s office, Lt Governor John Fetterman’s office, and County Councilperson Anita Prizio for their active roles in supporting this project. Thank you, all!