An Epic Story of Trail Bridges, Rail Tunnels, & other cool relics

Part of a Series of Self-Guided Itineraries

Redbank Coaling Tower, Armstrong Trail

You don’t need to be a bridge or rail history buff to take pleasure in the “epic infrastructure” along the IHTC trails. Feel the cool air as you pedal through converted rail tunnels. Look out upon river valleys from elevated rail bridges and experience awe. Have fun and connect to regional industrial heritage with our Epic Infrastructure Story Map.

Our Epic Infrastructure Story Map showcases:
  • Nineteenth Century truss bridges (Caperton Trail, Oil Creek State Park Trail, and others)
  • 17 rail tunnels-turned-places to play (including 10 on the North Bend Rail Trail alone)
  • A covered bridge (Sheepskin Trail)
  • An old railroad turntable and a 1930 coaling tower (you’ll pass right under it) (Armstrong Trail)
  • A floating bridge (Towpath Trail)
  • Suspension bridges (Three Rivers Heritage Trail, Towpath Trail, Wheeling Heritage Trails)
  • Five stone arch bridges in a 15-mile span (West Penn Trail)
  • Beehive coke ovens and old canal locks (Sheepskin Trail, Towpath Trail)

This Story Map highlights dozens of bridges, tunnels, and other epic infrastructure – both new and old. The sites are spread across three states, so feel free to take your time and discover them at your own pace. This Story Map can easily be paired with our others:


Scoops ‘N Suds Story Map has all Your Cravings Covered

Part of a Series of Self-Guided Itineraries

Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream in Pittsburgh

One of our key partners often says, “All trails lead to beer and ice cream,” and we agree. That’s why we’ve mapped some of the best beer and ice cream stops accessible from the various Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition trails. Because there is so much beer and ice cream out there, this Scoops ‘N Suds Story Map is primarily limited to hand-crafted versions of both. We’ve made some exceptions for sites that are considered iconic or offer a great and welcoming atmosphere for cyclists. Most of the sites are easily accessible from the trail, but please ride carefully and follow the rules of the road when venturing off trail for your goodies.

So what’s in store for you if you embark on a Scoops ‘N Suds ride?

We offer to you 16 ice cream/frozen treat sites and a whopping 29 craft beer stops! (To be technical, cities like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Parkersburg have a number of craft breweries, so we’ve bundled some of those geographically, meaning there are EVEN MORE beer stops than it may appear.) A logistical note for anyone new to the region: these 50+ sites are spread across a four-state area. Even if you’re the biggest beer and ice cream fan out there, you’ll probably want to select an area for a ride and treat(s) rather than try to do them all in one fell swoop.

Here’s a sampling of stops and what we love about them:

Levity Brewing Company along the Hoodlebug Trail

Step back in time with Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor, where sundaes are served in real glass dishes and they even pour you a glass of water to quench your dairy-induced thirst. Closest trails: Three Rivers Heritage Trail, Erie-to-Pittsburgh Trail

Some of the brewers are giving back to trails! Levity Brewing Company‘s Hoodlebug Brown benefits the local Hoodlebug Trail, and TrAils to Ales Brewery in Franklin, PA, donates some of the proceeds from their Holden’s Dream amber lager to local trail efforts. Closest trails: Hoodlebug Trail (Levity); Allegheny River Trail, Samuel Justus Trail, Sandy Creek Trail (TrAils to Ales)

Mason’s Creamery in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood shows some serious seasonal business savvy. While their hand-crafted ice cream is well-loved throughout the year, they convert their space into a ramen bar in the winter months. How cool is that? Closest trail: Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

Allegheny City Brewing has done what no other Pittsburgh brewery has attempted. They brewed a Nancy B Chocolate Chip Cookie Stout. They’ve taken the massively popular local cookie and beerified it! Note: May be on tap only seasonally. Closest trails: Three Rivers Heritage Trail, Erie-to-Pittsburgh Trail

Open since 1969, Pav’s Creamery in Portage Lakes serves up fun frozen custard flavors like Lemon Blueberry Jam and Baklava. They’re doing something right if they’ve been in business for 50 years! Closest trail: Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

Wheeling Brewing Company serves handmade pierogies (made in a local church) plated on Fiestaware (the factory in Newell, WV, is about an hour away)! And the beer gives a nod to local heritage with names like Nail City Porter and Centre Market Lager. Closest trail: Wheeling Heritage Trails

There are, of course, dozens of other sites to enjoy. Happy riding and tasting to you!