Raptor Row Ride

April 29 at 8:30 AM

This year the Steel Valley Trail Council’s (SVTC) annual ride will celebrate the success of the various “raptor” (bird) nests that were found on the trail last year, including a visit to the Hays Bald Eagle nest which attained worldwide attention in 2014 when the video of the unsuccessful raccoon attack was broadcast around the world.  This nest site has seen more than its share of drama the last five years. Earlier this year, after the nest tree fell, destroying the nest and first egg, the eagles quickly recovered and built a new nest and laid another egg.

The ride will begin with a short ride to the great horned owl nest under the Homestead Grays Bridge which unfortunately is inactive this year.  However, a representative of the animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center will be on the trail at this site with a rescued owl.  The ride will continue to a red tail hawk nest on the train bridge next to the Pump House and a possible second red tail hawk nest just past the Rankin Bridge.  From there the ride will continue east past Kennywood to the osprey nest in the area of the former Duquesne Steel Works.  After visiting the osprey nest, riders will have the option of a very short ride to see the hidden Thompson Run Waterfall before turning around and heading back to the Waterfront.

Going past the previous nesting sites and Waterfront, riders will then head towards the Hays Bald Eagle nest site where Pittsburgh National Aviary ornithologist Bob Mulvihill will be present. At the Hays Bald Eagle Nest you will have the option of another additional short ride that will answer the intriguing question:  “Are there active beavers living in the Monongahela River along the trail?”

In addition, there will be knowledgeable members of the Three Rivers Bird Club (3RBC) at all of the nest sites. They will have their scopes and be able to point out the location of the actual nests and any raptors that may be present.  They have in-depth knowledge of the raptors and the histories of the various nests. The representatives along the trail will also include two local wildlife photographers with copies of some of their pictures of the raptors.

There will be a limited VIP ride starting out at 8:30 AM, lead by a guide who has intimate knowledge of the various nests and who also is an avid trail rider and a member of both the SVTC and the 3RBC.  The guide coordinated the monitoring of the Hays Bald Eagle Nest in 2013 and was on the trail observing this nest before the first egg was laid in 2013. He will share his knowledge with this VIP group of riders and will lead them to all the stops along the ride, make sure they get to talk to the experts and get to use their scopes to view the nests and any raptors that might be in the area.  He will also point out areas of interest along our historic trail.

Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017

Registration & Check-in: 8:00 AM for VIP Riders; Starting at 8:30 AM for other riders

Ride Start: Limited guided VIP Ride starts at 8:30 AM; All other rides start from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM.

Starting Point: Town Center at the Waterfront in Homestead, PACost of the Ride:

Pre-registration (until April 22nd via postal mail, online ends on April 25th):
$25 per persons, $40 for two riders (Children 16 & Under – no charge)

On the Day of the Event:
$30 per person, $50 for two riders (Children16 & Under – no charge)
VIP ride (Limited Space Available – Please Register Online):
$35 per person;  $60 for two riders (Children16 & Under – no charge)

Don’t own a bike – no problem. Bikes will be available for rental from Waterfront Bike Rental (for a separate discounted fee). Also, walkers, runners, wheelchairs, skateboards, etc. are also welcome as three of the nesting sites (exception being the osprey) are located within or nearby the Waterfront. The osprey nest can be viewed by non bikers with a short drive to Duquesne and taking a 3/4 mile trip on the trail to the osprey nest.  Directions to the osprey nest for non bikers will be available at registration.

All of the nests listed above (Great Horned Owl, Red Tail Hawk, Osprey and Bald Eagle) were active in 2016 and produced 10 offspring.  However, since we are dealing with wildlife we cannot guarantee that the nests will be active in 2017 and cannot guarantee that you will see any raptors. However there should be raptors present at some of the nests and we will do everything possible to help riders see any raptors that are present at the nest sites.

The SVTC is a nonprofit all volunteer organization.  All proceeds from this ride will be used for the maintenance and/or improvement of the trail.
You can register online now by visiting our web site at www.steelvalleytrail.org. A printable flyer with registration form can also be found on our web site. 
Questions? Please email us at info@steelvalleytrail.org.
Hope to see you on the trail!


160-inch Mill

160-Inch Mill
The Homestead Works 160-inch Mill was one of the largest plate mills in the U.S.