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Moon Park (map)

 

Moon Park is the largest park in Moon Township, which is situated close to the Pittsburgh International airport.  It covers over 300 acres, has a little over 3 miles in trails of which the 2.2 mile Spring Beauty Trail is the best.  The park also has an amphitheater, a playground, sports fields ( 6 baseball/softball fields, 3 basketball courts, 3 soccer fields, 4 tennis Courts and 2 Pickleball Courts), a Splash Pad, playgrounds and 5 picnic pavilions.

 

Moon Park is the location for Moon Township’s 4th of July fireworks.  Due to its proximity to the airport, the township coordinates the exact timing of the fireworks with the airport tower as to not endanger incoming and departing flights.

 

The main hiking trail is the Spring Beauty Trail.  It is 2.2 miles long and end to end.  But if you add a short 0.1 mile connector and the 0.3 mile Mayapple Trail, the you get a 2.6 mile loop trail.  The trail is well maintained and mostly wide and easy to walk.

A good way to hike the trail is to park your car right behind the Ewing Road entrance on Joe DeNardo Way (map).  The trail, going counterclock wise around the park, starts at the park entrance sign.  The trail is easy to follow and other trails that branch off are mostly well marked.  The trail has a blue diamond blaze symbol.  You will see laminated paper stickers and some faded blue markings on trees, but you do not need to seek them out.  I recommend, however, to have the park map handy (park map).

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Entrance to Moon Park
Colorful leaves at Spring Beauty Trail in Moon Park
Hiking Spring Beauty Trail in Moon Park
Hiking Spring Beauty Trail in Moon Park
Hiking Spring Beauty Trail in Moon Park
Hiking Spring Beauty Trail in Moon Park

At the end of the 2.2 mile Spring Beauty trail, you will hit the other end of Joe DeNardo Way.  Directly across the street is a compacted gravel path called Nelson Pond Trail which leads to Nelson Pond.

Nelson Pond in Moon Park

Follow this trail to the end of the pond and then you will see a trail branching off to the left.  This is Mayapple Trail, even though there is a sign saying “Nelson Pond Trail”.

What I like is that the first 300ft of this trail have been converted to a Story Walk.  There are several signs with a story for kids.

Hiking Mayapple Trail in Moon Park
Story Walk at Mayapple Trail in Moon Park

The trail ends 0.3 miles later and you will see the parking lot where you parked your car straight ahead.

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