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Indian Trail Steps

A cache by sherpes Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 04/03/2007
2 out of 5
4 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:


From the early 1900's to until they were dismantled in 1935, a public wooden stairway of about 1000 steps allowed pedestrians to reach Mount Washington from river level. Called Indian Trail, probably following an existing trail, they started near the Duquesne Incline, went westward, and after a switchback in a steep section, they reached Duquesne Heights at the intersection of Grandview Avenue and Shaler St.

Some of the original wooden posts¹ can still be found. They are about three feet high, and come in pairs, about two feet apart. From top to bottom, they can be found at (1) 40º 26.410N 80º 01.332W, (2) 40º 26.409N 80º 01.299W, (3) 40º 26.396N 80º 01.278W, (4) 40º 26.392N 80º 01.230W, (5) 40º 26.393N 80º 01.206. Where the steps switch-backed, there are signs of a relatively recent landslide, the area is recognizable by being clear of vegetation, and boulders and debris on the bottom of a steep section where it flattens a bit to a grassy clearing. If following the coordinates of the wooden posts listed above, you will encounter the landslide right that after the last set of coordinates, making the expected path non-transitable. One must return to the post 4 coordinates, and from there, descend below and find a narrow ledge between two small cliffs, at 40º 26.402N, 80º 01.215W ("Moon's Passage").

There is a tentative idea/plan of placing a couple hundred night sticks along where the steps used to be for an upcoming Light-Up Night to celebrate this now-gone feature that is characteristically Pittsburgh

Terrain is difficult, and this cache should only be attempted by expert hikers/walkers wearing footwear with strong traction. Weather and wet conditions may increase terrain difficulty.

Do NOT cross the rail tracks along Carson Street. You may be tempted in starting the hike from below. Crossing active rail tracks is dangerous and unlawful. You must start your hike from the top, at Grandview Ave and Augusta St intersection.

Start location is the same for a nearby micro cache, Take the High Road. There is a grassy clearing off Grandview Avenue where often many wedding photographs are made, and a small trail begins on the western edge of it, at 40º 26.404N 80º 01.338W.

Duquesne Incline
Other images of Historic Pittsburgh digital library.

¹ Pink dots on map show where some of the remaining posts are located. Yellow dot indicates the general location of "Moon's Passage"

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