Getting outdoors in rural Greene County, Pennsylvania

Darrin Youker

Wallace Cross Mill

Come April, as the last shivers of winter fade from Greene County, the region comes alive with outdoor activities.

Anglers, hunters, cyclists, and hikers will find plenty of chances to practice their sports, all within the quiet enjoyment of this southwest corner of Pennsylvania. There’s a lot more elbow room in Greene County, located nearly four hours from Washington, D.C.

Wallace Cross Mill
Wallace Cross Mill

It’s an area known for abundant forests, meandering back roads, covered bridges, and Mail Pouch Tobacco barns. Country stores are still the gathering places of small towns, and the places where shoppers can pick up fishing tackle, or snacks for the next 20 miles of the ride.

For the outdoor lover, it’s the perfect mix of solitude and opportunity.

“We don’t have much in the way of population,” said Ken Dufalla, an avid outdoorsman and member of a Greene County chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America. “But we have excellent habitat and not too many people.”

Spring is truly a special time in Greene County, according to Elizabeth Menhart, who promotes the area.

“Greene County really comes alive when spring arrives,” said Menhart. “The foliage returns, and you can see miles of uninterrupted green trees and hillsides from just about anywhere.”

Fishing and hunting are both popular activities in the county, with plenty of options for each.

Greene County has an abundant supply of turkey and Pennsylvania’s spring gobbler season, which runs April 30–May 31, is a great opportunity to spend time in the woods, according to Dufalla. Hunters are allowed to take one gobbler per day.

“We have turkey all over the place and we have a lot of public lands for hunting,” he said.

Greene County is home to several state game lands — public hunting areas — that are also popular destinations for hiking and birdwatching.

Fishing is popular

April is also when trout fishing begins, drawing visitors and locals alike out to the streams.

“So many of our events and hobbies revolve around the outdoors, so our residents and visitors really embrace when spring comes, and they can start actually enjoying being outside again,” Menhart said. “April also means the opening of trout season, so you’ll see entire families out at creeks and streams spending their whole day fishing throughout the spring.”

Barn & HayThe Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks trout in several streams in Greene County. Those streams are surrounded by woods and make for an excellent rustic fishing opportunity. “Our river system is pretty good right now,” said Dufalla.

Trout season opens April 16, and, along with quiet trout streams, Greene County also has excellent fishing opportunities along the Monongahela River. Dufalla shared that “The Mon,” as locals call it, is well known for walleye fishing.

Good spots to try for walleye can be found near the series of locks and dams established on the river to aide in barge traffic to and from Pittsburgh. While walleye is a popular game fish in the river, anglers can also try for muskies, perch, and huge channel catfish. “There are all kinds of fish in the river,” Dufalla said.

As an added bonus, there are five public access points in Greene County where anglers can launch a boat on the river.

For those who want to enjoy the water from the comforts of the shore, the 5-mile Green River Trail is open for walking, cycling, and running. The trail follows the Monongahela between two public parking areas, and it allows for unobstructed views of the river and the coal towns that have led Greene County industry for decades.

Visitors wanting to walk further in the footsteps of history can travel the Warrior Trail, which follows a path cut by Native Americans that was used for more than 5,000 years for hunting and trade. The trail runs for 67 miles between Pennsylvania and West Virginia, with a 45-mile section in Greene County. The east-west trail cuts through some of the heavily forested sections of the county.

The trail also is a great way to view the solitude and splendor that Greene County has to offer — and the awakening of spring.

Learn more:

Greene Co. Tourism: greenecountytourism.org

 

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