What route would you take to Butler PA?
My folks live in Butler, and I have never ridden there! At a glance, it seems like it might be reasonable to take the Highland Park bridge, and just kind of follow Freeport Road all the way into Freeport and then hop on the trail. I’m good from there into town.
I have not ridden on very much of Freeport Road, though, and it seems like it might be kind of a drag.
Anyone have any suggestions on a less trafficky, less town-filled route? I have no objections to adding hills or miles to the route. Mostly I think I am missing the long intersection-less rural roads we road on in Spain, and I know those exist here, but I haven’t found them yet by bike.
Ideally, it would be a door to door route from Bloomfield. I don’t really like driving to a starting place if I can help it.
Surely somebody here has done this, right?
Freeport turns into a freeway between blawnox and the turnpike. But the alternative is to ride up huge hills in fox chapel. Probably not worth it. Bridge to delafield to fox chapel road to guys run. That will get you back to Freeport closer to springdale.
Fyi that trail is OK but more rocky (ie driveway type rocks) on part of the trail which can make riding hard.
Many decades ago, there was a thing called Three Degree Road, so named because no hill was greater than three degrees. It essentially connected Ross Twp with Butler, and still exists, more or less, via a variety of names, mostly Babcock Blvd.
I sketched out a possibility here.
Thanks for the heads up, both about Freeport rd and the trail.
Three Degree Road is an interesting idea. I am a pretty confident city rider, but that stretch of Babcock between Millvale and McKnight makes me nervous. Any opinion on just staying on Evergreen to Anderson to then get back over to Thompson Run? This is your stomping grounds, Stu, right?
Also a little jumpy about being on Rt 8, even for a short stretch.
Some part of me feels like I should just deal with a crappy stretch or two, but part of me really wants to find the laid back route where I can just kind of zen out.
through millvale. Find anderson road or wible run. They are both
bigger hills than thomson run but way way safer than babcock.
ONce at vilsack its up to you if you want to ride thomson or do
neighborhood cut to NP. There are lots of side streets you can
take on either side of thomson. If you have a smart phone you
can just follow.
pearce mill out of north park. Through treesdale (vomit) into
valencia… you can find 3 degree road north of there, and that is safe.
You can take that to renfrew. Safe good roads up there.
I just rode the Butler/Freeport trail a few weeks ago on 25mm tires and it was mostly fine. There was the occasional small patch of loose gravel/mud or washboarding like you get on these trails (mostly near Freeport), but nothing much worse than you get on the GAP.
The really rotten part of Babcock is between the Three Degree corner and up past Northway Mall, and there is no good way around that. The plan I laid out avoids that by using Thompson Run.
I’ve grown to dislike the bit of Babcock just as it leaves Millvale, from Rita’s up to the 1717 Sigmas building. Peeling off to the right at Rita’s will take you over toward Wible Run. I have no experience with Wible Run, but am on that bit of Babcock 4x/week. Narrow, no shoulder, hidden recessed drain grates. You pretty much have to take the lane, and that will assuredly piss off someone. But I suspect half the roads in Western PA have stretches like that.
Man, you guys are the best! Thanks for all the input! I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited to visit my parents. :)
From Bloomfield make your way on roads or roads/trail to the Northside. Go up Federal Street or any other way onto old 19 (perrysville ave). Take this the whole way to Ingomar road then turn right towards North Park (urban riding is over). Take a right on Lake shore drive and follow bike bath around the lake. Turn left onto Pierce Mill road and strait crossing 910. Next right is Logan road which brings you out onto Babcock blvd where you will go left. In about 1/2 mile at the convenience store go left down the hill leaving the red belt. At the bottom of the hill at Willy’s tavern go right following Babcock. Take the next left onto Three Degree Road which turns right at the Adams township park. Follow till you T at the Butler county airport where you go left then right continuing on three degree road. Bottom of hill turn right on Renfrew road which brings you out onto route 8. Ride route 8 north (left big burm) across the bridge and turn right onto Old Plank road. Old plank turns into Rossevelt with is a brick road that comes out at the bridge in downtown Butler.
I wondered about a north side route! I love riding up there! Thanks kb!
A nice, moderately hilly meander: head out through Aspinwall on Freeport Rd to a left on Fox Chapel Rd->bear left on Squaw Run Rd->right on Dorseyville Rd->right on Saxonburg Blvd->right on Russellton-Dorseyville->left on Little Deer Creek->bear right on Superior/SR 908 Extension->left on Bull Creek (the Red Belt)->straight onto Thompson->right on Sun Mine (climb!)->stay on Sun Mine as it becomes Westminster->jog left, then right onto Saxonburg Blvd into the town of Saxonburg.
Once in Saxonburg, you’re only a few miles south of Butler…Butler St/Saxonburg Rd will take you right to the outskirts of town where 356 comes in.
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