In more than two hundred and twenty-two acres of land in mountainous and highly forested terrain lies Duff Park. It is a community natural park in Murrysville, PA. The park is famous for its trails and wildflowers. Visiting Duff Park must be part of your itinerary as you visit the Mid-Atlantic state.
Directions to the Park
It’s not difficult to get to the park from Monroeville; head east on Route 22. After passing Mcdonald’s for about 1.7 miles, turn right onto School Road South. After driving for a few meters, turn right into Duff Park. Located approximately south of Route 22, Duff Park is accessible through School Road South.
The park’s main entrance is located at Sheetz along School Road South, Murrysville, PA. Aside from the main entrance, it has two other entrances that anyone can access to enter the park. One entrance is located at the back of the Elite Limousine parking lot, off Route 22 East. The other one is located on Round Top Road. It has access to the western area of the Forbes Trail. Much of the park’s northern boundary is made up of Turtle Creek and the Turtle Creek Extension of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail.
Amenities and Attractions in the Park
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has classified Duff Park as a Wild Plant Sanctuary. The area’s stunning environment, notably its riot of wildflower color, makes it a popular springtime trip during the spring. One of the few surviving deciduous old-growth forests in Pennsylvania may be found in the park.
From a stroll to intense exercise, activities may be done here, and there is a pavilion. Approximately 1.5 miles of the Funk Bikeway go along Turtle Creek and cross it twice through bridges. It is a beautiful and picturesque path—other routes in the park range from flat terrain to steep ascents. Less than a mile from the Staymates Log House and Barn, the Forbes Trail, Skullcap Trail, and Pasture Rose Trail connect to Round Top Road.
Celebrated Sanctuary Recognition
Duff Park has one of the most remarkable displays of forest spring-flowering wildflowers in the region, making it a great place to view and photograph them. It is terrific in the spring when the slopes are blanketed with wildflowers, including Trillium, Dutchman’s breeches, and Spring beauty. Duff Park’s wildflowers bloom throughout the spring, summer, and fall. To assist park goers, the Friends of Murrysville Parks (FOMP) offers color guides.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has given Duff Park the uncommon and highly valued title of “Wild Plant Sanctuary” due to the park’s abundant native species. The park was also declared a Wild Plant Sanctuary for the first time by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in 2010. It has been designated an Old Growth Forest thanks to the efforts of the FOMP.
Challenging Heritage Trail
The park is part of Pennsylvania’s Westmoreland Heritage Trail because of the quality of its bicycling and hiking pathways. The 8.5-mile Saltsburg-to-Delmont track and the 9.3-mile Export-to-Trafford trail provide beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Cross-country skiing, running, biking, and walking are popular activities here. It may be used by anybody of any age or physical ability because of its accessible surface. More information.
Famous Tree Signs
Tree markers were also put up at Duff Park, making it the first park to do so. A Duff Park tree sign is a 12-inch by 8-inch metal plaque mounted on a three-foot pole with leaves, fruit, and bark information. The park also has a FOMP acknowledgment column to honor people who have made a significant contribution to the park. Throughout the park, visitors can see a total of 41 tree signs.
Tribute to Dr. Shogan
FOMP received a $6,000 grant and used it to build the Duff Park information center to honor Dr. J. Shogan. An extensive route map and several images of local wildflowers may be seen here. Aside from that, you’ll find descriptions and pictures of the park’s flora and fauna and information about the Turtle Creek watershed.
Families and friends looking to use the park’s gorgeous pavilion and its eight picnic tables will have no shortage of places to congregate. Anyone can ride a bike on the trail because it is well-maintained. The walking path is a great place to meet up with friends and family for a stroll in the morning or afternoon. About 7.5 miles of trails may be found throughout the park, ranging from simple to complicated. As long as you park in one of the park’s designated parking lots, you’re good to go.