Monday, November 27, 2023

Photo of the Day: Toms Run Nature Reserve, Pittsburgh PA

I took this photo while away for a few days this past week visiting a close relative in Pittsburgh.

People who remember the longtime nickname of Pittsburgh, “The Smoky City,” might have a tough time believing that it can have an area filled with extended wooded areas and streams. 

But that in fact is the case with Toms Run Nature Reserve, which contains 369 acres of maple, oak and American beech trees in an urban forest 10 miles from downtown Pittsburgh in western Allegheny County.

In the spring and fall, you can hear a variety of songbirds, including vireos, warblers, thrushes and sparrows. But, following heavy rain from earlier in the week and plunging temperatures the day of my hike, I found thick mud much more abundant on the three-mile trail loop.

In 1977, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy began to protect the area from development, but the most intensive work took place after the turn of the millennium, continuing through 2018.

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