Wildlife Wednesday: Barking Slopes

(*articles may contain affiliate links*) Today’s Wildlife Wednesday is taking a little different spin – it’s brought to you by Becky instead of Greg! I’ll be honest, I really don’t love bugs and creatures, but when my work went to volunteer at Barking Slopes (part of the Allegheny Land Trust), I found something I truly enjoyed.

Where is Barking Slopes?

Barking Slopes is located at 37 Barking Road, New Kensington, PA. It is near the Oakmont Country Club and Lock & Dam Number 3. It’s right across the river from where the town my mom went to high school in and a few miles from our first home in Tarentum. Basically, I was volunteering in my “stomping grounds”, so maybe that made it another level of cool for me.

Know if you go: There is a parking lot on Barking Road with a porta-john. Right now, the trail is steep and a bit muddy. It’s a challenging hike, but so beautiful you won’t notice. Follow the blue arrows (like those below) and you’ll go about .75 miles into the wooded area. You can walk back on the gravel road along the railroad, too.

barking slopes trail marker

What did we do at Barking Slopes?

My work team did one of our corporate volunteer days and helped Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) clear the trail so it is more accessible. The day involved using weed whips (like this one) and clippers to trim back the trail’s overgrowth. There was a bunch of Japanese Knotweed and Stinging Nettle that made the path unrecognizable. That’s not the case anymore!

stinging nettle

This is stinging nettle. If you brush up against it, you will get little bumps that itch for about 15 minutes. Ouch!

We also carried rocks to make paths through some of the muddier areas, too. (Caitlin, our guide from ALT, had to note that if anyone did crossfit, this was a good task for them!). (wink)

Even though we were dealing with plants and rocks and trees, I really didn’t see any bugs or snakes or creepy crawlies to tell you about like Greg normally does. (Sorry if you came here for that!) But, what I did see was a lot of different birds. Caitlin noted that birdwatchers like to go there and have seen dozens of bird species.

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To learn more about Barking Slopes, check out Allegheny Land Trust‘s website. The more people that get out there, the more packed down the trail will be and the more enjoyable it will be for everyone. Let us know if you go out there and what you think!

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