Looking to visit an amazing park only fifteen minutes from Pittsburgh? Check out Settler’s Cabin Park!
Table of Contents - About Settlers Cabin Park - History of Settlers Cabin Park - Hiking in Settlers Cabin Park - FAQs about Settlers Cabin Park
Settlers Cabin Park,located about fifteen minutes west of Pittsburgh, is a park worth checking out! The park has tons of amenities and one of the closest waterfalls to downtown Pittsburgh.
Read on to learn more about this awesome county park!
As always, follow the principles of leave no trace when you're out exploring! Pack out all trash, leave wildlife alone, and generally leave it better than you found it - for more information visit the Leave No Trace Center.
About Settlers Cabin Park
Settlers Cabin offers tons for park visitors of all ages! As the name suggests, it features a historic log cabin. The park also has more modern amenities, such as a wave pool, dive pool, tennis courts, and playgrounds. In addition, the park offers has many walking and hiking trails – 22 miles of them! It is the third largest park in the Allegheny Park system.
Settlers Cabin has many plant species that are rare in Pennsylvania. It is also home to the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden so is a great place to visit for flower and plant lovers!
Unfortunately, abandoned mine drainage impacts the park. (That’s why some of the stream has such an unnatural blue color – make sure your pets don’t drink from the water!). The Allegheny County Parks Foundation has plans to clean up the drainage and help Pinkertons Run support fish life.
Love visiting parks with waterfalls? Check out my list of Best Waterfalls Near Pittsburgh!
History of Settlers Cabin Park
Settlers Cabin was named after the origins of an original log cabin that was left over from the first known European settlers to the area. This cabin, called the Walker-Ewing-Glass House, is presumed to have been built in the late 1700’s. Before European settlers, the park land was originally controlled by the Six Nations of Iroquis. After the French and Indian War, settlers began farming the area.
In the early 1900’s, the farmers sold off their mining rights. The land was mined heavily until Allegheny County purchased the land in 1971. Extensive work needed to be done to restore the land. In 1998, a portion of the park was designated for the creation of Pittsburgh’s Botanic Garden, which opened in 2015. (The garden operates separately from the park).
For more information on the ecological history and future of the park, read the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy ecological study and action plan.
Want to check out another hike with history? Explore the ruins at Dead Man's Hollow, Pittsburgh's Spookiest Hike!
Hiking in Settlers Cabin
Settlers Cabin offers over 22 miles of hiking and walking trails! In my opinion, the park’s waterfall and lake are absolutely worth seeing. Weirdly, AllTrails doesn’t have trails that pass these landmarks so in addition to the hikes, I’ve recommended detours so you don’t miss the best part of the park!
Settlers Cabin Park Full Loop
This is a great trail to check out the entire park! The trails are relatively well marked, but as always, I recommend using AllTrails to avoid getting lost. If you want to see the waterfall, you will need to add a little detour. On the eastern side of the loop, follow park signs to the waterfall. The AllTrails distance is 5.8 miles, but both times I’ve done this hike with the waterfall detour I’ve clocked almost 6.5 miles.
Settlers Cabin Blue Loop Trail
Great for a short hike! This 1.8 mile trail is relatively chill, with minimal elevation gain. It can get muddy after recent rain, so choose your timing carefully. Similar to the full loop, this trail is also close to the waterfall trail, so I’d recommend a detour. That will make this trail about 2.5 miles long.
Settlers Cabin Red and Yellow Trail
This 2.5 mile trail is another great option for a shorter hike. I recommend extending this one up a bit to the lake. To do so, on the northwest top of the loop, keep going north on the Red Trail until you reach the lake). This will add about 0.2 miles to the trail. However, this trail can also be muddy and buggy, so check conditions before you head out!
Love exploring Settlers Cabin? Check out North Park or Deer Lakes Park, other parks in the Allegheny County Park system!
FAQs about Settlers Cabin Park
How many parks are there in Allegheny County?
There are nine parks in the county park system. To learn more, check out my guide to all the county parks!
How big is Settlers Cabin Park?
Settlers Cabin is located on 1,610 acres west of Pittsburgh.
Are dogs allowed in Settlers Cabin Park?
Dogs are allowed in all Allegheny County Parks as long as they are on leash and under control. Remember to clean up after your dog!
How can I reserve a shelter at Settlers Cabin Park?
To reserve a shelter, visit the Allegheny County Parks website reservation system.
How can I volunteer to help keep the park clean?
Check out the Allegheny Parks Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the parks. Their website has more information about volunteer efforts and donating to park improvement projects!
Updated December 16, 2023