The Kane Woods Nature Area

 Map  On the map above, click on the orange triangle by each trailhead name to take you to a description of that trailhead and the trails leading from it. 

In July 2008, the Scott Conservancy dedicated our system of trails in the Kane Woods Nature Area.  The two miles of trails on 42 acres of the 72 acre nature area are marked with color-coded signage that can be accessed from four trailheads.  

Planning on hiking the trails? Download a Trail Map to print the clearly marked trails in black & white, or pick one up at the Whiskey Point Trailhead.  

The Google® Map below highlights all of our acreage in Scott Township, thanks to Keith Weightman.  By clicking the arrow to minimize the left information section, you can view the entire map with the highlighted parcels.  The map is centered and sized for viewing in the screen, but you can use the navigation arrows and sliding scale to move and size the map to view what you want.  You can also change between road map and aerial views.

 Directions  Use the Google® Map to get driving directions to our Trailheads with parking lots.   

Make sure the information section on the left is expanded and enter your starting address plus our destination address, 1459 Scrubgrass Road, Scott Township, 15106 for the Scrubgrass Run Trailhead parking lot or 1461 Scrubgrass Road, Scott Township, 15106 for the Whiskey Point Trailhead parking lot.   Or, if your vehicle is equipped with GPS, you can input these addresses on your system.  Visitors wishing to park at the JCC Trailhead, please contact the Jewish Community Center. 





 Whiskey Point Trailhead  The trail system can be accessed from the Whiskey Point Trailhead on 1461 Scrubgrass Road and Main Street.  A gravel parking area has been created in front of the gate to provide off road parking for those using the property at this trailhead.  We are very grateful to Frank J. Zottola Construction Company for donating the work done to the parking area.  Beyond the gate, a large parking lot has been created to accommodate parking during events, and a shelter has been built.    

  1. at Whiskey Point follow Catfish Trail or Whiskey Boys Trail

  2. Whiskey Boys Trail intersects Liberty Trail and Neville's Trail

The recently erected sign at the entrance of our Whiskey Point Trailhead at Kane Woods has attracted many new visitors to our nature area.  It is nice to see our trails being used by so many new people.  If you haven't yet stopped at the trailhead, we invite you to take a few minutes and do so.  The newly erected informational sign was designed by Donna Kearns. The sign along with the bulletin board next to it were then framed and installed by her husband Ed.  All of the signs were made by Bert Lindstom. This includes the trail signs that you will see as you walk through the nature area.   BACK TO MAP

 JCC Trailhead  The trail system can be accessed from the JCC parking lot via the steps leading to Neville's Trail (green) from the JCC Trailhead.  For security reasons, the Jewish Community Center requests that anyone entering the woods at their trailhead stop in at the center during their hours of operation and let them know their cars are parked on the lot on the property.   BACK TO MAP

JCC Trailhead

 Scrubgrass Run Trailhead  Improvements to the Scrubgrass Run Trailhead at 1459 Scrubgrass Road include a parking lot, split rail fence, and gate.   The interconnecting trail system can be accessed from this trailhead.   

  1. at Scrubgrass Run take Tom the tinker Trail or Whiskey Boys Trail  

  2. Whiskey Boys Trail intersects Liberty Trail and Neville's Trail

  3. Tom the tinker Trail intersects Liberty Trail


Providence Point Trailhead  An additional trailhead is located at Providence Point at the Resolution Trail, which joins Neville's Trail (green) via a series of switchbacks down the hill.  The construction easement has invasive species removed and replanted with native species to create a meadow habitat. Three areas where the vegetation was removed to provide utilities to Providence Point and to repair broken sanitary sewers and storm drains were replanted with vegetation that is native to Pennsylvania.  Since the Kane property lacks areas where meadows exist, this will be a benefit to the animals that make Kane Woods their home.  The new meadows will be especially good for birds. 

The seeds chosen for planting were selected by our own environmental expert, Don McGuirk.  Don oversees planting and trail development on the Kane property.  The purchase of the seeds and the seeding was done by the Baptist Homes.  With all the rain this spring the newly planted areas are getting a great start.  We are looking forward to seeing some beautiful grasses and wildflowers in the next few years.    BACK TO MAP

 Scott Park Access  The Kane Woods is near Scott Park, and the Conservancy is studying ways with the township to link the park and nature preserve so residents can easily enjoy both in a single outing.  

 Kane Woods Trails named for leading Whiskey Rebellion figures 

Trail MarkerHundreds of books, articles, and essays have been written about the Whiskey Rebellion and many of its key events took place right here in Scott Township.  The Scott Conservancy has been working to honor that legacy by naming the trails in the Scott nature preserve after leading figures and events in the Whiskey Rebellion.  One is named after Tom the Tinker, one of the leaders of the Rebellion, and another is named for General Neville.   

Don McGuirk, who has researched the role Bower Hill and the Kane Woods played in early American history, said the Kane trail network was developed with an emphasis on highlighting and preserving land where a series of critical events took place in 1794 that helped shape the future direction of our country. 

A Liberty Pole, a symbol around which the rebels gathered, will also be erected, and the Conservancy will place story boards at key sites along the trails explaining the Rebellion. Brochures will also be available for visitors who want to learn more about the Rebellion.    BACK TO MAP




Summer Solstice Hike Features Guided Tour Along Kane Trails

Mary Pitzer maintains the wildflower garden by the Whiskey Point Shelter

The hike at noon led by Mary Pitzer on the longest day of the year offered a botany tour of the Kane Woods Nature Area.  Two miles of trails cover 42 acres of the 72 acre site. 

Mary pointed out mayapples and other woodland flora.  

Board member Mary Pitzer (left) leads the hikers thru the flora and fauna of Kane Woods

Mary showed us where the hillside sewer easement construction area  is now sporting colorful native meadow wildflowers.  She also identified bird calls, adding interest to the hike. The new signage made the trails much easier to follow.  

Paul Emory enjoys hiking the trails from nearby Providence Point

Providence Point's Kitty and Paul Emory often take advantage of Kane Wood's amenities.  The convenient trailhead at Providence Point is a boon to residents of the complex, who enjoy the respite of the Kane Woods natural setting.

A few new faces were also on the tour, including Sally Adams and Christine Rohr from the Crafton-Ingram area. 

The new signage makes the trails much easier to follow

As we cross a footbridge over Scrubgrass Run, Jane Sorcan points out a parcel of recently acquired acreage.  This 30 acre parcel does not contain any developed trails while the conservancy is considering a best management plan for this undeveloped area.

Walking her dogs along Scrubgrass Run, Carol Shaw  took the opportunity to pick up bark and place it on muddy spots along the path.  

Bridge over the creek leads to newly acquired acreage

Many thanks to Carol, Bob Gamble, Ed Fogarty and countless other nature lovers who help maintain our trails, pick up litter, and keep our woods beautiful while they enjoy their walks.  

picking up bark and placing it on muddy spots along the trail

Along with the occasional guided nature hike along our trails, Scott Conservancy also partners with the Neville House and Woodville Plantation each summer to re-enact the historical Whiskey Rebellion battle in the Kane Woods, accompanied by a walking tour of the woods and activities at Old St. Luke's Church, Presley Neville House and the Woodville Plantation.





  The Kane Woods featured historically during the Whiskey Rebellion

One of the unique features of the Kane Woods is its historical significance. Most of the land was once owned by General John Neville, who was a Revolutionary War veteran. General Neville served at General Washington's side during the Revolutionary War and they were close personal friends, both having grown up in Fairfax County, Virginia. He served at Valley Forge, and fought alongside his close personal friend General George Washington at the Battle of Yorktown.  Before the war, he served as the commander at Fort Pitt, and his son, Presley Neville, was aide-de-camp to the Marquis de Lafayette, the French political and military leader, who supported the cause of American independence. 

After the war, General Neville's role in our nation's history continued. Saddled with enormous debts from the Revolutionary War, our new nation under the leadership of President George Washington instituted an excise tax on whiskey to raise money to pay off the war loans. 

President Washington appointed his trusted friend General Neville, Inspector of the Revenue for Western Pennsylvania, and charged him with collecting the tax.  Local farmers, however, violently opposed the new tax.  Whiskey distilled by the farmers and sold throughout the country and even as far away as New Orleans was their main source of income.  With barely enough cash to make ends meet, the farmers believed the tax would ruin them.  They organized protests against the tax, some of which turned violent. 

The hostilities culminated in fighting that broke out on July 16 and 17, 1794, between local farmers, federal troops, and supporters of General Neville at his estate on Bower Hill.  His Bower Hill Mansion and other buildings on the estate were burned to the ground by local farmers during the fighting.  They became known as the Whiskey Boys. 

An angry President Washington responded by dispatching 13,000 troops, a force larger than any he commanded during the Revolutionary War, to put down what became known as the Whiskey Rebellion

As the federal forces marched on Western Pennsylvania, the rebellion collapsed, yet the legacy of the rebellion left its mark on American history.  A keen student of American History, President Harry S. Truman, called it one of the ten most important events in American History, and President Abraham Lincoln citied Washington's action as a precedent in using force to oppose the secession of the Southern states in 1860. 

The Whiskey Rebellion is important in U.S. history because it provided the first real test of the new American Constitution..  

In 1794 an angry mob of Whiskey Boys marched through the Scott Conservancy's Kane Woods to "Bower Hill," the plantation home of the Federal Inspector of the Excise, General John Neville, which was located at the top of Kane Boulevard near the old Kane Hospital, now Providence Point.

The insurgents burned Neville's home. Neville, a Federalist, narrowly escaped the grasp of the crowd. 

Our Kane Woods Trails, through which the Whiskey Boys once marched, are named in honor of the rebellion.  

An historic marker now marks the location of Neville's home on Kane Blvd.

Reenactors from Anthony Wayne's Legion that helped defend Bower Hill, give visitors to the Kane Woods, the Presley Neville House and Old Saint Luke's Church a glimpse into the life of a soldier in colonial times. 

Yearly re-enactments of the battle have been taking place each summer in the Kane Woods since the trails grand opening in 2008. 

A walking tour thru the Kane Woods is accompanied by activities at Old St. Luke's Church, Presley Neville House and the Woodville Plantation on Bower Hill where General Neville's mansion was burned to the ground by the Whiskey rebels.


Conservancy Erects Marker on Historic Bower Hill Site

The Kane Woods, Old St. Luke's Church, the Neville House and the Neville mansion on Bower Hill all have historical significance dating back to Revolutionary times.  

In 1996, the Conservancy, with the support of the Scott Township Commissioners, received approval from the Pennsylvania State Historical and Museum Commission to erect a state historical Marker on Bower Hill, the site of General Neville's mansion, which was burned to the ground during the Whiskey Rebellion. 

Another state historical maker was erected two years later at Old St. Luke's Church, also in Scott Township, to honor the role it played in American History.   Old St. Luke's is the oldest church established west of the Allegheny Mountains. The church  is still preserved today as a house of worship.   Reverend Richard Davies led the effort to secure approval for the St. Luke's Historical Marker. 

General Neville worshipped at Old St. Luke's Church and the Church's cemetery is the resting place of many of our region's earliest settlers including a number of Revolutionary War veterans.  


  Age of Ancient Red Oak Determined

One part of the Kane Woods Nature Area that has captured the interest of Conservancy President Don McGuirk is the age of an enormous red oak that he calls the "Mother Tree."  Recently, Don and officials from the state forestry department took a boring from the tree to determine its age by reading the tree rings, and the preliminary findings are that the tree is between 200 to 250 years old.  To put that into perspective, the tree sprouted around 1760.  The English, along with their colonial allies, were still fighting the French and Indian War.   James Watt was working on the prototype for the steam engine, and most people traveled by foot or on horseback. The United States didn't even exist.  

Red Oak in winter starkly illustrates size compared to surrounding forest
Don McGuirk & state forester measure huge trunk

The tree was still in its youth three decades later during the time of the Whiskey Rebellion.  All of the Scott residents and our Scott Conservancy members who donated money and worked on the project to preserve the Kane Woods can share a sense of pride that they helped to preserve a part of nature in the Red Oak that is even older than our own country. 




Help Keep The Kane Woods Nature Area Trails Clean

The Scott Conservancy has taken down structures, developed two miles of hiking trails along 56 acres and added new parcels to our original 44 acre Kane Woods property, which now total 72 acres, the largest area of greenspace left in Scott Township.  

The land is on the hillside perimeter of the old Kane Hospital.  The large trees, undisturbed nature, abundant wildlife and steep wooded slope down to a flat floodplain along Scrubgrass Run make the Kane Woods Nature Area ideal for trails. 

An increasing number of people and their dogs enjoy walking through our woods every day.  Many do not realize that the property is owned by a small non-profit organization that relies on volunteer efforts and donations from individuals and foundations.  The Scott Conservancy needs volunteers like you to maintain trails and to help us keep the property free of litter and debris.  As you enjoy our woods, please do your part to keep it clean.   Thank you.


 VisitPittsburgh Pays Visit  to Kane Nature Area

They came, they saw, they were impressed. They were nine volunteers from VisitPittsburgh, the organization that promotes tourism and convention business for Western Pennsylvania. 

The VisitPittsburgh volunteers visited the Kane Nature Area on Friday, September 17, 2010 as part of the United Way's Day of Caring Program that links businesses and organizations with community groups that need volunteer help.  The conservancy first participated in this United Way program in 2010, and its success merited a Day of Caring visit by Bayer a year later in September, 2011.

Conservancy treasurer Jane Sorcan helped organize the event as a way to boost the efforts of Conservancy volunteers who work throughout the year to maintain and improve the trail network that runs through the 77 acre Kane Woods Nature Preserve. 

The volunteers from VisitPittsburgh put in a hard day's work mulching trails, trimming back vegetation along the trails, and fixing signs. 

Several volunteers from the Conservancy also turned out to help the VisitPittsburgh employees in their work, and to help make their stay a bit more enjoyable by preparing breakfast and lunch.

Ed Zombek, Alan and Hazel Cope, Don McGuirk, Sarantos Patrinos, Sally Adams, Bill Luxner, Gerrie Ketler, Peggy Grand, and Jane Sorcan from the Conservancy were on hand to direct the volunteers and to help them with their trail maintenance work. 

Mary Grasha Houpt, who led the contingent from VisitPittsburgh and who worked with Jane to organize the event, said she was impressed with fact that Scott had a 77-acre-nature preserve in the middle of the township. 

"It's very beautiful. I'm from Crafton, but I had no idea this was here," she said while taking a break from shoveling mulch onto the trails.

mulching trails
VisitPittsburgh group photo

Another VisitPittsburgh volunteer said he liked the idea that the township is preserving 22 acres for nature across Scrubgrass Road from the Kane Nature Area. 

"It's an impressive place. I like the fact there is no development here, and it's all devoted to nature. I like enjoying the outdoors," he said. 

Jane was very happy with the turnout from the VisitPittsburgh volunteers. "They were nice people, very gracious, and they did a lot of work," she said. 


 Eagle Scout Project Benefits  Kane Woods Nature Area
Troop 834 builds steps connecting upper level parking lot to the shelter at Whiskey Point

When you come to Whiskey Point this year, you will see several new improvements. No longer will you need to worry about sliding down the hill from the upper parking area to the shelter. We now have a well built pair of steps connecting the upper level of the parking lot to the shelter. There is also now a stone patio located at the beginning of Catfish Path, the Blue Trail, which goes towards Kane Blvd. 

 The improvements were made by Nick Miller and his friends who are members of Troop 834 and meet at Our Lady of Grace Church. Nick is working on obtaining his Eagle Scout badge. The planning, organizing and completion of this project will help him achieve his goal. 

Catfish Path trailhead, leading towards towards Kane Blvd

These young men worked very hard to make these improvements to the Whiskey Point Trailhead. The work was done in the mud amid the raindrops on a very hot and humid day. They did a wonderful job. The steps and patio are very well built and will serve the conservancy and the community for a long time. 


 Scouts Plant New Trees & Shrubs

As part of the “Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge, one of 12 required Merit Badges for Eagle Scout, Boy Scout Troop 365 volunteered to assist the Scott Conservancy in landscaping a field on Scrubgrass Road, near the Whiskey Point Trailhead.  

Directed by Don McGuirk, our Conservancy representative, and Troop Leader Dr. Jeff Wentz, members of the troop from Covenant Community Presbyterian Church worked hard digging holes to be used for planting shrubs. They also constructed a temporary protective fence along the property line to protect the new plantings.  

Cub Scout Pack 861 from Holy Child Parish in Bridgeville planted 60 shrubs and 6 trees in the holes dug by Troop 365.

Cub Scout Pack 849, along with members of Boy Scout Troop 834, both from Glendale, have also participated in activities that improve our community and our environment.  

On the morning of October 22nd, 2005, six boys working on Eagle Scout badges from Boy Scout Troop 365 and three boys who offered to assist them arrived at the field owned by the Scott Conservancy along Scrubgrass Road.  They came ready to dig with shovels and hammers in hand.  

A week later, Cub Scout Pack 861 from Holy Child Parish in Bridgeville arrived in the afternoon to complete the work.  With help from their parents, they planted 60 shrubs and 6 trees using holes dug by the Boy Scouts in the previous week.  

Scouts help plant saplingsThe boys worked hard and did a great job!  The conservancy  thanks both scout troops for their help and hope we will be able to work with them in the future.  

The Scott Conservancy is also the proud sponsor of Glendale's Cub Scout Pack 849.  The scouts, chartered in Scott Township, are involved in worthwhile community projects.  

Some of their projects have included trail and stream clean-ups, the building of steps on a popular trail, community clean-ups, and various service projects. Keep up the good work!  




The Scott Conservancy has been able to acquire 77.5 acres over the last 10 years.  Land acquisition is an important goal of the Scott Conservancy.  We now have a total of 72 acres of green space under protection.   The land is open for our residents to enjoy nature in the 72 acre Kane Woods Nature Area.  We have also conserved a 5 acre wooded hillside in the nearby Vanadium Woods along Vanadium Road.  

 Kane Woods   In 2003, we purchased the wooded hillside that forms an emerald necklace encircling the new Providence Point development, site of the old Kane Hospital.  The 44 acre acquisition was made possible through a Growing Greener Grant with matching funds from The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Laurel Foundation and private donations from citizens in Scott Township.  This land is the keystone parcel of our Kane Woods Nature Area.

Satellite image showing greenspaces in Scott Township

Scott Township is highlighted in orange in the map to the left.  Scott Park and the Kane Woods Nature Area are shown in green, representing the largest remaining parcel of greenspace in Scott Township. 

The Conservancy is working on a number of projects to improve public access and enjoyment of the Kane Woods.   Since acquisition of the property, the conservancy has restored native vegetation, built a shelter and footbridge, blazed two miles of trails through 42 acres  and created trailheads with parking space. 

Outdoor recreation the whole family can enjoy:  

The Kane Woods Nature Area is ideal for hiking and bird watching.   Catch a glimpse of the deer, squirrel, fox and turkey which abound in the forest.  Sit on a fallen log and enjoy the respite from your busy, hectic modern life.

Hike thru the Kane Woods along the trail

 Kumpf Property Completed on August 2, 2001, the donation by Marilyn and Bill Kumpf of two parcels of land at the cul-de-sac at the end of Jaycee Drive made us a land trust.  The parcels consist of four acres adjacent to Kane Woods.   Bill Kumpf had a special rock that he liked to sit on to enjoy the Woods.   He has made it possible for others to enjoy the land.  

 Carleton Manor Property In March of 2008, the conservancy added 5.5 acres of land to the Kane Woods, with a walking trail that can be accessed from Vanderbilt Drive in Mt. Lebanon. The parcel connects residents from the Mt. Lebanon area to the Kane Woods property in the valley below,  extending our greenway and public access to it.  

The property was acquired with a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and from The Pittsburgh Foundation.  Appraised at $83,400, the parcel was purchased from Premier Homes for $20,500.  The property is a parcel of pristine land left over from the Carleton Manor development of homes off of Bower Hill Road.  This land is now accessible to the public.

 Ryan Property   The last link to the Kane puzzle came in 2009 with the acquisition of 22 acres of greenspace left over from the surrounding housing development nicknamed Birdland, whose streets are named for birds.  The 17 acre NVR parcel along with the 5 acre Ed Ryan property were acquired with a $13,000 grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation. 

 Nixon Property Thanks to the generosity of the Nixon family of Carnegie and the Oliver family of Sewickley, the Scott Conservancy received a donation in 2006 of approximately 3 acres of property along Vanadium Rd.  The land is located across the road from Vanadium Woods and extends up the hill to Hughes Street.  It has been in the Nixon family since 1936 and has remained virtually untouched since that time. 

A very large stand of oak trees is located on the property, and it is home to many animals including several species of birds.  The conservancy is thrilled to have received this wonderful gift.  It is the intention of the conservancy to leave this property in its natural state for the benefit of the residents of the community.


Scott Conservancy Property List

We have listed the parcel numbers of the property we own and have under protection below.  All of our parcels have received tax exempt status.  Using the parcel numbers, a computer search can be performed at the Real Estate page found on the Allegheny County Office of Property Assessments site.   Just enter a parcel number listed below in the Parcel Search of the Real Estate website.   You can also view the parcels on our Google® Map created by Keith Weightman.

Vanadium Road Parcels:

These 3 parcels, approximately 5 acres, are separate from the rest of our property and make up a very pristine area containing many mature trees. A sign marking the property is located on Vanadium Road across from the Vanadium Woods.

  1. 195-G-10 

  2. 195-C-50 

  3. 195-C-20

Kane Woods Nature Area Parcels:

The remaining 7 parcels, about 72 acres, are contiguous and create a very large greenway extending from the Whiskey Point Trailhead on Scrubgrass Road to Meadowlark Park in Scott Township. The 2 miles of trails we maintain are located on 42 of these acres. The remaining 30 acres do not contain any developed trails, and we are developing a best practices management plan for this undeveloped area.

Jaycee Drive Parcels:

  1. 144-S-75  

  2. 144-S-33

Carleton Manor Parcels:
(Vanderbilt Drive, Mt. Lebanon) 

  1. 194-B-250

Scrubgrass Road Parcels:
(from the valley on the Scott Township side 
behind Meadowlark Drive ending at Meadowlark Park)

  1. 144-G-375 

  2. 143-J-200 

  3. 143-P-25 

  4. 143-N-50

Master Site Plan Completed

The master site plan for the Kane Woods Nature Area and the property adjacent to Scott Park owned by Scott Township has finally been completed. The plan took approximately two years to complete and cost $87,000. Fifty per-cent of the cost was paid for by a grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The conservancy's portion of the cost was met by site planning paid for by the Baptist Homes. 

The conservancy would like to thank Bob Gamble, Pat Falderoff, Bill Luxner, Don McGuirk, Jean Miewald, Jane Sorcan, and Gary Zyra for volunteering to serve on the Master Site Plan Committee. They worked very hard and met many times over the last two years to complete the project. We also want to thank all those who came to the public meetings that were held to gather input for the plan.

Scott Park and Kane Woods are adjacent greenspaces in Scott Township

trenches dug along and thru trails in damp areas imrove drainageThe master site plan, formally titled Trail Feasibility Study, will be our guide as we continue to develop the Kane Woods Nature Area. The plan was completed by Civil and Environmental Consultants and contains many recommendations for improvements to the area. Included in the plan is an estimated cost for the recommended improvements.  Anyone wanting to view the plan should contact Jane Sorcan  

This year we implemented the first of the recommendations outlined in the plan and trenched drainage ditches along and through damp areas of our trail system to provide a drier walking surface for hikers during the wet spring and fall seasons.



The Scott Conservancy


November 27, 2011

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