Bradys Run Park – Lots to see and do but plan ahead
Last updated on June 14, 2022 by Jeremy
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Brady’s Run Park is an approximately 2,000 acre park just outside of Beaver Falls that offers a wealth of things to see and experience, from active experiences like walking and hiking to other fun options on the lake and nearby.
But while this one is a decent size, those visiting will likely want to do some advanced planning before arriving as spotty cell signal and a few interconnecting trails make navigating this park a little tricky.
What you can see at Bradys Run Park
Brady’s Run Park is one of those places that has something for everyone. There are many miles of hiking trails, a small lake (with a modest beach, boat launch, and fishing spots), an equestrian arena, tennis courts, a paved walking path, and more Again. In all honesty, this one reminded me of a smaller version of Pittsburgh‘s aptly named North Park and South Park, albeit on a much smaller scale.
As such, you can really visit this park for a number of reasons, whether it’s just to enjoy the lake, do laps on the beautiful walking trail, hike, or do a bit of everything like me!
For hikers, what you can see along the trails here depends a lot on where you’re going. The trails along the lake provide great views of the water, and those up into the hills provide fairly direct views of the forest. I can’t share many obvious highlights beyond these, but my hikes were still a relaxing escape into nature.
That being said, the Calland Arboretum trail was one of my favorites during my visit, as this 0.75 mile trail had about two dozen signs calling out the names of trees in the area, including serviceberry, cricket black, hickory, white pine, etc. much more. A small section of the trail near the parking lot even had fun signs for kids to guess the names of forest animals based on contextual clues provided. However, many of these signs were also quite old and some were so worn that they became difficult to read.
Since most of the unique areas and trails in this park are not extensive, those wishing to take a half-day or full-day tour should plan to visit multiple areas in one visit. Over the course of about two hours I was able to explore the arboretum, lake and walking loop as well as drive throughout the park with plenty of time to relax – but that was only scratching the surface of what was available.
Unfortunately, to really get the full Brady’s Run Park experience, you’ll probably have to visit multiple times as the hiking trails could be better in a few key areas.
Hike to Brady’s Run Park
It may sound strange to say, but hiking Brady’s Run Park is both easy and not easy.
Overall, the trails here should be fairly easy for most visitors. The above mentioned walking path is fully paved and completely flat, whereas most suitable paths are gravel or dirt of varying conditions, widths and grades. While we’re not saying any of the unpaved trails are accessible, they’re not terribly difficult for those who hike a little on a regular basis.
There is, unfortunately, three main problems to consider when visiting Brady’s Run Park.
First, although this park has many miles of trails, they are not interconnected and are scattered over a large area. Some are close that you could hook them up for a full hike with good planning, but some seem to require a long walk down the park road which didn’t seem the safest. As such, you’ll likely be hiking back and forth on most trails and driving between trailheads if you plan on doing more than one hike on any given visit.
So while the trials may seem short, you may not get any benefit from hiking full loops on many of them.
Second, don’t expect a lot of flames to indicate where you are. Other than the signage at a trailhead, I don’t think I’ve seen proper blazes on the trails I’ve hiked, including the Arboretum Trail, which made it difficult when d other paths have crossed. Had to use some blunt instincts to figure out which was the path I wanted as the signage was non-existent. (For example, take the trail that pointed towards the parking lot rather than one that pointed away from it.)
To finishMake sure you download map to your phone before visiting, as your service provider’s cell signal is quite spotty throughout the park. There is also a large map posted near the park entrance on Route 51 by the walking loop as well if you need to take a photo. This is especially useful when you want to find the starting points when you don’t have great service.
All in all, although Brady’s Run is an immensely beautiful park with plenty of activities to enjoy beyond conventional hiking, you really need to go into this one with a plan ahead of time for what you want to see. , do and live. I made this mistake on my first visit to the park and had to give up on a few trails simply because the layout was somewhat confusing and the trail structure was difficult for the time I had. I was much better prepared for my second visit as noted in this one, but it’s worth pointing out that a little planning goes a long way here!
Brady Race Park is located at 121 Bradys Run Rd in Beaver Falls, PA.
Looking for more to do in the area while visiting Brady’s Run? Check out Buttermilk Falls, grab a slice at D&G Pizza, sample a Beaver Brewing Company beer or, if you visit early in the day, buy donuts at Oram’s Donuts!