Monday, August 28, 2017

September 2017 Goals + August Goal Recap

Hi. Wow. I feel like August was busy. But, I'm not sure I really did anything. I mean, don't get me wrong, I didn't sit around all month. Just that nothing life changing happened. If someone asked me what I was up to, I would tell them same old, same old.

I'm starting to realize that these last few months have seemed odd, because for the near future, change is over. At least big changes, and ones that we plan on. For years there has been moving apartments, then moving again, dating, getting engaged, and then married. And now? Nothing. No babies (at least not right now), no moving (at least not right now), no nothing. At least not right now. Which is fine by me - it's just odd.

There was always something big happening. It made the little things sort of fade away in the sense of - "What have you been up to?", "Oh, just getting ready to move to a new apartment" - versus "Oh, went on another hike this weekend to a place you'll probably never go because you don't actually like to be outside except in the sense of drinking on a patio."

Until more changes come along, I'm feeling a little wayward. A little unmotivated. And it shows. I have things I want to do, but haven't quite mustered up the determination or grit to actually get them done. Maybe because I feel like I have tons of time? With nothing earth shattering looming in the distance I feel like I can get things done at whatever pace I feel, which right now is a snails crawl. Which isn't like me at all.

After that bummer of an introduction, let's check out how well I didn't do on my August goals.

Bust out thank you notes | Done-zo
Now if people could stop sending us gifts after the fact, then we would stay done. We busted them out, then a new wave of a few gifts came rolling in.

Waste no food | Not quite perfect
We wasted a few things. Like a few slices of a beautifully medium rare grilled venison backstrap. And a few other odds and ends. A jar of applesauce that somehow went moldy? I digress. Another good month. We made lots of salsa, some pasta sauce, and I got my bake on making at least 5 loaves of bread.

Make fall race plans | Let's run a HM she said...
I'm registered for Buffalo Creek Half Marathon & just committed to running Ragnar DC. I'm also considering Hell on Hills which I ran last year, and enjoyed!

80,000 steps weekly | NOPE.
I accomplished this a grand total of zero times in August. WTF. I had some seriously active days, including one with 30,000+ steps (the day before my tri) but somehow still didn't crest 80,000 thanks to some lazy days early in the week.

Keep on tri-training | I won, it's a major award.
While my performance wasn't earth shattering, as I knew it wouldn't be, it was good enough to land me a 3rd place AG finish. So, I'll take it. It was a really strong reminder how much I love tri's (for all 2 that I've raced) and how I want to race many more next year. I think it'll the summer I "tri".

Get my groove back | TBD
Like, so far so good on dragging my ass out of bed to go for a run. But, still not sure I'm back in the groove 100% yet. I was so encouraged by my lack of pain during the bike portion of my tri, but I still need more time on the bike before I am comfortable again.

So, what's up for my wayward soul in September? I just realized it's a fairly busy month. Lots of birthdays to celebrate - odd factoid, my dad, my MIL, FIL & SIL were all born in September, and their birthdays are 4 days in a row. What are the odds? I'll run Ragnar DC, attend to weddings (both {in}conveniently on the same day), and bake everything pumpkin. Wasssup almost fall?!

30 days of yoga | I found a site (Do You Yoga) with a free 30 day challenge. Each video is between 10-15 minutes long, which is great, 'cause considering I do no minutes of yoga now, even 10 seems like quite the commitment. I already know I won't be able to commit to every day, due to some of the travel I have planned, if I can get through 20 of the videos I'll consider this one a rousing success

No missed workouts | Now that I'm officially signed up for the Buffalo Creek half, I want to make this training cycle another success. Which means no missed workouts. I can switch up days, or times, or whatever, but getting the miles in is important.

Plan Mr. Sass' birthday surprise | Guys, shitty wife of the year award. I'll be in China when Mr. Sass turns 30! He's not big on birthdays, so it didn't cross my mind, but considering it was the first thing he mentioned once I told him I had booked the trip, I'd say it's a BFD. Trying to figure out a great way to celebrate him. Some folks suggested having a small surprise party one month before his real birthday. But still thinking out other options. HALP. PLEASE.

Make good choices | I've definitely noticed my body composition changing in the past few months. While my weight has stayed about the same I am definitely noticing less muscle and more fat. Which has led me to feel uncomfortable more than once. So, back to focusing on good choices to reverse that trend.

What should I do for simpleton Mr. Sass for his b-day?
Any sites with great quick yoga videos besides YouTube? 
How early is too early for pumpkin everything?

Linking up with Gretchen + Kristen + Holly & Tricia for Weekend Highlights

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Keystone Triathlon 2017 Race Recap

If you remember way back in January, I talked about my fitness goals for 2017. And one of them was to race another triathlon. I did my first way back in 2015, and I loved the training, and I loved the race. 2016 was crazy busy and I didn't get a chance to race another, so I vowed that 2017 would be the year.

In June, I hit a little setback, when I fell off my bike, broke my hand, and cracked a rib. And, after 5 weeks in a splint, plus additional pain afterwards, I knew this race wasn't going to be earth shattering.

Let's briefly recap my training, shall we?
1 swim
0 rides on a bike that moves (I did do some work on the spin bike at the gym)
18 runs - totalling a whopping 62.5 miles

All to say, I was wildly underprepared and undertrained for this race. In fact, I hadn't even managed to ride my bike post accident. So, I wasn't even sure I could ride pain free. Let's mark that down in the #DumbShitJessieDoes category.

I raced the Sprint version of this race, which consisted of a .45 mile swim, 15.1 mile bike ride & 5K run. The "benefit" I believe I have in the tri world is that I'm pretty average at all 3 things. I swam in middle // high school, biked cross country, and have 10+ HM's under my belt. While I wouldn't say I'm fast at any of the disciplines, I'm far from being bad at any of them, which seems to mean I can hold my own.

I picked up my packet day of, and while my maps app took us to the totally wrong place, we made it with plenty of time to pick up my packet, get marked, and set up my transition area.

The fog on Sunday morning was super thick, so much so that the buoys on the swim course were 100% not visible from shore. They had to push back the adventure (kayak) race, because the kayakers couldn't see the buoys, and so the sprint race started right at 9AM.

SWIM // .45 miles
Despite the water being wetsuit legal, I didn't wear one. They set off everyone doing the sprint distance in a massive start, with a few kayakers in the water to help guide us in the right direction. I couldn't see a damn thing, and so did my best to stay with the other bobbing heads I could see, hoping someone actually knew where we were headed. Results aren't live as I'm writing this, but Mr. Sass tells me I definitely finished in the first half of people. Which, as I take a closer look at this picture, all the white bobbing heads in the water make me think he was right.

BIKE // 15.1 miles
I was nervous going into this leg for several reasons. Not only was I not sure if I could ride without pain, but I was afraid I would forget how to ride my bike. Luckily I did not forget how to ride my bike, but holy moly have I lost some strength. The bike course was not easy by any means, and it didn't help that 2 sections had fresh tar & chip. One included a downhill stretch with a sharp right onto tar & chip, eventually leading into a hill. And the other had a steep downhill section on tar & chip with a turn onto a main road at the end - which, honestly, I hopped off and walked down that steep descent.

To say I was riding scared was an understatement. There were dozens of hills on the course, and while none were truly big, because I didn't know the course well beforehand it was hard to know how sharp some of the turns would be. I braked hard more than once and slowed to a crawl in order to be sure I could make the turn. I definitely need some more easy miles on roads I know before I'm ready to be back out again.

RUN // 3.1 miles
T2 was quick. Tossed off my cleats, slipped into my running shoes & I was off. Said a few words to Mr. Sass in between. I ran out of water on the bike course, so I was grateful there was an aid station almost immediately on the run. I passed a few people, and was shocked to see my first 2 miles both come in at 8:XX.  Before I knew it, I was rounding the corner and could see the finish line. I pushed it for the last little bit, and Mr. Sass was standing there right as I crossed.

I downed a bottle of water before grabbing a taco with all the fixings & a Mike's Hard Lemonade from the post race spread. Mr. Sass thought there was a chance I had won an award, and said not too many people finished before I did. So we stuck around for a few minutes. Turns out, I won 3rd in my age group! A welcome surprise!

Overall, I thought the race was run well, and I liked the small field, it made for an uncrowded course. I paid $20 to register with a coupon code wayyyy back on Valentine's Day + another $15 for a 1 day USAT membership, so $35 total, and I more than got my money back.

Also, Mr. Sass coming to a race with me was pretty much the best thing ever. Personal photographer, shit holder, confidence booster, and DD once I got ahold of a Mike's Hard. His work schedule doesn't often work out for him to come to my races, which makes this one even sweeter.

What is your favorite post race food - what race is it from so I can sign up?
What's your favorite race award?
{This mug I got is pretty cool}

Linking up with :Holly & Tricia for Weekend Highlights + Marcia x Patty x Erika for Tuesdays on the Run + Steff

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Five #70

Friends, it has been a week. After skipping out on my fair share of Friday Fives, here I am. This week held wonderfully cool mornings, with a few even in the 50's. Cue the heart eyes. It pretty much sent me into *I want pumpkin everything* mode. And I've been trying hard to reel myself in, but there is no guarantee that the bread I make tonight won't have some pumpkin in it.

one // Since I'm heading to China in November I need to send in my Visa application. Which, while not exactly complicated - does require lots of very specific things. Filling out a form with basically every place you plan to be while you're there, a passport photo taken within the last month, with no shadows (so hard) + mailing in your actual passport. I have to say, it makes me a Nervous Nellie to be mailing my passport off somewhere.

two // Though in my opinion Blue Apron is too time consuming & too expensive to use regularly, I did love this meal we made a few weeks ago, with salmon, cilantro lime rice and a spicy peach & corn salsa. We'll definitely be recreating this salsa at home since it was a great addition to the meal.

three // Can't resist sharing how well Mr. Sass & I clean-up. Though next time I'll make sure to match my arm brace to my outfit. #AmateurMove P.S. This is actually from a wedding we went to at the beginning of July, and my arm brace is off now, though my hand doesn't quite feel 100%.

four // Okay, JK, I looked up pumpkin zucchini bread recipes and they all sound amazing, so, you bet your sweet ass Imma make some tonight. We had zucchini from our garden needing to be used up, and I've been hoarding a few cans of pumpkin since last winter in case of an emergency, like this one. Ta-da!

five // Funnies...

linking up with Heather, Amanda, AndreaTifDella & Katie & Friday Five 

What are you up to this weekend?
What's your favorite baked good?
Too early for pumpkin or nah?


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

McConnells Mill State Park : Slippery Rock Gorge Trail

Hey friends, I'm back with another hike post, so those of you in Western PA area are in luck. This past Sunday I was all set to go for an early morning trail run, but my buddy (I'll leave out names to protect the guilty...) had a little too much fun Saturday night and couldn't meet me. I was left bumming around the house, slowly enjoying my coffee, when our friends Ryan & Rachael called to see if we wanted to join them for a hike. Mr.Sass was stuck putting in a new front door that took longer than expected, but I happily downed my coffee, changed my clothes & headed for a hike.

Getting There : McConnells Mill State Park is about 40 minutes to 1 hour from the city of Pittsburgh depending on what part of the city you're in, and is easily accessible from I-79N.

{Tip} - Aim to end your hike hungry & head the extra 15 - 20 minutes north to North Country Brewing in Slippery Rock. It has quickly become my favorite restaurant. They brew their own beer, have tons of local wines available, and even make some of their own soft drinks. Their food is excellent also, especially their deep fried pretzels with cheese and homemade spicy mustard (splurge the $.75 for both dips!) And their interior, booths, bar, tables, etc are all hand carved from wood. Double bonus, they have an outdoor seating area!

Hike : Slippery Rock Gorge Trail (DCNR website here)
This is where things get interesting - the Gorge trail is a one-way trail, which means, if you hike it all the way through, you will end up nowhere near where you started. So, what are the options?

1. Hike out as far as you please, turn around, come back (Lots of distance options)
2. Hike all the way to the end, and then come back (12.4 miles total)
3. Set up a "shuttle" - this requires 2 cars, which I'll talk about below (6.2 miles)

Parking : We parked here (we'll call this Parking A), in this gravel lot - while there is  parking further down this road, it fills up quickly on the weekends and it is difficult to turn around if you get down there & find no parking. Take your chances.

If you'd like to start the trail from the other end, or if you're setting up a shuttle, you'll want to park here - at Hell's Hollow - we'll call this Parking B.

Above I mentioned that if you're interested in hiking the trail all the way through (6.2 miles) you'll need to set up a shuttle, this involves 2 cars, one parked at each end point, which is how we completed the trail on Sunday. I parked at the gravel lot, the first lot mentioned, hopped in with Ryan & Rachael & we drove to the Hell's Hollow parking lot, which is where we started our hike. Post hike, I drove them back to their car. While this option takes a little more planning it's a nice way to see the whole trail without walking 12.4 miles.

Trailhead : If you're starting the trail at Parking A, take a right out of the gravel lot, walk down the "road" and stay right until you cross a bridge, with Slippery Rock Creek underneath, once you cross the bridge, the trail head will be immediately on your left. There will be a sign, with a blue blaze.

If you're starting at Parking B, head away from the road, along the tree line, towards the middle of the gravel lot there is an opening to the trail. Very wide and well marked. It includes a picnic bench as well as a map. If you miss it, this hike is too difficult for you. ;)

Round Trip : The trail from end to end is 6.2 miles, if you set up a shuttle. If you hike the full trail, out & back to return to your start point, you'll hike 12.4 miles. If that's not your jam, hike out a few miles, then turn around, this is an easy way to make a hike any distance you please.

Difficulty : Intermediate.
This trail is not suitable for young children (in my opinion, maybe yours are rockstars) I would recommend a hiking shoe or boot. There is no water along the trail, nor at the trailheads, so you'll definitely need to bring your own. The trail is not difficult to follow, it is very well blazed, and has signage throughout. The difficulty comes from the elevation changes, and uneven footing.

Hike Time : For the 6.2 mile end to end version I would say it took us about 3 hours.
Elevation Gain : There's lots of elevation changes on this hike, both up and down. Believe me, you'll get your heart pumping on this hike.
Restrooms : None at Parking A, one port-o-potty of questionable cleanliness is available at Parking B.

This is definitely a park worth visiting. There are several other shorter loop type trails within the park that start from the Old Mill if 6.2 miles isn't your style. The Kildoo Parking lot has a nice picnic area and makes it easy to reach the Mill.

Ever been to McConnells Mill?
Let me know if you head up & try out the trail! :)
What is a comfortable hiking distance for you?
Is 6 miles too long of a hike?

If you all enjoyed this post I would love to see you PIN IT!

Linking up with Amanda.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August 2017 Goals + July Goal Update

Hiiiiii, I'm baaaaack! Did you miss me, Internet Friends? It has certainly been weird not logging in here a few times each week to catch up with you all, but sometimes a break is nice.

I hope you'll catch me up on a little bit of what you've been up to these past few weeks in the comments! I've missed you!

^3 months running for this intro. New goal. How many months in a row can I reuse the same intro? Hopefully none more, 'cause it's kind of a bummer.

I'm not sure where July went. It felt like it went by at 1.5 speed this year. Seriously. Needless to say, I feel like I probably didn't rock my July goals, but I'm not even sure, because for the first month ever, I can't remember what they were. That's how quickly things flew.

85,000 steps weekly | FAIL
I hit this one week out of the 4. No excuses. I just still haven't been running much, or hiking as much as I assumed I would. Derp.

More outdoor time | I drank a lot of margaritas in the kiddie pool
And mojitos, and ciders, and beers. We had several groups of friends over & enjoyed our back porch and flat back yard (a unicorn in Pittsburgh). Did several hikes, an outdoor wedding, and a weekend spent relaxing lakeside for a friends bachelorette party.

Start (modified) TRI training | Ehhhh
I did some more bike rides on the spin bikes at the gym. I hopped in the pool to swim for the first time in a while (and knocked out at least 2100yds), But my running has still been on the struggle bus and wildly inconsistent to boot. I think this is my fancy way of saying, holy shit, my TRI is on August 20th, and while I know I can finish it, I don't think this will be my triumphant comeback after my bike injury.

Waste no food | B-
I'd say we did pretty okay at this. Some noodles got pitched. And a sad cabbage remnant that sat in the fridge too long. But other than that, we ate it all. I hedge my bets a bit this time of year. Our garden is producing some, but it's anyone's guess when I got shopping on a Saturday what we'll have by Wednesday. But so far I've guessed well. Mr. Sass and I are getting into a groove with prepping lunches and things. He eats differently depending on what shift he's working at work. This month, I've been prepping him a lunch just like I do for me. But, when he works evenings next month he thinks he'd prefer a huge breakfast, no lunch, a normal dinner and some late night snacks. Alright...Mrs. Sass is on it!

Make a budget | We STILL need a budget
We opened a join checking account, which, so far has proved to just be annoying. And our checks haven't arrived yet, so I can't switch over my direct deposit. NVM, just did it, even though it's the hardest thing I've done all day. Up next, budget. Though, with 2 sets of plane tickets, and a few weekend trips to celebrate with friends, I can tell you it's already blown. Oops.

In summation, I didn't seem to get much done during July. Honestly, my motivation to do anything besides sit in the pool & chat with friends has been low. Even running. I love the feeling when I'm out there, usually, but getting out there is the problem.

So, what's on tap for August!?

Bust out thank you notes | It still hurts a bit to write, but I just want these done. I can do one or two at a time, but definitely not 7 or 8 like I was before. So, slow and steady wins the race.

Waste no food | I want to keep rocking this trend. Making sure we're using all our garden produce - and not buying groceries we don't need.

Make fall race plans | My motivation has been low. I really want to run Buffalo Creek Half Marathon (& rock it), but my desire to jump into a training plan doesn't seem to be there just yet. Not sure if registering will force me to buckle down, or if I just shouldn't sweat it.

80,000 steps weekly | Considering I only hit this marker 1/4 weeks in July, let's tone it down here.

Keep on tri-training | I've (semi) accepted that this tri isn't going to be an earth shattering finish. But that doesn't meant I can't come in strong and embrace where I am now. But like, also, let's get my ass back on a bike one that actually moves when you pedal it.

Get my groove back | I really don't know what it is. I've been in this weird little exercise funk. I enjoy it when I'm out there, but getting out there is the hard part. Maybe I just need some cooler temps, or a bike ride, since those are my favorite. Shrugs.

What are your August goals?
What's one thing you're looking forward too in August?
Swim, Bike, Run - which one would be your strongest? Your weakest?

Linking up with Amanda +  AngeGretchen + Kristen

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pacific Mountain Outdoor

Honestly, this review (yeah, this is a review - disclaimer alert!) took me a while to write. Not because I didn't love the boots, but because I couldn't quite find my voice. I kept feeling like I sounded less than authentic. I found a hiking boot review on another blog, and set out to make mine pretty, and fancy like theirs. And then I thought - whaaaat? Why would I do that!? I'm not fancy. I don't have a $5,000 camera, and I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to snapping pics. I'm a self proclaimed frugal-ista, and hate spending money that I don't have to. But, what I do know is hiking.

If you've been around here for more than 5 minutes, you know hiking is my jam. You know it's one of Mr. Sass and I's favorite things to do, and our preferred method of exploring new places - obviously followed by eating.

But - serious confession. For as much as I hike, and as many big hikes as I've done, I'm a big baby when it comes to crossing creeks. My confidence is pretty low when it comes to hopping over rocks quickly to make it across creeks. Which, makes my life twice as hard because rocks tend to shift and sink the longer your weight is on them. My fear stems from the totally unrealistic vision that I might fall, hit both my front teeth on a rock and require serious dental work. Far from likely, but a strong enough fear to mean more often than not my feet get wet when I attempt to cross a creek.

In the summer, it's no big deal. Actually - I usually relish a chance to get my feet wet. In the winter though? It's a totally different story. Rarely on our winter hikes is the water frozen enough to WALK on. Instead the rocks are just more slippery, which accelerates my fear that I'll fall & bust all my teeth out. I have big, clunky, serious winter hiking boots. And they definitely have their purpose. Hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro? Yeah. Get out those heavy winter boots. But what about when there is little to no snow on the ground - no need to wear a boot meant for trekking through snow. All you'll be doing is lugging around weight you don't need.

What I've lacked for a while was a middle ground. I have my clunky hiking boots for crazy winter weather, and I've got my lightweight hiking shoes for easy summertime hikes. But I was missing something in-between, something with ankle support, but lightweight if I was going to lug it around on my feet all day and something waterproof.

Cue Pacific Mountain Outdoor.

| side note | When I first went to write this review I was alarmed that there was mud all over my boots. Wait, what? Yeah. You read that right. Trying to be like other bloggers, all fancy, and clean. Like, of course there is mud on my boots, I hiked in them. Like actual hikes. Where there was dirt, and mud, and sticks, and trees I climbed over. Like in the woods. Where there are hiking trails.

When Pacific Mountain reached out to me on Instagram, I did a little research & decided that we would be a great fit. I was offered a pair of boots at no charge - in exchange for my honest review.

I instantly picked out the Moraine. It's waterproof, fairly lightweight - especially compared to a big hiking boot, and well priced. While 5 years ago I would have scoffed at the price, one pair of bad shoes will quickly change your mind. One of the worst things that can happen to a hiker is to be miles away from the car, or your destination, only to feel a blister forming. I will gladly pay for quality shoes to save my feet.

The bed of the boot is made of memory foam, which feels a little rigid when you first put your foot in, but instantly warms from the heat of your foot, and then forms to it. I loved that these didn't feel like they would need to be broken in. They were ready to wear right away.

I know a lot of you are newer to hiking - or even total novices, but are interested in learning more. So here's a few things to know when buying boots.

1. Think of hiking boots like you would running shoes, or other specialty shoes. While you could hike many trails in regular old tennis shoes they lack the stability and grip that hiking specific boots will have. They also lack ankle support and rigid bottoms which can be nice on uneven or rocky terrain. 

2. In that same vein, hiking boots are not a one size fits all. What works for my foot may not work for your foot. This is why boot brands have different styles and cuts of boot. Don't be afraid to try several different styles or sizes if you're unsure what will fit best. Pacific Mountain Outdoor has free shipping both ways! Which, truly, is my criteria for buying shoes // clothing online. Buy a pair! And worst case, if they don't fit, you're able to return them, no problem.

The first few (okay, first 5 months...) were pretty much all consumed with wedding planning. Or going places for wedding related events. And while I don't regret one second of it (okay, I do regret the amount of time spent stressing about wrinkly tablecloths) I feel like I haven't soaked up nearly enough sunshine and fresh air yet this year.

You know one of my July goals was to spend more time outside. So bring on the hiking! There are lots of new to me trails on The Sass' must hike list. Not to mention, anytime someone hikes a new trail, they make sure to ask if we've been there yet. And if we haven't? It goes on the list. Needless to say, we are not short on places to explore this summer.

I'll have posts up in the next few weeks about what's in my daypack when I'm out hiking, some hiking basics, and some of my favorite Pittsburgh area trails for you local folks! Starting with my Mill Creek MetroPark review!

What's a fairly unrealistic fear of yours?
When was the last time you bought new hiking boots?

Linking up with Amanda to share.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Mill Creek MetroPark - Gorge & Cohasset Trails

A few of you have mentioned to me that while you love the concept of hiking, you have no idea where to start. "No idea where to start" can mean different things - but I know even for me it can be hard to find good places to hike. Or, if I do hear mention of a trail, it can be difficult to find information.

Where is the trailhead?
Is there parking?
Are there bathrooms?
How long is the trail?
How difficult is the trail?
Is there anything neat to see (besides nature) along the way?

So, while I can't take the guess work out for everybody, I can help take it our for some fellow Pittsburgher's. As I complete more new hikes, or even repeat some local favorites I'll aim to create a post with the need to know information as well as my own personal thoughts & a few pictures.

Mr. Sass and I were looking for a hike Saturday morning - we were both wanting something different, but knew we would have some time constraints because we had a wedding to attend Saturday evening. After some google-ing I found Mill Creek MetroPark.

Located in Youngstown, OH the park is just over an hour from Pittsburgh via the Turnpike.
{Tip} - take the turnpike there, you'll spend just $.75 in tolls - but take 422 to 79 or some back roads home, the PA turnpike will charge you almost $10 just to roll your wheels on into the state. And the scenic drive will only set you back about 10 minutes.

Hike : East & West Cohasset Trail + East & West Gorge Trail (park maps here)

Parking : We parked here - by the Suspension Bridge.
{Tip} Map directions for Volney Rd & Parkview Ave, Youngstown, OH. Continue straight on Parkview Ave and into the park. When you reach Valley Dr. turn right, and continue until you reach a small lot on your right. If you cross the suspension bridge, you've gone too far. If you'd like to start at an alternate point, there is parking on E.Park Dr. near Lanterman's Mill

Trailhead : If you park at Lanterman's Mill, follow signs to the Mill. From there you can join the East Gorge Trail on the same side of the water. Alternatively, if you park where we did, cross the suspension bride, and the trail starts with a few rock steps just ahead of you.

Round Trip : 5 miles - if you park at the suspension bridge, each trail is about 2.5 miles with the ability to stop at your car in between.
Difficulty : Easy, these hikes could be completed with tennis shoes & are family friendly.
Hike Time : 2 hours
Elevation gain : Minimal, with gentle grades, and some steps.
Restrooms : Yes, at Lanterman's Mill

These trails are easy to hike  and follow the water.  Maps are available online, but show little detail, we started our hike on the West Cohasset Trail, which meant the water stayed on our right, even as we crossed the bridge to the East Cohasset Trail and headed back towards our car.

While the trail was well maintained, it was not marked. There were several intersections - all of which had no indication of which way the trail continued. Luckily Mr. Sass has an excellent sense of direction. Several of these trails went up and away from the water. I think if you stay alert and keep the water on your right you'll be alright.

We opted for a brief stop back at the car, which is possible by parking at the Suspension Bridge, but not by parking at Lanterman's Mill.We then crossed the Suspension Bridge again, this time turning left to enter the West Gorge Trail, which kept the water on our left.

A large field near the suspension bridge would lend itself well to packing a picnic - as there were no food options inside the park. But, if you're looking to make a day of it, the wineries of Lake Milton are only 20 - 30 minutes away, and would make the perfect cool down after a morning hike.

This is definitely a park worth spending time at - there are 15 miles of trails, of which we explored about 5. We saw many folks running on the trails - and many biking on the 20-ish miles of paves roads that run through the park.

Pittsburgh people - Are these hiking posts something you think you'll find helpful?
Especially if they're all aggregated into a new hiking tab?

What is some other information you'd want about each hike?