For Al’s birthday, we decided to go for a walk on the Butler Freeport rail-trail, which we’ve been meaning to check out for quite some time. When we pulled in to the parking area in Sarver, we had to take the last spot. I hadn’t realized it was such a popular place, but I guess the combination of a Sunday afternoon with no Steeler game (bye week) and a gorgeous 75-degree day in late October really brought everyone outside. There were walkers and bikers, couples and families and dogs. We headed north on the trail, because from that access point that looked like the less civilized stretch of trail.
It really is a pretty trail, aside from the fact that I swear it was uphill in both directions…
We’d heard that there’s been controversy surrounding this trail, but I think that was in sections closer to Pittsburgh where it was going through developed areas. This section we were on seemed like a great use of a suburban green area. For most of the section we were on, the Little Buffalo Creek crossed back and forth under the trail. We saw lots of fish in it, always a good sign in a re-use area.
At one point, to the left of the trail going north, there was a huge (and I mean huge) hill of what we thought must be silt or mine tailings or something. The No Trespassing signs said “Recmix” at the bottom, which I see from their website is a company that recovers lime aggregate and stainless steel from slag. Their website says they process and thereby remove slag landfills from the environment. So I have to assume that what we were seeing was an existing landfill created by some steel company in the past (not unusual around here), which Recmix is now working to recycle. According to the website, Recmix’s process produces no waste materials. I had assumed we were seeing the creation of an environmental wasteland, but I guess I was wrong. Happy to be wrong in this case!