Spring is around the corner, and for many people, that means it’s time to get outside again. Butler County has some amazing places to explore outdoors including state parks, hiking trails, and other outdoor attractions. Whether you’re a nature lover or want somewhere new to go on your next family vacation, check out these seven ways to get outside in Butler County!
Jennings Community Center
“Jennings Environmental Education Center is one of several state parks specifically dedicated to providing environmental education and recreational programs to the community. A variety of programs that increase knowledge and awareness of the beauty and importance of our natural resources are available for children, teachers, and the general public.
By taking time to explore Jennings through its trail network or community programs, visitors can enjoy the outdoors while learning the skills needed to be good stewards of Pennsylvania’s outstanding natural resources.
Jennings provides a unique combination of prairie and forest environs, which offer a wide array of resources and educational opportunities.
One of the park’s main features, the 20-acre prairie ecosystem, is home to distinctive prairie plants and the endangered massasauga rattlesnake. The most noteworthy and spectacular prairie flower is the blazing star.
Jennings was the first reserve established in Pennsylvania to protect an individual plant species and remains the only public and protected prairie in the commonwealth.”
Succop Nature Park – Audubon Society
“A beautiful location to watch birds, animals, and nature – or to hold your wedding or special event. Open from dawn to dusk, with dog-friendly walking trails, two ponds, and natural spaces used for outdoor activities and education, Succop Nature Park, 185 W. Airport Road, Butler PA 16002, has a longstanding history in the Butler community. In years past, before Audubon managed the property, the public was invited to use the land for picnics—and even to collect fresh eggs from the onsite hens. Today, the property and its serene environment attract visitors of all ages who seek to connect with birds and nature.”
Gilly’s Wheel House
On Butler’s Main Street, you will find Gilly’s wheelhouse. Where you can order Custom-built Mountian Bikes, BMX Bikes, and get repairs. Gilly’s also offers bike rentals for people who are coming in from out of town or aren’t ready to commit to their own bike yet. It’s a great way to test out a new bike and see if it’s something you want to go all-in on. You can also rent a bike while yours is in for repairs.
On the wall of Gilly’s wheelhouse, you’ll find maps of the local biking routes and some of the best places to mountain bike and explore. If you aren’t finding what you’re looking for the owner of Gilley’s real house, Josh will be able to guide you in the right direction.
Butler County Milers
You can find the Butler County Milers running most weeks rain or shine. If you have ever wondered where you should go for a hike or a run, their Instagram is the place to look for info and inspiration. They know all the best spots.
“Our group was formed in January of 2020 in the hopes of bringing together a community of people who share a love of running and being active. We host group events every week for walkers, road runners, trail runners and hikers of all distance/pace levels.
We love our local community and strive to support it in as many ways as we can, from supporting small businesses to organizing regular trash walks. It is our mission to not only work towards bettering ourselves, but the communities we run in as well.”
Moraine State Park
“The gently rolling hills, lush forests, and sparkling waters disguise a land that has endured the effects of continental glaciers and massive mineral extraction.
The central feature of the park is the 3,225-acre Lake Arthur with 42 miles of shoreline. Each year, more than one million boaters, picnickers, hikers, bikers, horseback riders, cabin renters, and swimmers visit the 16,725-acre park, yet never realize that many people helped restore the park from prior coal mining and oil and gas drilling practices.
Today, the park is an outstanding example of environmental engineering achievement and provides a variety of year-round recreational opportunities.”
Preston Park (temporarily closed)
“Preston Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Preston Park consists of 88 acres and is located at 415 South Eberhart Road. Amenities include walking trails, fishing ponds, wildlife, and numerous unique plants. The park is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Dogs must be on a leash at all times in the park and owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets. Bike riding is not permitted on the wooded trails of Preston Park. Bike riding is permitted on the Sawmill Run Trails at Butler Township Park.”
Main St – Butler, Sarver, Saxonburg
If you haven’t taken a minute to walk down your local Main Street, it’s well worth the time. The people may be different and the storefronts may say different things, but one thing remains the same. It’s often a hub or main thoroughfare for travelers and residents.
The main streets of Butler, Sarver, and Saxonburg are no different. These are great places to take a walk and get outside in Butler County. Take a moment to pop into a storefront or grab a bite to eat as you explore your Main Street.
Now Get Outside in Butler County
The weather is getting warmer, the sun is out longer and you’re slowly starting to feel like it might be time for a change of scenery. Maybe you’ve been stuck inside dealing with work responsibilities or have spent too much time working on your (insert hobby here) that now you need to get back outside and start enjoying the great outdoors. Use the suggestions above to get outside and get active.
Remember this doesn’t have to be complicated. Getting outside can be as easy as walking in your neighborhood or taking a walking break while working at ConnectWork on Main.