Named in honor of former president and board chair of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, the Joshua C. Whetzel, Jr. Memorial Recreation Area is a 40-acre wooded conservation area adjacent to the Great Allegheny Passage that includes an up-and-back half-mile trail ascending to a scenic observation area high above the GAP. The lookout provides a breathtaking downstream view overlooking the southern edge of Confluence, the Casselman River, and the Youghiogheny River.
This conservation area was dedicated in 2019 and is part of Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s Casselman River Conservation Area, which protects 644 acres along several sections of the Great Allegheny Passage and the Casselman River. Joshua Whetzel recognized the value of protecting and reusing a former railroad corridor as green space for hiking and biking. His efforts led to the preservation of 27 miles along the Youghiogheny River near Ohiopyle, which ultimately became the first segment of the GAP.
Fall is a lovely time to hike the half-mile footpath to the scenic observation area. Parking is available at the Confluence trailhead off of PA-281. It is open dawn to dusk.