The people of Homer City, Pennsylvania, had their own nickname for the self-propelled rail-cars that traveled between the small towns of Black Lick and Indiana. They called them “doodlebugs” initially, but somehow they came to be known as “Hoodlebugs.” The small cars carried mail and supplies until 1940, when automobiles made such transportation impractical.
Indiana County has since turned the former rail path into a ten mile recreational trail open to non-motorized activities. Bikers, hikers, and even cross-country skiers use the path. Your dogs are also welcome—just remember to follow all of the standard good-neighborly practices of pet ownership!
Located about an hour’s drive east of Pittsburgh, the Hoodlebug Trail is nestled in a peaceful pastoral community. The county seat of Indiana is home to the state-run Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The university brings lots of life to the area, with a wide variety of entertainment and activities open to the public. Those visiting IUP for a concert, a play, or just to tour the campus might also enjoy an afternoon on the Hoodlebug.
Along the trail, Indiana County officials have placed kiosks where visitors can stop to learn a more detailed account of local history. They have also created an interactive flipbook with more information about the path.