On foot, by bike or in the water, the ways to experience Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are endless. Check out the endless trail information below and start to put together your own outdoor urban adventure!
There are 712 outdoor stairways within Pittsburgh's city limits, totaling 24,090 vertical feet. The highest concentration of city steps is in the South Side Slopes neighborhood which holds its annual StepTrek event in October that allows walkers to climb the many steps in the slopes while benefitting step maintenance in the area. Many of these steps are considered part of the local transit system, and are a great way to start exploring the city on foot.
Take your exploration to the next level by delighting in the beauty of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County on one of the diverse hiking trails that stretch through 24 miles of the city. The Three Rivers Heritage Trail System is a 37-mile trail and greenway system that goes through Downtown Pittsburgh running along both sides of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers. The trail connects Downtown to adjacent city areas including Oakland, the North Shore, the South Side and the Strip District.
Venture a little further into Allegheny County on the Rachel Carson Trail a 35.7-mile day-hike trail connecting North Park in central Allegheny County to Harrison Hills County Park in its northeast corner. This diverse trail ranges from paved areas to rugged terrain and steep inclines.
Pittsburgh's unique topographic blend of steep, winding hills and flat river areas makes it one of the best cities for cycling enthusiasts. Looking for an urban cycling adventure? Check out the Eliza Furnace Trail, a part of the larger Three Rivers Heritage Trail that runs through the city and offers many bike rack sites for easy storage as you explore one of the many unique neighborhoods along the trail. Need a lift to your next trail? Pittsburgh's bike friendly public transit operator the Port Authority allows riders many options to store their bikes while taking a ride to their next destination.
Perhaps it's a more scenic route with a ride along the Steel Valley Trail that winds through 19-miles of Pittsburgh Steel history and is a part of the Great Allegheny Passage, the 325-mile trail connecting Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh. Mountain bikers, be sure to check out the Pittsburgh Off-Road Cyclists for more information on great trails and Pittsburgh's thriving mountain bike community.
If you forgot the bike at home, Golden Triangle Bike has it covered with bike rentals and maps to take you across the city or along the Great Allegheny Passage.
Pittsburgh sits at a unique confluence of rivers unlike any other in the world, and its diversity is more abundant than any other state except Alaska. The three rivers that meet in Pittsburgh are actually a vast watershed of more than a dozen unique creeks and river systems that include more than 30,000 miles of rivers and streams extending into New York and West Virginia. These clean and accessible waters have become a stunning icon of Pittsburgh's environmental transformation and allow you to experience the city from a new vantage point. Kayak Pittsburgh lets you paddle down the Allegheny River and take in the city sites of Downtown and the North Shore from the water. Row up one of the United States' only North flowing rivers, the Monongahela with Three Rivers Rowing which offers Free Learn to Row and Paddle Days.
Spend an afternoon boating from one of the seventeen marinas in Allegheny County along the three rivers, offering river access, dining and boat maintenance. Station Square on the South Shore offers public docks at Bessemer Court, for easy river access to downtown shopping and dining. Also within the city limits are four public boat launches, one on the Monongahela River in the South Side and three along the Allegheny River. Pittsburgh's 38.3 miles of river shoreline within the city limits offers ample space for fishing and western Pennsylvania's state parks abound with well-stocked lakes and streams.
Adventurers are sure to stop by Ohiopyle State Park, where the Youghiogheny River boasts class III and IV rapids and is considered to be some of the best whitewater in the east. Check out White Water Adventurers and Laurel Highlands River Tours for more information on the rapids.