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Pittsburgh sits at a unique confluence of rivers unlike any other in the world, diverse and more abundant than any other state except Alaska.
Pittsburgh sits at a unique confluence of rivers unlike any other in the world, diverse and 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.
Pittsburgh's rivers are ideal for sculling, kayaking and canoeing. The Three Rivers Water Trail System is a project intended to develop the rivers as recreational waterways with convenient access points and day-use sites; the Allegheny River Trail is already complete. On the Allegheny River in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, Kayak Pittsburgh rents solo and tandem kayaks, canoes, and hydrobikes for peaceful urban exploration. Located under the 31st Street Bridge on the North Shore, the Three Rivers Rowing Association offers rowing, kayaking, and dragon boating to individuals, schools and organizations of all skill levels. The Steel City Rowing Club is the only rowing organization on the upper Allegheny River, which boasts nine full miles of rowing without locks or dams, on relatively undeveloped wetlands.
Pittsburgh has the second-largest number of registered pleasure boats in the country. There are seventeen marinas in Allegheny County along the three rivers, offering river access, dining and boat maintenance. Station Square in the South Side 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 Trail. Visitors can rent kayaks and boats at the North Park Boathouse through Venture Outdoors.
There are 38.3 miles of river shoreline within the city limits. Venture Outdoors organizes weekly lunchtime fishing in Point State Park or North Shore Riverfront Park, with an instructor on hand to help the novice and expert alike. Regionally, western Pennsylvania's state parks abound with well-stocked lakes and streams. Deer Lakes Park and North Park both have accessible fishing piers.
In Ohiopyle State Park, the Youghiogheny River boasts class III and IV rapids and is considered to be some of the best whitewater in the east. White Water Adventurers and Laurel Highlands River Tours organize rafting and kayaking for groups of all sizes and skill levels on the Youghiogheny River.
PA Fish + Boat Commission
State agency responsible for the protection and management of Pennsylvania's aquatic resources. Issues fishing liscences and boat registrations.
Nonprofit organization bringing economic development, design, and recreation to the downtown riverfronts by working with property owners, public leaders and community groups.