Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area



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BEST URBAN STROLL
August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays
HILL DISTRICT


photo by laura petrilla

Walk a mile — 5 actually — in the shoes of Pittsburgh son and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, passing sites that inspired roles in his Pittsburgh Cycle. Meticulously mapped by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, your journey begins at Freedom Corner at Centre Avenue and Crawford Street. Used since the 1960s as an assembly point to march in support of social justice, the corner offers an excellent view of the once-vibrant commercial heart of the Lower Hill. At the site of the former Mellon Arena, Bedford, Wylie and Centre avenues once intersected with Logan and Fullerton streets; Logan is significantly referenced in seven of Wilson’s plays. From there, you’ll hit 35 more points of interest, some designated by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission markers. Highpoints include Wilson’s childhood home at 1727 Bedford Ave., under renovation for use as a community arts and entertainment center; and Crawford Grill No. 2, the renowned jazz club where an electrifying performance in 1966 by saxophonist John Coltrane left Wilson with what he called “one of the most remarkable moments of my life.”   

Trailhead
Corner Monument, Centre Avenue and Crawford Street

Level of Difficulty
Easy

Dog-Friendly?
Yes

Kid-Friendly?
Yes

Mileage
5 miles

Don’t miss
2172 Wylie Ave., the site of the former Eddie’s Restaurant. The rear booth served as a meeting place for Wilson and a coterie of artistic friends, and it’s where he reportedly conceived the idea of “Jitney,” the first of his Pittsburgh Cycle plays.
Learn more: phlf.org/product/august-wilson-pittsburgh-places-in-his-life-and-plays/
 

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