Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area
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photo by laura petrilla
A lot of things in this 259-acre park will leave an impression, but the seclusion may make the most lasting one. While you’re walking along 10.6 tranquil miles of densely wooded trails, a moderately challenging topography of steep hillsides intertwining with open valleys makes it hard to believe you’re mere miles from the urban epicenter of Downtown. In the northern section of the park, just south of Perry Traditional Academy, the Archery, Snowflake and Wildflower trails wind through forests of large sugar maples and eastern hemlocks believed to be around 100 years old. In the spring, ephemeral wildflowers, including Dutchman’s breeches, Virginia bluebells and Toothwort, bloom. In the Western section, Snyder’s Point Trail loops around gently rolling meadows, providing an excellent vantage point of the Ohio River after the loss of fall foliage. The trails themselves tend not to get too crowded, although you shouldn’t be surprised at the numbers of wildlife including deer and wild turkey that may cross your path. If you get tired, take a breather on one of many rock benches along the way. Maps are available online.
Mairdale Parking Lot, intersection of Mairdale and Woods Run avenues
Level of Difficulty
The Allegheny Observatory (pitt.edu/~aobsvtry), run by the University of Pittsburgh, is one of the world’s major astronomy-research institutions. Time your trek to coincide with one of the free public tours held on Thursday and Friday evenings from April through November. On a clear evening, your tour will end with a viewing of the many celestial
objects that hang overhead.
Learn more: pittsburghparks.org/riverview-park