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@ANDREWBRUENING | INSTAGRAM

THE BEST PARKS AND GREEN SPACES IN PITTSBURGH

15 PLACES

UPDATED OCT 24, 2019

When it comes to parks and green spaces, Pittsburgh is pretty spoiled. From urban oases to more adventurous outings just a quick drive away, there’s no shortage of opportunities to get outside around here.

author

REYNA SCOTT

FITT PITTSBURGH CONTRIBUTOR

This state park is perfect for the adventurers out there. Bring your own kayak or canoe to whitewater raft down the Slippery Rock Creek. If you provide your own equipment, then you can also can traverse the Rim Road Climbing area. This park even offers hiking trails for all ages and experience levels. Looking for more of a leisurely activity? Fishing is permitted almost anywhere along the creek. McConnells Mill is sure to please everyone!

Located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Shadyside Avenue, Mellon Park is a great place to stop as you’re driving through Shadyside. The Walled Garden underwent a restoration of several years and was completed in June 2010. Since the update, the park has been offering events throughout the summer, including live classical music. Not interested in Beethoven? Don’t worry — you can schedule your own private events here, too!

This park is unique in that it's the only county park that has a professional diving well! After working up a sweat from the rugged hiking and biking trails, cool off by taking a dip in the water. Cannon ball into 17-feet deep water from a one, three, or 10-meter concrete platform (hopefully you’re not afraid of heights).

From horseback riding to snowmobiling, this state park offers just about any outdoor activity you can think of. Raccoon Creek is also the perfect place for a peaceful hike through the woods or a family camping trip. No matter the season, you'll stay busy whether you're here for one day or one week.

This 1,100-acre park is great for field trips because it’s actually a working farm. That’s right — there are cows, pigs, goats, horses, and more. There’s even a milk house and a duck pond! While the park is extremely educational, you can stop by to just enjoy the trails, picnic shelters, and water spray park on those hot summer days.

Deer Lakes is known for its three spring-fed lakes, which provide year-round fishing opportunities—it’s a fisherman’s paradise. This park also sits on one of the highest points in Allegheny County, allowing for picture-perfect views of the stars and planets. In fact, visitors can take a “tour of the sky” throughout the year!

Finally, a beach in Western PA! Moraine State Park provides not one, but two beaches along the shore of Lake Arthur. While we all love to catch some rays and go for a swim during the summer, this is only one of the amenities the park offers. While you’re here, you can even book a cruise. Okay, so maybe it isn’t to the Caribbean, but hey, who wouldn’t enjoy the scenery and wildlife that surrounds Lake Arthur? If you’d rather take your own boat out on the lake, you can do that as well at Davis Hollow Marina.

Being that North Park is the largest in the county, you are sure to stay active and busy here. Walk, run, bike, or hike on the trails totaling 43 miles. During the summer, you can go for a dip in what was once the largest pool in the world, or go for a horse back ride. Don’t worry — there are winter activities at the park, too. When the lake freezes over, there are opportunities for cross-country skiing and ice fishing.

This park is conveniently located where the three rivers come together, known appropriately as “the Point” or the “Golden Triangle.” As a part of this National Historic Landmark, Pittsburghers indulging in watersports including boating, paddleboarding, and kayaking are a very common sight. Be sure to check out the Fort Pitt Museum while you’re visiting, too — it tells of the role Western PA played during the French and Indian War.

This park includes three different neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, not to mention one of the best views of the city. You can even catch a movie at the park every week as a part of the free “Cinema in the Park” series during the summer. When you’re looking to be a little more active, Emerald View Park also has basketball courts, baseball fields, and even a boxing club (a great way to relieve some stress)!

West Park, better known as Allegheny Commons, is a 64-acre paradise that is the oldest park in Pittsburgh. Built in 1867 in what was Allegheny City, the park once featured four fountains that have since been demolished. But, thankfully, community groups are currently hard at work raising funds that would restore the park surrounding Lake Elizabeth to its original splendor. In the meantime, there's plenty of room to play frisbee or have a relaxing picnic.

For many college students, Schenley Park is the perfect study spot only a few minute’s walk from both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie University. While Schenley Park offers a fantastic view of the Cathedral of Learning, it's hard to believe you're still in the city here. A swimming pool in the summer, an ice skating rink in the winter, and an 18-hole golf course are just a few of the amenities you can access to escape reality for a bit.

This 259-acre park offers something for everyone. Hikers, bikers, and runners can enjoy the deeply-wooded trails, while residents can also enjoy a swimming pool, playground, ball field, and even horseback riding. One of the landmarks at the park is the Allegheny Observatory—a major astronomical research institution owned by the University of Pittsburgh. You may also notice the Chapel Shelter, which makes for a great picnic spot.

This is the largest city park in Pittsburgh, covering 600 acres of trails and baseball fields. Not only are the amenities endless at Frick Park during the warmer months, but also in the winter. It's even home to the iconic Blue Slide Park: the go-to spot for sledding. Yes, Mac Miller’s Blue Slide Park.

The entrance of the park welcomes you with a large Victorian-style garden that leads up to one of Pittsburgh’s many reservoirs, along with running and dog walking trails. If you’re looking for something to do with the entire family, check out the 50-meter swimming pool, the kiddie pool, and the volleyball courts. And let’s not forget, you’re right next to the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium!

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