THE BEST PLACES TO GO RUNNING IN PITTSBURGH

11 PLACES

UPDATED JAN 27, 2020

Whether you’re looking for marathon training across a bridge, a jogging date alongside a river, or some hill work (it is Pittsburgh, after all), we’ve got a running route for you.

author

RYAN DEER

FITT PITTSBURGH CONTRIBUTOR

One of Pittsburgh's largest green spaces, Frick Park is a 644 acres of an all-terrain running adventure. With beautifully maintained trails, environmental ambiance, and an off-leash area for your four-legged running buddy, Frick Park is an urban escape for experienced runners and outdoorsy joggers alike.

Prepare to get lost in over 24 miles of Pittsburgh history. The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is a combination of the best running, walking, and biking trails throughout the city, connecting neighborhoods, sights, sounds, and cultures. North Shore Trail, Millvale Trail, Eliza Furnace Trail, South Side Steel Valley Trail, and more are all part of this awesome network of paved wonderland, maintained by Friends of the Riverfront.

The South Side Riverfront Trail is a beautiful spot for sunny after-work run. But since it's such a perfect running trail, be prepared to share this paved riverside trail through the South Side with fellow joggers, rollerbladers, bikers, and dogs. Starting at 4th Street in Station Square and ending five miles later at Riverfront Park, 18th Street South Side, you can lounge on the lawn or celebrate your run with a drink at Hofbrauhaus' open air beer garden.

Skip the flight, and take a jog all the way to Maryland. All you have to do is hop on the start of the Great Allegheny Passage (aka GAP Trail) in the South Side. This car-less and woodsy 150-mile trail was built along former railways, rich with Pennsylvania history. Take in the PA wilderness as you crunch across the crushed limestone course and camp alongside the route.

When you run Riverview Park, you’ve got options. This 259-acre woodland boasts steep hillside trails for hikers and joggers, and a popular paved two-mile loop for road racers. Step outside the city to the Perry North neighborhood, and you can pretty much count on having the trail to yourself for a quick jaunt or lengthy run. Spiral around the trails and paths, then take a seat on the lawn of Observatory Hill for live jazz music, played every Saturday night during the summer.

This massive 3,075 acre park is known for everything from paddle-boarding to picnics, running trails included. Try the North Park Lake Trail, a five-mile loop around the lake that features it’s own pedestrian and bicycle lanes. It’s perfect for all speeds — walkers, joggers, runners, sprinters, and even strollers! There are also plenty of wooded trails for those who’d much rather go off-roading.

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Looking for a good place to get active in the middle of the city? Try 456 acres of trail, woodland, and running bliss on for size. Schenley Park in Oakland is packed with the rolling hills and steep climbs that make up the Pittsburgh Race for the Cure 5k route. If you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be rewarded with a refreshing and revitalizing romp through the woods.

The Montour Trail is another spot built on history. Intended as a railroad to move coal from mines in Mifflin and Library to the hotbed of the steel activity in Pittsburgh, the converted railroad was repurposed to become the longest suburban rail trail in the U.S. It’s a rural 60-plus mile trail full of dark tunnels, smooth terrain, and wooden bridges. The trail spans from Coraopolis to Clairton and features the trail-side coffee and ice cream shops of Arrowhead Trail in Peters Township, which makes for the perfect refreshment for a hot summer run.

Getting restless at your desk? Bring your sneakers, and go for a post-work run out of the city and onto the Eliza Furnace Trail. Often called the “Jail Trail,” this paved wonder winds past the Allegheny County Jail, right between Second Ave. and the Parkway East. Get lost in old Pittsburgh signage from the steel days and other skyline sights on this 5.7 mile run.

Ever get so lost in a run, you don’t even know where you went? We know the feeling. And if you start on the South Side’s Riverfront Trail, you may just end up on the Steel Valley Trail in a blink of the eye. The route has Pennsylvania steel roots and winds with the railroad all the way to McKees Point at McKeesport and Clairton. While you jog, don’t be surprised to catch the distinct Potato Patch Fry smell, as the trail wraps around Kennywood on the way to the Waterfront.

Whether you’re planning a casual jog or looking to break a sweat, Highland Park provides the space and amenities to achieve both. Take in the reservoirs, sculptures, and gardens while walking through the park. If you’re running, opt for the Reservoir Loop — it’s a cool 1.3-mile loop where you can really pile on the laps.

Unlock a Journey to Becoming Your Healthiest Self
UPMC Health Plan

Unlock a Journey to Becoming Your Healthiest Self

Get gamified help to exercise more and reduce stress with the Odyssey app by UPMC.

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