If you’re a runner, Pittsburgh is the perfect mix of urban places and green spaces. You can pound the pavement or hit the trails. Run past bustling businesses, across a bridge (or five), alongside a river, or set out into a more scenic, tree-lined setting.
Whether you’re looking for marathon training, a jogging date, or some hill work (it is Pittsburgh, after all), we’ve got a running route for you.
If you just like to run, and run, and run. Get yourself over to Frick Park. It’s 644 acres of 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. Sounds like a dream (and a spot for PGH Marathon training). 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, Lawrenceville Trail, Millvale Trail, Eliza Furnace Trail, South Side Riverfront Trail, Steel Valley Trail — they’re all part of this awesome network of paved wonderland, maintained by Friends of the Riverfront.
The South Side Riverfront Trail is beautiful in the summer. And the perfect spot for an after-work run. A lot of people know this, so be prepared to share the riverside trail through the South Side with fellow joggers, rollerbladers, bikers, and dogs. Starting at 9th Street Station Square and ending five miles later at Riverfront Park, 18th Street South Side, you can lounge on the lawn or meet friends at the open air beer garden at Hofbrauhaus.
Well, how far do you want to run? Were you thinking Maryland? Hey, it’s possible! 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.
When you run Riverview Park, you’ve got options. This 251-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 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.
North Park has room for picnics, playgrounds, paddleboarding, kayaking, zip-lining, and bicycling. And there’s still plenty of space to run to your heart’s content. Try running the North Park Lake Trail. It’s 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! But there are also plenty of trails for those who’d much rather go off-roading.
Looking for a good place to get active? Try 456 acres of trail, woodland, and running bliss on for size. That’s Schenley Park in Oakland. Lace ’em up tight though, the park is packed with the rolling hills and steep climbs that make up the Susan G. Komen 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 road has been repurposed to become one of the best biking and hiking trails in the region. It’s a rural 50-plus mile trail full of dark tunnels, smooth terrain, and wooden bridges. It 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 to work, because you can run right out of the city onto the Eliza Furnace Trail. Called the “Jail Trail”, this paved wonder winds passed the Allegheny County Jail and right between Second Ave. and the Parkway East. Get lost in old Pittsburgh signage from the steel days and other skyline sights. Though, try to find your way back before your boss notices!
Ever get so lost in a run, you don’t even know where you ran? We know that 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. It’s got 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 stroll or fixin’ 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, you gotta take the Reservoir Loop. It’s a cool 2.5-mile loop where you can really pile on the laps.