When people talk about things to do in Pittsburgh, the conversation usually goes to the city’s metro areas or its sports team. While Pittsburgh certainly has plenty of thriving urban areas and is home to the Pirates, Penguins and Steelers, there is far more to the area than steel and sports. If you love the outdoors and you’re looking for things to do in Pittsburgh, you’ll be happy to know that the city is home to some of the best and most diverse parks in the United States. Even if you normally aren’t the type to spend an afternoon in a park, you’ll still find a lot to love if you venture away from your Pittsburgh hotel. Here are just some of the things that residents and tourists love about Pittsburgh’s parks.
Lots of Trees
There are few things that are more relaxing than walking through a wooded path on a sunny afternoon. Not only does the canopy of trees provide enough shade to help you keep cool, but there’s something truly beautiful about being surrounded by a forest during a hike. There are plenty of wooded nature trails sprawling across the country, but those who love to get back to nature with a walk through the woods will be happy to hear that Pittsburgh has a 42 percent tree cover. The trees that can be found throughout Pittsburgh’s parks have made the city into a regular urban front, one that is said to remove over 500 tons of air pollution every year.
Fun and Unique Activities
Many Pittsburgh parks also play host to a number of fun activities that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. For example, Schenley Park is home to the Vintage Grand Prix, the largest vintage racing event in the country and the only one held on actual city streets. You can also head over to the 644- acre Frick Park for some lawn bowling, jogging, or to take your dog for a sim at the “Hot Dog Dam” that is located at the park’s off-leash dog walking area. Frick Park is also home to a free museum that showcases the art of Henry Clay Frick, Frick Park’s namesake.
Parks have always been great places to get some exercise outdoors, but many Pittsburgh parks are practically designed for that very purpose. One park in particular is Highland Park, which is home to the Reservoir Walkway. This ¾-mile path that winds around Pittsburgh’s reservoir that is perfect for those who enjoy a leisurely stroll or a light jog down a natural hiking trail. Highland Park also has the only Olympic-size “long course” swimming pool in Pittsburgh as well as a volleyball court and a half-mile oval loop bike trail. There are also plenty of fun playgrounds for families with small children, making Highland Park a place that has something for everybody.
One the Waterfront
Pittsburgh parks are also great for those who enjoy a walk along the waterfront thanks to Three Rivers Park, which is located along thirteen miles of Pittsburgh’s riverfront park system. Three Rivers Park has over 800 acres of land that is open for the public to use. Other waterfront parks include the North Shore Riverfront Park and the South Shore Riverfront Park, both of which provide plenty of opportunities for boating, jogging and hiking. Naturally, they provide a great chance to just sit and relax on the waterfront if you’d rather take a break from exploring the rest of Pittsburgh for a while.
Beautiful and Diverse Scenery
By now, it should be clear that Pittsburgh is home to a beautiful and diverse park system. All of these Pittsburgh parks are great for those who want to get some exercise in the outdoors or just relax in nature, but they also provide some of the most breathtaking scenery you can imagine. We’ve already discussed some of the lush forests and riverfront views, but you can also find plenty of art exhibits and gardens. You can also check out the Allegheny Observatory in Riverfront Park for some Thursday and Friday night stargazing.
While Pittsburgh does have some fun and lively metro areas, its diverse park system is something that everyone should experience. Not only do Pittsburgh parks have some of the largest wooded areas that you will find in an urban area, but they provide some of the best opportunities for outdoor exercise and relaxation that you will find anywhere in the nation.
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