Western Pennsylvania is home to some of the most diverse landscape in the United States.
Pittsburgh is a green city – not just because of our environmentally friendly buildings and city programs, but because of our parks! Hike, bike, hunt, fish, canoe or ride through our beautiful backyard.
The City of Pittsburgh is home to 165 parks, ranging from regional parks to small neighborhood parklets.
Schenley Park contains 456 acres of trails, woods, and attractions. A daily destination for university students, professionals, and outdoor enthusiasts, the park also hosts major annual events such as the Vintage Grand Prix and the Pittsburgh Race for the Cure. Visitors of Schenley Park can enjoy lunch and a concert at the Schenley Park Café and Visitor Center, relax on Flagstaff Hill, play a round at the Bob O’Connor Golf Course, head to the Schenley Oval Sportsplex for ice skating or summer sports, or take a dip in the swimming pool. The trails offer a refreshing and convenient escape from the city. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy restored the Schenley Park Café and Visitor Center in 2001 and operates the space today with event and culinary partners, Eat'n Park Hospitality Group. In 2005, the Parks Conservancy worked with the City of Pittsburgh to rehabilitate the Phipps Run stream channel that stretches from behind the Visitor Center down to Panther Hollow Lake. Restoration of the Panther Hollow Watershed is continuous, with the goal of restoring Panther Hollow Lake to a water quality that will once again allow for recreational use.
Frick Park is known as Pittsburgh’s woodland park for its extensive trails throughout steep valleys and wooded slopes—it’s an ideal escape from the noise of the city. Enthusiasts love to visit Clayton Hill, where well over 100 species of birds have been recorded. Children flock to the famous Blue Slide Playground and learn about nature at the Frick Environmental Center. The park also features red clay tennis courts, baseball fields, and the only public lawn bowling green in Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has completed extensive ecological restoration work in Frick Park since the Conservancy’s first capital project in 2000, the restoration of Reynolds Street gatehouse entrance. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh, opened the new Frick Environmental Center to the public in September 2016, and in 2018 it was certified as a Living Building, achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status.
Emerald View Park visitors can enjoy 257 acres of winding trails, wooded hillsides, and surprise vistas. Historic spaces within the park feature picnic areas, playgrounds, ballfields, overlooks, and Depression-era sandstone steps and walls. Thanks to the tireless efforts of groups like the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation, the City of Pittsburgh, and partners in the community, a master plan was created for Emerald View Park, as well as a plan for 19 miles of new trails. Through removal of dumpsites, habitat restoration, trail development and capital improvements, this land has been reclaimed as a park. Efforts outlined in the Master Implementation Plan (2005) and Master Trail Plan (2010) continue, along with beautification along the nearby Grand View Scenic Byway. Future planning efforts between the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Mount Washington Community Development Corporation, and the City of Pittsburgh ensures that Emerald View Park will continue to thrive and grow.
Highland Park features a popular bike track, swimming pool, sand volleyball courts, and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. A water filtration plant cleans the water from the main reservoir, and waste water is naturally de-chlorinated in part by a brook which trickles into Lake Carnegie.
Beginning with the creation of the Babbling Brook in 2003, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has completed several major park improvement projects in Highland Park. The Entry Garden was restored in 2005. In 2006, the Conservancy worked with the City of Pittsburgh to create a series of seasonal pools along Washington Boulevard. These pools provide a unique urban wetland habitat while dramatically reducing the impact of stormwater runoff. Future plans for the park include work on Heth’s Run, which includes creating a new trail, adding athletic fields, and connecting the park to the Allegheny River.
Riverview Park is a jewel of Pittsburgh’s North Side. Nestled between Perrysville Avenue, Woods Run and Marshall Avenue, the 259-acre park is known for its wooded trails and dramatically steep hillsides. The park’s extensive network of trails invites hikers, joggers, and the occasional horseback rider into the woods. The park is also home to the landmark Allegheny Observatory, a swimming pool and activities building, and the popular two-mile Riverview Loop. Residents enjoy the park's pool, playground, ball field, shelters and summertime concerts and movies. The Chapel Shelter, a historic picnic shelter that was once a Presbyterian church, was restored by the Parks Conservancy in 2008. Restoration of the building and the surrounding landscape included creation of a new trail, plantings of numerous native trees and shrubs, and clearing invasive species. Future plans for the park include restoring the historic Watson’s Cabin and continuing restoration of the Snyder’s Point natural area.
Thirteen miles of Downtown Pittsburgh's riverfront park system interconnect to form Three Rivers Park, featuring more than 800 acres of open space for the general public to enjoy. Current boundaries are marked by the West End Bridge over the Ohio River, the 31st Street Bridge over the Allegheny River and the Hot Metal Bridge over the Monongahela River. North Shore Riverfront Park shows off one of the city's greatest examples of revitalization, attracting joggers, cyclists and boaters to the area surrounding the beauty of Heinz Field and PNC Park. On the other side of the Allegheny is the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Riverfront Plaza, which provides a passageway from Point State Park to the Strip District and gives people a place to gather in front of the largest "green" building in the world. A five-acre parking lot dating back to the days of Pittsburgh's heavy industrial age was replaced with flood-resistant plants, water-access steps and improved infrastructure to create the Mon Wharf Landing. Across the Monongahela is the South Shore Riverfront Park, located at the popular SouthSide Works complex. The park features a piazza, boat dock and concert stage and serves as an important connection for the Great Allegheny Passage and Three Rivers Heritage Trail.
The Allegheny County Parks offer a variety of year-round recreational activities including golf, fishing, swimming, kayaking, skiing, youth sports, and much more.
Each of the nine parks has something unique and exciting waiting to be explored! Learn more here.
Boyce Park encompasses 1,096 acres in Monroeville and Plum and is home to the only downhill skiing and snowtubing hills available in Allegheny County. Other amenities include ballfields, a wave pool, trails, a skate park, archery range, shelters and a nature center.
Deer Lakes Park encompasses 1,180 acres in Frazer and West Deer townships and features three fishing lakes as well as an observatory, spray park, shelters, a disc golf course, playgrounds, a multipurpose field, and walking, hiking and jogging trails.
Harrison Hills Park encompasses 500 acres in Harrison Township and features an environmental learning center, shelters, a scenic overlook, playgrounds, soccer fields, ponds, a birding area, and walking, hiking and bridle trails.
Hartwood Acres Park encompasses 629 acres in Hampton and Indiana townships and offers free concerts on Sunday evenings from June through August. Other amenities include Hartwood Mansion tours, teas, an off-leash dog area, and cross-country skiing, walking, hiking and bridle trails.
North Park encompasses 3,075 acres in Hampton, McCandless and Pine townships. The largest of the nine county parks, North Park also features a 65-acre lake with fishing and kayaking, a golf course, pool, ice rink, ballfields, nature center, shelters, off-leash areas, dek hockey rink, and trails.
Round Hill Park encompasses 1,101 acres in Elizabeth Township and features an exhibition farm with animals that is open every day of year. Other amenities include soccer fields, shelters, a spray park, and walking and bridle trails.
Settlers Cabin Park encompasses 1,610 acres in Collier, North Fayette and Robinson townships and features a historic log cabin, wave pool, dive pool, shelters, tennis courts, playgrounds, dek hockey rink, and walking and hiking trails.
South Park encompasses 2,013 acres in Bethel Park and South Park Township. The second largest county park, South Park features free concerts on Friday evenings from June through August. Additional amenities include a golf course, ballfields, wave pool, shelters, skate park, trails, nature center, dek hockey rink, and ice rink.
White Oak Park encompasses 810 acres in White Oak and offers a multi-purpose athletic field, shelters, a wedding garden, playgrounds, off-leash area, bocce courts, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, and walking and hiking trails.
What better way to experience Pittsburgh than spending the afternoon at Point State Park. The park is home to the iconic Point State Park Fountain which, after undergoing extensive reconstruction, reopened in June 2013. The park and fountain are the key elements to the iconic Pittsburgh skyline photos from Mt. Washington. Venture into the Laurel Highlands to experience everything Ohiopyle State Park has to offer. Hunting, biking and snowmobile trails are only the start! Lawrence County's McConnells Mill State Park offers visitors nine miles of hiking trails through Slippery Rock Gorge or white water boating along the swift moving Slippery Rock Creek which boast Class I-IV rapids. Looking for a park with a little bit of everything? Moraine State Park just an hour north of Pittsburgh has it all: camping, boating, swimming, hiking, biking, sledding, cross-county skiing and much more!
Allegheny County Parks Department
Maintains nine county parks in the greater Pittsburgh area, which feature varied topography and hundreds of miles of trails.
City of Pittsburgh Department of Parks & Recreation
Pittsburgh's Department of Parks & Recreation, or CitiParks, facilitates the use of 3,600 acres of parkland over 165 parks. The Department provides pools, recreation and senior centers, and innovative programing for children and young people. With the help of the Departments of Public Works and City Planning, CitiParks provides top of the line public amenities.
CitiParks is supported in part by the Allegheny Regional Asset District and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy was founded in December 1996 by a group of citizens concerned with the deteriorating conditions of Pittsburgh's historic city parks. A nonprofit organization, the Parks Conservancy has worked closely with the City of Pittsburgh since 1998 under an official private interest partnership agreement to restore the city's parks. The Parks Conservancy’s mission is to Improve the quality of life for the people of Pittsburgh by restoring the park system to excellence in partnership with government and the community. Projects and programs are conducted with respect for the environment, historic design, and the needs of our diverse region.
To date, the Parks Conservancy has raised over $124 million for parks and has completed 22 major improvement projects. Currently active in 22 of the city’s 165 parks, the Parks Conservancy has expanded into community and neighborhood parks throughout Pittsburgh.
PA Department of Conservation + Natural Resources
State agency charged with maintaining and preserving 116 state parks; managing 2.1 million acres of state forest land; providing information on the state's ecological and geologic resources; and establishing community conservation partnerships with grants and technical assistance to benefit rivers, trails, greenways, local parks and recreation, regional heritage parks, open space and natural areas.
Allegheny National Forest
One of 155 National Forests manages by the USDA Forest Service. This vast tract of land, once almost barren, was set aside in 1931 and has since become a mature second-growth forest.