Highland Park, located in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of the same name, is a bit different than the rest of the city's urban parks. Although you probably won't achieve that “lost in nature” feeling like you will in the other city parks, this one has some unique features that are well worth a visit. The beautifully landscaped entry garden, the walking track around one of the city's water reservoirs, playgrounds, picnic shelters, swimming pool, and volleyball courts are just some of the highlights of this urban park.
We Need More Parks Like This in Pittsburgh
As you enter the park via Highland Avenue you will come upon the striking Entry Gardens. These Victorian style gardens complete with a restored fountain almost make you feel like you're entering a grand palace in Europe. Climb on up the steps at the back of the gardens for a nice vantage point of the whole scene.
Perhaps the most beloved feature of Highland Park is Reservoir 1. This drinking water reservoir was created in 1879, and the park was officially created around this area about 20 years later as the city realized people were using this space for recreational purposes. Today you'll see all kinds of people taking a stroll or jog on the 0.75-mile path around the reservoir. There are even cool events that take place here like yoga classes and concerts.
One note for dog owners: dogs are not allowed on the path around the reservoir (but are welcome in all other areas of the park on a leash).
Although not necessarily the main feature of the park, there are a few short hiking trails that wind through the park. One short path is the loop around Lake Carnegie which passes by the volleyball courts, one of the playgrounds, and the city's only 50-meter swimming pool.
A Great Morning Stroll in the Burgh
You can make a day out of your trip to Highland Park by adding on a visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, which are both also technically inside the park. We particularly love the aquarium and its polar bears- there's a great tunnel that takes you underneath the polar bear area so you can watch these gentle giants swim above and around you.
Another neat feature of Highland Park is the Bud Harris Cycling Track, a half-mile loop with banked corners perfect for experienced cyclists. If you're interested in racing, check out The Allegheny Cycling Association; this group uses the track for events throughout the year.
Highland Park is located in the northeastern neighborhood of the same name. For more information about the park, click the previous link.
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