We're fortunate here in Pittsburgh to be home to a lot of green space in and around the city. You may know some of the staples, like Frick Park and Schenley Park, but beyond these we are also lucky to have several other large parks that are practically hiding in plain sight.
Take the Beechview-Seldom Seen Greenway. This aptly named park is located on the edge of Beechview and shares a border with the base of Mount Washington and route 51. You'd likely never know this park was there, but at nearly 100 acres it is large enough that it begs exploring.
After finding out that we'd been driving by one of the parks entrances for years without knowing any better, we had to stop to see what we could find.
What You Can See at Seldom Seen Greenway
The area that is open to explore near the parking lot at the Beechview-Seldom Seen Greenway is relatively small, but is packed full of unique things to see that would warrant a short, 30 minute visit.
The main tunnel is a brick archway and is one of the coolest pieces of architecture we've seen in a regional park. Within it is a small stream full of rock formations that feels like something out of the Finger Lakes of New York (namely, Watkins Glenn State Park).
The scale is almost microscopic compared to that one, so don't get your hopes up for much, but if you've been you'll feel some nostalgia like we did.
From there, the entry to the park has a train track that goes overhead which can be reached with a decent climb. The part of the tracks that are easily accessed are covered with graffiti and make for the perfect photo-op.
If you continue down the trail, you'll find Sawmill Run creek which follows along the path for a while until it ultimately cuts off the trail altogether. It looks like a bridge was present at one point but is now gone, and may cut off your exploration any further as it did for us.
Hiking at Seldom Seen Greenway
I'm going to be the first to admit that we have not given Seldom Seen Greenway the justice it deserves. The reason for this is that the park is just under 100 acres in size, but we were prevented from exploring further due to the creek that we were unable to cross.
As such, most of our exploration of this park for our first visit was the area in and around the parking lot, making for a relatively quick trip out and back.
For those who want to climb to the train tracks and see the graffiti shown in this post, expect a steep climb up with a fairly hard climb down- almost to the point where you must sit down to not fall over (my dirty pants can attest to this requirement).
To continue on in the park, our guess is it is either best to:
- Head to a different parking lot (all the ones we tried were unfortunately blocked with posted no trespassing signs).
- Ford the river (which wouldn't be that hard if you didn't have a small dog and also had a change of pants).
- Walk across the railroad tracks and try to find a trail that way (knowing that this may not be kosher with the rail lines or even go to a trail at all).
As we will be returning to this one very soon, we plan on updating this post with more information once we find it out what else this park has in store!
To reach the parking lot used in this post for the Seldom Seen Greenway, head to Saw Mill Run Blvd just south of Mount Washington. The parking lot is located on the “ramp” to Woodruff Street which heads up to Mount Washington. (The one where you turn right to pull out, loop around, and go straight up the mountain where the salt depot and BP gas station is.)