Moraine State Park – A Perfect Day Trip Outside of Pittsburgh

The 16,725-acre Moraine State Park is one of the largest parks in western Pennsylvania and is located approximately 40 miles north of downtown Pittsburgh.

With land and water activities aplenty, this park is one of the crown jewels in the region and should be on everyone's radar when looking for a great park to visit on a day trip!

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Settlers Cabin Park – An Easy Hike to a Mini Waterfall Near Pittsburgh

With the recent growth in Settlers Ridge in Robinson Township, this would be the last place you'd expect to find a 1,600+ acre county park.  But go just a few hundred feet away from I-376 and you'll come to Settlers Cabin Park, one of the largest public parks west of the city.

Featuring several hiking trails, many recreational facilities, the Pittsburgh Botanic Gardens (ticket required), and even a mini waterfall, this park truly has something for everyone!

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Climbing the Steps of South Side Slopes for Views of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh's South Side Slopes is one if the city's most unique neighborhoods due to the fact that the vast majority of it is built on the side of a hill.  In true Pittsburgh fashion when a hill is involved things get weird, and this neighborhood is no different.

What makes South Side Slopes so unusual lies in its accessibility. As the hill is often quite steep, road access up and down is limited compared to other neighborhoods in the city. To account for this oddity, numerous staircases have been built over the years to allow residents to navigate the hillside and also reach neighboring South Side with ease (these staircases are a significant percentage of the 700+ that can be found in the city).

One of our favorite aspects of South Side Slopes is that many of these staircases offer impressive views of the city, and can be enjoyed during a one to two hour hike beginning and ending in South Side. As navigating South Side Slopes can be tricky at times, we wanted to share our most recent route for others who would like to get out, climb some stairs for some exercise, and take in several great city views!

Note: Since writing this post, the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association has defined most of the route below as the “Church Route.”  For more information beyond our post, check out their write-up about the Church Route here. Our recommendations are slightly different, but the listed route will make for a good climb all the same!

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Hartwood Acres – Exploring the Mansion and Hiking at the Estate

The estate at Hartwood Acres is often called the crown jewel of the public parks in Allegheny County.  Featuring numerous hiking trails, a gorgeous mansion open for touring, and other unique features, this destination is one that truly lives up to its reputation and is a perfect half or full-day out for visitors from Pittsburgh.

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Highland Park Pittsburgh – Exploring the Grand Gardens and Reservoir Path

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.

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Frick Park – An Enduring Legacy in Pittsburgh’s East End

Frick Park is the youngest and largest of Pittsburgh's four city parks, opened in 1927 and coming in at 644 acres.

Miles upon miles of hilly, wooded trails snake through the park, making it a perfect escape from the city time and time again. There are also basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds, and even an off-leash dog area.

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Schenley Park – A Green Oasis in Pittsburgh’s Oakland Neighborhood

It's almost hard to believe that right in the heart of the city is a beautiful 456-acre wooded area with trails and an abundance of activities and facilities. And yet, Schenley Park sits here, tucked in the midst of the bustling university community of Oakland.

From hiking, to ice skating, to watching movies on Flagstaff Hill, there's something for everyone and for every season.

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Harrison Hills Park – An Easy River View Hike Outside of Pittsburgh

Harrison Hills Park is a 500 acre park on the edge of the Allegheny River in Natrona Heights. Thanks to its relatively close proximity to the city it is the perfect spot for those looking for a half-day out to explore nature.

On our recent visit we hiked the out-and-back Rachel Carson trail (one of approximately eight trails within the park) which is known for having stunning overlooks of the river and surrounding region.

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The Montour Trail – Where You Can Walk for Miles in Pittsburgh

Most hiking trails we visit around the city of Pittsburgh are often out-and-back loops that can be completed in just a few hours.  For those who want to see all of the Montour Trail, you may need to pack your bags and plan for an extended journey, as this 40-mile trail is part of the 400-mile Great Allegheny Passage which connects Pittsburgh to Washington DC!

Although we are planning on biking this trail in the future to see it all, today's entry covers the segment of the Montour Trail beginning at Cliff Mine Road near the Pittsburgh airport through to the town of Imperial- perfect for those looking for an afternoon walk.  As we cover more sections of the trail in the future, this guide will be updated with more photos and tips!

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