Sometimes there’s no better way to wile away a beautiful day than to go on a leisurely hike in or around Pittsburgh. These six incredible hikes under five miles will lead you through some of Pittsburgh’s most vibrant areas. Fair warning, however, that a few like Ferncliff and Harmony Trails are a fair distance outside of Pittsburgh, although they are definitely worth the travel. Without further ado, here are the six best hikes in Pittsburgh.
1. South Side Riverfront Trail
Start your five mile hike along the South Side Riverfront Trail with a relaxing visit to Riverfront Park, where the trail begins. Hang out on the bleachers that overlook the Monongahela River for spectacular city views. The relatively new park also features access to the water for boaters and other water enthusiasts and connects with the South Side Works, where you'll find plenty of shopping and dining choices. The Riverfront Trail itself with lead you from 18th street at Riverfront Park to ninth street near Station Square. The popular trail on the river's edge is frequented by hikers, bikers, and walkers.
2. Eliza Furnace Trail
Hit the Jail Trail or if you prefer its popular name of Eliza Furnace Trail, a 3.95 mile trail that winds from downtown Pittsburgh to Oakland. Begin the trail downtown on Grant Street, where you'll pass the Allegheny County Jail, head along Second Avenue, and over to Panther Hollow in Oakland. Eliza Furnace Trail appeals to most bikers, hikers, and walkers. Beginners will find the flat terrain fairly easy to conquer, although the path can be incredibly noisy. Part of the Eliza Furnace Trail runs parallel to the parkway so, if you're looking for a quiet hike, head there before or after the morning and evening rush hour traffic.
3. Harmony Trail
The North Hills Harmony Trail in Wexford is extremely short at only a mile long. However, if you decide to continue hiking, you can head to the Rachel Carson Trail at nearby North Park, which spans more than 30 miles. The Harmony Trail promises an easy hike, walk, or bike along a crushed limestone path along railroad tracks. Access the trail from the Brennan Road intersection on Route 910 in Wexford.
4. Ohiopyle Ferncliff Trail
Spend an hour, depending on how fast you go, experiencing the sheer beauty of Ohiopyle State Park with a hike on Ferncliff Trail. The nearly two mile trail takes hikers along the Youghiogheny River, past the spectacular beauty of Ohiopyle Falls. The family-friendly loop trail has earned praise from hikers for its being well-maintained and is perfect for families with children and for hikers who want to bring their beloved pooch along.
5. Steel Valley Trail
Living in a city on the river's edge certainly has its advantages. Many of the amazing trails in and around Pittsburgh, in fact, wind along the river. The Steel Valley Trail leads hikers, bikers, and walkers from the Waterfront in Homestead to McKeesport. The nearly two mile trail is combined of both crushed limestone and paving. You can continue from McKeesport to Clairton where you will connect with the Great Allegheny Passage which goes all the way to Cumberland, Maryland.
6. Frick Park Tour Loop
Frick Park's natural setting provides the perfect backdrop for hikers who just want to get away from it all without leaving the city. The park has various trails, including the five mile Frick Park Tour Loop. The paved trail takes hikers, joggers, bikers, and walkers (including their dogs) through a wooded setting. After you've conquered the Frick Park Tour Loop, try one of the other trails. Relax with a picnic or head to the baseball fields or playgrounds.
Don’t stop with these six best hikes in Pittsburgh under five miles! Pittsburgh promises so many amazing hiking trails, including these
eight epic hiking trails that are simply out of this world.