If you want to get out of the city, the less-trafficked Riverview Park lies about four miles (6.4 kilometers) north, in the Perry North neighborhood. With more than 250 acres of steep, wooded terrain to explore, your legs (and lungs) will get a good workout.
One of the park’s prominent attractions is the Allegheny Observatory, a major astronomical research institution owned by the University of Pittsburgh. You can’t walk in whenever you want, but you could schedule a tour from the spring to the fall.
As Pittsburgh’s largest municipal park, Frick Park offers 650 acres of opportunity to run on the east side of the city. From Point Breeze, all the way down to the Monongahela River, you’ll encounter a variety of terrain through steep valleys and wooded slopes. If you’re up for more than a run, you can enjoy a game of tennis, baseball, and/or lawn bowling.
A visit to Highland Park starts with a brief history lesson. Pittsburgh’s need for a municipal water system is why the park was created in 1879. The reservoir that provided that water remains the highlight of this 750-acre residential park, and the Reservoir Loop is a favorite trail for runners.
Highland Park lies about eight miles (12.8 kilometers) northeast of downtown Pittsburgh and offers plenty of activities: swimming, volleyball, and tennis, to name a few. It’s also home to the popular Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.
If you’re up for some long-distance running, the 47-mile (75.6-kilometer) Montour Trail runs from Coraopolis to Clairton. You’ll run through tunnels and over bridges along the way, depending on where you decide to start. There are 35 access areas between Groveton and Clairton. The best news is the trail is covered with a smooth surface of crushed limestone—ideal for running.
If you’re training to run in the Pittsburgh Marathon, take a course-preview jaunt—without all the race-day hoopla, of course. The route changed in 2017, so it now crosses all three of Pittsburgh’s rivers and travels through 14 different neighborhoods, beginning downtown on Liberty Avenue between Smithfield Street and 10th Street. Here are the turn-by-turn directions if you want to get serious.