Also called the "jail trail" since it passes by the county jail, Eliza Furnace Trail is a three-mile-long path that's perfect for hiking, biking, and rollerblading in an urban setting. The city has built a bridge connecting the path to the South Side, allowing visitors to get a taste of that neighborhood while they exercise.
Hikers, bikers, walkers, and dog owners step out of city life and into nature when they enter 600-acre Frick Park. Playgrounds and tennis courts provide distraction, but the park is best-known for its many trails, which wander up and down the varied terrain. Frick also offers many areas for canines, including a leash-free park and a doggy dam where four-legged companions love to splash around.
Sure, they look like inflatable doughnuts that can barely move, but after spending time in ice bumper cars, you'll see that regular bumper cars are vastly second-rate. Ice bumper cars easily zoom forward and backward using joystick-like controls, and a hit from another car can send you across the ice, twirling hysterically out of control. The fee covers at least 45 minutes of bumper car fun for up to 19 people, along with pitchers of soda, ice cream cake, and other party supplies. Reservations must be made at least three days in advance.
Located where part of US Steel Homestead Works once churned out steel is Sandcastle Waterpark. It features a boardwalk with food booths like those found at the shore, several pools, a wave pool, hot tubs, and miles of waterslides – some require inner tubes while others are "geared" more for speed. Feeling waterlogged? Head over to the Formula One Raceway (the park's go-cart track), and take on all-comers in rubber-burning action!
456 acres containing trails, pools, tennis courts, an skating rink (roller hockey in the summer, ice skating in the winter), sports fields, tennis courts, a man-made lake, swimming pool, and wonderful views (Overlook Drive). Many annual events are held in the park, including the Vintage Grand Prix races.
It's easy to get caught up in city life and forget the beauty that Southwestern Pennsylvania has to offer. Venture Outdoors, a Pittsburgh nonprofit, wants to see local communities be active in their natural surroundings. Their goal is to get people outdoors, whether at a concert in the park or on a wine-tasting hike through the Laurel Highlands. Whatever the excursion, it's sure to be an excellent way to meet new people and experience a few hours of serenity.
Biking and hiking enthusiasts were thrilled by the creation of the Great Allegheny Passage in 2006. This 150-mile-long trail system connects Cumberland, Maryland, to Pittsburgh. As a segment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, the Great Allegheny Passage offers beautiful views and a chance to enjoy lots of fresh air. Stop in at one of the many trail towns along the way to partake of the local culture and check out the quaint shops.
With three rivers intersecting in the middle of the city, Pittsburgh is a great place for urban boating. Venture Outdoors holds happy hour kayaking every other Friday beginning in May, giving Pittsburghers and visitors the chance to paddle down the Allegheny River and view the skyline, Heinz Field, and PNC Park from a different perspective. Paddlers stop near PNC to grab drinks and munchies at a venue that offers special prices for the group.