Pittsburgh might not top your current outdoor adventure bucket list. But maybe it’s time to reconsider your priorities. Pittsburgh is an incredibly diverse city which has put a lot of thought and money into integrating with nature. It’s just miles from some of America’s most beautiful wilderness locales, and the city itself is home to a surprising array of outdoor adventure choices. Don’t believe? Check out all of the options below for some inspiration.
Pittsburgh marks one end of the vast and impressive Great Allegheny Passage. For those unfamiliar, the GAP is more than 150 miles of sprawling gorgeousness, traversing the Laurel Highlands all the way to Cumberland, Maryland. It’s an old railroad route, long since abandoned, though it was once home to the Pittsburgh, Maryland, and Lake Erie Railroads. If you travel the whole length of the trail all the way to Maryland, you can even continue onto the C&O Canal Towpath, which’ll take you all the way to Washington D.C. National Geographic has called this path one of the 10 best Fall Trips in the entire world!
You don’t have to leave the city of Pittsburgh to enjoy outdoor adventure. Kayak Pittsburgh can have you winding down waterways all around Pittsburgh, always with a gorgeous view of the city’s skyline. Or you could see many of the same sights while floating, with a stand up paddle board from Stand Up Pittsburgh. If water isn’t your thing, Three Rivers Heritage Trail System has miles and miles for running, walking or biking. If you ever need a decent backpack to run with then check out this top 10 list from RunnerClick.
For more competitive thrills, why not enter the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon? This lengthy race will take you through some of the most interesting neighborhoods in all of Pittsburgh, giving you a close up at many places you might like to visit once you’re doing racing. You can go a lot of the same places, but on your own chosen route and at your own pace, on a bicycle. You could rent one from Golden Triangle Bike Rental or borrow with Healthy Ride Bike Share. Pittsburgh is a great city for cyclists, the city having incorporated biker-safe bike lanes on many main roads, prioritizing this mode of travel for its residents.
Venture Outdoors can take you on a hiking route that would be difficult to access on your own. They know the way through the city to show the way that nature interacts with the hard lines and concrete of city life. They can even show you where to spot some nesting bald eagles. On the outskirts of the city, Allegheny County Parks has 12,000 acres and 9 distinct parks. All around, golfing options abound. Pennsylvania has more than 500 golf courses, with 8 world class links close by.
In reality, Pittsburgh has one of the greatest relationships to nature of any American city. Check it out for yourself. You can forge your own path or rely on a trusted guide. Either way, you’ll be sure to have to have fun.
Related post: Walking – why is it so Good for us?