Running for a nearly complete 21 miles along the rivers of downtown Pittsburgh, the Three Rivers Heritage Trail system offers public trail access for cyclists, walkers, runners, and in some places, rollerbladers. Even cross country skiing when we have enough snow!
The Three Rivers Heritage Trail which evolved from five separate trails surrounding downtown Pittsburgh, runs along both sides of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, crisscrossing bridges into downtown, and continuing down the Ohio River. Some sections are paved with asphalt or concrete, and others with crushed limestone.
Three Rivers Heritage Trail Sections:
It's a bit confusing for new vistors, but the Three Rivers Heritage Trail actually has nine different named sections - and these names are generally what you'll find in use by the locals. The most popular portions run right along Pittsburgh's rivers:
- North Shore Trail - The North Shore section of the Three River Heritage Trail extends along the northern shore of the Allegheny River for 8 miles from Brunot Island, past downtown Pittsburgh to Millvale.
- Southside Trail - This mostly paved trail section (with crushed gravel alongside for joggers) runs for 6.6 miles out and back along the south side of the Monongahela River from the Southside Riverfront Park on it's western end. Passes the practice field for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Panthers.
The Hot Metal Bridge, which was once used to carry iron by rail from the Eliza furnaces to the Pittsburgh Southside, is now a pedestrian-only connection bridge connecting the Eliza Furnace Trail to the Southside and Steel Valley Trails.
The Three Rivers Heritage Trail offers some parking and restroom options, as well as historic and interpretive signs, river views, kayak and canoe launching points - even free bike rentals!