Summary: The Three Rivers Heritage trail on the South Side is a mosthy paved route along former railine that parallels active rail (with a separating fence, for the most part). Eventually the plan for this trail is to connect across the Hot Metal Bridge with the Eliza Furnace Trail (Fall 2006) and also to points South, affording a continuous bike route from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. As it is now, the trail terminates abruptly just short of the Glenwood Bridge.
There are many places along the trail to see the active commerce on the river with barges and piers, along with a few places where the past is still to be seen with old buildings and abandoned barges. The new Pittsburgh is also there with a major UPMC sports facility where the Steelers and Pitt Panthers will practice.
Towards the city, between 18th and 9th Streets, the close trees make a green tunnel in which aside from the sound of traffic you may forget for a moment that you are in the middle of a city.
Trailhead: Turn towards the river (North) off of East Carson Street onto 18th Street. This will take you across the railroad tracks to a large parking lot and boat launch. (N40 25.922 W79 58.458) The trail south begins just under the Birmingham Bridge. There is a portajohn under the bridge but no water fountains in the area.
There is also trail access at the end of 9th and Terminal (4th) Streets but there is no place to park at either place. The Friends of the Riverfront offices are located on Terminal Street.
To connect to the Station Square trail cross the tracks at Terminal St, turn right on McKean and then turn right after 2 blocks onto 2nd St. (Lat:40.431896 Lon:-79.974584)
Trail Guides for TRHT - South Side Trail:
Pennsylvanias Rail Trails (9th Edition)
by Tom Sexton & Patricia Tomes (Rails To Trails Conservancy)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes,
Ranger Contact: Pittsburgh Parks & Recreation 412-255-2539
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Kevin Geiselman, who has posted 96 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by ronguy on 10/2/2010
Nice walk and close to the South Side businesses if you want a bit to eat or something to drink.
Reviewed by WexfordRick on 8/25/2009
This trail is handy for local folks taking weekly walks or bike rides. It's popular because the Southside is hoppin'! It borders the Ohio and Monongahela Rivers with decent canopy of trees between 9th and 25th street. At 9th St or Riverfront Park (at end of 18th) you will ALWAYS find FREE trail parking. A short missing section thru the newer part of South Side (~26th) allows folks to visit REI, Hofbrauhaus and plenty premium stores before hopping back on the trails at Hot Metal Bridge which take you across river into Oakland, Pgh or continue toward Glenwood past Pitt/Steeler Practice Facility. West takes you thru Station Square so you can eat or stop at Amphitheatre or take Monongahela Incline. The number of trail users is not a problem.
Reviewed by Viewer on 3/7/2009
The last review was too critical, it was a nice trail. If you are used to remote trails this is not for you because there are people that enjoy the trail. Go somewhere in the mountains if you are looking for a solo run/walk on a trail. It surrounds a city, set your expectations accordingly.
Reviewed by BP on 6/23/2007
I ran this trail. It was over-populated with bike riders waiting until they got on my heels before beeping their startling horns. There's also a hugh population of walkers and runners. It's just too crowded. Aside from that, it is a nice trail if you don't mind running shoulder to shoulder with runners, walkers, bikers, and dog walkers.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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