Suggested Hike No. 1: Greenleaf – The George & Guy Hike (2.5-mile loop)
Park at the trailhead half way down Greenleaf Street. The Allegheny Land Trust holds a conservation easement on this section of woodland. Turn right (west) from the Greenleaf Trailhead to head down a wooded switchback where you will be afforded sweeping views of the West End Village. The trail crosses Greenleaf Street (cross carefully). Once across Greenleaf Street, head left (northwest) all the way up Horner Street (don’t walk down Greenleaf Street) to reenter Emerald View Park to enjoy the “George and Guy” trail.
The George and Guy trail traverses Mount Washington’s steep face and provides magnificent views of downtown Pittsburgh, the West End, North Shore and the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. After about 1 mile, the trail emerges into an open restoration and viewing area. Take a rest on the sitting stones and enjoy the view. Proceed up the gravel path to find Jim West’s “Point of View” sculpture (of George Washington and Seneca leader Guyasuta) on Western Grandview Avenue at Sweetbriar Street.
At the sidewalk, turn right (west) on Grandview Avenue and continue to the end of the road where it meets Republic Street. Turn left (south) onto Republic Street and follow it to the end of the road, at which point you will re-enter the park through a fenced trail entrance. This section will wind you back through lovely woodlands and over natural streams for about 0.5 mile until returning to the Greenleaf parking area.
More to do: Stop by the Duquesne Incline viewing platform and historical site located at the intersection of Grandview Avenue and Oneida Street.
Suggested Hike No. 2: Olympia Park Hike (1-mile loop)
Park at the southernmost end of Hallock Street in the parking area next to the playing field. Walk to the very end of Hallock to enter the woodland trail. At the fork in the path, follow the trail to the left past old house foundations, old mine drainage and over 200 year old oak trees.
At the next intersection, turn right to loop back to Hallock Street or turn left to exit the Park at Sweetbriar Street near the Fort Pitt Tunnel.
More to do: After your hike, stop at Cafe Cravings Gourmet Coffee Shop or the Bigham Tavern for a bite to eat, both located near the corner of Virginia Avenue and Bigham Street.
Suggested Hike No. 3: Mount Washington Park Hike (1-mile loop)
Enter the park on Norton Street (on-street parking only). Enter the trail between the basketball court and the stone building and proceed downhill. Bear left to drop down into one of Emerald View Park’s larger interior forests, switching back into a ravine that was once filled with tires and other dumpsite debris. The MWCDC, working with volunteers, has removed nearly 100,000 pounds of garbage from this site over the last 6 years. From this ravine, cross through a marshy area where the trail then heads west, parallel to Route 51. The trail then heads north climbing to a formerly inhabited street (Grace Street). To loop back to Norton Street, cross the old paved road and follow the wide WPA-constructed trail east to rejoin the trail back to Norton Street.
More to do: Head to the Shiloh Street/Virginia Avenue business district to have a treat at one of our many bars, restaurants and coffee/dessert shops.
Suggested Hike No. 4: Saddle – Grandview Park Hike (Approximately 2 miles)
Park at the Saddle trailhead parking area halfway down East Sycamore on the right hand side. Past the entry fence, follow the trail to the right to climb over the former location of coke ovens. When you reach a wide, grassy path, turn right and then left to continue climbing to William Street. Cross over William Street (carefully) to rejoin the trail, emerging in one of Emerald View Park’s signature restoration areas below Bigbee Field. Continue in an easterly direction below the fenced in field to join up with the trails in the Grandview Park section of Emerald View Park, where the trails date back to the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s and were renovated by the Emerald Trail Corps in 2012.
Past the large set of stone steps on the right, turn left to descend a short set of stairs and continue on this lower trail. Exit the woods at Roanoke Street. Walk a short distance up Roanoke to rejoin the trail, turning right into the forest. At the “Y” in the trail, bear left to join a paved walkway and experience the magnificent views from the Grandview Park bandstand.
To loop back to the Saddle trailhead, exit Grandview Park on Bailey Avenue and turn right. From Bailey Avenue, turn right onto Aline Street and enter the trail at Bigbee Field to retrace your steps to the parking area where you began.
More to do: Before heading back to your car, enjoy the view while having a picnic on the lawn or at the picnic tables at the Grandview Park bandstand.
|Photo courtesy of Jim Albright Photography|
Grand View Scenic Byway Walk (Approximately 1.5 miles)
Emerald View Park and its surrounding neighborhoods have a rich history, closely tied to Pittsburgh’s industrial past and green future. Stroll along the Grand View Scenic Byway, between the Monongahela Incline and Point of View statue on Grandview Avenue, where twelve interpretive signs tell stories of Pittsburgh’s and Mount Washington’s history. There are several restaurants and shops along the way that make this walk a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
Birding in Emerald View Park
“Emerald View Park offers great opportunities to observe wild birds along the open river flyways or in the more intimate woodlands. The city side of the Park offers spectacular views and a perfect vantage point for watching Red-tailed Hawks, Bald Eagles, as well as Great Blue Herons and other flying water birds. Migrating Warblers and other songbirds enjoy the native berries from the Habitat and View Restoration sites along Grandview Avenue. The secluded woodlands on the Saw Mill Run side offer quieter habitats for species such as Cooper’s Hawks, Pileated Woodpeckers, and Wood Thrushes.” (From The Peregrine, Three Rivers Birding Club Newsletter)
Please click on the link below to access the Checklist of Birds of Emerald View Park.
|Emerald View Park is open to the public every day of the year from 6:00 AM until 11:00 PM,
unless otherwise posted. Visit the City’s website for more information about park rules and features.