Ready for a bit of exercise? Eric Boerer, Bike PGH’s advocacy director, suggests we explore the North Side and Mon Valley on two wheels with the Pittsburgh bike trails.
North Side Tour
One of my favorite bike rides, which can be done any time of day, is a sub-20-mile loop of the North Side that incorporates river trails, bike lanes, and park roads. It’s easily accessible from Downtown Pittsburgh, too. Cross the Sixth Street Bridge, head to the bike lanes around Allegheny Circle, then make your way to the East Street bike lanes, where the climb takes you close to Riverview Park. Once in the park, there’s a great road loop (with very few vehicles) around Riverview Park where I often take a few laps, being sure to check out the view from the Allegheny Observatory at some point. Once done, drop down to Woods Run and catch the Chateau Trail along the north bank of the Ohio River straight back to the Point. Not only is it a great, low-traffic bike ride, but it’s a stellar tour of Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhoods.
Mon Valley Tour
One of my favorite river trail rides involves exploring both banks of the Monongahela River, especially when I want to zone out, pedal for as long or short as I want, and not worry about cars. You can ride the Eliza Furnace Trail from Downtown to the Hot Metal Bridge. At the Hot Metal Bridge, on top of seeing one of the best views of Downtown, you can decide to ride into Hazelwood or cross the river to the South Side and connect to the Great Allegheny Passage, also known as the GAP Trail. While the GAP trail heads all the way to Cumberland, MD (and onward to DC via the C&O Canal Trail), you don’t need to ride that far to explore the historic business districts of the South Side and Homestead. It’s an easy ride back along the Mon through the South Side. The Smithfield Street Bridge will take you back to Downtown, where you can connect along a series of streets with bike lanes to relax next to the fountain at Point State Park.
Story by Eric Boerer
Subscribe to TABLE Magazine’s print edition.