Sports + Recreation

Sports pilgrimages

Pittsburgh is so rich in sports history that you can find yourself waist deep in it almost by accident; you could right now, for example, be standing on the spot where Bruno Sammartino wrestled an orangutan. But here are five places you should find yourself on purpose.

Snow slopes

A few of the following ski runs are easy and others are more challenging, but all are memorable. And each feeds directly to a chairlift.

Running routes

Despite its hills, or maybe because of them, Pittsburgh is one heck of a great running town. Home to one of the largest marathon- and half-marathon events in the country, it boasts trails and scenic running routes for every type of runner, whether you’re itching for an easy run along water or want to test your mettle on a super-steep incline. Here are some of the city’s finest runs.

Play places

Show a kid kids a playground — any playground — and they’ll be pretty happy. But nestled amongst the hundreds of slides and swings across the Pittsburgh region are a few playgrounds that bring something special. Whether it’s a million-dollar art installation or a cardboard-fueled concrete slide, these (free!) playgrounds are worth a detour, if not their own road trip.

Biking trails

As an avid cyclist, I have a hard time naming my favorite multipurpose trails. But especially after considering their proximity to Pittsburgh and Allegheny County; their multiple access points for comfortable out-and-back rides; their nearly level surfaces, some of which are paved; sufficient trailhead parking and proximity to apres bike restaurants and related businesses, these stand out.

Go fish

With one of the highest boat-ownership rates in the United States, two world-championship bass tournaments in the last decade and bald eagles nesting within city limits, the Three Rivers region has clearly traded its blue-collar industrial past for a future more closely linked to outdoor recreation.