THREE RIVERS HERITAGE TRAIL:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: June 22, 2013
Length: Millvale, North Shore & Chateau Segments; 6.6 miles
Strip District Segment; 2 miles
Eliza Furnace Segment; 2.9 miles
Station Square, South Side & Baldwin Borough Segments; 6.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy. Flat paved or stone-dust trail.
To Start from the Millvale Riverfront Park parking lot [Millvale Segment];
From Route 28 northbound take exit 3A to exit 3. Turn left on E Ohio St. Turn left on River Front Drive, cross the RR tracks and turn right. Several parking lots along the trail. Continue along the drive to the Park and pavilion.
From Route 28 southbound take exit 3B. Continue straight on E Ohio St. Turn left on River Front Drive, cross the RR tracks and turn right. Several parking lots along the trail. Continue along the drive to the Park and pavilion.
To Start from the W Station Square Drive parking lots [Station Square Segment]; From Route 837 (Carson St) between I-376 and Route 19 turn down W Station Square Drive. This brings you to the DUQUESNE INCLINE parking lot (parking fee). If you continue down the road you'll come to a second parking lot (lower parking fee).
To Start from the Swinburne Street parking lot [Eliza Furnace Segment];
From I-376 westbound take exit 73B to Bates St and turn right. Travel under the highway and turn left on 2nd Ave. Take your first left on Swinburne St. Travel back underneath the highway and take your first right into the parking lot. Trail starts at the end of the parking lot.
From I-376 eastbound take exit 72A onto Forbes Ave. Turn right on Craft Ave then left on Blvd of the Allies. Turn right on Bates St then left on 2nd Ave. Take your first left on Swinburne St. Travel back underneath the highway and take your first right into the parking lot. Trail starts at the end of the parking lot.
There are numerous parking areas to access these trails from. See map for locations.
The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is a greenway system in the Pittsburgh region running along both sides of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers. It is broken into segments; The Chateau, North Shore & Millvale Segments travel along the north side of the of the Ohio & Allegheny Rivers. The Strip District & Lawrenceville Segments follow the south side of the Allegheny River. The Eliza Furnace, Hazelwood & Duck Hollow Segments travel along the northern side of the Monongahela River. The Panther Hollow Segment brings you to Schenley Park. Finally, the Station Square, South Side & Baldwin Borough Segments follow the south side of the Monongahela River. This segment also connects to the Steel Valley Trail to the east and like parts of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail is part of the larger Great Allegheny Passage . The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) offers 150 miles of hiking and biking between Cumberland, MD, and Pittsburgh, PA. In Cumberland, the GAP joins the 185 mile C&O Canal Towpath, creating a continuous 335 mile long trail from Pittsburg to Washington, DC. For more information visit; THREE RIVERS HERITAGE TRAIL .
Millvale, North Shore & Chateau Segments:
Starting from the Millvale Riverfront Park parking lot; Restrooms and a pavilion are located here. Starting from the pavilion.
Note; Heading North, the stone-dust trail travels between the Allegheny River on your right and Millville Riverfront Park to your left. The trail crosses River Front Drive and travels underneath the Washington Crossing Bridge (40th Street Bridge). Cross River Front Drive again enter a narrow isolated corridor at 0.4 miles. You emerge next to active RR tracks where they enter a tunnel underneath another set of tracks. The trail follows alongside the tracks before ending after 0.8 miles.
Heading South from the pavilion, the stone-dust Millville Segment travels between the Allegheny River on your left and Millville Riverfront Park parking lot to your right. Pass by the Three River Rowing building before traveling underneath a RR bridge. Look left to spot a lower RR bridge that used to cross over to Herrs Island. A paved walkway then takes you alongside active RR tracks. This is the start of the North Shore Segment. The trail reverts to stone-dust as it travels underneath the 31st Street Bridge at 0.6 miles. Here the trail travels between River Ave and the river. Pass by a spur trail on you left at 1 mile.
Note; This spur takes you up a ramp to a pedestrian bridge over to Herrs Island (Washington's Landing) where you'll find walking paths.
Informational signs posted along the trail. Parking lots scattered along this section of trail as well. Travel underneath the 16th Street Bridge (painted the Pittsburgh yellow) at 1.7 miles. The trail briefly splits (either direction works, but left takes you past an overlook of the river). Travel underneath I-579 followed by a RR bridge at 2.1 miles. The trail is paved from here as it along the North Side with views of downtown Pittsburgh across the river. The trail splits at the 9th Street Bridge. Bear left if biking. Travel underneath the 7th Street and 6th Street Bridges before passing by PNC PARK [Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates]. Continue alongside the river (Lots of side trails) past green areas, water features and boat docks. After passing underneath the Fort Duquesne Bridge (I-279) you'll travel past a dock and Vietnam Veterans Memorial before coming to the Great Lawn at 3 miles.
Note; To access the Strip District Segment and POINT STATE PARK turn right along the paved path that travels around the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Follow this path up to a brick walkway and travel straight to a ramp (next to N Shore Drive) that will take you up to a walkway alongside the bridge and over the river. At the end of the ramp stay straight (promenade overlooking the river on your right) and you'll come to a map board by a wide plaza after 0.5 miles. Straight ahead is the FORT PITT BLOCK HOUSE . To your left is a passageway underneath I-279 and a Great Lawn. Right is a great expanse of lawn where Fort Duquesne once stood. Continue straight to the Monongahela Wharf Segment. [This segment heading east along the Monongahela River has not yet been constructed, however, in June 2013 a grant was awarded to complete this section]. Head right alongside the river and you'll come to the Point SP fountain and Tip of Confluence (where all three rivers meet) after 0.8 miles. This is the start of the Strip District Segment which travels northeast alongside the Allegheny River.
Continuing past the Great Lawn you come to the confluence of the three Pittsburgh rivers; Allegheny River, Ohio River & Monongahela River. Nice views of the Point SP fountain across the Allegheny River. Pass by HEINZ FIELD [Home of the Pittsburgh Steelers] and the start of the Chateau Segment. The CARNEGIE SCIENCE CENTER follows, where you'll find the USS Requin submarine docked. Continue north alongside the Ohio River to a split in the trail. Left brings you down to an amphitheatre overlooking the river so bear right. This takes you past the RIVERS CASINO where you enter a more industrial area. Travel underneath the West End Bridge at 3.8 miles where the river views are limited. Pass by Peggy's Harbor followed by Oxline Street parking lot at 4.5 miles. Pass by the Branchport Boat Club (circular wood building). Travel underneath a RR bridge at 5.3 miles before passing by the gothic stone Western State Penitentiary. The new State Correctional Institution is actually built inside the walls of the old penitentiary. The trail currently ends after 5.8 miles at Westhall St.
Strip District Segment:
Starting from Point State Park; From the Tip of Confluence (where all three rivers meet; Allegheny River, Ohio River & Monongahela River) travel northeast on the paved Strip District Segment alongside the Allegheny River.
Note; The Monongahela Wharf Segment, which travels southeast alongside the Monongahela River has not yet been constructed, however, in June 2013 a grant was awarded to complete this section.
Nice views of the North Shore and Heinz Field across the river. Pass by a promenade overlooking the river and just before you pass underneath the Fort Duquesne Bridge at 0.2 miles look right to spot a paved path.
Note; This path will take you up to a ramp that leads to a walkway alongside the bridge and over the river where you can access the North Shore Segment. See above.
Travel underneath the bridge and along a narrow cement corridor underneath the highway ramp. Views of PNC Park across the river. Travel underneath the 6th Street Bridge at 0.6 miles followed by the 7th & 9th Street Bridges before passing by the Convention Center where the trail improves.
Note; A passageway underneath the convention center brings you out to 10th St in downtown.
Travel under a RR bridge at 1 mile followed by the I-579 & 16th Street Bridges. Nice park like promenade along this section. Pass by a more industrial area with old brick mill buildings. Pass by some converted mills where the trail turns to stone-dust, then ends after 2 miles at 25th St.
Note; As of August, 2013 a gap exists between here and the Lawrenceville Section further north.
Station Square, South Side & Baldwin Borough Segments:
Starting from W Station Square Drive; Starting from the DUQUESNE INCLINE parking lot the paved Station Square Segment travels east alongside the Monongahela River. Travel past a second parking lot then underneath the I-376 Bridge and past Highmark Stadium. Pass by riverboats and the Station Square plaza where you'll find an old Red caboose. After you travel underneath the Smithfield Street Bridge you'll come to an informational sign next to a large steel lung from an old blast furnace at 0.9 miles.
Note; If you follow the small path next to the steel lung it will lead you alongside the parking lot to a ramp up to the bridge where a pedestrian path takes you across the river. There you can connect to the Eliza Furnace Segment after 0.5 miles or access downtown. I used this bridge and the Hot Metal Bridge (further east) to create a loop along the three Monongahela River Trail Segments.
Continue past two more old rail cars before traveling underneath a RR bridge and coming to the Liberty Bridge at 1.2 miles. This is the start of the South Side Segment.
Note; A short on-road detour begins here. Just follow the posted route signs. Turn right along 2nd St, then left on McKean St and left along 4th St. Cross the RR tracks where you'll return to the paved trail at 1.5 miles. Map Board located here. Travel along the narrow band of South Side Riverfront Park and the active RR tracks where you'll find plenty of parking lots. Travel underneath the 10th Street Bridge and come to a boat launch at 2.6 miles. Here you'll need to bear right to rejoin the trail as the trails straight (alongside the river) dead end. Travel underneath the Birmingham Bridge where a stone-dust jogging path joins the trail. The trail splits at 3.1 miles. Bear left along the stone-dust trail as the paved trail currently ends straight ahead. This brings you to a paved promenade overlooking the river where you'll find an REI store. Come to the Hot Metal Bridge at 3.4 miles. Turn right to a crosswalk over 29th St.
Note; A pedestrian walkway travels alongside this bridge and will take you across the river where you may access the Eliza Furnace & Hazelwood Segments. After crossing the bridge the walkway splits. Left takes you down to the Hazelwood Segment which travels south alongside the river. Continue straight, crossing above 2nd Ave and you'll come to the Eliza Furnace Segment after 0.3 miles. Right takes you to the Swinburne Street parking lot. Left towards downtown.
This was as far as I traveled. I crossed the Hot Metal Bridge and looped back along the Eliza Furnace Segment, crossing back over the river via the Smithfield Street Bridge. Across 29th St the paved trail continues southeast another 3 miles alongside the river (along the way it becomes the Baldwin Borough Segment) where it connects into the Steel Valley Trail at the Glenwood Bridge.
Eliza Furnace Segment:
Starting from the Swinburne Street parking lot; A map board is located at the end of the parking lot. The paved Eliza Furnace Segment starts here.
Note; You may also access the Panther Hollow Segment which brings you to Schenley Park. Travel back through the parking lot and head left on-road along Swinburne St, then left along 2nd Ave. Turn left on Greenfield Ave and a quick left on Saline St. Just before a bridge overhead pick up the paved trail on your left after 0.4 miles.
From the map board the paved Eliza Furnace Segment travels west inland above 2nd Ave and below I-376. Not very scenic or serine. After 0.3 miles you'll pass by the ramp to the Hot Metal Bridge.
Note; A pedestrian walkway travels alongside this bridge and will take you across the river where you may access the South Side Segment.
The trail continues between the road and highway. Travel underneath a series of highways and ramps at 1.1 miles. The trail now travels between I-376. Travel underneath the 10th St Bridge at 2.2 miles followed by the Liberty Bridge where the trail now travels along downtown Pittsburgh. Just before traveling underneath the RR Bridge at 2.6 miles look right to spot GOLDEN TRIANGLE BIKES . Come to Grant St where a cross-light takes you to an island that travels up a ramp between Fort Pitt Blvd and out to the Smithfield Street Bridge at 2.9 miles. This is the currant end of the Eliza Furnace Segment.
Note; The Monongahela Wharf Segment, which will continue the trail out to Point SP alongside the Monongahela River has not yet been constructed, however, in June 2013 a grant was awarded to complete this section.
Note; If you turn left a pedestrian walkway will take you across the river where you can connect to the Station Square Segment. I used this bridge and the Hot Metal Bridge (further east) to create a loop along the three Monongahela River Trail Segments. When you reach Carson St on the other end of the bridge turn left, followed by a sharp left. Follow the narrow path back alongside the bridge and you'll come to a large pinkish steel lung from an old blast furnace. Just to the right of this piece of industrial history is a path that will get you over to the Station Square Segment after 0.5 miles.
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT