Five Favorite Pittsburgh Running Routes

Happy Friday! It's time for the fun Friday Five linkup with with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Mar at Mar On The Run, and Cynthia at You Signed Up For What.  This week's theme is things I like about my favorite city--obviously Pittsburgh for me! This week Huffington Post came out with its own list of cool things to check out in Pittsburgh (you can walk to three of them from my house), but I have a different take.

With the Pittsburgh Marathon and Half Marathon 16 weeks away from this upcoming weekend, training is starting for most of us running it. I thought this would be a great time to highlight some great running routes in Pittsburgh. There are really awesome parks in the city for running, including Frick Park and Schenley Park, and North Park just north of the city is a favorite for Pittsburgh runners. But I'm showcasing routes right in the city that start from the river trail on the Northside (the parking lot by Heinz Lofts) since I live just a five-minute walk from that trail.

Routes are linked to Google map routes, and mileage is approximate.

1. Heritage Trail to Point State Park to Rivers Casino (5.8 miles)
This route follows the river trail past PNC Park, goes across Fort Duquesne Bridge, through Point State Park, back across the bridge, past Heinz Field, Carnegie Science Center, and Rivers Casino, then back on the trail.

2. Heritage Trail to 40th Street Bridge to Penn Avenue to 31st Street Bridge (6 miles)
Want some hills? This route gives you five hills--two bridge inclines, a long, steep hill up 40th Street, and two lesser hills.

3. Heritage Trail to Polish Hill Up Penn Avenue and Back (9 miles)
Looking for an even tougher route? I mapped this out but haven't done it yet, but I know it will be tough. It includes a long, steep climb up Polish Hill, which is hard on its own. Then you run a very long but gradual climb up Penn Avenue, through the Bloomfield neighborhood, and then back.

4. Downtown (4 miles)
When snow and ice hit, Downtown is a great place to run since all the sidewalks are cleared.

5. Strip District to Lawrenceville and Allegheny Cemetery (7.7 miles)
This is a fun, mostly flat route through two awesome city neighborhoods, each with their own personality. There are some hill climbs through 300-acre Allegheny Cemetery, the sixth oldest rural cemetery in America. The entire cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

What are your favorite running routes--through a city, park, or both?

I look forward to reading about other cities!

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