Pittsburgh’s riverfront parks and trails: the Downtown loop
Building a community vision for Pittsburgh’s riverfront experience
Since 1999, Riverlife has worked to build a wishbone-shaped loop of riverfront public open spaces and experiences centered around the heart of downtown Pittsburgh.
Since those early days, the loop has grown to include 15 miles and over 1,055 acres of parks, trails, and green spaces. As shown in the map above, the loop’s current boundaries are defined by the West End Bridge and the Chateau riverfront on the Ohio River; the 31st Street Bridge on the Allegheny; and the Hot Metal Bridge near SouthSide Works on the Monongahela.
While the loop is roughly 85% connected, gaps remain in the riverfront experience. Riverlife continues our work to find solutions for those missing links and to elevate the loop to world-class standards. It’s also important to remember that the loop will continue to expand to adjacent neighborhoods as new community-led projects outside of the current boundaries grow and thrive.
Many Partners, One Vision
Pittsburgh’s downtown riverfront loop is comprised of both public and private property that has been developed to include access and enjoyment for everyone. These riverfront spaces are owned and managed by different stakeholders depending on the location. Partner organizations and public entities have a long history of trail development, ecological restoration, neighborhood planning, and special events that have connected and continue to enrich the city’s riverfront experience.
Find out more about the individual destinations throughout the park below.
We are committed to creating a community experience on the riverfront that is welcoming to everyone, regardless of identity. Learn more about our mission, vision, and values here.
We gratefully acknowledge the Native Peoples on whose ancestral homelands we gather, as well as the diverse and vibrant Native communities who make their home here today.
For more information about riverfront accessibility, please contact Riverlife’s accessibility coordinator Valerie Fleisher, firstname.lastname@example.org or 412.258.6636 x 104
Destinations, Highlights & Riverlife Projects
The Green Boulevard plan examines the future opportunities for development, transportation and public open space in the Strip District, Lawrenceville, Highland Park and Morningside.
ArtWalk on the Allegheny is a sweeping vision to bring immersive artwork and engaging programming to the riverfronts along two miles of the Allegheny between Point State Park and the Strip District.
Formerly a staging area for barges and a downtown by-pass highway, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Riverfront Plaza welcomes visitors arriving by boat, bike and foot.
The sculpture at Allegheny Riverfront Park repositions man-made materials such as concrete, graffiti, and discarded plastic and glass, and aggregates them into a series of structures mounted on steel posts
The Mon Wharf Switchback Ramp connects cyclists using the Smithfield Street Bridge, Eliza Furnace “Jail Trail” and Great Allegheny Passage safely and smoothly down to the Mon Wharf Landing.
Riverlife and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District have teamed up to see how a natural riverbank ecosystem could be integrated into the headwaters of the Ohio River.
The North Shore is a waterfront gathering space that links together entertainment venues, restaurants, office buildings and cultural amenities with public green space.
Extending underneath the Birmingham Bridge along the Mon River in Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood, the park features picnic space, a public boat launch and canoe launch.
The vision for Strip District Riverfront Park focuses on the Allegheny riverfront between 11th Street near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and the 31st Street Bridge.
Riverlife’s series of art and activation to enliven a stretch of riverfront trail under the Fort Duquesne Bridge. The program launched in 2015 with the installation of a 750-foot mural.