The latest COVID-19 recommendations for staying safe on Pittsburgh’s riverfront parks and trails

By May 15, 2020 Blog

Pittsburgh’s riverfronts are amazing public amenities and a big part of what makes this city so great. As our community navigates through the COVID-19 pandemic, we all must do our part to make the riverfront trails and parks safe for ourselves and others.

Riverlife has compiled information and updates from local, state, and federal authorities regarding best practices for outdoor recreation and COVID-19 mitigation. For the most up-to-date information and recommendations, please check the Center for Disease Control website and the other public authority websites linked below.

Update, 5/15/20:

Effective May 15, 2020, Allegheny County has moved from status “Red – Stay at Home” to “Yellow – Aggressive Mitigation” under the orders of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (learn more about the statuses and Pennsylvania’s reopening plan here.)

Under the Governor’s orders, outdoor recreation is allowed in counties under yellow status, and many state parks, trails, and marinas are open for public use. However, everyone is urged to practice social distancing and other mitigation efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to protect themselves and others while using these outdoor public open spaces.

Here in Pittsburgh, you can prepare yourself for using the riverfront parks and trails by observing the following from the Allegheny County guidelines:

  • Do not venture out into public places if you’re not feeling well. Stay home!
  • Maintain at least a six-foot distance between yourself and other trail users.
  • Allow a wide clearance for passing others and do not run/bike/walk directly behind other users.
  • Wash and/or sanitize your hands frequently.
  • If you choose to use restrooms or other public facilities with touch surfaces, wash and/or sanitize your hands both before and afterward.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or elbow.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • All activities with close contact are strongly discouraged during this time.

Visit the Allegheny County website to learn more.

Visit the City of Pittsburgh website for local recommendations, restrictions, and closures related to COVID-19 here.

For updates on Point State Park and its facilities in downtown Pittsburgh, please visit the PA DCNR park page.

Regarding cloth face coverings and masks: As of 5/15/20, The Center for Disease Control advises the usage of cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. For more information, visit the CDC’s website.

Finally: please avoid large crowds on the riverfronts. We’ve heard of “people hot spots” forming on the North Shore and South Side trails during sunny days. If you see groups of too many people in these areas, it’s best to turn around or hit the trail at a less crowded time. Just like flattening the curve, think of playing your own role in thinning out the hot spots.

Thanks for helping out, have fun, and stay safe on Pittsburgh’s riverfronts!

Have an update or correction to information on this page? Please send it to with a link to the city, county, state, or federal source of information. Thank you!

During this time of COVID-19, there’s a renewed appreciation for Pittsburgh’s riverfronts. Riverlife has been working hard since 1999 to bring these special riverfront parks and trail amenities to all Pittsburghers and our visitors. Your donation in any amount helps our work. Thank you!

Image by Porter Loves Creative for Riverlife.