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

By May 15, 2020June 14th, 2022Blog

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, 12/17/20:

Under order of Governor Tom Wolf, outdoor gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited through January 4, 2021.

  • Outdoor gym and fitness facilities and outdoor classes can continue, but all participants must wear face coverings in accordance with the Sec. of Health’s Updated Order Requiring Universal Face Coverings, including any subsequent amendments, and practice physical distancing requirements.

Read the latest Allegheny County recommendations on outdoor recreation and COVID-19. (updated by Allegheny County on December 5, 2020)


Update, 7/2/20:

Allegheny County has moved from “Yellow – Aggressive Mitigation” to “Green – Aggressive Mitigation Lifted” as of June 5, 2020. The ‘green phase’ is the COVID-19 reopening phase of Pennsylvania that lifts most stay-at-home restrictions and business closures, but continues to include restrictions on building capacities and large gatherings over 250 people.

Under Governor Tom Wolf’s orders, outdoor recreation is allowed during Pennsylvania’s green status. However, it is still encouraged that people continue to practice social distancing and other mitigation efforts to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Planning to stop by the riverfronts? Prepare yourself for visits to the parks and trails by observing the following:

  • Do not venture out into public places if you’re not feeling well. Stay home!
  • Avoid traveling long distances to visit parks.
  • Maintain at least a six-foot distance between yourself and other trail users. Allow a wide clearance for passing others.
  • Wash and/or sanitize your hands frequently – especially before eating, after using the restroom, and after blowing your nose/coughing/sneezing.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or elbow.
  • Avoid touching your face.

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 7/2/20, Masks are now mandatory in all public areas in Pennsylvania. This includes outdoor areas where people are unable to maintain six feet from individuals who are not members of their household. For more information, visit the Governor’s website.

Regarding playgrounds and park amenities: As of 6/8/20, Playgrounds, basketball courts, spray parks and ballfields of the City of Pittsburgh are said to start reopening soon. The reopening of amenities will be done on a rolling basis with plans for most to be completed by June 15, 2020. Restrooms, water fountains, swimming pools, recreation centers and senior centers will remain closed. For more information, visit the City of Pittsburgh’s press release.

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.