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Emerald View Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

2.9 mile 4.7 kilometer point to point
92% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 449' 137 m
Descent: -322' -98 m
High: 1,144' 349 m
Low: 919' 280 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Map Key

Trail shared by Scott Spencer

Short, steep run to the best view in the city!

Scott Spencer

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views

Need to Know

Parking is free at Olympia Park. Parking can get full on the weekends sometimes, but not often. There is no water on the trail, but its only 2.5 miles so....

Also at the top there are a number of restaurants and pubs. You can take the Duquesne Incline down to the river and take a quick detour into downtown Pittsburgh.

If you don't repeat the trail backwards to get to your car, its about a half mile on the street back to Olympia Park. Head down Grandview Avenue and turn right onto Hallock. Hallock Street will dump you back at your car.

Runner Notes

Trail shoes are recommended. Most of the dogs I have come across are off leash. There are occasional bikers as well. Be courteous!

Description

This is a super fun, fast (2.5ish miles to total), steep and generally pretty run to the top of Pittsburgh's Mount Washington. It travels over I-376 and the Fort Duquesne Tunnels and around to the West End. It finishes on the top of Mount Washington with a view of the entire city including both Heinz Field, PNC Park and historic Fort Duquesne Park. For most of this you'll forget you are in a major metropolitan area. This is really a hidden gem of a trail.

Starting at Olympia Park. Head down Hallock Street to the dead end and the trailhead. The trail is pretty well maintained singletrack.

At the first intersection take a right. This will keep you on the Emerald View Trail. If you go left, you'll add about a 1/2 mile or so on a loop connector. No big deal as you'll get back on Emerald View very soon.

At roughly 600 meters you are going to go up a short incline and come out on a street. Don't be alarmed. This is Sweetbriar Street. You'll be on this for about 100 meters. Take a left back onto the trail. It is marked with a trail marker. FYI, occasionally there are some dogs out on this street. The owner is usually around, he is pretty nice, but the dogs seem to be less than super friendly.

Once back in the dirt stay on the trail, over I-376. You'll eventually cross over Shaler Street. The trail is directly across from you. This is the first of the inclines that will eventually get you to the top. Pay attention to the trail markers and you'll be fine. For the most part stay to the left and you'll be fine!

Once across Shaler Street you'll start to turn towards Pittsburgh and will be able to see the West End.

The next slightly tricky part is when you cross Greenleaf Street. Make sure you head up the road in front of you to what looks like a driveway with some cones at the top. The trail goes that way! Once you get past the old camp trailer go straight past the gravel driveway and to the trail that loops to the right. You'll go up for a bit and come to the last intersection. Stay to the LEFT. You do not want to get on the Expedition Trail. From this intersection stay on the path for about a kilometer. This should take you to the top for a great view of the city!

If you want to run back down (super fun!), just reverse path. Comes out to about 9k for the round trip.

Enjoy!

Flora & Fauna

Deer, squirrels etc. I am sure there are coyotes. I will have to let someone else talk about botany. There are ??trees??

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Sep 4, 2019
Scott Spencer
Up and back. 6mi — 1h 17m

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#2104

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#30

in Pennsylvania

#2,104

Overall
23 Views Last Month
49 Since Aug 14, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Sunny view of Pittsburgh!
Aug 21, 2019 near Pittsburgh, PA
Cloudy view from the top.
Aug 14, 2019 near Pittsburgh, PA
Heinz field in February!
Aug 21, 2019 near Pittsburgh, PA
Emerald View Trail Marker - Look for these at intersections on the trail to make sure you are going in the right direction!
Aug 21, 2019 near Pittsburgh, PA

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