Pittsburgh, PA

Three Rivers Heritage Trail: Overview

The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is the signature running option in Pittsburgh. There are 24 miles of trail, along both sides of all three rivers in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The trails are mostly paved. There are some sections where the trail breaks up. There are three main ‘sections’ of the Heritage Trail, with bridges connecting the downtown core to the north and south sides.

View Trail Overview Map

  • Downtown/Strip district. From Pointe Park to 21st St. is 1.7 miles along north side of downtown section. From Pointe Park to the Hot Metal Bridge St. is 3.3 miles along south side of downtown section. Use Duquesne Br. to connect to North Side and Smithfield Br. to connect to the South Side.
  • The North Side. 7-miles stretch of continuous trail from Westhall Street on the Chateau segment through Millvale Riverfront Park on the Millvale segment. This section right across from downtown has many of Pittsburgh’s cultural and entertainment attractions. This route mostly follows the 7-mile continuous stretch of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail that covers the Strip District and the North Shore sections of Pittsburgh. The downtown section is within 1 mile of most downtown hotels (north of Grant Ave.) We chose the Veterans Bridge as a starting location, but, in reality, you can start anywhere along the Heritage Trail. The Heritage Trail runs through the Strip District and the North Shore runs by most of the major tourist attractions within the downtown area. Heading northeast for the first mile, thscreen-shot-2016-11-05-at-12-04-24-ame Heritage Trail stops for a brief moment. Take a right to Smallman Street and follow this until 31st Street. The 31st Street Bridge will take you to Herrs Island heading south west, where you can pick up the Trail again. After crossing the Allegheny River, to the North Shore, you will pass the Andy Warhol Museum, PNC Park, the Carnegie Science center, and Heinz Field. We’ve added a loop which adds a runs by National Aviary and the Children’s Museum. Another add-on is west into Fort Pointe Park (about 1/2 mile from Heritage Trail Bridge). If you want to add more mileage, instead of turning right along North Shore Drive after passing Heinz Field, keep running down the trail and cross the West End Bridge. Follow the trail back and over the Fort Pitt Bridge. The trail runs alongside the Fort Pitt. Follow the trail around Point State Park and back to the bridge where you began.
  • The South Side. Pretty running along Southside Riverfront Park. A popular loop is 5.5 miles RT between Smithfield Bridge on the south side, crossing Hot Metal Bridge, and running along the ‘Eliza Furnace’ section, hearkening to the Steel City’s industrial past. The Heritage Trail continues past the Hot Metal Bridge, another 5+ miles, connecting to the Allegheny Passage Trail to Cumberland, and 150 miles to Maryland if you like, along an old rail trail. This section of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail runs towards the south side of the city along the Monongahela River. Starting and ending near the Liberty Bridge, run east along the Heritage Trail. You will pass the UPMC Sports Complex and the Pittsburgh Steelers practice facility, with the verdant Mount Washington hills to your side the entire run. A few hundrsouth-side-trailed feet before the Glenwood Bridge marks the turnaround point: 4.5 miles. If you want to make this an even 9.5 mile run, start from the Liberty Bridge and turnaround at the Glenwood Bridge. Past here, the Heritage Trail connects to the Great Allegheny Passage trail, continuing ~5 miles toward Cumberland.
Essentials
  • Many distance options depending on preference. See options
  • Generally flat
  • Pointe Park for downtown; Westhall St. on North side; Smithfield Bridge on south side