The Homewood Children’s Village (HCV) team planned a fun loop around Pittsburgh’s South Side. The route combined the Three Rivers Heritage trail, which is also part of the Great Allegheny Passage, along with the new South Side Neighborway. The ride combines the new and old of the South Side. We started our ride at the SouthSide Works. There is a Healthy Ride station on Hot Metal Street, just before you cross the bridge. SouthSide Works was developed on the site of the old steel mill. Over the last 15 years they’ve added new retail, entertainment, office and residential elements. For our ride, we picked up the trail at the ramp to the Hot Metal Bridge. From there we pedaled towards the Point riding behind the American Eagle corporate office and down towards the South Shore Riverfront Park. The trail cuts through the park with the covered stage on one side, and the amphitheater seating situated along the switchback on the landside.
From there we continued on towards the South Side Marina. This is another new amenity for the South Side, allowing boat owners to dock their boats along the Monongahela River. After passing the marina we come to Southside Riverfront Park. Situated beneath the Birmingham Bridge, this park was one of Pittsburgh’s first attempts to redevelop its extensive riverfronts.
Continuing on, we rode the trail along the river with our next stop at the Color Park. Local artists have free range at this spot along the Three Rivers Heritage trail. The colorful graffiti is a pleasant surprise after riding among the trees and rocks.
After crossing the railroad tracks, we came upon the new Highline development. This was formerly Terminal Building, once one of the largest cargo warehouses between New York and Chicago. Now it is a multi-level office/retail space. There is even a bike station for simple repairs. The improved connector along 4th Street passes the new plaza area and takes you off the cobblestones. This was a much needed improvement. The trail comes to an end and offers riders the opportunity to go right onto McKean Street to head towards Station Square, or go left onto Bingham Street to head back to the residential part of the South Side. We chose to take Bingham Street to loop back.
Once we reached 10th Street, we followed the new South Side Neighborway. The neighborway is part of the city’s efforts to connect its bike network across the city. After crossing 10th Street, we followed the new signs and made a left on 11th Street, followed by a quick right onto Muriel Street. You will notice the speed humps that have been installed to slow automobiles. After navigating a “chicane” via 17th Street, we continued on Wharton St. We followed the neighborway past 22nd Street via a new path and switchback that took us under the Birmingham Bridge.
Using 23rd Street we were able to pick up Sidney Street which brought us back into the SouthSide Works. We followed the neighborway signs around and ended back at the Healthy Ride Station on Hot Metal Street.