The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are chirping… it must (finally, finally… finally) be springtime in the ‘burgh. And where better to embrace this splendid glory, than in our county’s beautiful parks?
As an (injured) marathoner – I consider myself to be a well-traveled park patron. Here are a few of my favorites:
Frick Park is the biggie-sized option of local parks. At 561 acres, it is the region’s largest. With all of its extensive trails and hidden spots for refuge, Frick Park is the perfect eco-haven for city dwellers and suburbanites alike.
Schenley Park is my one of my most beloved parks. Sure, the golf course, Sportsplex, and Conservatory are lovely, but I am partial to the annual Vintage Grand Prix. (This is largely because I relish father/daughter bonding over the only vintage race on city streets.)
Highland Park is also a joy. If Koda, the park’s 300-pound (polar bear) neighbor, isn’t sufficient bait – check out the beautiful gardens, a babbling brook, and sand volleyball courts.
Riverview Park houses one of the major astronomical research institutions of the world – the Allegheny Observatory. And they offer tours every Thursday evening – for FREE!
Hartwood Acres is another gem. The park is host to many weddings, mansion tours, concerts, and cultural events. Perhaps the most fascinating attraction is the annual polo match benefiting Family House. I mean, what could be better than polo ponies?
While we have a lot of enticing retreats throughout the city and county, I have to admit North Park is the home of my heart. This is the spot where I’ve spent many (many) hours forming friendships while pounding the pavement. This is the spot where my future-husband stashed an engagement ring in a picnic basket. This is the spot where I’ve had family reunions, graduation parties, and wedding anniversaries. Yes, the walking trails, off-leash dog run, skating rink, and swimming pools are charming, but I am most captured by the beauty and nostalgia of this sub-urban sanctuary.
Whichever park is your favorite, please be sure to patronize, protect, and enjoy one of our region’s most vibrant assets.
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