Nestled close to downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the North Park Trails stand as a testament to the beauty and excitement of cycling. The intricate network of bike trails is not just vast (spanning a considerable 43 miles) but is also designed to satiate every type of cyclist's appetite. Let's dive in and explore the world of North Park.
A Cyclist's Perspective
Here's a comprehensive look at what riders can expect:
- Trail Type: Predominantly singletrack, with occasional fire roads. The park does feature other terrains, but the singletrack reigns supreme.
- Trail Structure: A network of intertwining trails, rather than continuous loops. These are punctuated by very short road sections.
- Level: Suited for intermediate cyclists.
- Trail Features: Varying from smooth, flowy sections to more technically challenging terrains adorned with roots, rocks, and occasional log-overs.
- Bonus: An extensive skills park, pump track, downhill free ride course, and jumps.
Navigating North Park can be slightly tricky for newcomers. Here's a suggested route:
- Begin at Commonwealth Pl.
- Head south toward Liberty Ave and travel 0.2 mi.
- Merge onto I-279 N, cover 3.9 mi.
- Exit onto E Ingomar Rd after 7.1 mi on McKnight Rd/US-19 Truck N.
- Lastly, turn left at Kummer Rd.
For those unfamiliar with the park, kick things off with the North Park Outer Loop. With recent trail markings, it's now easier to navigate, but still offers enough complexity to keep things interesting.
What Cyclists Are Saying
From the dozens of reviews and comments, the consensus is clear: North Park is an adventure.
- Variety: Cyclists commend the mix of terrains. From XC to freeride, there's something for every enthusiast.
- Wildlife Sightings: Expect deer to be regular spectators, with the occasional owl or fox making an appearance.
- Trail Conditions: Despite being mostly well-maintained, some trails can be muddy, especially after rain. Some roots can be slick and challenging.
- Signage: While trails are increasingly marked, newcomers may find a guide or a seasoned North Park rider helpful.
- Ambiance: Beyond the trails, North Park has an excellent atmosphere. Deer watch calmly as riders pass, and post-ride, OTB cafe offers a delightful treat.
Whether a novice or a seasoned biker, North Park promises and delivers an unrivaled experience in Pittsburgh. With a blend of terrains, challenges, and natural beauty, it remains a must-visit for every cycling enthusiast.