Jane’s (mostly) Traffic-Free ride from Oakland to the Northside
There is something energizing about riding on the streets–I love seeing people, architecture, and doing some window shopping while I ride–but I am also always grateful for a car-free trip. There is nothing better than riding your bike on Pittsburgh’s great trails to experience the freedom of your bicycle.
My route from Oakland to the Northside takes me through seven parks, yes, seven! (and I might be missing a few). This 5.8 mile route starts in park #1: Schenley Plaza, and also goes through or past Schenley Park’s Panther Hollow, Four Mile Run Park, Firstside Park, Market Square, Allegheny Riverfront Park, and North Shore Riverfront Park.
Schenley Plaza to the Eliza Furnace Trail
Starting in Schenley Plaza, I head towards Panther Hollow, taking Schenley Drive. After wrapping around Schenley Drive towards Bouquet St, I take the sidewalk on Joncaire St down to the hollow to avoid the cobblestones. Be aware of people walking and get off your bike to walk if there are any pedestrians. Once you’re down Joncaire, take a right and head south until you see the trail entrance on your left to enter Panther Hollow–you might see some turkeys along the way!
It is often cool in the hollow, and sometimes foggy or rainy like the rest of Pittsburgh, so I like to wear my Cleverhood. That way I can ride around in the rain with my regular clothing underneath and skip the hassle of rain pants and a jacket.
After exiting Panther Hollow, take a right onto Saline St and head towards Second Ave. There is a pedestrian way with barriers that will take you up to the trail parking lot where you will loop around to hop onto the Eliza Furnace Trail. This is the longest car-free stretch you’ll have, nearly three miles! This is the part of the ride where you get to laugh at all of the cars sitting in traffic on the Parkway because you are having way more fun than they are.
When the trail comes to an end, take a right and head towards Grant Street. I prefer Grant Street because the brick road and center plant dividers are traffic calming, and if I need to take the right hand lane drivers can easily pass on the left. After a few blocks on Grant make a left onto Forbes. The left onto Forbes Avenue from Grant Street can be challenging, so this is a great opportunity to use the Pedestrian Style Left Turn (see image to the right).
Forbes Ave will take your right into Market Square, a vibrant pedestrian plaza and one of our Bike to Work Day Commuter Café locations. Head towards the Allegheny River to make your way to the 6th St Bridge, also known as the Roberto Clemente Bridge. I suggest taking the wide sidewalk for safety, and so you can stop and enjoy the great view if you’d like. After passing over the North Shore Riverfront Park, you’ll arrive at PNC Park.
I hope you enjoy my route. Pittsburgh has some great parks that I love exploring by bicycle.
Click here for more Bike to Work Day info.
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Jane’s Aero Tech Designs Clothing Favorite.
Spankie low rise padded bike short
Whether riding recreationally or just getting around town, these bike shorts provide great comfort. They’re cute when matched with other sport cycling wear, but will also go unnoticed under any dress or skirt. I enjoy looking normal while riding; I don’t want to be sporty or have to change my clothes, so the spankie shorts provide the necessary comfort and coverage while allowing me to wear whatever I want.