Hi, I live near the top of Brown's Hill Road in South Squirrel Hill. My boys and I are trying to get to the river safely, but we cannot find a safe way to ride. Brown's Hill is a nightmare with a narrow sidewalk, Saline Street might work, but is unpredictable and has no sidewalk for the kids.
I'm wondering if there is a shortcut (even off-road) from Beechwood Blvd into the Summerset development - that would give us access to all of lower Frick Park.
Thank for any ideas!
I dunno about possible offroad routes, but on-road Beechwood -> Fernwald -> Forward -> Parkview is the best I can come up with. That's a long way round, and you still have to deal with the descent on Forward; but if you can descend Saline, you can handle Forward. Otherwise Saline, I'd guess, and then the Browns Hill sidewalk. Or the top of Parkview to the gravel path, but I dunno about that.
No matter what way you choose, I bet the ascent coming back will be a challenge.
In my experience, Saline has very low traffic, so it's probably ok for the kids from that standpoint. It's narrow and has steep sections, so as @Ornoth said, going up will be a challenge. The Forward option is even steeper, and has more traffic, but I think it has sidewalks.
This is a long way around, but you can also get to the bottom of Old Brown's Hill Road road via the trails in Frick Park; the only road you have to cross is Comercial. That may be way out of your way, though.
I've looked some, but never found a better route than the ones already mentioned (Saline, Brown's Hill sidewalk; or Fernwald, Forward, Summerset, Parkview). I usually use the first.
It's sad that the Summerset developers didn't have the foresight to build a trail up the hillside from the Summerset development to Kemper St or Rosemont Lane. If Summerset had been built 100 years ago, the city would have built a long staircase there. Maybe what we need is for some citizens to take up guerilla trail-building on that hillside.