If you haven’t visited North Park in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, you’ve been missing out. North Park is the largest park in the Allegheny County Parks system, spreading its features over 3000 acres. Don’t be intimidated, because this is a place you will WANT to get lost in. But just in case, here’s the Google Map of North Park:
Now that you know WHERE the park is, it’s time to figure out what to do there. Here’s a list of some of the best things North Park has to offer:
#1 – The Lake
North Park Lake has been providing enjoyment to Pittsburgh residents since the 1930’s. The man-made 75 acre lake is a fisherman’s dream. Kayakers and rowers are welcome too. If you don’t own a kayak – don’t panic – for Venture Outdoors at The Boathouse rents them out. If you prefer, you can enjoy the lake from a distance. There is plenty of room set aside for walkers, runners, bikers and roller-bladers on the 4.5 mile path running alongside the lake. If you are in need of a bike or some fish bait, North Park Bicycle Bait & Tackle on the corner of East Ingomar and Kummer Road has been servicing park goers since, well, there was a park to go to. When you’ve worked up an appetite, visit “Over the Bar,” the restaurant at The Boathouse. Enjoy a good meal, cool drinks, and arguably the best view of the lake that the park has to offer.
#2 – Sports
One of a handful of Paddle Tennis Courts at the park.
Whatever sports you play, North Park will give you a place to play them. Are you a hiker or a mountain biker? North Park has some of the best trails in the area. After you’ve warmed up at the North Park Batting Cages, claim one of the baseball fields scattered throughout the park. Three full-size basketball courts are located by the Ice Skating Rink. Brand new tennis courts are currently under construction. In the meantime, test your reactions on the Paddle Tennis Courts (pictured above). If golf is your thing, you can warm up at North Park driving range and make a day of it at North Park Golf Course, or keep it casual at Chubs Par 3. But if you REALLY want a challenge, Humpty Dumpty is waiting for you at the North Park Miniature Golf course. Beware, he shows no mercy.
Bring it on.
#3 – Go Ape, Treetop Adventure
Go Ape at North Park in Pittsburgh.
Looking for a one-of-a-kind adventure? Look no further. Go Ape has opened a location in North Park and is now providing one of Pittsburgh’s most unique outdoor activities. Essentially, Go Ape is an obstacle course – in the trees! Go Ape offers over 40 different stages separated by swings, zip-lines and other crazy obstacles. They offer courses for both kids and adults. Check out their website for pictures, prices and FAQs. Are you ready to Go Ape yet?
#4 – Events and Get-Togethers
The bridge to Marshall Island.
If you are looking for a place to get together with your family or friends, North Park will welcome you and yours with open arms. My personal favorite relaxation spot is a tie between Marshall Island (pictured above) and, what I call, Lilly Pad Lake (pictured below). There are a few top-secret chill-out spots throughout the park too. Explore long enough and you might just find them. Plan on hosting a holiday picnic or a graduation party? The park has over 100 groves, shelters and facilities of all sizes and variable amenities available for rent. With over 3000 acres to its name, North Park will always have an open spot. Keep in mind, the park is always hosting its own events and community gatherings. Check out their events webpage for a look at what they’ve got planned.
The view from a bench at Lilly Pad Lake.
#5 – The Swimming Pool
No, you can’t swim in the lake. With that said, allow me to introduce you to the North Park Swimming Pool – arguably the best public swimming pool operating in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. This is the place where fun-seekers and sun-bathers go to soak in the rays and immerse themselves in over two-and-a-half MILLION gallons of water each and every year. Yes, this pool is massive. So massive that it was once considered the world’s largest swimming pool. When you feel the urge to heat up or cool off, let The North Park Swimming Pool set the scene.
The iconic pier.
North Park cannot be summed up in a single blog. I’m not so sure it can even be fully explored in a single lifetime. What I AM sure of, however, is that North Park is an unforgettable place with so much to offer. Do yourself a favor and come see what all the hype is about.
NP info and links from AGC NP website – http://www.alleghenycounty.us/parks/north-park/index.aspx
Go Ape info gathered from Go Ape NP website – https://goape.com/Locations/Pennsylvania/Pittsburgh