Emerald View Park, formerly known as Grand View Scenic Byway Park, is Pittsburgh's fifth regional park. The u-shaped green byway is being developed on 257 acres of steep hillsides and existing park space wrapping around scenic Mount Washington. Connecting Grandview Park, Mount Washington Park, Olympia Park and the Grandview Overlook hillside, Emerald View Park is a long-term project, but the main trail system is now almost connected. At just under nine miles around, portions of this trail also traverse the Mount Washington hillside between the Overlooks and Carson Street.
Location and Directions
Emerald View Park is located in the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Duquesne Heights, Mount Washington, and Allentown. Emerald View Park connects several historic park spaces, including Mount Washington Park (intersection of Norton Street and Ennis Street), Olympia Park (at the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Olympia Street), Grandview Park (at the intersection of Bailey Avenue and Beltzhoover Avenue), Grandview Overlooks (Grandview Avenue from Wyoming Street to McArdle Roadway, at the Duquesne Incline, and at Sweetbriar Street), and Duquesne Heights Greenway (woods at the western end of Emerald View Park).
Check out this map of Emerald View Park.
The grounds at Emerald View Park are entirely free and open to the public.
Emerald View Park
Mount Washington Community Development Corporation
301 Shiloh Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15211
Website: Emerald View Park
What to Expect
Emerald View Park is about as close as you can get to a wilderness experience in the heart of a city. Imagine hiking eye-level with skyscrapers as you catch glimpses of them through the trees! There are currently about 10 miles of fragmented trails open in Emerald View, offering views of the city through the trees. Emerald View Park will eventually encompass 20 miles of trails, including more than 9 miles of main trail loop and 10 miles of secondary trail. Think of it as an urban wilderness experience for the slightly more adventurous.
History of Emerald View Park
Mount Washington gave birth to the country’s bituminous coal industry in 1754, and local history is full of stories of coal being dug directly from the hillsides, and even depression era "thieving" of coal from neighbors' yards. By 1830, the City of Pittsburgh was consuming up to 400 tons of coal per day, and mining operations, timber removal, and early settlement left Mount Washington’s hillsides scarred and denuded. By the mid-1800s a mile-long set of wooden stairs had been constructed along an ancient Native American trail up the mountain to make the daily trek up the slope easier for those who lived or worked there.
Eventually, alternate forms of transportation up Mount Washington were created, including inclines (funiculars), trolleys and roadways, and the hillsides were left to become reclaimed by nature, helped by reforestation attempts throughout the 20th century.
Events at Emerald View Park
Most planned events for Emerald View Park are focused on fund-raising for continued park development. The park also often hosts a party when a new section of trail is opened, and also offers several park area "cleanup" and/or "trail work" day which gives anyone interested in volunteering a chance to participate. Other popular park events include Saturday night movies as part of the free Cinema in the Park summer movie series.