Weekend Wheeling in Pittsburgh
Despite the multitude of cobbled bergs and other unforgiving road climbs in Pittsburgh, excellent mountain biking also exists within the city limits. Frick Park, located between the Point Breeze, Regent Square, and Squirrel Hill neighborhoods, contains the best trails of any of the city's parks.
Frick Park's challenges, in their various guises, can be anywhere from 2 to 15 miles long, depending on the exact construct of the loop. The best way to learn the intricacies of Frick's trail network, however, is to explore the park some afternoon or evening with a knowledgeable local. Give a call to one of the Squirrel Hill bicycle stores and meet up with their regular shop ride.
Given that Frick is a tempting oasis of green in post-industrial urban Pittsburgh, expect to share the trails with a variety of hikers, joggers, children, and dogs. Heed the International Mountain Bicycling Association's Rules of the Trail.
Trailheads can be accessed via Beechwood Boulevard and Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill, from South Braddock Avenue in Regent Square, from Reynolds Street in Point Breeze, and Forward Avenue near the Nine Mile Run stream.
To reach Frick's most famous trail the three-mile"Roller Coaster" enter the park from Beechwood by the playground and follow the paved trail until it changes to gravel. The trailhead is on the far side of a clearing, to the right of what was a once-mighty sand pile. While there are numerous side trails to the left and right of the main track in the first 500 meters, stick to the route by choosing what is best described as the "most level path"; don't go uphill or downhill if there is flat space in front of you.
As you enter the series of extended rolling hills that characterize the Coaster, keep your eyes peeled for a sharp right-hand turn. Take it, and you'll follow the trail to its end on an access road near Commercial Street.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication