Mt. Washington, PA
This loop is the best of urban hiking! It starts out on the wooded Emerald View trail, meandering around Mt. Washington then pops you out right at the overlook! From there, enjoy walking along Grandview Ave and then back through the historic neighbors of Mt. Washington. If you’re feeling extra frisky, you can even continue along the Grandview park section of the Emerald View trail. Or stop for a rest and treat at the Shiloh Street shops! The world is your oyster with this one. One big recommendation though is to end your excursion with a visit to Inner Groove’s Allentown taproom! They’ve got awesome beer, bar games, and an outdoor patio. What more could you want?
THE HIKE: Emerald View Loop
Length: 5 miles
Elevation Gain: 660 ft
Time: 2 hours
Trail use: Hiking, Biking, Leashed pets
Parking: Various parking lots and street parking
As much as I love visiting state parks with acres and acres of untouched greenery, there’s also something to be said for our local CitiParks which are doing a lot with the little bits of greenspace they can find! One of my new favorites has been the Emerald View trail on Mt. Washington. I used to see the signs for trail crossings on my commute home from work and always wondered about where it could lead. Well last weekend, J and I decided to find out!
Emerald View Park is one of the many green spaces maintained by the City of Pittsburgh Citiparks and their awesome group of rangers! This park encompasses over 250 acres on Mt. Washington and is a successful story of restoration. In Pittsburgh’s early days, Mt. Washington was heavily mined for soft coal, so much that it became known as Coal Hill. In the 1930s, access to the housing communities on Mt. Washington was created, including some of Pittsburgh well known streets like McArdle, Shiloh, and Grandview. Into the 1970s, the City took greater strides to regulate mining and to take advantage of the beautiful view. The scenic overlooks were built and groups started to advocate for the restoration of the area. Finally in 2007, the park was named as a regional park!
This is such a great park system because there are beautiful wooded areas right in the midst of an urban neighborhood, then suddenly you come out to that iconic view of pittsburgh! We started our trek by parking at Olympia Park and heading right into the woods at the end of Hallock street.. We stayed on the Emerald View trail, although there are several other offshoot trails and neighborhood access points. I really loved this section of the trail because we were able to be in such a little slice of nature while also looking out over the hills to see the highways and iconic Pittsburgh neighborhoods. As you start into the big turn to head towards Mt. Washington and the overlooks, you’ll encounter the steepest parts of this hike. It can’t be Pittsburgh without some inclines! Finally, the Emerald View Trail pops out right on Grandview Ave by the Point of View Sculpture (Jim West, 2006). From there, the trail turned into more of an Urban walk as we stopped at the Duquesne Incline and the various overlook spots. My favorite viewpoint is by the St. Mary of the Mount church! We continued on Grandview Ave until we reached the Monogahela Incline, then started to make our way back towards Olympia Park. This was about a 5 mile loop! If you were looking for more, you could also add in the 2 mile loop in Grandview Park!
This was a great hike to explore our city a bit more and also to appreciate the wonderful greenspaces that exist in the city limits! This park has definitely inspired me to check out more of the City’s regional and neighborhood parks! Do you have a favorite?
THE BEER: Inner Groove Brewing
Address: 827 E Warrington Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15210
Distance from Trail Head: 2 miles, 8 mins
Food?: BYOF or takeout
Details: Outdoor seating, dog friendly outside
Inner Groove is a microbrewery based out of Verona, which is quite a trek for me! So I was really excited when they opened a taproom in the City of Pittsburgh up in the Allentown neighborhood of Mt. Washington. This taproom is still fairly new, having opened in May 2022 and boasts a large taproom and nice outdoor side patio. Although they don’t have a kitchen, there are plenty of great places to grab a bit in Allentown. Plus, that also means their taproom is
dog friendly, as I brought a furry friend with me the first time we visited and sat outside! In addition to a large selection of their own beers, they also have local wine and a selection of cocktails.
Inner Groove has been a staple in the small borough of Verona since 2019 when two couples finally realized their dream of opening a brewery together. Inner Groove is known for their unique styles and flavors and always has a broad range of beers on tap. As a nod to their name, most of their beers are also inspired by music and feature a music lyric in their names! I love how witty some of them are!
Inner Groove is a great addition to the Allentown neighborhood and I’m so glad that we have another brewery in our area!
- Stout Stout – American Stout – 8.5%
- Domo – NEIPA – 6.5%
- Boysen Da Hood – Fruited Sour – 5.3%
- Daytime Campfire – Smores Stout – 8%
- Tin Roof – Irish Red – 5.4%