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Biking The Southside Trail With The Kids

By Sara Petyk

If you're looking for a fun day out with the kids look no further than the bike trails on Pittsburgh's Southside for the perfect mix of outdoor exercise and relaxed family time.

The Southside Trail is part of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail system in Pittsburgh. This three-mile section starts in the Southside Works and runs along the Monongahela River to Station Square. Depending on the speed of the group, it can take anywhere from 25-40 minutes to bike the entire section one-way.

The Three Rivers Heritage Trails are great for biking with kids because no motor traffic is allowed and they are wide enough for safe navigation by inexperienced, young riders. When you are preparing for a day out biking with the family, be sure to bring helmets, sunglasses, sunblock, and water bottles for everyone. Food and restrooms can be found along the trail.


Southside Works

428 S. 27th Street
Pittsburgh, PA
(412) 488 – 9112
Business Directory Listing

If you start your ride at the Southside Works end of the trail, pay parking can be found at any of the Southside Works garages. Bike rental is also available at this end of the trail. Bikes, as well as trailers and tag-alongs for the kids, can be rented through Golden Triangle Bike Rental.

(Source: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

Golden Triangle Bike Rental

South Side Works
517 South 27th Street
Pittsburgh, PA
Hours: Mon to Sun - 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: Comfort/hybrid bikes $8/hr; Children's bike $5/hr; Tag-along $5/hr (w/bike rental); Child trailer $5/hr (w/ bike rental) or $8/hr (w/out bike rental)
Business Directory Listing

The Southside Trail is located along South Water Street and follows a strip of green land running between the street and the shopping area. This area is called Tunnel Park and it hides a secret—there is an active train line that runs right through the Southside and if you're standing on the grass as a train comes by you'll feel the vibrations of the passing cars!

(Photo Credit: Sara Petyk)

Pino Gelato

436 South 27th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Hours: Mon to Fri - 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sat - 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Sun - 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Business Directory Listing

If you're looking to cool off, walk up to the central square of the Southside Works and enjoy the in-ground water fountain that shoots streams of water into the air or visit Pino Gelato for an ice cream or cold drink. If you're looking for more than a snack, there are a wide variety of cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants in the Works.

(Photo Credit: Sara Petyk)

South Shore Riverfront Park


As you bike along the trail toward the city from the Southside Works, you'll enter Southside Riverfront Park. This is one of my favorite spots if I'm riding the Southside Trail because the park offers plenty of free parking and is close enough to the Southside Works to make it easy to enjoy those amenities as well. Southside Riverfront Park is located at the end of South 18th Street. Free parking can also be found just down the trail at the end of South 4th Street near the Liberty Bridge.

A gorgeous tree canopy runs right up to the river and shades this section of the Southside Trail. As you bike through, take a minute to read some of the informational signs about the history of Pittsburgh and the Southside.

(Photo Credit: Sara Petyk)

Station Square

125 West Station Square Drive
Pittsburgh, PA
(412) 261 2811
Hours: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Restaurants and venue hours vary

The western end of the Southside Trail runs right into Station Square, where you can continue your ride into the shopping complex. This is a perfect spot to stop and take a rest before riding back to your starting point.

Kids will love to watch the fountain show in the heart of Bessemer Court that runs every 20 minutes. It also offers a fun way to cool down on a hot day. There are several restaurants around the court, lemonade and pretzel stands, and New York Original for shaved and Italian ice, so snacking here is almost a requirement!

Biking with the family is a fantastic way to spend time outside and build memories, as well as healthy habits for your children. Enjoy the day and when it's done, get ready to plan your next family bike day out!

Sara Petyk started her company Your Active City to show off the great city of Pittsburgh. Her biking and walking tours can found at

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