Core Circuit (Mellon Park)

Hola! It’s time for pretty city park circuit workout take 2. Which is code for saying that this is another circuit workout we did at Mellon Park, but this one focuses on that strong core! It would even be fun to mix and match the moves for a total body workout.

As with the prior circuit workout, we like to do 10-15 reps of each move. For the running/jogging, we like to do sprints (steady pushing a good pace over 2-3 minutes), jogging (5 minutes), or all out sprints with periods of rest over 5-7 minutes. This is something you can customize any way you like. Walking at a steady fast-ish pace is also a great option for some LISS (low intensity steady state cardio). I would do this for 10-15 minutes probably.

Here is the workout!

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Parking: You can park in the lot for the Dan Cohen Playground, which by the way, is awesome if you have kids! The water fountains are awesome. It’s right off of 5th Ave. Then, to get into this part of Mellon Park, cross 5th Avenue at the crosswalk at the entrance to the parking lot, turn right, and you can enter through one of several gates that will be on your left. Walk straight up the trails inside the park and you will eventually end up at the fountain area! It truly is a beautiful place, and it’s not too big so you won’t get lost!

Walking directions from the lot to the park:

Bathrooms: by the playground

Water: I’m not 100% sure, but I think there is a fountain by the playground. If not, you are very close to Bakery Square, where you can grab something to drink or a bit to eat.

Hope you have a great time at Mellon Park! Don’t forget to take your camera because it’s too beautiful and interesting to not snap a pic or five!

Cheers,

Amy + Dominique

 

Upper Body Circuit (Mellon Park)

Hey there (: long time, no see! I hope you’re enjoying all this summer sunshine we’ve been having! In this post, we are offering up something a little bit different. As I’m sure you have seen, Pittsburgh is full of lots of little parks. These parks are all so cute, but when it comes to running, small parks have a big disadvantage in that it’s hard to run even just 1 mile in some of them. On the flip side, a smaller park size is pretty sweet for what we are doing here.

When it comes to personal fitness, we believe in balance and switching things up. If all you do is run and walk, you are neglecting parts of your body. At the moment, a lot of fitness trends seem to be following patterns of short, more intense workouts, like HIIT and circuit workouts, from what we have observed anyways! So, what better way to scoop up two fishes in one bucket (because let’s face it, killing birds with stones is just wrong!) than to take a circuit workout to the park?

Ladies and gentleman, we present to you our very first (unofficial) circuit workout. Personally, we like to do 10-15 reps per move followed by a 5 minute jog or 2-3 minute harder run and then a short rest period. You can repeat it 2-3 times through as well. As always, you’ll want to listen to your body and exercise within your comfort level. Take breaks as needed; stay hydrated. If you’re unsure about form for some exercises, look it up from a trusted, credible source. Enjoy!

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Parking: You can park in the lot for the Dan Cohen Playground, which by the way, is awesome if you have kids! The water fountains are awesome. It’s right off of 5th Ave. Then, to get into this part of Mellon Park, cross 5th Avenue at the crosswalk at the entrance to the parking lot, turn right, and you can enter through one of several gates that will be on your left. Walk straight up the trails inside the park and you will eventually end up at the fountain area! It truly is a beautiful place, and it’s not too big so you won’t get lost!

Walking directions from the lot to the park:

Bathrooms: by the playground

Water: I’m not 100% sure, but I think there is a fountain by the playground. If not, you are very close to Bakery Square, where you can grab something to drink or a bit to eat.

 

Thanks for joining us! Happy sweating!

Cheers,

Amy + Dominique

Three Rivers Heritage Trail (Southside Riverfront Park -> Hot Metal Bridge)

Happy Sunny Saturday! Today, I’m sharing another simple but fun trail. Last week, we decided to try a new concept in a smaller park but still managed to squeeze in a trail in the Southside. It’s short but sweet, we promise!

Located at the end of South 18th Street, Southside Riverfront Park is a cute little park, and the Allegheny Heritage Trail runs through it making it a great place to start a run. You’ll follow along the river (though it’s in the distance part of the way) past the marina and Southside works to the Hot Metal Bridge, where you can take in the views then turn around and head back. Another option would be to keep following the trail past the bridge to increase distance. Since the Southside is full of great places to eat, this would also make a fun destination trail – run to your favorite spot, have a meal, then walk/run back! There are also fun pieces of Pittsburgh’s heritage to enjoy along the way, like a giant slag bucket! This stretch of the trail is relatively flat and paved the entire way making it great for running, walking, and bicycling.

Here’s your quick video:

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/177808230″>Three Rivers Heritage Trail (Southside Riverfront Park)</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user52501496″>Amy Brown</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

Distance: ~0.8 miles each way, so 1.6 miles total

Time: 20 minutes running/45 minutes walking

Parking: Southside Riverfront Park has its own FREE parking lot. We like to park in the lot right above the trailer-only parking under the bridge because it’s nice and shaded! Plus, the port-a-john and trail access are both right there.

Bathrooms: There’s a port-a-john in the parking lot.

Water: At the marina, you’ll find a pop/water machine. Take money if you want to use this!  When you get down towards the Works, you will see a water fountain along the trail that is even pup friendly! You have to hold in the button for a minute though and wait for the water to flow.

Special notes: Wear sunscreen because there is no shade!

We hope you have some fun in the sun today. Check back for another post situated more in the park itself in the future! Until then, keep on clocking those Pittsburgh miles. Speaking of clocking miles, if you haven’t yet, we highly recommend checking out the Charity Miles app. When you go for a walk/run/bike ride, simply track it with the app, and then sponsors will donate money to participating charities based on how far you go! You can select your charity at the start of every workout. We found a Fittsburgh team on there!

Cheers!

Amy + Dominique

 

Three Rivers Heritage Trail (Millvale Riverfront Park -> North Shore)

Hello! If you are anything like us, you LOVE to explore Pittsburgh’s restaurants and activities just as much as the trails. A girl (or guy!) has gotta eat, right?! The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is a long trail that goes through many neighborhoods. Today, we are exploring a 3 mile stretch of the trail from the Riverfront Park in Millvale to the North Shore. This is a really easy trail to follow, so much so that I wasn’t sure if it was worth the post because we can all go from point A to point B and back again, but what makes this trail FUN is that it’s a destination trail. We hope that you take this trail to the North Shore and then do something awesome.

On the North Shore, you will find lots of restaurants. As you’ll see in the video, we love Burgatory. They have a creative menu (literally!) and it’s veggie/vegan/gluten free friendly. There’s a Southern Tier Brewing going in … I cannot wait for it to open! You’ll find even more than those two, though. Just walk around and see what you’re feeling! We love that so many have outdoor seating, especially the ones along the river trail.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous and want to see the city from a new angle, we totally recommend kayaking! Venture Outdoors is under the Clemente Bridge. You can rent singles and tandems (doubles). The best part? They launch you in so you don’t get wet!

Or, you can always walk over to the Point or into the city OR take the T for free from the North Shore Station over to Gateway (closest to the Point) or to any other station within downtown Pittsburgh for FREE! Visiting Market Square and PPG are always fun! You can check the T schedule on the Port Authority website or via Google Maps/the app on your phone.

As always, here is your video:

 

Distance: 3ish miles

Estimated time: 30-35 mins running/1 hour walking

Parking: We parked in front of Three Rivers Rowing. There are a few lots along the long road into the park. This spot was just closest to our destination, and we saw other people parking there and hitting the trail. There’s a lot before that and a boat launch.

Bathrooms: There are actual restrooms at the start of the lot, but they were locked. Luckily there is a port-a-john that you pass on the way in. There aren’t any restrooms along the route unless you pop into a shop/restaurant when you get closer.

Water: There is a fountain at the end of the parking lot opposite the rowing building. You’ll see it pointed out on the last picture in the video. Otherwise, there isn’t anything until you get to the restaurants on the North Shore.

Special notes: Take water and wear sunscreen – not much shade! There are a few small detours on the trail where there is construction, but it’s super easy to follow and doesn’t stray far from the actual trail.

We hope you find something fun to do! Let us know what YOU decide on.

Cheers to adventures!

Amy + Dominique

 

Cucumber Falls (Ohiopyle State Park)

Who doesn’t love a beautiful waterfall?! That is why we are sharing Cucumber Falls even though we don’t have an exact trail mapped out. Although I didn’t get any pictures, Cucumber Falls is actually GREAT for bouldering. The waterfall is surrounded by rocks. It’s a fun climb, but be careful because some of the rocks are wet and slippy.

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When you head down into the trail from the parking lot, you will go towards the right. It leads you down a bunch of steps. We went all the way down the steps and bouldered our way up to the waterfall. Then, we went behind the waterfall and out the other side. There are some seriously awesome views! I *wish* we had more pictures, but I guess you’ll just have to go see it for yourself … (; I did have my Fitbit map going, and it said we went about 1 mile between walking to/from the trail and bouldering. Not too shabby, right?

Parking: The lot is very easily visible from the road.

Bathrooms: none

Water: none available for drinking

Special notes: I would recommend wearing tennies or water shoes – something with some grip so you don’t fall!

Also … I think the Meadow Run Trail connects the Waterslides and Cucumber Falls. I did see a trail when we were heading to the falls, but I don’t remember one by the waterslides. If you happen to try it, let us know!

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It’s kind of like our own little piece of tropical paradise right here in SWPA!

Have fun,

Amy + Dominique

Natural Waterslides (Ohiopyle State Park)

Okay, so … this isn’t a trail, but it IS a lot of FUN if you like water! Have you ever done natural waterslides anywhere? One summer when I was working as a camp counselor, we would take our campers to Linn Run State Park to the natural waterslides there, but these ones might be even better! In previous years, there wasn’t much water in them but this year is a different story! Look at all that water! A bunch of teens were having a blast sliding all the way down to the end because of the currents. Be careful, though! Rocks are hard.

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Parking: The waterslides have their own parking lot! Just walk down the wooden steps and you are there!

Bathrooms: none

Water: none for drinking

Special notes: Water shoes are probably a good idea! You’ll also want to bring a towel.

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If you’re in the Ohiopyle area, we hope you stop by to at least check them out and get your feet wet!

Happy Watersliding!

Amy + Dominique

Ferncliff Trail (Ohiopyle State Park)

Today we are taking you south of the city to the beautiful Ohiopyle! This is such a fun place for a day/weekend getaway. You can hike, camp, go whitewater rafting … there really is so much possibility! We’ve even grabbed lunch and dinner a few times in Ohiopyle – lots of great food choices or you can picnic. Though, no trip is complete without stopping by the Natural Waterslides and Cucumber Falls to chill off.

Winding along the side of the river and up into the woods, the Ferncliff Trail is definitely fun. It’s more of a hiking trail than a running trail due to the terrain. Below is a video to get you onto the trail and help make navigating it easier:

 

Annnnd here is another map doodled on by yours truly in hopes helping you find your way. I don’t know if the trails are mapped 100% correctly on the map. We got confused near the end so I included a picture of the steps that you will go up near the end so you know what to look for. I think there might be some overlapping of man made and deer made trails.

FerncliffTrailMap

 

Distance: ~3 miles

Estimated time: It took us 1 1/2-2 hours walking, but that’s because there are so many photo ops!

Parking: You can enter 7 Sheridan St, Ohiopyle, PA into your GPS. This is the address for the Laurel Highlands Information Center because there isn’t a specific one for the parking lot. The parking lot is on the left immediately after the information center. It’s very easy to see.

Bathrooms: Restrooms are in the information center, and they were CLEAN!

Water: You can get water in the information center and at any of the shops along Main Street and the connecting side streets. No water is available along the trail.

Special notes: Wear sunscreen, beware of poison ivy (stay on the trail!), take a camera, and if it has rained recently, be prepared for a few muddy spots.

We hope you enjoy this little getaway trail. If you have time, look at Christian Klay Winery and stop in for some Lavender Mist wine!

Cheers,

Amy + Dominique

 

 

Nine Mile Run -> Mon River (Frick Park)

Running loop trails is fun, but running to a beautiful destination can make a run/walk that much more exciting! After the last (slightly complicated) trail loop, we decided on something a little bit more simple but still beautiful! This route will take you through Frick Park down to the Monongahela River, which actually leads to an entrance of the Steel Valley Heritage Trail on the opposite side of the river from the Waterfront.

As always, here is a quick video guiding you to the start of the trail and some if its twists and turns:

 

And here is your map we doodled the trail on, but remember, if you have GPS on your phone, you can always pull up Google Maps and see exactly where you are on the trail. I always find that super helpful so I know where I am and how far I have to go if I’m trying a new trail.

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Distance: ~3.5 miles

Estimated time: 35 mins (jog)/ 70-80 mins (walk) – add extra time to catch a breather by the river

Parking: We recommend starting this trail from the parking lot off Hutchinson Avenue in Regent Square. You drive down a windy road to the parking lot. There are plenty of spaces, and overall, it is easy to find and navigate! Here is a map to the parking lot:

 

Bathrooms: There is a port-a-potty in the parking lot.

Water: There is no water available along the trail, but if you forget water or snacks, there are a few mini-marts/shops in Regent Square that should have something!

Special notes: You do cross the street in this trail so be careful! Wear sunscreen, some parts don’t have much shade. Also, if you choose to take the lower path on the way back and its overgrown a bit, use your noggin and check yourself for ticks at the end.

We hope you enjoy this route as much as we do. Keep posted for a FUN variation to this route over the summer! Let’s just say it will involve … PANCAKES!

Cheers,

Amy + Dominique

Point State Park -> North Shore Loop (Point State Park)

The Point and the rivers in Pittsburgh really are beautiful. That is what makes us LOVE Point State Park even though parking can be a pain sometimes. The park in terms of trails is not very large, so this one might seem a little confusing with all the turns, but I can assure you it’s really not hard. Let me break it down for you:

During this run, you will make two loops around Point State Park. The first loop is around the outer edge along the river. Then, the second loop is through the middle of the park. For the second loop, you are going to take the trail that you passed at the beginning. It will be on the right before you get to the steps leading down to the river (after you pass the museum). The two trails (outer and inner) run parallel more or less.

After you complete the second loop (the inner loop), you are going to follow the ramp up to the bridge. The ramp is located to the right when you come out of the tunnel with the reflection pools at the start. It’s not a large park, so even if you miss a turn, another little path should lead you to pretty much the same area.

Then you cross the Fort Duquesne Bridge, run along the Allegheny River past PNC Park, walk up the steps to PNC Park at the Clemente Bridge and cross the Clemente Bridge. At the end of the Clemente Bridge, you take the steps back down to the river and follow the trail up the other side back to Point State Park. If you miss your turn back into the park, you’ll just end up at the fountain again, which is actually a nice place to stop and rest!

Here is a (kind of lengthy) video of the twists and turns! Below that is the map. Just like the other parks, if you have GPS on your phone, you can pull it up to see where you are on the trail! We took a screen shot of Google Maps and drew on the trails.

 

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Distance: ~3.1 miles from the entrance of the park

Estimated time: 35 mins (jog)/ 60-75 mins (walk)

Parking: Street parking is free on Sundays. You can park along the Boulevard of the Allies or on Liberty across from the park. Saturday and Sunday, parking is $5 in city garages (not all garages are Pittsburgh Parking Authority garages, though, so be careful). Weekdays, you can park for free along East Carson in the South Side, cross the Smithfield Street Bridge, and walk over to the Point. You can also take the Trolley in from the North Shore for free (I think still, right?), just get off at Gateway Center. You can also take any other T in and get off at Gateway Center. Parking on the North Shore and walking in is another option.

Below I’ve highlighted where there is some free street parking on Sundays and holidays.

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Here is a map leading to the entrance of Point State Park:

 

Bathrooms: There are bathrooms near the fountain.

Water: You will find water fountains seasonally by the the bathrooms near the fountain, and the Cafe at the Point sells beverages and snacks.

Special Notes: There are steps in this trail. At the end of the Fort Duquesne Bridge, there is a ramp for bicycles. I am not sure if there are ramps on/off the other one. Kayaks are available for rent by PNC Park along the river, and you will find lots of benches in Point State Park.

This trail is a fun little city excursion. Be sure to check to see if there are any events going on at the Point, too! And, it is a must to stick your feet in the fountain when no one is looking. 🙂

Have a GREAT run!

Amy + Dominique

 

Braddock Loop (Frick Park)

Starting and ending with the Braddock Trail, the Braddock Loop is a fun 2.7 mile route through mostly wooded trails that we love. Frick Park has miles of trails, so this is a nice taste of a few of them. Take a peak at the short video below to preview the twists and turns of the trail and see how to access it from our recommended parking spot:

If you have GPS on your phone, you can pull up Google Maps and actually see where you are on the trails! It’s pretty snazzy and very helpful if you are prone to getting lost like we are. Below is a picture of a Google map with the trails and directions color coded to use as a quick reference on your run. We hope this helps! ENJOY and let us know how we can improve these sorts of things.

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Distance: ~2.7 miles

Estimated time: 30 min (jog)/ 50-60 mins (walk)

Parking: Slightly off South Braddock Avenue very close to where you can enter I-376, you will see a business called CLASS on Allenby Avenue. If you turn in there and follow the street to the lower lot (there are train tracks and part of the street is brick), you will see parking. If you continue straight through the lot, you will run into the trail head.

 

Bathrooms: There is a port-a-potty located on the Tranquil Trail not long after you turn onto it. You will see a pavilion and restroom building. There is also another port-a-potty in the parking lot you pass through before turning onto the Fire Lane Trail.

Water: There is no water available on these trails.

Special notes: There are stairs in the trail. There are also picnic tables along the route (near the parking lot/soccer field and the pavilion on the Tranquil Trail) and benches with scenic views!

Work It Out: For this one, we used the benches to work our triceps with dips and chest/shoulders with push ups on the back of the benches (like wall push ups). The stairs are also a great place to get in some calf raises!

We hope you have some fun in the sun!

 

Happy Trails!

Amy + Dominique