By Jessica LaRosa
Before the chill of winter settles in, take the family out for a day in the park – Frick Park. The largest of Pittsburgh’s regional parks at 561 acres, the beautiful scenery and open space provides the perfect backdrop for all of your outdoor needs. Frick Park has always been one of my favorite places in the city – it combines spectacular city views with the serenity of nature, all within minutes of downtown Pittsburgh.
2005 Beechwood Bld.
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 422 6538
Hours: Daily 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
If you haven’t heard the story of how Frick Park came to be, it’s a sweet story that will inspire you to enjoy the nature surrounding you in our beautiful city. Henry Clay Frick, a wealthy Pittsburgh industrialist, told his daughter that she could have anything she wanted for her debutante party in 1908. Rather than expensive gifts, she asked that a park be built where the children of the city could enjoy nature. As the story goes, Frick happily gave his daughter her wish and laid the groundwork for Frick Park. This story may be a legend, but Frick Park is the product of Henry Clay Frick’s gift to the city of Pittsburgh. Frick passed away in 1919, and left the city with 119 acres of land in addition to a $2 million trust fund to help create the park and assist with maintenance. The city acquired an additional 190 acres in 1925, and the park had its official opening in 1929. Since then, the park has grown into a beautiful woodland in the midst of a big city, and improvements continue to be made every year.
Frick Park is a great place to go for a walk or jog! You can easily escape the city and wander through wooded trails with some gorgeous scenery. Ranging from easy strolls through the park, to longer hikes that take you on some steep slopes through the woods, there’s a trail for everyone. There’s a fitness circuit as well, where you can incorporate some challenging moves into your workout . Make sure to check out the map to design your perfect route!
Frick Art & History Center
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
As avid lovers of art and nature, the Frick family made a number of contributions to the city of Pittsburgh, and the Frick Art & History Center celebrates the Fricks’ love of art. Across the street from the Park’s entrance on Reynolds Street, the Art Center is a top cultural attraction in the city, consisting of museums, historical buildings, and beautiful gardens on over five acres of land. One highlight is the restored Frick family home, Clayton, a gorgeous industrial-era mansion open for tours to the public. Other attractions include the Frick Art Museum, the Car & Carriage Museum, the Greenhouse, and the Café at Frick. If you want to immerse yourself in the history of our city, as well as the history of the Frick family, I highly suggest the Frick Art & History Center.
Frick Park is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors with man’s best friend. The park is completely pet-friendly, as long as your dog remains on a leash. There’s also an Off-Leash Exercise Area along Riverview Trail where your dog can run free. Take advantage of the water fountains and waste disposal bags in this area to make it a convenient stop for you and your pet!
When I was younger, I can vividly remember my excitement when my uncle would take me to the “castle playground” at Frick Park. Better known as the Blue Slide playground at Beechwood Boulevard and English Lane, this playground is a kid-favorite attraction. Even for adults, the view of the Pittsburgh skyline from this playground is breathtaking. The Forbes & Braddock playground is another great place to take the kids. Located according to its name, this nature-themed park includes an imaginary “creek” and natural rock displays. A “lagoon” also offers a wheelchair-accessible play area for children of all abilities.
Frick Park is a beautiful park that encompasses a lot of land for you to enjoy. There are tennis courts, a bowling green, the Frick Environmental Center, historic gatehouse entrances, a nature reserve, and plenty of other sites to see as you make your way around. If nothing else, take your camera and head to Frick Park for some beautiful shots of nature. If you don’t believe me, click here for some gorgeous photos.
Jessica LaRosa is a fitness and Pittsburgh enthusiast currently displaced in suburban Philadelphia. You can follow her healthy living journey at For the Fun of Fit.