The temperatures are in the high 30s; the sun is glistening off of a smooth blanket of snow. It is a rare beautiful day in middle of winter. If you’ve been feeling plagued by freezing temperatures and constant darkness, it is time to get out and enjoy the beauty of winter. Get your winter coat on and go take a winter nature walk in one of Pittsburgh’s beautiful parks. If you are looking for a place to go, here are some lovely parks that offer wonderful scenery for your winter walk.
1981 Beechwood Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
This beautiful 151-acre mass of land that was given to the city by Henry Clay Frick in 1919 has developed into a 644-acre park, complete with a housing development and the Nine Mile Run Watershed. In 1991, the original 151 acres was preserved as the Frick Woods Nature Reserve, which is home to many native plants and extensive wildlife. Although much of the wildlife will be cozied up and asleep for the winter, it is still a wonderful time to enjoy the silence of this wooded area with walking trails.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Not only is Highland Park a lovely community area complete with the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, it also houses some beautiful natural areas. Take a walk around the No. 1 Reservoir, known for its scenic beauty, and enjoy the Babbling Brooke in its icy winter state. Walk the trails around Lake Carnegie, the seasonal pools and Mount Bigelow. If you’re up for a real adventure, you can also enjoy the zoo, which is open all year.
1 Riverview Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15214
If you are feeling adventurous, dig out your snow boots and head out to enjoy Riverview Park. This park hosts the Mairdale watershed and steep trails throughout beautiful wooded areas. Listen to the soothing sounds of the Wissahickon stream while you walk. If you are not feeling like being outdoors, you can also spend some time viewing the winter sky at the Allegheny Observatory, which is located within the park.
5410 Bartlett St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Enjoy an escape from the city at Schenley Park. The beautiful 80-acre Schenley Park offers great views of the Panther Hollow and Phipps Run streams. You can also enjoy the Panther Hollow lake and a variety of trails and meadows. If you would prefer an indoor nature experience, the Phipps Conservatory is located within the park and offers a warm escape into a tropical world of beautiful plants and colorful flowers.
Fifth and Shady Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Mellon Park may be smaller than Pittsburgh’s main parks, but it is a beautiful place to take a short, relaxing stroll. The walled gardens are in the process of being revitalized, but they are sure to offer some quiet beauty for the winter. A star map installation is also being installed, which will feature fiber optic stars throughout the gardens. If you want to leave your mark in this soon to be magical place, star sponsorships are available.
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Jennifer Stockdale is a native of the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. She is a restaurant marketer and wine enthusiast and one of the hosts of the East Coast Wine Geeks Podcast. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.