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Schenley Park is a 456 acre park located in Pittsburgh's Oakland, Squirrel Hill and Greenfield neighborhoods. It is the second largest of Pittsburgh's municipal parks after Frick Park.
Schenley Park is in easy walking distance from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University and therefore very popular with students and locals.
In 1889, Mary Schenley donated 300 acres to the City of Pittsburgh. Originally known as the "Mt. Airy Tract", Mary had inherited this land from her paternal grandfather, General James O'Hara, but she had no use for it as she had permanently moved to England.
Being unused and lying close to the expanding city of Oakland, this land was of becoming interesting to developers. In 1889, Edward Bigelow, the director of the Department of Public Works of the City of Pittsburgh heard that a developer was trying to buy the land from Mary Schenley, so he quickly arranged for a lawyer to be sent to England to negotiate the purchase in favor of the City of Pittsburgh. Bigelow's lawyer arrived in England two days before the agent for the developer and sealed the deal.
The deal was that Mary donates 300 acres, the city of Pittsburgh purchase an additional 120 acres, the resulting park be named after Mary and the city never sell this land.
Schenley Park is home to the Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, several playgrounds, a sports complex with soccer, softball and tennis court, a swimming pool, an ice skating rink, a golf course, various monuments and several miles of hiking and biking trails.
A nice looped combination of individual hiking trails starts near the Phipps Conservatory. Park here and walk South (= left when you look at the Phipps) and cross the Panther Hollow Bridge. Make sure to take a closer look at the panthers on either side of the bridge. The panthers are the mascot of the Pitt Panthers, the college sports team of the University of Pittsburgh.
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When you cross the bridge, look down towards the west and you will see Panther Hollow Lake. This is your first stop. To get there, go to the far end (south western side of the bridge). There is a trail that goes down directly after the panther at the end of the bridge.
The first set of steps will bring you down to the hiking trail, which you will eventually follow to the left. But first, hike down the stairs all the way to the bottom where Panther Hollow Lake is. Walk around the lake on the paved trail and maybe relax for a minute in this quiet area.
Now go back and climb the stairs to the trail and make a right (do not go up all the way to the street level). This wide trail is easy to walk on.
The bridge that you will soon pass under is the Charles Anderson Bridge.
This trail ends at the Public Works Storage Area. At the end, make a right on the Bridle Trail. Follow this trail for about a mile until it ends at an intersection.
Cross the intersection at the light to the east to go on Bartlett Street. Right after the light, you will find a trail entrance to the Panther Hollow Run trail. After a few feet down the hill, stay right at the fork and then cross the stone bridge.
Shortly after the bridge, you will see a trail branching off to the right going uphill.
Take this trail - Steve Faloon Trail (0.8 miles). This is a narrow trail which is often deserted as most people take the wider Lower Panther Hollow Trail to the south of it.
This trail will bring you by a golf course and, after about a quarter mile, you will come to a fork. Stay right as the trail to the left goes nowhere.
The trail ends at West Circuit Road near the Westinghouse shelter. Turn left on the road for a few feet and go to see the Westinghouse Memorial & Pond. George Westinghouse was called the "Greatest Living Engineer". He was a prolific inventor, farsighted entrepreneur, and enlightened employer.
There was never a strike during Westinghouse's tenure as president.
After you are done admiring the pond and monument, walk down Schenley Drive back to the Phipps and your car.
Opposite to the Phipps you will see Flagstaff Hill, which is a popular spot for people to relax and picnic.
Besides being a green oasis in the city, Schenley Park is also known for these events: