search engine by freefind
Backpack and Snorkel Travel Guides

To help support the expenses of hosting this blog, some of the links on this website are “affiliate links.” This means that, if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a small commission from the seller; there is no added cost to you.

Backpack and Snorkel Online Travel Store - Backpack and Snorkel Travel Guides - Purple Guides and more

Schenley Park (map, Park Map)

 

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.

 

What to see and do in Schenley Park

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.

Backpack & Snorkel Online Store

Pin these for later:

Pittsburgh Travel Guide showing the lake at Crooked Creek Lake Park
Pittsburgh Travel Guide showing a lake at Hillman Park
Pittsburgh Travel Guide showing an art installation at Hartwood Acres
Pittsburgh Travel Guide showing a covered bridge in McConnell's Mill Park
Panther statue on Panther Hollow Bridge in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
Panther Hollow Lake seen from Panther Hollow Bridge in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
Panther Hollow Bridge and Panther Hollow Lake in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh

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. 

Panther Hollow Bridge seen from the underside near Panther Hollow Lake in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh

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.

Hiking trail in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
Hiking trail in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh

The bridge that you will soon pass under is the Charles Anderson Bridge. 

Charles Anderson Bridge and Hiking trail in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
Charles Anderson Bridge seen from and Hiking trail in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh

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. 

Squirrel seen from Hiking trail in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
Hiking trail in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
Hiking trail in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
Hiking trail in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh

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. 

Hiking trail in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
Hiking trail over a stone bridge in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh

Shortly after the bridge, you will see a trail branching off to the right going uphill. 

Hiking trail going uphill in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh

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.

Hiking trail in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
Hiking trail in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh

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.

 

George Westinghouse:

  • invented the air brake which is still used today to safely stop trains
  • with Nickola Tesla on staff, he won the race to electrify the race to electrify the US with AC (alternating current) over the DC (direct current) that Thomas Edison preferred
  • was the first to establish the 55h work week, half-day holidays on Saturday, and the first to hire a female engineer
  • was one of the first to create a pension system for employees
  • was a proponent of employee input.  He is known for the sentence "That's a great idea.  Let's do it!" when an employee suggested a process improvement.

There was never a strike during Westinghouse's tenure as president.

Westinghouse Memorial & Lake in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
Westinghouse Memorial in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
George Westinghouse statue at Westinghouse Memorial & Lake in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
Flowers at Westinghouse Memorial & Lake in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
Flowers at Westinghouse Memorial & Lake in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh
Flowers at Westinghouse Memorial & Lake in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh

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:

  • Cinema in the Park: Wednesday evenings after dark, free movies are shown in the park from June through August
  • Komen Race for the Cure fundraising event on Mother's Day
  • Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix: A vintage car race and vintage car exhibition is held in mid-July
  • Spring Carnival: Carnegie Mellon University buggy race 

Sharing is caring

facebooktwitterpinterestinstagramyoutubemixflipboardFollow us