Making the Right Connections – Connecting Aspinwall to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail

I spend a lot of time on trails;  Bike trails, hiking trails, running trails, you name it.  I’m a marathon runner and recreational bicyclist.  Most days, I find myself driving from Aspinwall to Millvale, North Park, or Schenley Park to get my “daily miles” in.  I’ve tried biking on Freeport Road but generally decline due to safety concerns.  I also sometimes run from Aspinwall through Sharpsburg and in Lawrenceville.  But nothing beats the miles I put in on the Three Rivers Heritage Trial starting at Millvale. 

If you don’t know, the Heritage Trail in Pittsburgh hugs parts of the Allegheny River and parts of the Monongahela River to the confluence into the Ohio.  The trail is mostly flat, making it walkable, bikeable, and runnable.[1]  With the constant view of the river and the trees nestling the trail away from most traffic (aside from some trains), it makes for a peaceful run sprinkled with some friendly passersby (whether it be people, squirrels, or woodchucks).

There’s one thing the Heritage Trail doesn’t have though, a connection to Aspinwall Borough.  I’ve reached out to some local organizations to find out “why” the trail stops in Millvale and found out some interesting pieces of information.  There are a large amount of people who are interested in connecting Aspinwall to the Heritage Trail, from people right here in Aspinwall to other bikers, walkers, and runners living in all of Fox Chapel Area.

We can’t do this alone though. To make this happen, we need to connect our portion of the trail to Sharpsburg and even slivers of land owned by Etna and O’Hara Township.  This means working alongside these neighboring boroughs to create a workable plan that benefits each stakeholder.  This would also mean working with local groups like BikePGH and Friends of the Waterfront to make these types of connections happen.  It sounds like a lot of work, but the truth of the matter is that these wheels have been turning for awhile. 

If elected to Council I would continue to advocate for this trail connection and work with the neighboring boroughs to make it happen.  Building a path like this would be a beautiful asset to our community!

Blog By: Mary Hancock

[1] See Friends of the Riverfront, (2021). 

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