Whether you’re new to mountain biking or have been riding for years, North Park will be on your local to-do list. It’s the epicenter of Pittsburgh riding.
North Park’s 3,000 acres are heavily forested, with something for everyone: sports fields, off-leash dog areas, a massive swimming pool, an ice rink, a golf course. And trails. Lots and lots of trails.
Mountain biking here started with Dr. J, created when rogue trail builders teamed up with the county and the trail advocacy group Trail Pittsburgh to develop a legal freeride trail accessible to the public—one of the few in the United States.
The construction of Dr. J turned up the heat on an already active trail building area, spawning a skills park with jumps, skinnies, and drops. Add that to the 40-plus miles of trails that wind through the area, and you have a well-built and well-signed trail system that’s constantly evolving and improving. (Join the effort here: www.trailpittsburgh.org/.)
The singletrack is mostly beginner to intermediate levels with a few more challenging sections. (Keep your eyes out for trailside features that will keep advanced riders on their toes.) A mix of roots and rocks peppers the area, and there’s a growing number of smoother, bermed flow trails as well.