Exploring the Allegheny County Parks

Looking to get outside in Allegheny County? Check out our Allegheny County Parks system!

Views of the Allegheny River from Harrison Hills Park
As always, follow the principles of leave no trace when you're out exploring! Pack out all trash, leave wildlife alone, and generally leave it better than you found it - for more information visit the Leave No Trace Center.

Allegheny County Parks

Below is a list of all of the Allegheny County Parks in alphabetical order and a brief description of each park. If the park name has a hyperlink, click through to my park guide!

Jump to the section about the park you want to visit!
- Boyce
- Deer Lakes
- Harrison Hills
- Hartwood Acres
- North Park
- Round Hill
- Settlers Cabin
- South Park
- White Oak
Scenic overlook on a beautiful fall day in North Park

Boyce Park

Boyce Park located on over 1,000 acres, approximately 25 minutes east of Pittsburgh in Plum and Monroeville. This park is one of the best to visit in winter as it has the only downhill skiing and snowtubing hills in Allegheny County! If you’re looking for summer fun, Boyce also has a wave pool, a skate park, and an archery range.

Hiking in Boyce Park is a great way to feel like you’re escaping the city. Boyce has 28 miles of trails. A great starter trail is the Boyce Park Cabin Expanded Loop trail. This 2.9 mile trail starts at a restored Log Cabin and takes you though the hills and valleys of the park. The Log Cabin offers tours on select Sundays, so if you’re a history buff, time your hike to coincide! Most of the trails are multi-use so keep an eye out for mountain bikers.

Fun fact: The park is named for William Boyce, founder of the Boy Scouts.

Looking for more ways to spend winter near Pittsburgh? Check out my list of Best Winter Activities Near Pittsburgh!

Deer Lakes Park

Deer Lakes Park is located approximately 25 minutes northeast of the city in Tarentum. The key feature of this park is the three man-made lakes, which are great for fishing. The park also boasts a disc golf course and an observatory.

Hiking in Deer Lakes is great, thanks to the well-blazed trails. I especially love visiting this trail in stick season, as the lakes add something to the hike even if there are no leaves on the trees.

Harrison Hills Park

Harrison Hills is northeast of Pittsburgh, located right on the Allegheny River. There are fourteen miles of trails in Harrison Hills Park, which allow hikers, bikers, and horseback riders! (Just check individual trail rules).

Harrison Hills is also the eastern terminus of the Rachel Carson Trail, a 42-mile trail running from North Park to Harrison Hills. This section of the trail has some of the best views of the Allegheny River!

Views of the Allegheny River from Harrison Hills
Looking for more hikes with views in Allegheny County? Check out the Best Hikes with Views Near Pittsburgh!

Hartwood Acres Park

Hartwood Acres is north of the city in Hampton and Indiana townships. The park has an off leash dog area and multiple hiking trails. I’d recommend using AllTrails for this park, as a lot of the loops cross each other and it’s somewhat easy to get turned around.

The most unique feature of the park is its mansion, which visitors can tour. To book a tour at the mansion, visit the park website (tours must be reserved online in advance). The park also offers free concerts on Sundays in August!

Tom enjoying a winter hike in Hartwood Acres

North Park

North Park’s main feature is its 65-acre lake that offers fishing and kayaking. The lake is the largest man-made body of water in Allegheny County and features a vintage boathouse, where you can rent a kayak, SUP, canoe, or pedalboat. Once you’re done adventuring, check out Over the Bar, a casual restaurant that offers great views of the lake.

North Park also has a ton of great hiking trails! The park offers the area’s only “Braille Trail” or a hike meant for visually impaired hikers. The park also is the western terminus of the Rachel Carson Trail. Every year, the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge will either start or end at the park!

View of the North Park Lake from Over the Bar

Round Hill Park

It’s a park that’s also a farm! Round Hill Park features an exhibition farm that is open all year round. The farm offers tours and demonstrations and has hosted tons of field trips for children of all ages. The 1,100 acre park is located 35 minutes south of the city in Elizabeth. The hiking loops are short, but kid-friendly and worth combining with a farm visit!

Settler’s Cabin Park

Settler’s Cabin Park is located 15 minutes west of downtown Pittsburgh. This 1,600 acre park is the most rugged of the county parks and it’s hard to tell that you’re only minutes outside a large metropolitan area! The park is home to one of the waterfalls closest to Pittsburgh as well as the Pittsburgh Botanical Garden.

There are multiple ways to visit the waterfall, but the Green Loop trail on AllTrails is the most straightforward. This is a popular site on nice days, so if you want the falls to yourself, get there early!

Fun Fact: The waterfall wasn’t easily reachable until somewhat recently, when the Allegheny Parks Foundation worked to obtain funding improve the waterfall trail. Read more about that work on the ACPF website!

Settlers Cabin Waterfall after a pretty dry spell – I recommend visiting after more rain!
Looking for more waterfalls to explore? Check out Best Waterfalls Near Pittsburgh!

South Park

South Park is a giant at 2,000 acres south of Pittsburgh, in Bethel Park. It offers a ton for families, including an ice skating rink, a golf course, wave pool, and a BMX track. While the park also has hiking trails, I’d probably skip a hike here unless you’re visiting for another reason.

If you’re looking for a long hike in an Allegheny County Park, the 8.5 mile Red and White Loop can get those miles in! I highly recommend using AllTrails for this park, as there are many offshoots and the blazes are pretty sparse.

South Park Red Trail

White Oak Park

White Oak Park is located on 810 acres in McKeesport, about 30 minutes southeast of the city. This park may be one of the smaller ones but the hikes have some great hills! I really like the Pet Haven and Rainbow Garden loop, which is 3.2 miles long and takes you by the off-leash dog area. Since this park is close to my neighborhood (Regent Square), I often visit for a short but worthwhile training hike!

Looking for more parks to visit in Allegheny County? Check out the Pittsburgh Parks, including Frick Park, Emerald View, and Pittsburgh's newest park, Hays Woods!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Allegheny County Parks are there?

There are nine parks in the county park system.

Are dogs allowed in the parks?

Dogs are allowed in all county parks and must be on a leash. The only exception is in the designated off-leash areas.

What is the largest park in Allegheny County?

At 3,094 acres, North Park is the largest park in the system.

Which Allegheny County Parks have a golf course?

North Park and South Park both have golf courses.

How can I support the Allegheny County Parks?

To support the parks, visit the Allegheny Parks Foundation website. You can sign up to donate, volunteer, or join their mailing list! Fun fact: In December 2023, Tom and I were featured on their year-end appeal letter.

Updated January 3, 2023

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