Riverview Park - Observatory Loop

Pittsburgh, PA
Length: 0.50 mi.
Type: Loop

About This Trail

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

This is a short trail beginning at the Visitor’s Center, and making a nearly complete loop around the Observatory. It’s wide and generally flat, making it perfect for newer walkers or for a hike where exploring wins out over distance.

Park along Riverview Drive near the visitor’s Center. When looking at the center, the sign for Wissahickon Trail is to the right of the building. Follow this trail to the left (runs behind the visitor’s center) and it will take an approximately half mile to come out on the playground side of the Observatory. There is really only one place early on where there appears to be a split in the trail (up the hill left, down the hill toward the road, straight), so stay on the middle, straight-most trail. You’ll go up a slight hill, pass some big rocks on your right, and the tennis courts followed by the off-leash dog park on your left. The trail continues with a nice view of the Observatory and its lawn and then heads down towards the road. To go back to the visitor’s center, look for the big stone steps and head that way to complete your loop and cross the road. Otherwise, the playground is a nice reward for your younger hikers and is only about a tenth of a mile from where you began.

Share This Trail

Trail Features

Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Excellent
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Picnic Area, Playground, Visitor Center, and Wildlife Viewing

This is a generally wide and flat trail, great for less competent hikers.

An all-terrain stroller could handle this without much difficulty.

There are stumps to stand on, trees with interesting holes, big rocks to climb on, and a downed tree (while it lasts) with a trampoline quality that the kids on our hikes have consistently migrated towards. There’s also the off-leash dog park along the trail, so there’s always the chance to view from dogs playing.

This park has quite a number of deer that are almost always seen on hikes through this park.

The sunny lawn is a great place for picnics, and there are also tables in the playground area.

The Visitor’s Center is not always open, but if it is stop in for some maps, activity pages, and real bathrooms.

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $0.00

Parking is free and plentiful along Riverview Avenue. Alternatively, if the playground is your ultimate destination, you may choose to make a left at the stop sign at the visitor’s center and park around the bend (across from the port-a-potties) and just walk back to the trailhead, making for an easier getaway from the playground.

Trail Contributor

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Julie has been an Ambassador for Hike it Baby since summer 2015. She and her husband, Andrew, started hiking with Hike it Baby in January 2015, when their daughter was just 6 months old.

Trail Head


Trail Map