While Pittsburgh is known for its many parks within the city limits, Highland Park is a more residential area that’s tucked away in the northeastern part of the city. It’s a historic area that provides a bit of escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and it’s ideal for runners and cyclists.

Highland Park Reservoir

Highland Park Reservoir

If you’ve never been to Highland Park, it will probably surprise you to find a large body of water right in the middle of the city. The reservoir is up on a hill, so you can’t see it until you walk through the Entry Garden and climb up a few historic steps. This provides drinking water for a lot of residents in Pittsburgh.

The reservoir is a beautiful site with calm water and a walking path laid against tall trees. It’s particularly lovely in the fall when all the leaves are changing. Some of the best times to see the reservoir are at sunrise and sunset when you can see the sun reflecting on the water.

Walk, Run or Bike Along Paved Paths  

HIghland Park Reservoir

Running and biking in the city can be tough. Between uneven sidewalks and short city blocks, it’s hard to run or bike long distances without having to stop frequently or fight with traffic. Highland Park is great for runners and bikers because there are several circular routes around the reservoir. It’s also one of the flatter paths in the city. (Flat and paved!)

Run a few laps around the Reservoir Loop path (.75 mile), or bike the road that circles through the park (1.25 miles). There are also some hiking trails that take off from the main paths if you want to venture into the woods.

Tennis, Swimming and Volleyball

Highland Park Reservoir
Image via Sports Monsters Pittsburgh

South of the reservoir, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy in the warmer months. Highland Park has several tennis courts, a public swimming pool, and sand volleyball nets. It’s also quite close to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.

Something for Your Dog Too

HIghland Park Reservoir

Near the swimming pool and volleyball nets, you’ll find the Highland Park dog park. It’s split into two sections, one for small dogs and one for large dogs. Let your pup run wild in a large enclosed area.

You can walk your dog through parts of Highland Park, but keep in mind that dogs are not allowed on the Reservoir Loop path closest to the reservoir to protect the drinking water.

Picnics and Pavilions

Highland Park Reservoir

Hosting a family get-together or summer barbeque? Reserve one of Highland Park’s eight picnic areas and pavilions that seat 18-95 people.

Reservoir of Jazz

Highland Park Reservoir
Image via HIghland Park Community Council

Every Sunday evening in the late summer, typically in the month of August, free jazz concerts are held at Highland Park. Reservoir of Jazz concerts feature local musicians and the seating is first come, first serve. Pull up a chair or bring a blanket to sit back and listen.

Emily Munk

A Pittsburgh transplant, Emily moved to the city in 2016. She loves traveling, training for races, finding new places to eat (all for you, MadeinPGH readers), doing anything in the cultural district, and volunteering with Pittsburgh Young Professionals. In addition to being a MadeinPGH contributor, she is the senior content marketer for a Fortune 500 supply chain solutions company.

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