Walking the scenic route through Schenley Park to work

Two months ago, I spent a whole week commuting to work at Carnegie Mellon University by walking instead of driving, because of the annoyances of parking during Carnival week.

Because I enjoyed that experience so much, since then, I have walked to/from work at least once a week! Usually my route has included either Forbes Avenue or Schenley Drive, but once I went on other roads through Schenley Park.

Last week I started making the trails of Schenley Park part of my walk. This adds probably half a mile to the walk (for a total of just less than 2.5 miles from home to work); time efficiency was why I had not taken this indirect route before.

Here are some photos of my walk to CMU last week.

Going barefoot to Schenley Park

I went barefoot the entire way from home to Schenley Park.


Reaching the Schenley Park sign on Hobart Street:

Schenley Park sign on Hobart Street

About to enjoy barefoot running on the grass to cross Beacon Street and Bartlett Street to reach the Bartlett Playground. Note that the Cathedral of Learning is visible in the background.

Grass at Hobart Street and Beacon Street

Arriving at the Bartlett Shelter sign:

Sign for Bartlett Shelter

Right behind the playground is the entrance to the Panther Hollow Trail:

Sign for Panther Hollow Trail

Panther Hollow Trail to Schenley Park Cafe and Visitor Center

This section of the Panther Hollow Trail that I followed all the way to the Schenley Park Cafe and Visitor Center is the all-downhill section of the Pretty Good Race 5K course that I ran on to celebrate National Running Day on June 6.

My apologies to the barefoot purists, but I immediately found the trail too rough for my bare feet and put on my Vibram FiveFingers KSO shoes:

Vibram FiveFingers KSO shoes on Panther Hollow Trail

A typical view while running downhill on the Panther Hollow Trail for about 0.9 mile:

Panther Hollow Trail going downhill

A sign at the base of the steps that lead up to the Schenley Park Cafe and Visitor Center. I appreciate the renovations in the Pittsburgh parks in the past several years that include such features as the new signs that I think help visitors a lot.

Schenley Park sign at base of steps

Finally out of the trail:

Schenley Park Cafe and Visitor Center

Across Flagstaff Hill to my office at Carnegie Mellon University

A view of Phipps Conservatory as well as the Cathedral of Learning in the distance:

Phipps Conservatory

One is probably not supposed to do so, but I climbed up the stone border (about four feet high) to enter Flagstaff Hill. The more circuitous route to my office would be to take Schenley Drive, which curves around, but it’s shorter (and also more scenic and strenuous) to go up the hill directly and steeply, and then descend.

Flagstaff Hill

Taking in the view of the Cathedral of Learning against the lovely blue sky, while running through the grass on Flagstaff Hill:

Cathedral of Learning visible from Flagstaff Hill

My office is barely visible through the trees as I descend:

Office visible through trees

A convenient path to Frew Street:

Path to Frew Street

At my office building:

My office building


It is a lot of fun on a nice day to walk to work the “long” way that goes through the trails of Schenley Park and also Flagstaff Hill.

I am so grateful that Pittsburgh is friendly and stimulating for walking in. And, of course, I am grateful that Mary Schenley donated the land to Pittsburgh way back that became Schenley Park.

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