The Seldom Seen Greenway Pipeline Trail at Beechview Seldom Seen Greenway in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a moderate 1.1-mile out-and-back trail that features a seasonal view of downtown and is an additional way to access this hidden gem of a park.
This trail can be found next to Tropical Park in Pittsburgh and runs along the upper ledge of the park, behind private properties, and eventually heads downhill toward Saw Mill Run. The trail itself is easy to difficult depending on how far you plan to hike it, as one section is fairly steep along the water pipeline, hence the moderate difficulty.
This track follows the mostly-flat section of the trail, over to the seasonal vista, and down the water pipeline trail. After visiting the seasonal lookout, the trail heads downhill before reaching a green park sign on a tree. We tracked this extra trail, a left-hand turn, for a short distance before we reached a large fallen tree and decided to hike back to the water pipeline. So the small offshoot on the map is this additional trail. Hikers can skip this section altogether if they wish and head straight down the water pipeline.
After passing the green sign and offshoot trail, the pipeline trail continues down a fairly steep hill. During wetter months, hikers should bring proper footwear and watch their step as the ground can be slick. Also note that during warmer months, this trail can be very overgrown and is generally not well maintained.
Once the trail reaches the bottom of the hill, it heads straight to the train tracks - which is where this recording ends and heads back uphill to parking. Hikers can take a left-hand turn before the train tracks that follows, what looks like a deer trail, over to the Saw Mill Run creek where the old trail used to continue.
If hikers wish to continue exploring the park, consider driving over to the Seldom Seen Greenway Loop. Hikers can also choose to ford the creek and continue the hike along the Seldom Seen Greenway Loop as well, but Saw Mill Run is at the very least, 6 inches deep.
Hikers will find a seasonal view of downtown - the US Steel Tower (UPMC Tower) and PPG Industries building - not far from the trailhead and with very little effort; however, this view is only available when the leaves are not on the trees during the colder months.
Finding the Trailhead
Hikers will find the trailhead has no signs for the Beechview Seldom Seen Greenway, but it's not hard to find. After parking and locating Tropical Park, hikers will find a chain-linked fence that runs along a house and private property right next to Tropical Park -- this is the unmarked trailhead. Please respect the local private residences here.
Hikers can parallel parking along the streets near the parking coordinates provided. Please note there is no main parking lot, so visitors must obey the local street parking signs. The parking coordinate provided will bring you to the trailhead located next to Tropical Park in Pittsburgh.
Dogs are allowed and must be kept on leash at all times. Also beware this area is known for broken glass, ceramics, and other trash so if you plan to bring your dog, keep this in mind when exploring the area.
This park was established by the City of Pittsburgh on July 15th, 1985 dedicated to the memory of Edward E. Smuts whose vision inspired the greenway program to preserve Pittsburgh's wooded hillsides. Twenty-two acres of this greenway given as a living memorial by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in tribute of Mr. Smuts.
Hikers should be aware that while the trail technically leads to the railroad tracks (and graffiti), it is federally illegal and extremely dangerous to follow these active train tracks. If you wish to explore more of Beechview Seldom Seen Greenway, check out the Seldom Seen Greenway Loop for further parking options and safer ways to explore this hidden gem of a park.