Three Rivers Water Trail, Pennsylvania

The Three Rivers Water Trail is a series of public non-motorized access points within the 90 riverfront municipalities of Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh area.

by American Trails Staff


Launching the fleet; photo by Mary Shaw

Featured
National Recreation Trail

Designated in 2010


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in the NRT Database

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This urban water trail follows the Three Rivers in the Pittsburgh area for about 75 miles. The trail extends to Sewickley on the Ohio River, Harrison on the Allegheny River, and Elizabeth on the Monongahela River, and is easily accessed from the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. The Three Rivers Water Trail is part of the statewide water trail system, connecting to the Youghiogheny River Trail and the Kiski-Conemaugh River Water Trail.

The Pittsburgh region is experiencing a rapid growth in interest and use of our rivers. This is emblematic of a national upward trend in the popularity of non-motorized recreation. Kayaking and canoeing were among the top five sports that had the most first-time participants in Pennsylvania.

To address this growing appeal and introduce more people to the recreational and environmental renewal of the three major rivers of Allegheny County, Friends of the Riverfront created the Three Rivers Water Trail System, a series of canoe/kayak access points along the 90 riverfront communities within Allegheny County.

 

Photo by Thomas Baxter

Photo by Thomas Baxter

Beginning with the Allegheny River— and now expanding to include the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers— Friends of the Riverfront holds community dialogues with partners in various fields to gather information about local places of interest, history, environment and habitats, local legends and public amenities and services.

We scout for potential access sites, parking areas and hazards. We then create maps for boaters; informational signage and boat racks for the access points. Our goal is to make all three of our rivers easily accessible to anyone that is looking for a water adventure.

The Three Rivers Water Trail has multiple purposes and attractions. Through durable, detailed water trail maps many amenities, points of interest and multiple "tours" along the water trail are identified.

Each Three Rivers Water Trail landing contains directional red paddle signs that orient paddlers from both land and water. Amenities such as ramps, interpretive signs and canoe/kayak racks are also a part of each location. Remember to stow your craft properly before setting out on foot to explore nearby historic sites, parks, restaurants and cultural attractions.

Along the Three Rivers Water Trail you can find various routes such as: Natural, social, or industrial history changes in the environment, small towns, public art, historic bridges, man-made systems such as sewage and water treatment or transportation

Three Rivers Water Trail Water Guide also offers:

  • Safety and boating information
  • Leave No Trace principles
  • Rules of the waterways
  • Potential dangers
  • Recommended equipment
  • Contact information for outfitters
  • Parking, restroom and food service information.

For more information

Friends of the Riverfront 33 Terminal Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Phone: (412) 488-0212

Station Square; photo by Thomas Baxter

Station Square; photo by Thomas Baxter