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Pittsburgh Sports and RecreationThat Pittsburghers are avid sports lovers is well known from the citywide celebrations that followed all the Steelers' Super Bowl victories and the Penguins' Stanley Cup victories. However, the city offers abundant and convenient opportunities for recreational pursuits as well; nearly every imaginable sport or recreational pastime is available, so the city is a great place for those who enjoy adventure travel. Boating is very popular on Pittsburgh's three rivers.

The focus for much recreation is the city and county parks. Frick, Highland and Schenley parks offer ball fields, tennis courts, golf courses and trails for bicycling and hiking. In winter, golf courses and hilly areas are popular for cross-country skiing. Information about facilities and current activities in the city parks can be obtained from the City Parks and Recreation Department; phone (412) 255-2539.

Allegheny County's North Park and South Park have plenty of the above activities as well as swimming pools, nearby bicycle rentals, ice-skating in winter and game preserves. In addition, North Park's lake offers fishing, boating and boat rentals. For more information about county park programs and activities contact Allegheny County Parks; phone (412) 350-7275. The Rink at PPG Place, (412) 394-3641, and Schenley Park Rink, (412) 422-6523, also offer ice-skating late November through early March.

Bicycling devotees have the advantage of a city bicycle route that links Highland, Mellon, Frick and Schenley parks. Near Highland Park is the Washington Boulevard Cycling Track, a half-mile slightly banked oval. The City Parks and Recreation Department can provide route information; phone (412) 255-2539. Riverview Park on the city's North Side features hiking trails and the Allegheny Observatory, an astronomy research center. Tours are offered April through October (by reservation only); phone (412) 321-2400.

Hiking is popular, as the number of hiking groups and programs attest. The Sierra Club and Venture Outdoors can furnish information about hiking, canoeing and camping in the area. In winter many of the city's hiking paths become ski trails. Besides the cross-country skiing provided by the city and county park areas, Allegheny County's Boyce Park, on Old Frankstown Road in nearby Plum, offers downhill skiing, cross-country skiing and snow tubing. Instruction and equipment rental are offered; phone (724) 327-0338 for general information or (724) 733-4665 for snow conditions. Equipment also can be rented at several ski shops, some of which also arrange ski trips and tours.

The Three Rivers Heritage Trail caters to bicyclists as well as walkers and joggers with its 24 miles of bicycle and pedestrian pathways; in-line skating is possible on some portions, too. The trail runs along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers. For route details and other information contact the Friends of the Riverfront Inc. at (412) 488-0212.

In addition to the courses in the parks, golf is available at a number of excellent public courses. Inquire at your hotel, for some might have a reciprocal golf club agreement for their guests with one of the local private or semiprivate courses.

Horseback riding is available at various stables and riding academies. Those who would rather watch equines than ride one can go to the harness races at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, 25 miles south of Pittsburgh in Washington, where live harness racing is held year-round; for more information phone (724) 503-1200 or (877) 824-5050. There is Thoroughbred racing throughout the year at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort near Chester, W.Va., about an hour from Pittsburgh; phone (800) 804-0468.

Note: Policies concerning admittance of children to pari-mutuel betting facilities vary. Phone for information.

Among the swimming pools in Allegheny County, those in Boyce, Settler's Cabin and South Park provide waves for those who yearn for the surf. The fee for nonresidents is $8; $6 (ages 6–17); $4 (ages 60+); $1 (ages 0-5). Swimmers can choose a pool with or without waves.

Pittsburgh has 78 tennis courts in Schenley, Frick, Highland, McKinley and Mellon parks. Within Allegheny County you will find regional tennis courts at West Park and other public parks. Courts operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Because some require permits, it is a good idea to check with the city or county parks departments first; phone (412) 255-2539 or (412) 350-2455, respectively.

flickr/Mike Procario
The National Football League's Steelers are popular among football fans; their home games are played at Heinz Field. Thanks to their sixth win in 2009, the Steelers have more Super Bowl victories than any other NFL franchise. Major League Baseball's Pirates are the stars during the baseball season; they play at PNC Park. The National Hockey League's Penguins play hockey at PPG Paints Arena. College sports also are big attractions, particularly the games played by the University of Pittsburgh's Panthers.

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Pittsburgh, PA

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Travel Information

City Population

305,704

Elevation

1,370 ft.

Sales Tax

Pennsylvania's statewide sales tax is 6 percent. An additional 1 percent is collected by Allegheny County, as is a 7 percent lodging tax. The city levies a 5 percent amusements tax.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(412) 323-7800

Time and Temperature

(412) 391-9500

Hospitals

Allegheny General Hospital, (412) 359-3131; UPMC Mercy, (412) 232-8111; UPMC Passavant—McCandless, (412) 367-6700; UPMC Presbyterian, (412) 647-2345; UPMC St. Margaret, (412) 784-4000; West Penn Hospital, (412) 578-5000.

Visitor Information

120 Fifth Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Phone:(412)281-7711 or (800)359-0758

Air Travel

Pittsburgh International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz, at the Pittsburgh International Airport, offers discounts to AAA members; phone (412) 472-5955 or (800) 654-3080.

Rail Service

An Amtrak passenger service station is on the lower level of The Pennsylvanian, formerly Penn Central Station, at 1100 Liberty Ave. at Grant Street; phone (800) 872-7245 or TTY (800) 523-6590.

Buses

The Greyhound Lines Inc. terminal is at 55 11th St. near Liberty Avenue; phone (412) 392-6514.

Taxis

The leading taxi company is Yellow Cab, (412) 321-8100. Cabs are metered, and the base rate is $4 plus $1.75 per mile. A fuel surcharge may be charged.

Public Transportation

Port Authority of Allegheny County Transit operates public transportation throughout the city and Allegheny County. A section of downtown Pittsburgh is a fare free zone. Other areas have a base fare of $2.75; exact change is required. Discounted fares are available through the purchase of weekly or monthly passes, which can be purchased at the transit's downtown service center at 534 Smithfield St. For route information, phone (412) 442-2000.

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