Point State Park


Kayakers ply the Ohio River by Point State Park, Pennsylvania. Thumbnail

Special Event Guidelines for Point State Park

Special events have unique guidelines which you can download here.
Download the Point State Park Special Event Guidelines and Application (pdf).
The electronic version of the Application (doc) can be downloaded as a form and filled out by most office software.

 

Point State Park, located at the confluence of three rivers, is at the tip of Pittsburgh’s “Golden Triangle.” The park commemorates and preserves the strategic and historic heritage of the area during the French and Indian War (1754 - 1763).

Once a busy industrial zone, the area had deteriorated into a commercial slum by the 1940s. The development of a state park was authorized in 1945 and the first parcel of the 36-acre property was purchased the next year. The park was completed and dedicated in 1974. In 1975, Point State Park was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Point State Park is owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Bureau of State Parks. DCNR works in collaboration with the Heinz History Center and the Fort Pitt Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution to interpret the history of the Forks of the Ohio.

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The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Visitors can walk along ADA accessible paved promenades on the riverfront and to overlooks for dramatic views of Pittsburgh, its busy waterways, scenic hillsides and many bridges. Natural landscaping and a 100-foot tall fountain enhance the beauty of this unique park at the “Forks of the Ohio.” Numerous benches are throughout the park. Visitors may picnic on the lawns. A stepped wall along the Allegheny River section of the park provides seating for outdoor events.


Many people wear life jackets and hoist up their kayak paddles at Point State Park, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Charlene Reinhart.Boating: electric motors only

The three rivers provide boating for most sizes and types of recreational boats. Dock cleats are available along the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers for boaters to moor during the day at the park.

Motorboats must display a current boat registration. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Complete information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.


The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Fishing: The three rivers are a warm-water fishery. Common species are sauger, walleye, catfish, panfish and various bass species. The wharf area provides a fishing pier for people with disabilities on each river. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply.

Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.


Hiking, Boating and Biking Trails

Three Rivers Heritage Trail: The Three Rivers Heritage Trail (TRHT) is a pedestrian trail and greenway system in the Pittsburgh area, covering 37 miles along both sides of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers. It is a nearly complete route for cyclists, walkers, and runners, and in some places rollerbladers. In addition, over 20 miles of trail are in planning or development phases. The TRHT also connects to the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP), the developing Erie to Pittsburgh Trail and the Pittsburgh to Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway. www.traillink.com/trail/three-rivers-heritage-trail-system.aspx


Three Rivers Water Trail: This National Recreation Trail is a series of boat launching points on the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers that aids non-powered boaters in exploring the three rivers and the city of Pittsburgh. Red paddle signs orient water trail users from the land and water to amenities like launching ramps, interpretive signs, canoe/kayak racks and parking lots. The trail was created and is maintained by the Friends of the Riverfront, a volunteer group that promotes stewardship of the rivers. www.friendsoftheriverfront.org/files/water_trail.html


Great Allegheny Passage: The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) rail trail offers 141 miles of hiking and biking between Cumberland, MD and Point State Park, in Pittsburgh. In Cumberland, the GAP joins the C&O Canal Towpath, creating a continuous trail experience, 325 miles long, to Washington, DC. The ten-foot wide multipurpose trail is built on railroad corridors of gentle grades, sweeping curves, large bridges and tunnels that pass through mountains, not over them. The terminus of the GAP is at the Forks of the Ohio marker near the fountain in Point State Park.

The trail system links the Cumberland and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas, providing visitors with an opportunity to travel through and learn about a region important to the development of national culture and politics. George Washington envisioned the Potomac River as a trade route linking the Atlantic Ocean and the upper Ohio River Basin. The history of the region and the tangible character of the trail corridor itself highlight the concept of “the frontier” in American culture and the westward migration of Anglo-American society into the trans-Appalachian region of the continent.

The Great Allegheny Passage is a part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, which is a diverse network of trails and routes running between Point State Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Point Lookout in Maryland. The Fort Pitt Museum is an official National Park Service Passport stamp location for the trail.

www.gaptrail.org

GPS: Lat. 40.44189 Long. -80.01324

Environmental Education and Interpretation


Point State Park offers a variety of environmental education, interpretive and recreational programs. Through these programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding and a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources. Programs are offered seasonally, from spring through fall. Programs for student groups are available.

Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of events from today forward.

Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.


Historical Interpretation

Monuments, plaques and markers throughout the park commemorate events and people of historic importance at the Forks of the Ohio.

The location of Fort Duquesne is marked by a granite tracery (outline) within the Great Lawn. The center of the tracery contains a bronze medallion depicting the fort. The locations of four of the five bastions, projecting parts of the fortification, of Fort Pitt have been delineated.

The Flag Bastion and the Monongahela Bastion have been reconstructed of brick. The Flag Bastion overlooks the Monongahela River and the parking lot. The Fort Pitt Museum is housed in the Monongahela Bastion. Both the Music Bastion, located in the city-side lawn area, and the Ohio Bastion, located in the plaza across from the museum and block house, are marked by granite traceries. The traceries of both Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt are lit by LED lights for a spectacular view from above at night.

The original location of the river’s edge during the mid-1700s is depicted by a granite tracery within the Great Lawn.

Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of events from today forward.

Fort Pitt Museum: The Fort Pitt Museum is a two-floor, 12,000-squarefoot museum that tells the story of western Pennsylvania’s pivotal role during the French & Indian War, the American Revolution and the birth of Pittsburgh. Built on the footprint of the original Fort Pitt’s Monongahela Bastion, the museum’s façade allows visitors to sense the enormous size of what was, at that time, the second largest fort in North America.

Through interactive exhibitions, life-like historical figures and numerous artifacts, visitors can learn about the important role the region played in shaping the United States. Operated by the Senator John Heinz History Center, the museum is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Special programs and group tours are available throughout the year. Please contact the museum to inquire about programs or tours at 412-281-9284.

www.heinzhistorycenter.org

GPS: Lat. 40.44097 Long. -80.0094

A rustic chair and memorabilia are on the inside of the Blockhouse at Point State Park, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Charlene Reinhart.Fort Pitt Blockhouse: The Fort Pitt Block House was built in 1764 as a small defensive redoubt and is the only surviving structure of Fort Pitt, a key British fortification during the French and Indian War, which also served as the western headquarters of the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

The Block House was originally constructed to help defend Fort Pitt from American Indian attacks during the mid-18th century. After the British abandoned the fort in 1772, the Block House turned into a trading post for a number of years. By 1785, the building was converted into a single family dwelling. During the 19th century it became a multi-family tenement with a family living on the second floor.

In 1894, the Block House was gifted to the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution by the structure’s owner, Mary Croghan Schenley. The chapter embarked upon a 16-month restoration, which primarily involved the in-filling of window and door openings cut into the Block House during its century-long use as a residence.

The Block House is still owned and operated by the Fort Pitt Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has remained free and open to the public since 1895. The structure is the oldest architectural landmark in Pittsburgh, and it is also the nation’s only authenticated pre-Revolutionary War structure west of the Allegheny Mountains. Much of its architectural fabric is intact, including the stone foundation, bricks and timber elements that are largely original to its 1764 construction. For hours of operation call 412-471-1764.

GPS: Lat. 40.44115 Long. -80.0097


Access for People with Disabilities


The main park entrance, walkways, restrooms and drinking water fountains are ADA accessible.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.