Route: Pittsburgh Stairs (PA)

Pennsylvania, US
31.7 mi

This route is a magnificent, sadistic 50km tour of Pittsburgh, PA’s most unique infrastructural feature: named staircase streets. These stairs from the city’s bygone era of steel and heavy industry were a way for workers living in neighborhoods in the cliffs and hills above the 3 rivers to commute directly down and back up. Many are now closed or decrepit but remain a gritty testament to Pittsburgh’s industrial roots. In the early days of GPS navigation, drivers would apparently get directed down roads only to dead-end at a staircase. For me and many others, these stairs are a great reason the city is one of the premier urban hiking cities in the world, especially because the steep hillsides they traverse are otherwise inaccessible green spaces.
--submitted by Brenner Burkholder

Detailed route description here:


GPS Track


Tried to run this route for funsies yesterday (with a few tweaks and bailed early) and it is certainly interesting but has some treacherous stretches and needs some re-routes due to stair closures:

  • Part of the stairs on the first climb from Steuben to Belfour are closed, but relatively easy to route around on the roads
  • The stretch next to the incline off of Wyoming was all overgrown. I saw the start of some stairs and bushwacked through them but then ran into a No Trespassing, Private Property sign with plywood across the stairs and bailed and reconnected at the entrance to Emerald View trail off of Williams St.
  • The stairs in Spring Hill that go down to Rt. 28 are closed
  • Many stairs that are open should probably be closed because they are... missing many stairs


Other than that, some route finding challenges, and some harmless but sketchy characters in a few spots, 10/10 would recommend.


Nice! I'm surprised about the rt 28 closure, but when I did this 3(!) years ago, there were definitely tons of stairs with closures and missing steps- all part of the fun.