Walking tours explore intriguing surroundings at a leisurely pace, much like a photography class held in a thick bog of quicksand. Let it all sink in with today's Groupon: for $5, you get one ticket to Pittsburgh StepTrek 2011, which begins in South Side Park on Saturday, October 8, at 11 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. (a $9.99 value). Children younger than 12 get free admission with an adult ticket.
In its 11th year, StepTrek sends walkers on a self-guided, noncompetitive journey on public stairways, myriad streets, and concealed pathways toward picturesque panoramas of the Pittsburgh skyline. Equipped with a map, participants select to tip their toes along one or both of the courses that scale approximately 2,700 steps total, passing flocks of migrating slinkies along the flights. Printed narratives highlight neighborhood landmarks such as the St. Paul of the Cross Monastery, which features a brick edifice that predates the Civil War. Trekkers can break at rest areas to sip provided water or listen to the mellifluous tones of live-music acts, view historic South Side photography, or collect prizes such as gift certificates to local merchants.
Proceeds from StepTrek support South Side Slopes' all-volunteer staff as it works to improve the community's public safety, increase development, and foster neighborhood beautification. Participants can purchase a T-shirt ($10) to commemorate the experience or plant as a flag to claim any undiscovered territories.
Pittsburgh StepTrek 2012
With more than 700 public stairways, Pittsburgh ranks among the most-stepped cities in the United States, and the highest concentration of these antique escalators may be found in the South Side Slopes. Every autumn since 2001, the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association has organized a walking celebration of the approximately 2,700 steps that make up the neighborhood’s pedestrian paths. Streets in the area are prone to change suddenly into tangled, narrow passageways and hard-to-spot hidden corridors, confounding drivers and fostering an old-time vibe underlined by the residents’ liberal use of the word “malarkey.” While exploring these paths with the help of a narrative program book, the curious enjoy a heart-healthy exercise and soak up historical tales such as those about the 1849 cholera epidemic or the home lives of workers at the local glass factories and steel mills.
Josephine St. & 21st St.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203Get Directions