PittsburghWhen I agreed to blog weekly for MORE Magazine’s 2011 Half-Marathon in NYC, I did it to get healthy, lose weight, and profile my writing. When they asked me to get photographs of myself running around Pittsburgh, the pressure was on to find great backdrops for photo opps. When all was said and done, I didn’t lose weight, but I found plenty of hidden vacation treasures in a city I had lived in for nearly 20 years and never really knew.

If you’re a runner or walker, consider a Pittsburgh vacation. From beautiful trails, breathtaking river walks, and my favorite—bridge running, you won’t be disappointed.

The North Shore Riverfront Park and Trail, runs along the Allegheny River. You can run from the Heinz plant to PNC Park (home of the Pittsburgh Pirates), pass Heinz Field (home of the Steelers), and the Carnegie Science Center and head toward the Rivers Casino. It’s a beautiful run that’s mostly flat. And in Pittsburgh, a city of hills, flat land is pretty rare.

Want to run off the beaten path just a bit? There’s a reason Pittsburgh’s called “The City of Bridges” and many of them are set up for pedestrians. Jog across the Rachel Carson Bridge for a venture into Downtown Pittsburgh. Jog back and enjoy a beautiful view of PNC Park.

Thirsty? There’s always an opportunity for a Pitt Stop. (Get it?) Consider stopping by the Jerome Bettis Grill. The patio overlooks the river walk and it’s the place to be on game days or any day the North Shore is bustling.

On weekdays that aren’t game days, you will find easy street parking for up to 2 hours in front of PNC Park. Note: Bring quarters for the meter.

Short Description: Pittsburgh is the destination for great trails if you want to run, walk, or bike. Check out the North Shore Riverfront Park and Trail for a spectacular glimpse of the City of Bridges.