Living in the North Hills we are fortunate enough to have several awesome Allegheny County parks to explore, but Hartwood Acres is our favorite. The park is located in Hampton and Indiana townships. On any given day or evening, the park is packed with hikers, picnickers, families, concertgoers, and our son’s favorite “doggies.” Hartwood Acres expands 629 acres and includes an off-leash dog park, hiking trails and walkways, cross-country skiing trails, and a beautiful mansion and stable complex.
The park boasts paved and wooded hiking trails. The paved walking trail loop is perfect for a nice flat walking surface. It is perfect for pushing a stroller or wheelchair, and for little ones to practice their bike riding skills. The wooded hiking trails offer beautiful scenery during any season. Often times while hiking through the trails you will see horseback riders, and sometimes in the winter you will come across some cross-country skiers. We love to go on our family hikes through the trails because they are well-maintained and offer a beautiful setting.
On our way past the amphitheater and to the hiking trails, our youngest loves to take a stop and watch the dogs at the dog park. Although our family doesn’t have a dog, we all get our dog fix. The off-leash dog park is very large and offers the double security gate to prevent dogs from escaping. We enjoy watching the dogs run around and have fun.
During our hikes we often make sure to take the path by the Hartwood mansion and stable complex. The sixteenth century, tudor mansion is a large historic landmark that is a popular place for family pictures or for hosting weddings and events. Guided tours are offered through the mansion but must be reserved in advance. Our favorite time to visit the mansion is during the holidays when it is beautifully decorated. The tour guides are always very knowledgeable about the history and make it fun for kids and adults alike.
The highlight of the park in our family is the amphitheater. The amphitheater hosts Sunday night concerts during the summer months. Friends and families pack picnics and set up their chairs, tents, and blankets in the expansive lawn. Food trucks have become a Sunday night staple. Beer tents are now being set up, which makes it a win for adults! Kids often congregate and play Frisbee or tag, while the adults enjoy the music and atmosphere. Parking is very seamless and well directed. The complete summer concert line up is filled with many different acts to satisfy everyone.
What better way to kick off a busy week than a Sunday summer evening at Hartwood Acres? The summer concert series is one of the best family events in Pittsburgh. It is a must do at least once before the summer is over!
To see Pittsburgh Moms Blog’s reviews of all nine Allegheny County Parks, see here.