Now in its 12th year, this year's Pittsburgh StepTrek is expected to draw more than 1,000 people to hike the steps of the South Side Slopes this Saturday, October 6, at South Side Park, Josephine and 21st streets, beginning at 11 a.m.
Two mapped routes take "trekkers" on a non-competitive self-guided tour of the Slopes, including a total of 3,008 steps. This year, the two routes differ significantly in length, though both offer breathtaking views of the city.
The Black Route, spanning 3.5 miles, explores the "Hollow," passing the historic Kollar Club, and climbs through the west side of the Slopes. Trekkers can enjoy the view as they descend St. Thomas Street Stairs as part of the 2.1 mile Gold Route. After a brief stroll through the South Side Flats, the culmination of this route will be climbing the 18th Street Steps, which have been newly illuminated through a grant from Duquesne Light.
StepTrek is what the participant makes it—whether as a test of fitness or a leisurely stroll. The physical benefits have earned this event the heart-healthy rating of the American Heart Association, as well as presenting sponsorship support from UPMC.
"The South Side Slopes has the greatest concentration of public stairs of any neighborhood in the city," said Brian Oswald, event chair. "StepTrek is just one of the ways we keep a focus on maintaining those steps. We are proud to have such dedicated participants and sponsors, including the City of Pittsburgh, who have assisted our organization with our mission of maintaining and improving this unique neighborhood."
In addition to history and beautiful views, the two walking routes also include a number of realtor open houses showcasing life on the Slopes. Before or after their trek, participants can also enjoy an active market place in the registration area at South Side Park, including artists from the I Made It Market, entertainment and refreshments from several local food trucks.
Registration is $9.99 per person in advance. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are admitted free. Commemorative StepTrek t-shirts designed by Commonwealth Press can be ordered for $10. Day-of registration is $15 per person. Visit showclix.com/event/steptrek to purchase tickets.
The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association is a volunteer organization whose mission is to maintain, foster and improve the quality of life, safety and unity of the Slopes neighborhood. For more information on StepTrek or the SSSNA, visit southsideslopes.org.