Within an hour and a half of Pittsburgh, you can pretty much do it all: rock-climbing, whitewater rafting, hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, golf. The metropolitan area is home to more than 5,000 acres of state parks and 43,000 acres of lakes and rivers, 142 golf courses, three amusement parks and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, according to Places Rated Almanac, which published the 2007 survey of most livable places.
Outdoor recreation routinely pushes the Pittsburgh region to the top of various rankings, including in such magazines as Shape, Backpacker and National Geographic Adventure, National Geographic Traveler and more.
For biking enthusiasts, Bike Pittsburgh is making extensive inroads into making city biking a safe option to get to work, run errands and in educating biker safety to the public. According to the American Community Survey administered by the US Census Bureau, Pittsburgh ranks fifth in the country for people who commute by bike or foot. In addition to riding as a mode of transportation, the region boasts thousands of miles of trails. The 334.5 mile Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal pathway connects Washington D.C to Pittsburgh continuously. Parks such as Frick, North and Raccoon Creek State Park also have miles and miles of trail-riding. Rent bikes at Golden Triangle Bike rental right downtown and hit the trails.
Camping, whitewater rafting, hiking, skiing and more can be found in and around Ohiopyle, PA, located in the Laurel Highlands about 60 miles outside of the city. The region is speckled by quaint towns such as Ligonier and Latrobe, birthplace of Arnold Palmer. Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob is located in the Laurel Highlands as well.
Skiers and snowboarders have quick and easy access to a handful of resorts including Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Hidden Valley Four Season Resort.
Hunters and fishers take advantage of the many acres of state parks and lakes in the region. Raccoon Creek State Park for example, offers over 6,000 acres of hunting and boasts an 101 acre lake to fish walleye, muskie, bass, catfish, perch and trout. Morraine State Park, north of Pittsburgh, offers hunting and fishing in addition to boating and windsurfing.