McKinley Park is an historic park near Carrick. It’s the largest city park in South Pittsburgh. It offers many amenities.
Here’s what people can find at McKinley Park:
- Woodland trails where people can walk or ride a bicycle. Those trees have been growing for a long time. Citiparks referred to the trees “historic” on the city website.
It has beautiful hills and large wooded areas.
- Football, baseball and softball fields.
- Basketball courts. A mural at the park, named Home Court Advantage, was inspired by the role the courts played in people’s lives.
- McKinley Skate Park has ramps, half-pipes, splines and rails. Whether using a board or blades, experienced and beginner skaters will find a challenge that matches their balance and skill.
- Tennis courts.
- The Lower McKinley Park shelter can hold 24 people. It is available for rent.
- The McKinley Park Community Center.
Maple Park was founded in the late 1898 as Beltzhoover became part of the City of Pittsburgh. A few years later it was renamed McKinley Park after U.S. President McKinley was assassinated. During the years since, people from Beltzhoover, Knoxville, Bon Air and Allentown have used the park for picnics, community gatherings, play areas for children, music and bowling at different times.
The park once had a rotating bandshell where people gathered on Fridays to listen to big band music. The roof protected the band members and their instruments from bad weather. See a photo of the old bandstand.
The Pittsburgh Sports League (PSL) used to play six days a week at McKinley Park. “Due to failing infrastructure in the park, we are now only using the field for flag football sporadically,” according to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.
Improvements have been made to the park in recent years. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has spent $700,000 in grants on park improvements. Upper McKinley Park, called Chicken Hill, was a key community priority for renovations. A new, accessible pavilion was built. A slide was constructed. Historic sandstone staircases were rebuilt. Trails were improved. Sidewalks were repaired.
Grants have centered around green infrastructure. The park is greener than ever with rain gardens capturing stormwater that would otherwise flow into Saw Mill Run and from there into the Ohio. The stormwater is stored underground and released slowly to reduce flooding.
McKinley Park is a community park. Community parks draw people from more than one neighborhood because of the features or character they offer, and they are intended to serve multiple neighborhoods, according to Citiparks. The community park is nestled among Beltzhoover, Bon Air and Knoxville – less than ten minutes from Carrick.