McKinley Park is an historic park near Carrick. It’s the largest city park in South Pittsburgh. It offers many amenities.

The 79-acre park, operated by Citiparks, is “one of the oldest and largest – though one of the lesser known – major parks in the city,” PublicSource wrote.

Here’s what people can find at McKinley Park:

It has beautiful hills and large wooded areas.

Yelp reviewer

History

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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

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.