Seldom Seen is a greenway & small city park hidden in the Saw Mill Run Valley just west of Carrick, Pittsburgh PA. It is situated in Beechview. It has been referred to as a hidden gem.
Seldom Seen Greenway consists of about 90 acres of undeveloped land & twisting paths. “Seldom Seen is criss-crossed with unofficial footpaths, many of which converge, loop around, peter out or go nowhere,” Hidden PGH writes in an article that describes the available walking paths & where to park. No signage points the way to the park. A short waterfall pours into a gorge. Tree graffiti can be seen. A train track runs overhead. Pulling out a phone to take pictures is recommended. Dogs are allowed if they’re leashed.
Saw Mill Run, which has benefited from the efforts of volunteers from Watersheds Of South Pittsburgh to remove trash from the creek, blocks walking at points. Few are willing to get their footwear & pants wet crossing it.
Greenways are undeveloped land set aside to be passive open spaces. They usually follow the features of the land or water. Cities have turned former railroad or utility rights of way into long, narrow parks for walking, running or biking. Along with recreation, greenways may be set aside to protect the environment. In Pittsburgh, greenways are also made from abandoned industrial land or extremely hilly land that isn’t good for much else.
Pittsburgh has about 600 acres of official greenways – twelve open spaces that mostly benefit local neighborhoods & are open to the general public. Adding more greenways has been discussed.
The Seldom Seen Arch is the unofficial entrance to the park. The arch is an old brick tunnel over top Saw Mill Run. A marker placed by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation acknowledges that the Seldom Seen Arch was erected in 1902 by the Boller & Hodge engineering firm, which also built the former Wabash Bridge across the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Orbit concluded that the arch is “a remarkably beautiful construction for something as mundane as the underside of a small railroad bridge in the woods.” Their article also offer directions to finding Seldom Seen.
When Europeans came to America, what is now called Seldom Seen was settled by Germans. The village was annexed by Pittsburgh in the 1920s. People lived on farms in Seldom Seen into the 1970s. “These homes used the small roadway through the Seldom Seen Arch, & followed a lane that ran through the woods, to get out of their tiny enclave,” according to the Brookline Connection. After the area was abandoned, woods overran the former homes.
Seldom Seen Greenway reportedly became a city park in the 1980s but isn’t listed on the CitiParks site. Land was donated by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The park is located off Saw Mill Run Boulevard.