The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Nine Mile Run

I'velived here now five years, and have taken hundreds of runs in Frick Park. I watched the city and the Army Corps of Engineers stabilize the Nine Mile Run creek from where Braddock meets 376 to where Forward passes under the parkway (the so-called Big Bend Wetland area). And I've always wondered whether or not one could follow the Run all the way to where it must inevitably empty into the Mon. Inspired by a friend who followed this route last week, I did it today. It's pretty fascinating, and at some point I'll take a camera. After the Big Bend area at Forward Avenue, the creek plunges between Squirrel Hill and Swissvale. There's a rough trail following the right bank of the creek for most of the distance, but it disappears at times and at other times because of erosion it's almost impassable. After following the creek for about a mile, I ran into a couple of fishermen, harvesting minnows from the creek with a drag net. I was horrified at the very notion of eating something out of Nine Mile Run, but the fishermen assured me that they were going to use the minnows as bait to catch bass and muskies from the Mon (not much better in my mind). A quarter-mile after that the path utterly disappeared, and I had to scramble up a very steep bank about twenty yards and over a chain-link fence, where there was a path, which eventually dumped onto Old Browns Hill Road and down. Very cool. It would be nice if the city or the county would create and maintain a little path along there, but it's also charming in its feral state.


  • At 5:44 AM, Blogger zp said…

    It's an interesting area.

    At Commercial Rd you can cross from Frick, go under the bridge, across an empty, muddy field and find a broad dirt road that runs parallel to the creek, but higher on the south (east?) bank/hill - about halfway up the bank. This road will bring you slowly down to a crossing spot across the creek. Sometimes there's a bridge there, sometimes not.

    We used to cross there and hike up (or down) a rocky ditch that zigzagged down the other side of the hill/bank, to the Summerset neighborhood. No good for running though, I don't think. But it made a loop for our hike. Depending on the state of the Summerset development, there are other ways through/across . . .

    And there is a path (good for jogging) that runs from Duck Hollow (the bottom of Old Browns Hill Rd) west, under the Homestead Bridge, to the edge of Homewood, near the Glenwood Bridge.

    We miss these.


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