Pittsburgh Go: Catch Pokémon and get healthy around Pittsburgh | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh Go: Catch Pokémon and get healthy around Pittsburgh

Every true Pokémon trainer knows that the proper mode of transportation is a bicycle


Pokémon Go is getting more gamers off their couches than any smartphone game before it. The new mobile application requires users to physically walk around to catch Pokémon and collect supplies; logging steps is required to unlock certain game features. 

But we’re here to take your next Pokémon outing to the next level. Here’s a list of prime Pokémon hunting grounds and instructions for how to get the highest health and fitness score from your experience. 

Three Rivers Heritage Trail

Every true Pokémon trainer knows that the proper mode of transportation is a bicycle, and the best option for getting around Pittsburgh on bike is the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. In terms of scenery, it can’t be beat, and the trails are lined with Pokéstops. Be prepared to capture plenty of water Pokémon and stock up on items at stops as you ride along the rivers. 

Schenley Park

We are spoiled here in Pittsburgh by the sheer number of Pokéstops in any given neighborhood. But for more rural folks, parks are generally where most stops are. Luckily, we have parks, too. In proper Pokémon-trainer fashion, take a hike through Schenley Park — Pittsburgh’s own Viridian Forest. And keep an eye out for all the bug Pokémon in the woods.


Downtown Pittsburgh has the highest concentration of Pokéstops in the whole city. It’s not exactly a park, but you’ll burn some calories and catch Pokémon in no time. As it’s a densely trafficked area, there are several lure modules attached to Pokéstops. Pop a Lucky Egg into an incubator to make those steps count. It’s the ideal place to replenish lost Pokéballs (the device you’ll need to catch the little creatures).


Oakland is chock-full of droves of college students wandering the streets looking for Pokémon. So the PokéGyms — locations where your Pokémon can battle others — are highly contested. To level up your Pokémon, take the time to explore this vast neighborhood, checking out the plentiful Pokéstops at wall murals. Then wander on over to the hilly university campuses and work those glutes on hundreds of sets of stairs.  

Strip District

The Strip is outfitted with plenty of Pokéstops that show off this neighborhood’s plentiful restaurants and street art. Yeah, yeah. We’re trying to be healthy here, and it’s hard to pass up Deluca’s when there’s a Pokéstop on its rooftop rooster, but we here at CP trust that you can resist that temptation. Take a break from your hunt to grab fresh produce instead. 

Polish Hill

Polish Hill’s elevation offers walkers, runners and bicyclists the opportunity to burn extra calories while traveling on an inclined plane. It’s not too steep that it’s an unbearable climb, but Pokéstops will offer a nice cool down for those heading up that way. For a real challenge, do a few hill sprints.

Arsenal Park

Arsenal Park has plenty of fields and courts for your enjoyment. Gather some friends who play Pokémon Go — and sports — and organize a softball, kickball, baseball, basketball or tennis game. Between innings, games and matches, take a cool-down walk around Arsenal Park with your teammates and hit up some Pokéstops.

Three Sisters Bridges

There’s at least one Pokéstop on each bridge crossing the Allegheny River. The Three Sisters, at Sixth, Seventh and Ninth streets (Roberto Clemente, Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson, respectively) allow players to make a figure eight, back and forth over the river. Stops will be along the edge of Downtown and the North Shore as well, so there’s no shortage of item-stocking opportunities. Do lunges across the entire length of the bridges to reap the rewards and burn some calories. 

South Side Riverfront Trail

We return to the river (and bike trail) for this final area on our list of Pokémon hunt locations. Bike this trail with phone in hand. Plug in some headphones and stop at each “ding” you hear to catch the accompanying Pokémon. There isn’t a shortage of Pokéstops, so keep an eye on your phone. And play the bike-trail theme songs from the original Pokémon games to have a real nostalgic trip.

Bonus: (Mythic Source and Piazza Lavoro at Allegheny Landing North Shore)

This spot near PNC Park isn’t as large as our previous examples. But if you’re not interested in covering a lot of ground, this location has four Pokéstops registered within feet of one another. People gather here often, so there is a constant presence of lure modules for drawing Pokémon.