Probably one of the most famous views of Pittsburgh is Point State Park at the tip of Pittsburgh's Golden Triangle--the point at which the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet. The park covers over 30 acres and probably the park's most dominant feature is the huge round fountain.
Point State Park contains the remains of both Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt. Point State Park has been designated as a National Historic Landmark because of its important links to the French & Indian War, Lord Dunsmore's War, and the American Revolutionary War. Only one structure of this period remains in tact and that is the blockhouse which was built in 1764. Today you can visit the Fort Pitt Museum (exhibits, artifacts, presentations, tours, gift shop) which is housed in the "Monongahela Bastion of Fort Pitt, commemorates the French and Indian War (1754–1763), in which the area soon to become Pittsburgh was a major battlefield."
Point State Park has been the site for major festivals and other events in Pittsburgh and has undergone a major renovation to improve green spaces and facilities, and add amenties in anticipation of the 250th anniversary celebration of Pittsburgh. The park itself was officially established in 1974.
Fort Pitts Museum Info.:
Hours of Operation:
Wednesday-Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Children 5 and Under : Free
Children 6-17: $2.00
Seniors (60+): $4.00
Auto/Travel Club Member: $4.00
Associate Members: Free
Point State Park is an area of historical importance at the forks of the Ohio River. I'm certain any visitor to Pittsburgh will want to become acquainted with this riverside park!
Once you park your car, you can enter the grounds using a walkway which progresses beneath an overpass. A spectacular panorama opens before you and the immense fountain at the Point can be viewed from afar.
Both French and British troops constructed fortifications here to protect their claims to the West and as their trade with the Native American Indians flourished. A conflict ensued between the two countries, leading to the Seven Years War (also referred to as the French and Indian War).
The Point is where the Fort Pitt Museum is located 'in a re-created 18th century bastion of the fort that Great Britain built in 1759, after it captured the Point from the French'. As you explore the area, you'll discover the old Block House and a large outline depicting where French Fort Duquesne stood. (pic #2)
General John Forbes led 6,000 British and Colonial soldiers to reclaim the Point for the British. The French had left it in ruins, so he ordered that 'a new permanent fortification be built of earth, stone, timber and brick be built on a site just east of the ruins of Fort Duquesne'. First called Fort Mercer, it soon became known as Fort Pitt.
Forbes called this area 'Pittsbourgh', which eventually came to be known as Pittsburgh, in honor of William Pitt. Fort Pitt was one of the few forts that withstood attack by the Native American's in an uprising called Pontiac's War.
Point State Park is the oldest part of Pittsburgh, where the French originally built Fort Duquesne in 1754 and the British built Fort Pitt in 1758. General John Forbes built Fort Pitt, making it the largest British fort in North America until it was abandoned by the fledgling United States in 1792.
More recently this area was a run-down industrial and warehouse area until 29 years of planning and construction were finally completed in 1974. The fountain is the centerpiece of the park shooting water 150 feet into the air. You can also see an outline of Fort Duquesne, some original and rebuilt bastions of Fort Pitt, and the original Fort Pitt Blockhouse--built in 1764 it is the oldest surviving building in Western Pennsylvania. The park also offers acres of open green lawn, a symphony stage, two water taxi stops, and plenty of bleacher seats overlooking the water for major events such as the Three Rivers Regatta.
At the tip of the "Golden Triangle" is Pittsburgh's Point State Park. It's locasted where the three rivers come together. From here, you can see the stadiums to one side and the incline to the other. In the summer a large fountain shoots pillars of water and during the winter the fountain becomes a giant Christmas tree.
Hit up the park on the 4th of July for a regatta parade of decorated boats, concerts in the park, and tons of local food.
Where the park stands was once the site of Fort Pitt and as you walk around, you can see where the foundations of the fort were built. A small museum is on-site to show the history of the location.
Fort Duquesne located at the confluence of the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio Rivers gave the French control of the Ohio River Valley, that is until the British took it and named it Fort Pitt in 1758. Today, the Fort Pitt Blockhouse is what remains of the fort, other than the archeological evidence, and is regarded as the oldest structure existing in Pittsburgh. It is also a 2 story museum dedicated mostly to the French and Indian War, but was closed at the time I arrived. The rest of Point State Park is mostly open space and a stairway seawall shoreline, with fountain very near the point. At the time I walked Whitney, the grounds were being cultivated for new lawns, and so I had her run along the newly set pavers. The best way to enter the park is by foot from a bus or subway station because parking is very difficult. The website recommends using the river wharf parking that is under the freeway along the Monongahela River. I rarely pose for pictures, but here I am with Whitney. The park is barely visited on weekdays, being mostly a place for joggers, so I was able to let Whitney run off leash much of the time.
Point Park State Park is located at the headwaters of the Ohio River. There are wonderful views of the Ohio River and it's two sources, the Allegheny and Monogahela Rivers. The fountain was being repaired when we visited, so it was off. We enjoyed visiting the historic sites of the old forts (Fort Pitt, Fort Dusquene) and walking along the river banks. The long distance trail along the riverbanks merges here and heads off across both of the neighboring bridges to travel up and down all three rivers.