This five-mile paved path circles the scenic North Park Lake, the largest in Allegheny County. It attracts fitness enthusiasts of every ability all year long. The lake provides a habitat for several species of fish, turtles, birds, amphibians and mammals. Start at the historic Boathouse parking lot. The Boathouse, constructed in 1936 with New Deal funding and designed by landscape architect Paul Riis, the county’s first park director, is one of the most recognizable buildings in Allegheny County’s nine parks. Exit the parking lot to the right to the path that borders Pearce Mill Road. Take in the beautiful views of the lake on the right side. As you approach Babcock Boulevard, look across the lake to the right to see an island. In the winter this island is one of the most popular areas where Bald Eagles perch atop the tall trees. It also attracts Double-crested Cormorants, which come in large groups in the springtime. Osprey, Great Blue Herons, and Mallard Ducks, among other birds, are also commonly seen here. Crossing the dam, the new North Park Meadow is on the left. The observation mound at the heart of the meadow offers stunning views of the area for all that climb atop it. As the trail follows Ingomar Road, keep your eyes on the water. There are active beaver lodges in this area and you might just catch a glimpse of a beaver swimming or gnawing on a tree. The next leg of the trail meanders along Lakeshore Drive for a quiet escape from the busier roadways. Keep an eye out for a variety of wildlife along this quiet one-way lane. Finally, return to Tennis Court Drive and finish the trail walk with a stop at the Boathouse. Upgrades to the Lake Trail were made by Allegheny County, in partnership with the Allegheny County Parks Foundation, that widened this busy path for safer use by pedestrians and bicyclists.
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