Your County Parks are open all winter, too!! 
Until you find your destination...
JANUARY News & Updates
We're running the 
North Park Lake Loop 10K 
 "Snow or Shine!" 

What better way to fortify New Year's resolutions - and start a training run for the PITTSBURGH MARATHON - than to test your mettle against the challenges of a brisk-air 10K!!
A hot, post-race breakfast of eggs, meat, toast and fruit is generously provided by
The county clears the North Park Lake Trail of snow so road conditions won't be an excuse!! Registration will be set up in the Rose Barn, which is heated, so that's not an excuse! C'mon! 


Did you know we have a demonstration farm in our collection of 9 Allegheny County Parks? Located in Elizabeth, it's free and houses cute, furry farm animals that don't mind folks observing them one bit. The Allegheny County Park Rangers are offering an ANIMALS IN WINTER program on Sunday, Feb. 19 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. but space is limited! Click here for more information.  
And to make visits even more interesting, check out the interpretive signs installed recently throughout the park by the Allegheny County Parks Foundation and Allegheny County Parks, with generous funding from the PNC Charitable Trusts. You will learn about the life cycles of crops, details about the animals and get to know the first family to live on Round Hill Farm. 
Click here for more information about ROUND HILL PARK
Christian and Lisa Fyke at Boyce tree planting
Want a healthier 2017? 
Find inspiration here! 

Thinking about making some health and fitness improvements in 2017? Take a page out of Christian Fyke's playbook.  Fyke is a registered runner - and a generous sponsor - of THE ALLEGHENY 9 RACE SERIES 10K in North Park on February 4. But this time last year he could hardly imagine himself on that roster.
At 43, Fyke had been feeling tired, wasn't sleeping well, had some nagging health issues. His motivation to get into shape came from a chance meeting with a college friend who had lost significant weight and looked healthier. "I asked how he got started," said Fyke, of Monroeville. His friend, who became a runner, said he simply started walking.
 "His words were powerful to me." Fyke knew that running would be a challenge but he could tackle walking. So one day last February he headed to Monroeville Park and started.
Walking was a far cry from the kind of fitness Fyke had done in the past. "I was always busy with team activities: basketball, volleyball, tennis, racquetball. My friends and I would get together six or seven times a week and play sports and work up a sweat," Fyke said.
But like so many others, once Fyke married Lisa and their three children came along, finding time for fitness was increasingly difficult, not to mention the challenging demands of his work as co-owner of the popular Rivertowne Brewing group of four restaurants and a brewery. The family business is celebrating its 10 th anniversary. But the idea of walking intrigued him. "I was encouraged that walking made starting a fitness program very approachable. It was easy to handle." 
Despite being busy, Fyke didn't let time constraints be an excuse. "I used to think that I needed a two-hour window. That was a stumbling block I used to use. Of course I like it when I have more time, but at the beginning, if I had a half-hour to go for a walk, I'd just go, just as I was dressed." He'd fit a walk in first thing in the morning, in the middle of the afternoon or whenever he got home from work. He tried to do something every day and using a phone app and Fitbit to measure his success helped his goal-oriented nature. "I loved those days when I was up over 20,000 [steps]". 
 He also improved his nutrition, not an easy task given the delicious foods and craft beers that tempt him at work.  He cut down on sweets and carbs and eliminated soft drinks and diet soft drinks. "I mostly drink water, occasionally beer and wine. I'm not cutting out the beer!" he said.
When the weather was bad he headed to the gym where he used the treadmill and stationary bike. He noticed patrons wearing headphones and it struck him that he "had let music leave my life." So he hooked up to a streaming music service and gets motivated by listening to everything from electric dance music to rap to beat including artists like Drake, Dave Matthews and Frank Sinatra, among many others.
It worked! In less than a year, Fyke transformed himself. He lost 70 pounds and has become a runner.  "I just kept walking til I felt I could run." He started feeling better, eliminating frequent gout flare-ups and chest pains. Soon, his clothing was loose. "My pants wouldn't stay on! That was a landmark moment."   
But one of the most rewarding consequences by far has been his increased engagement with the world around him.  "I used to pass on activities that I would have liked to do with my kids because I didn't feel like I could handle them anymore. I'd pass on bike rides with my family because I feared I couldn't keep up. That was horrible," he said.
He has participated in some 5Ks, selected because they benefit causes that are meaningful to him, which is also the case with The Allegheny 9. Fyke is a big supporter of public parks and brought some of his staff - on their days off - to Boyce Park this fall to plant trees. The race series takes place in all 9 County Parks over the course of 13 months and is designed to bring runners to parks they may never visited before. It also raises funds for major improvement projects.  For more information, or to sign up, click here: THE ALLEGHENY 9

Join the fun - IT'S FREEEEEE - at Boyce Park for the annual SNOWFEST week end of activities. Three days of fun for the entire family! Events include indoor and outdoor games and activities, cardboard box snowtubing derby, mascot snowtubing races, skiing and snowboarding races, music and much more! For more information, click here: SNOWFEST 2017
 Run the PGH Marathon to benefit ACParks Foundation! 
Ever thought of adding that extra umph to your running program by signing up as a charity runner for the Allegheny County Parks Foundation? We had a dedicated group for the Pittsburgh Marathon last year and we're signing folks up to run in 2017. Interested? Check out information at the PITTSBURGH MARATHON or call us at 724-327-7627 and ask for Barb or Carole.  
Looking for a day in the winter woods? 

Our friends at the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy invite all to an invigorating 5-6 mile hike from   the Harmony Trail in North Park to the Rachel Carson Trail on  Sunday, Feb. 5 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
They're meeting at the Beaver Shelter on Babcock Blvd. in North Park and carpooling to the start at the Harmony trailhead on Rt. 910. Then they'll follow the Harmony Trail to the Brooktree spur, to the Bluebird Trail, to the Braille Trail, to the North Ridge Trail, and end at the Rachel Carson Trail western trailhead. Moderate difficulty (some modest ascents and potentially tricky descents if snow/ice are present, otherwise gently rolling). Hot tea, cocoa, and treats afterwards. 
FREE and open to everyone (no need to sign up)!
Allegheny County Parks Foundation | 724-327-7627| |