Saturday, April 23, 2022
An Industrial Tour of the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark.
Tours galore—and trails, too!

There's no doubt about it, things are getting into gear around here. The first Hardest Working River Tour goes underway today on the Explorer riverboat, soon to be followed by the Uniquely Pittsburgh Sightseeing Tour, which is offered on weekends in May and expands to four days a week in June.

May also marks the kick-off of the tour season at the Carrie Blast Furnaces. We're excited to announce the return of the Arts & Grounds Tour, which takes a look at the post-industrial legacy of the site. It will now be offered weekly on Saturday mornings. Plus, after a two-year hiatus, nature-lovers can once again learn more about our wild gardens during the Iron Garden Walk, a monthly, botany-focused tour of the grounds. Of course, the ever-popular Industrial Tour of this National Historic Landmark starts up soon, too!

If you happened to have missed last week's Hammer-In Festival at the W.A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop, no worries—our Guided Machine Shop Tour of this treasured landmark begins on May 1, as well.

Now that the fish fry season is behind us, perhaps you are ready to feast on some meat. Be sure to check out Chopped: A Charcuterie Trail, your guide to understanding the legacy behind these cured meats—along with a selection of the region's best places to procure them!

Also, as the perennial April showers give way to more sunny days and light breezes, it's time to take to the trails—by bike or by foot. See what's new on the Steel Valley Trail in our latest Community Spotlight story.

Thanks for reading! We hope to see you soon!
A carved pig, complete with tattoos, greets shoppers outside of Stone House Butcher and Provisions in Farmington, PA.
Chopped: A Charcuterie Trail
Cynthia Caul, program manager for Chatham University's Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation serves up seconds in today's featured story that highlights the Chopped culinary trail, a journey created to highlight foodways traditions in southwestern Pennsylvania and throughout the Commonwealth. 
A downhill section of the Steel Valley Trail. Image courtesy of the Steel Valley Trail Council.
The Steel Valley Trail
New interpretive signs are just one of several improvements that riders and hikers will experience on the Steel Valley Trail this season. Gita Michulka recently chatted with Roy Bires, a volunteer with the Steel Valley Trail Council, to see what's new for this stretch of land on the Great Allegheny Passage.
Arts & Grounds Tour
Beginning May 7, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Carrie Blast Furnaces
Discover how creatives, from guerrilla artists and graffiti writers to curators and designers, have been inspired by—and left their mark on—this revered landscape. Highlighting contemporary art installations, graffiti murals, the Iron Garden, and the famous Carrie Deer, the Arts & Grounds Tour invites you to experience this historic landmark from a post-industrial perspective.
Industrial Tour of the Carrie Blast Furnaces
Beginning May 1, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Carrie Blast Furnaces
Connect with Pittsburgh’s steel industry heritage on this guided tour of the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark. Tours highlight the site’s iron-making technology, its workers, and their culture.
Uniquely Pittsburgh Sightseeing Tour
Beginning May 7, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m., Explorer Riverboat
Hop on board the Explorer riverboat for the Uniquely Pittsburgh Sightseeing Tour—a 90-minute excursion on Pittsburgh’s three rivers!

Traveling on the Ohio, Monongahela, and Allegheny Rivers, this tour shares the big stories of our region’s past—along with many lesser-known tales—as it explores a sense of place. Sit back, enjoy the skyline, and see the sights as you discover how Pittsburgh’s unique history shaped the city we have today!
A tour of the Iron Garden at the Carrie Blast Furnaces.
Iron Garden Walk
Beginning May 15, 11:00 a.m – 1:00 p.m., Carrie Blast Furnaces
On the eastern edge of the Carrie Furnaces site, there exists a wild garden where nature has reclaimed space scarred by industry. The Iron Garden Walk is more than a path through the lush greenspace; it is a botany-focused tour that shares the story of this unique and resilient landscape.
Steve demonstrates how the machines run during a tour of the W.A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop.
Guided Machine Shop Tours
Beginning May 1, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., W.A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop
Step back in time to the early 1900s and discover the artistry of handcrafted manufacturing!

Built in 1900, the shop produced parts for steamboats, coal mines, railroads, and supported local small businesses. When it closed in 1965, the building was locked and all of its tools and equipment were left in place—perfectly preserving its line shaft driven, 25-machine network for future generations.
Help preserve our region’s industrial and cultural heritage! Your tax-deductible contribution will help ensure that Rivers of Steel can continue to offer vital, engaging, community-based arts, education, and heritage programs for the residents of southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.