SPORTS & OUTDOORS

The Sport That Didn’t Quite Make It

Here’s what you should know about the mystery sport in Western Pennsylvania history: It’s against the rules to catch the ball with your top hat. The game is played by silly mid wickets and other Monty Python candidates. And this game didn’t catch on in the U.S.A.

Remember the Tartans

They ruined a perfectly good trophy case. It used to sit there, self-​consciously, in Carnegie Mellon University’s Skibo Gymnasium. The items in that case were pretty much the only tangible stuff that remained of the glory days of football, back when the school was Carnegie Tech. The main trophies were…

The Brown Creeper

I was listening recently to an NPR interview about an elephant researcher in Africa. It was a story about the challenge of tracking a huge and relatively abundant mammal that has the tendency to disappear into the bush in the blink of an eye. While it’s hard to imagine, it’s…

The Steeler Way

Over the summer, news reports across the country have focused on the dramatic increase in NFL player arrests since the Feb. 4 Super Bowl. As of early July, the off-​season arrest rate has increased 75 percent over last year, according to one labor economist. And of the 31 arrests since…

Hello ACC

How did the University of Pittsburgh celebrate its official entrance this summer into the Atlantic Coast Conference? With Downtown fireworks, of course — quintessential Pittsburgh.

The aftermath of an 88 season

Last year wasn’t the type of season that we are used to having. In any organization, there are always going to be high moments and low moments. I have been very fortunate to be part of two Super Bowl victories and one Super Bowl loss. It’s a great feeling, the…

Bennett Branch Forest

About two and a half hours northeast of Pittsburgh, almost to Benezette, Pa., there is a deeply forested property called Bennett Branch Forest. The 1,500-acre tract is owned by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and nearly surrounded by Moshannon State Forest. A visitor can hike Bennett Branch Forest on old logging…

A Natural Playground

It’s a sunny summer Sunday afternoon and everybody’s out there. Pittsburghers in pairs and groups and alone, walking or running or being pushed along in strollers, with or without dogs of every size and breed — they lace the trails from Homewood Cemetery to Duck Hollow. An Ultimate Frisbee game electrifies the…

The Beauty of Commitment

Bob Coward, dog-​eared scorebook in hand, hurries through the turnstile at PNC Park for what will be his 2,600th-and-something Pittsburgh Pirates home game. A compact man who once worked as a prison guard at Western Penitentiary (now SCI Pittsburgh) on the city’s North Side, Coward darts through the thickening crowd,…

A seasonal song

by David Liebmann
Walk to the trailhead behind the Audubon Society’s Beechwood Farms nature center on Dorseyville Road, and you’ll briefly head down toward the meadow and then uphill, west, toward the upper fields. Stroll beneath the canopy of older trees until you reach the clearings. Look up, look low and listen. That…

Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail

Many of us from Pittsburgh regularly visit the Laurel Highlands to ski, hunt or fish. But to really get a feel for the forests and streams of the Laurel Highlands, a long hike can be a way to see more and to get a better sense of this exceptional place.

Lost Turkey Trail

One of the more remote hiking trails in western Pennsylvania is the Lost Turkey Trail. The western end of this 26-​mile trail is in Gallitzin State Forest in northeastern Somerset County. The trail then passes into Bedford and Cambria counties across State Game Lands 26, and ends in Blue Knob…

The Canada goose

by David Liebmann
One fall evening in New England when I was an undergraduate, I heard honking so loud it had the force of an approaching train, lasting for several minutes as geese flew by. They faded into the night but have stayed with me since.

Hardwood Trails, Bedford County

One of my favorite places to hike and explore is a property not far to the east of the Laurel Highlands. Driving east along the Pennsylvania Turnpike just past Somerset takes you across the eastern continental divide into the Chesapeake Bay watershed, where the Laurel Highlands give way to the…

Final flight: Lessons of the Passenger Pigeon

During our colonial period, America’s forests were felled slowly. Beginning in New England, subsistence farming and the promise of better lands to the west meant regions were settled and cleared for agriculture, then abandoned, only to regenerate. This pattern cycle of destruction and reforestation created a patchwork of fields that…
Welcome to Pittsburgh Quarterly
Keep up with the latest

Sign up for our enewsletter, Pittsburgh Quarterly This Week.

We’ll keep in touch, but only when we think there’s something worth sharing. To receive exclusive Pittsburgh Quarterly news and stories, please fill out the form below. Be sure to check your email for a link to confirm your subscription!

View past newsletters here.

Keep up with the latest from Pittsburgh Quarterly.

Enter your email address to receive exclusive Pittsburgh Quarterly news and updates via our enewsletter, Pittsburgh Quarterly This Week. We’ll keep in touch, but only when we think there’s something worth sharing — and worth your time.

Already signed up? Please click the “Don’t Show This Again” button below

First Name(*)
Please let us know your name.

Last Name(*)
Invalid Input

Your Email(*)
Please let us know your email address.

Please check the box for security purposes.
Invalid Input