SPORTS & OUTDOORS

French Creek Watershed

When we in Pittsburgh look out on the Allegheny River, it can remind us that the water flowing past has its origins in some faraway places worth visiting and exploring. One of these is the broad valley of the west branch of French Creek in Erie County.

Lay your money down

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve never really caught on to the gambling culture of pro football. Not that I’m totally clueless. I understand the over-​under and a pick not covering. But when it comes to teasers, props and such, they might as well be speaking calculus.

Wintering in Pittsburgh

With winter’s chill approaching, most birds long ago migrated south. Migration actually begins in August and continues through the milder months of September and October. Birds wing their way to more abundant food sources, with some of Pittsburgh’s species heading deep into South America to tropical climes. A few hearty…

Louis vs. Lewis

Joe Louis was the man. Everyone in the country knew his name. He was heavyweight champion of the world when the title was the most prized crown in all of sports and carried more prestige than the biggest Hollywood star.

Oil Creek State Park

Western Pennsylvania has an abundance of extraordinary places to hike. A few of these, such as Oil Creek State Park in northern Venango County, provide substantial regional history along with a scenic landscape.

Elk Creek in Erie County

Unusual and beautiful places lie just off the beaten path in Erie County — sites that even those who frequently travel to Pennsylvania’s northwesternmost county may not know.

Yellow-​billed cuckoo

by David Liebmann
Pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods, and the patchwork-​quilt variety of them gives everyone a place to call home and a sense of identity to go with it. We say Shadyside, Bloomfield or the South Side, Fox Chapel, the Strip or Swissvale, and certain images, people and lifestyles come to…

The Sport That Didn’t Quite Make It

by Marino Parascenzo
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…
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