Walking Arlington/Arlington Heights


We found ourselves back in the hilltops of Pittsburgh, exploring the neighborhoods of Arlington and Arlington Heights.

We started our tour at the intersection of Arlington Avenue and Spring Street and headed down Spring, deeper into residential Arlington.  We made a right on Waite and a left on Rahe, where we were startled by a bird of prey perched on the side of one of these homes and peering at us.


We were immediately struck by the unexpected landscape of this part of Arlington, which feels very spread out and is cloaked in abundant green space.  We were able to peek into a nearby cemetery from Rahe St., and as we made a right onto Jonquil Street, we entered into the back door of St. Peters cemetery.

Like Allentown, Arlington proved to be a place of much German heritage, and many of the gravestone inscriptions reflected those roots.

The slice of road that ran alongside the graveyard transported us out of the city and into some kind of secret forest.

We headed one block south to Dawes and made a left.  As we continued through the neighborhood, the combination of the landscape and the presence of old, shirtless men drinking and playing cards left us with the strange sensation of being (back) in the south.


This statement didn’t exactly detract from the feeling.

But more importantly, GOOSE WATCH ’07!  That’s right.  What’s hiding behind that pseudo-tombstone, friends?  Yep.  A goose.

We turned left on Mountain Avenue, then right on Spring, where we came upon Nagel’s bar.

We saw a hint that Spring may have once been a more commercial area.

As we crossed Fernleaf, there was a shift in the neighborhood, and everything became more compact.


We turned left at Eleanor, passing by Richard S. Caliguiri Hall, a public space where groups like the 16th Ward Block Watch meet, then turned right on Elsie.

We passed by some graffiti on a set of old garage doors and a pair of matching scooters.


ACF seems to be a tag specific to Arlington, but we can’t figure out what it means.

There’s a great, funky house for sale on this street!

FYI, out-of-tahners, this is what you get for $76,000 in Pittsburgh!

We turned left onto Clover Street and crept slowly past this character and these frightening plastic bag ghosts.


We made a right on Charcot and a left on Fitler, where one Arlington fellow became suspicious of our photography and asked us what we were up to.  Lucky for us, he also recommended his cousin’s pizza shop (but just the hoagies, not the pizza . . .) on Arlington Avenue for dinner. 

From Fitler, we made a left on Arlington Avenue.  If Arlington has a business district, it’s along this road, on the three blocks between Fernleaf and Clover.  We passed the Arlington Early Childhood Center and came upon this Arlington Memories mural across the street.  Technically, the mural is in the South Side Slopes, in the area commonly regarded as being part of Arlington.

We also passed St. Henry Church (for sale!) and the Rainy Days Salon, which houses a very generous bunch of hairdressers, and whose bathroom, we can attest, recommends, “If you must straddle, please wipe the saddle.”

We arrived at Stella’s Pizza and were pleased to peruse a menu of pizza slices (plates only), hoagies, and deep fried cheesecake bites.  It was the kind of place that draws hoards of high school students at the end of the day, whose names and orders our new friend’s cousin knows by heart.  The Peach Pit of Arlington Avenue, if you will.  We dined on tasty hoagies and doubled back south to Eleanor, then to Spring.

We headed uphill on Spring and continued up Rinee (left) until it dead ended into these stairs down to Arlington Avenue.

We took a right onto Una Way, then a right onto Dippel Way, where we found this cool treehouse.

We turned left at Spring (past a naked goose!) and walked to Syrian, where we headed down the stairs, through a wooded hillside, to Arlington Avenue.

We turned right on Arlington and walked into Arlington Heights.


We headed around the loop and found the YMCA learning center and the Arlington Heights Tenant Council offices.

At the top of the hill, there’s a view of downtown.

On either side of the street, the Housing Authority has fenced off massive amounts of green space.  It would make a great park, but as far as we can tell, it’s currently being used as an alien landing strip.


We came upon what appeared to be a shut-down commercial building.

We passed Loretto Cemetery.


Arlington Avenue becomes Devlin Street, and now back in Arlington, we made a left on Castel Street.  At the end, we cut over to Devlin Field and explored some of the homemade trails in the woods surrounding the area.



We took a trail to Felmeth and made a right, then a left onto Devlin, and continued on Zoruba.


We made a right on Dengler and a left on Jonquil Street.  We took a left on Flack and noticed this remnant of a time before Arlington was Arlington.  Nobody ever said Pittsburgh’s infrastructure was new!

We turned right on Weise and right on Cobb Way, passing Arlington Elementary.  We turned left at Jonquil, left at Fernleaf, right on Wenke, and left on Mountain Avenue (note: there are no sidewalks here, and many cars).  From Mountain, we turned left onto Parkwood Road, which ends with a barricade.  This is where walking comes in handy!  If you continue past the barricade, the road turns into a former road, now overrun by wildlife.


This is a really beautiful walk, which leads back to Parkwood Road, accessible via the South Side Flats.

From Parkwood, we made a left on Bajo, where we discovered the adorable Lamplighter Church.

We continued down to Beck’s Run Road, where we saw . . . Beck’s Run.

We took Beck’s Run Road down as far as the Down the Road Saloon, right before it hits E. Carson St.. 


Unfortunately, we arrived on the wrong day for karaoke with Judy, so we’ll have to come back.

From there, we retraced our steps all the way back up to Mountain Road, where we headed back to our starting point.

Distance: 7.5 miles

Time: 4 hours




Filed under Arlington, Arlington Heights, South End, Walking

19 responses to “Walking Arlington/Arlington Heights

  1. You know, we don’t have a copyright on God down here. Just because you left the south doesn’t mean you can escape him. 😉

    Nice gooses. Would it be difficult to make the option to click on the images for a larger view? For all the photos, not just the gooses.

  2. Deep fried cheesecake bites. Me wants it, the precious.

    What happened in 1607? Is that when God was born? That doesn’t sound right for some reason.

  3. tiffanymerrimanpreston

    1607. The founding of Jamestown. The real question is . . . what happened in 2007?

  4. mattmp

    Bram, you were probably thinking that God was born in 1776.

  5. mattmp

    Bridget, We’ll put links to the larger images on flickr for the future tours. Great idea.

    Also, search for walkingpittsburgh on flickr, and you can be our friend there and see all of the pictures that didn’t make the cut into the posts!

  6. Tim

    I am thoroughly entertained by this site. I have been a lifelong resident of South Pittsburgh. Very educational and humorous.

  7. mattmp

    Thanks for visiting, Tim. The next neighborhood that we do (probably around the 3rd weekend in November) will be Beechview. Anything that you think that we ought to hit there, let us know!

  8. NickieA

    I was born and raised in Arlington!!! I am now raising my own family here. I want to say thanks for the tour. It was great to see an outsiders view…Oh and FYI…ACF stands for Arlington Crazy Fools.

  9. I grew up in Arlington Heights Projects and you painted a lovely picture of the area but trust me it didn’t look that nice back in my day. I lived at 3057 Zaruba and in that time it was considered the “Old Folks Building” although I was just a child at the time. I was surrounded by seniors and had many adopted grandparents due to that. I wish I knew where Kimberly Ewing was today, we were close but lost contact with each other. Kim if you ever see this contact me!

    • cook

      i lived at 3054 zaruba st. dont remember kim left in 1976 last name cook remember marva jackson

      • Edie Gallagher Simons

        I also remember a girl named Della Butler. She was always trying to beat me up. I learned how to run real fast because of that kid. I don’t know what I ever did to her. A boy Clark Reed also threw a stone at my head and I had to get stitches. Not an easy life. Principal Rule was also a real hard person. From: Edie Gallagher Simons (find me on Facebook.

  10. Jim

    Thanks for sharing. Really nice. Nice tour. I was doing some elementary genealogical research and appreciated your pictures of St. Peter’s cemetery. Hard to find otherwise.

  11. E S

    lived in arlington my whole life. grew up with people from arlington, no outsiders..that’s how it was. ACF stands for arlington crazy fools. used to be proud of my neighborhood…

  12. Does anyone remember Stoltz’s Hamburgers or the Mckee Theater on Arlington Avenue? I grew up there many years ago & haven’t found a hamburger quite as good as Stolz’s.


  13. jenn

    I’m 18. born and raised in Arlington. ACF stands for arlington crazy fools. Arlington’s changed a lot, my view of it is probably way different than most of yours though. I’m young and still live on these streets. Arlington is my hood and will always be. Ill always be proud to say ima arlington crazy fool. ACF allllll day errrday . Crk, mount oliver, no one compares to us. we keep it real, and ride for each other. Arlington is now one big family for us, we always have each others backs. and trust no outsiders.

  14. neighborhood not hood

    jenn, grew up in crk mt. oliver and arlington. We went to college became successful, married & had kids. When in town, my friends and I all go back never change that. We love it! Lots of memories. Thinking about buying a second home there. But hearing u say hood, have back, trust no outsiders, no one compares to you? May have to rethink about that. Its a neighborhood, we all have each others back young and old.

  15. Lee

    If anyone else has any photos of the old projects in Arlington Heights and willing to email me would be wonderful. I lived there from birth until 17 years old (1949 – 1967) I lived at 3265 Arlington Ave. Back of building faced the Loretta Cemetary.

  16. Patty

    hello 🙂 live on Rinne Street; just wanted to let you know it was misspelled and that these pictures are awesome. By the way, that’s my Steelers Goose 🙂

  17. Tad

    This is a great site to explore the city and its many neighborhoods-the photos are nice and seem to depict the areas accurately. I like the matter-of-fact commentary on the good, the bad and the ugly of it all, and honestly it is all quite charming and cool- the architecture and trees are great. I’m way down on the opposite side of the country on the ocean but feel like I’ve just visited some local haunts in Pittsburgh.

    Thanks for allowing the visit.

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