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The Color Park: Pittsburgh’s Fun and Legal Spot to See Graffiti Art

Graffiti is often a problem for cities. However, some of the work that is done is truly extraordinary art. That’s why I was so excited when I discovered The Color Park in Pittsburgh.

The Color Park is a legal graffiti area along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail on Pittsburgh’s South Side. It was created in 2017 as a partnership between the Friends of the Riverfront and former Pittsburgh Steelers’ player turned artist Baron Batch.

The area where The Color Park is located was once a concrete factory, and some of the concrete pieces scattered throughout the area are left over from this era, which make for excellent canvases for local artists.

The Color Park along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail in Pittsburgh PA
Graffiti Park can be found along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.

For many years, this was a blighted part of the trail. However, today, it’s one of the most colorful places in Pittsburgh that isn’t named Randyland.

While I don’t love tagging and vulgar graffiti, I really appreciate well-done graffiti art, so I was excited to check this spot out, especially since it’s located near another new and popular attraction, the Highline.

Officially, The Color Park is about 200 yards long, starting adjacent to a parking area just off East Carson Avenue and between the Liberty Bridge and the South 10th Street Bridge, though it does often extend beyond its official limits.

Graffiti along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail in The Color Park in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
The Color Park is officially 200 yards long but often stretches further.

The park here is always changing as the artwork is painted over and new pieces are added, a tradition in street art. The park also underwent a refresh in early 2023, where nearly all of the art was painted white to create new canvases for artists of all skill levels.

Because of this, you are unlikely to see any of the art featured in the photos here, but they should be representative of the art that will be there during your visit.

Dragon graffiti art at The Color Park in Pittsburgh PA
One of the great art pieces at The Color Park.

When I explored The Color Park, I was really impressed by the quality of some of the art and how bright and inviting the area was. This is certainly in contrast to how it would look if this abandoned lot was left graffiti-less.

The primary canvases at The Color Park in Pittsburgh are the 100 or so concrete blocks that line the trail. However, the graffiti in this area has spread to cover basically every surface including railings, picnic tables, and bike racks.

A concrete wall painted with graffiti at The Color Park in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
There are many pieces of concrete decorated in the park.

The asphalt trail itself is even covered in graffiti, which reminds me a bit of the now-gone Graffiti Highway in Centralia.

While there is some excellent art here, there are also a fair number of tags, as well as a few bad words and whatnot. Fortunately, the area gets repainted so often that many of these undesirable graffiti marks get removed fairly quickly.

An aerial view of The Color Park in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
An aerial view of The Color Park.

In fact, it’s not uncommon to see artists painting at The Color Park, as I did during my autumn visit. And, if you are an artist, you are free to come and paint a bit of art at The Color Park at any time, though please make sure you are actually adding something fun and unique to the site and not just spray painting something less desirable.

In addition to enjoying the graffiti art at The Color Park, you can also enjoy the great views of downtown Pittsburgh across the Monongahela River or take a walk/bicycle ride on the trail along the river. It’s also only a short walk over to Sly Fox Brewing, one of the best breweries in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Skyline as seen from The Color Park on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.
There are great views of the Pittsburgh skyline from The Color Park.

Overall, while I wouldn’t call The Color Park a must-visit spot, it’s definitely an interesting place to explore, especially if you love street art. I know I quite enjoyed my visit.

The Color Park can be found next to the parking area at the following coordinates: 40.431291, -79.994963. You can also use the address for Sly Fox Brewing (46 S 4th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219), but continue past the building and park on your right just across the train tracks.

Looking for more places to visit nearby? Check out the Andy Warhol Museum, Gateway Clipper Cruises, and the Seldom Seen Greenway.

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