According to the University of Pittsburgh panthers were once indigenous to Pennsylvania and this is one of the reasons they chose the Panther as their mascot. Today though the only panthers you will see are mascots at games or the Panther statues around Pittsburgh. Four guard the entrance to Panther Hollow Bridge but I’m getting ahead of myself as this isn’t where we began our walk.
We began our walk in the grounds of Carnegie Mellon University. It is a lovely campus in the Oakland district of Pittsburgh and well worth visiting.
From the campus we followed the sounds of a bagpipe – not as unusual a sound here as you might think – and headed for the Phipps Conservatory.
The glasshouses and botanical gardens are wonderful and a definite must see if visiting Pittsburgh. Today we didn’t have time but here are a few photos from the outside.
With the sound of the bagpipes still ringing in our ears we found more of Scotland to the left of the Phipps.
The statue is looking across to the Panther Hollow Bridge. The bridge opened in 1897 but Robbie’s statue didn’t arrive until 1912.
The bridge is 620ft long and its main span about 300ft. Despite its robust construction the traffic on the bridge is very light.
Having crossed by foot we took the path which takes you right under the bridge onto the upper trail, and it was on this trail we had a glorious time leaf peeping. Here are a few but for the full peep check out my previous post.
The trail is circular and is an easy 2mile stroll on wide paths and across many bridges, most of which were built in 1939 as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s work deal for the unemployed.
We didn’t see the Groundhog today but I did manage to spot more Woodpeckers, get a photo of a chipmunk and enjoy the antics of the Common Grackles.
It had been nearly two hrs by the time we reemerged from Panther Hollow beside the Phipps Conservatory. So we stopped for a coffee in their café and browsed their wonderful shop.
It was then a short stroll back to where we are staying. On the way though we stopped to listen to some wonderful drumming.