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Friends of the Riverfront's new guide more user-friendly

| Friday, May 18, 2012, 7:45 p.m.

Friends of the Riverfront Saturday will release a new edition of its Three Rivers Heritage Trail Map and Guide designed to be more user-friendly.

The free, color map of the 24-mile riverfront trail system will be distributed at the Venture Outdoors Festival at Point State Park, Downtown. It highlights the most-popular portions of the trail while identifying points of interest especially helpful to trail novices.

"The map is designed to help those who live in the city, those new to the city or new to the trails," said Sarah Carr, program manager for Friends of The Riverfront. "We want this to be useful for anyone looking to explore Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas."

The map's release comes during Great Outdoors Week sponsored by Venture Outdoors, 3 Rivers Rowing Association and Bike Pittsburgh.

"People are having fun," said Scott Bricker, executive director of Bike Pittsburgh. "I think there's enough bike trails and bike lanes and other people doing it to tip the scales."

Friday was Bike to Work Day across the United States. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who biked to work, held a celebratory rally at the City-County Building for all city employees and commuters who traded in their car or public transit for a day.

According to Census estimates, 1.6 percent of people in Pittsburgh regularly bike to work. Nearly 11 percent walk.

The trail guide's earlier editions gave an overview of the trail system, Carr said. Now, it also highlights closer views of different sections of the trails that are based on popular trips, including the North Side and South Side/Eliza Furnace loop.

The map, last revised in 2010, also shows trails accessible to cyclists, walkers, runners and roller bladers. It's also a bit smaller than the old one when folded, Carr said, so that it can be carried easily.

Corporate and individual donors paid the $9,000 design and printing cost for 30,000 maps, which will be available throughout the city, Carr said.

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