Rainbow and Pfundstein Red-Blue Trail

Consensus:    (details)
  4.1 from 7 votes
blue  Intermediate from 4 votes
Rank: #3 in the North Park area
#102 in PA, #2,324 Overall
Views: 5,386. Last 30 days: 260
Condition Details | Update
Jun 20 Green - Mostly Dry
Trail in the area near Gibsonia,
“A great ~6 mile trail that tracks along North Park's northern ridge.”
jeff harding on Jul 8, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
5.89.4 milesKilometers 571’174 m Ascent 1,238’377 m High 4% Avg Grade (2°)
Singletrack Type -553’-169 m Descent 1,012’309 m Low 13% Max Grade (7°)
2:12 average time for 5.8 miles. Details

The red with blue dot trail runs from North Ridge Road near the Ice Skating Rink to Irwin Run where Babcock Blvd intersects Pierce Mill Rd. The trail was originally constructed in the mid 1990's By Dave Brunger and Bill Kirk as the Rainbow Trail. This runs from the Skating Rink side to the Wisconsin Shelter. This section of the trail climbs and descends with technical features, lots of rocks and twisty singletrack.

The trail was then extended in the 2000's by Trail Pittsburgh as the Pfundstein Trail, which runs from the Wisconsin Shelter to Irwin Run. Pfundstein was named after a German mountain biker who worked in Pittsbugrh and loved riding North Park. He unfortunately died of cancer and his family donated funds to build the Pfundstein trail. It is marked with a plaque on a large stone along the trail adjacent to the Wisconsin Shelter. Pfundstein is a faster flowy downhill trail.

The trail was built to be ridden from the Ice Skating Rink side to the Irwin Run side, but it can be ridden in either direction. The climbs become descents and the descents become climbs in the opposite direction making things more interesting! The climb from Irwin Run along Pfundstein is a hard one and this can be bypassed by taking the Red Bridle Trail up to the Wisconsin Shelter from Irwin Run to ride Rainbow backwards.

To find the trailhead from the Ice Skating rink side, start at the Olympia Shelter parking lot (across Pierce Mill Rd from the Skating Rink). Ride up North Ridge Rd for ~50 yards. The trail will start on your right. The trail winds up the initial ~.25 mile climb before beginning the long flowing ride. The trail is continually marked with red-blue blazes, but does not cross any other trails which makes it easy to unplug and cruise through. Their are multiple opt-out locations in case you get tired or run short on time. All opt outs put you on North Ridge Drive, which you can take northward and end up back at the double lot. You can cross the road at the Wisconsin Shelter and take the Red Bridle Trail down to Irwin Run which is a fun, fast, steep and more direct downhill route.

More information on North Park Trails and Freeride area at Trail Pittsburgh's website:
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5.0 (1)
Great trail system so close to the 'burgh.
near Allison Park, PA
5.0 (1)
The best Sewickley has to offer. Rocks, roots, and lots of techy terrain mixe...
near Edgeworth, PA
4.5 (2)
A great beginner loop by Pie Traynor Field.
near Allison Park, PA

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PHOTOS of Rainbow and Pfundstein Red-Blue Trail
  3.4 from 5 votes
if you've made it here, you've just finished one of the quickest descent... (Gibsonia, PA)
  3.4 from 5 votes
multiple sections of trail dissect pine forests. (Gibsonia, PA)
  3.4 from 5 votes
a nice example of some of the twisty singletrack you can look forward to. (Gibsonia, PA)
  2.8 from 5 votes
example of common trail side features. logpile on the right and the bas... (Gibsonia, PA)