McKees Rocks Urban Hike

One of our first stops was the Dave Dietz Florist building,
which has a mural depicting what life was like in early 1900s-era
McKees Rocks. Artist Jim Levendosky painted the mural
with the help of students from Sto-Rox High School.
Taris Vrcek, the Executive Director of the McKees Rocks
Community Development Corporation, pointed out several spots of
interest in the neighborhood, including this former warehouse
that’s being turned into a local arts center.
On the side of the building is another mural. This one was
created through the Sprout Fund’s public art program. The silhouettes are
those of McKees Rocks residents.
Several boats are docked at Vic’s Boat Park on
appropriately-named River Road. To the left you can see Brunot
Island, which doesn’t have much on it besides a power station these
days, although Meriwether Lewis once slept there.
Taris shows a depiction of what the marina used to look
Ranger’s Field is tucked away in a corner of McKees Rocks
directly below an immense (and guess what? rocky) cliff right on
the Ohio River. This historical marker notes that the cliff is the
site of a Native American burial mound.
The area of McKees Rocks called the “Bottoms” has several
churches within a few blocks of each other. Here’s one.
Here’s another.
The massive McKees Rocks Forgings manufactures all different
kinds of wheels. Tucked behind this property is an isolated couple
blocks of townhouses.
After we cross the McKees Rocks Bridge and go up a steep hill,
we arrive at McKees Rocks Terrace, a subsidized housing
We arrive at Mancini’s bakery, which has been in operation since
The owner, Mary Mancini Hartner, graciously invites us in to see
the large ovens. The bakery is in operation 24 hours a day.
She even lets us sample some of the merchandise.
The former Miles Brian High School was closed in 1997 and is
waiting to be redeveloped.
Our final stop is Pierogies Plus, which serves pierogies hand-made by
first-generation immigrants from eastern Europe! Now that’s
Owner Helen Mannarino has potato pierogies and sauerkraut
pierogies hot and ready for hungry hikers.

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