Elizabeth is a borough located 15 miles south of Pittsburgh on the eastern shore of the Monongahela River in Allegheny County. It was founded in 1787 by Samuel Mackay and Colonel Stephen Bayard and named for Bayard’s wife, Elizabeth.

Historic legend has it that in 1803, the keelboat used for the first stages of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was built on the river banks in Elizabeth. Other early industry in Elizabeth included glass making, steamboat building, coal mining, as well as the building of safes.

Elizabeth has a quaint and compact downtown with historic architecture and an authentic feel. Visitors can shop and dine among popular businesses old and new, click here for a list of local businesses. Visitors can also experience the arts with live local theater and entertainment events at the vaudeville- era Grand Theater throughout the year and during the free summer outdoor music series on Plum Street, Thursday evenings June through August. Traveling from Plum Street to the riverfront, you can see the latest mural depicting the town’s boat building legacy.

Each second Saturday from June to October local vendors are set up at the riverfront for the Elizabeth Handmade/Homegrown Market. Other popular decades long events include the annual Riverfest (last weekend in July) and the Memorial Day and Halloween Parades. You can find out more about these events, businesses, and other activities at www.downtownelizabeth.com.


In addition to business and riverfront district, Elizabeth is home to nearby Round Hill Park and Exhibit Farm, a 1000 acre working farm offering walking and bridle trails as well as a spray park in summer. This Allegheny County Park is a popular destination for families and school children and provides an opportunity for both education and fun.



This section of the Monongahela River doesn’t carry an official water trail designation but it has been scouted and a map and guide was created in 2013. Click here to download the mapClick here to download the guide.

Just 5 miles away are hiking and biking trails including the Great Allegheny Passage and Montour Trail. The “Little Boston” trailhead of the GAP is a popular starting spot with refreshments available nearby at the trailhead.

Access to the River

Elizabeth lies on the banks of the Monongahela River. At Water Street, the barge at Riverfront Park is available for fishing year-round and a kayak launch was added in 2014. An additional boat launch is available from the Second Avenue extension. Kayaking groups regularly paddle from Elizabeth to McKeesport. All parks are open dawn to dusk.

Explore the Area

Click on any photo to enlarge