Our Mission
We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting everyone to the benefits of outdoor recreation throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. We provide a variety of activities that inspire an active lifestyle, promote the region’s unique amenities, highlight its excellent quality of life, and foster a greater appreciation for the environment.


  • Some Early Memories of Kayak Pittsburgh

    May 24, 2016

    By Mike Schiller, Founder and Past Executive Director, Venture Outdoors

    Why Kayak Pittsburgh

    In the year 2000 and the start of the Western Pennsylvania Field Institute (WPFI – which ultimately became Venture Outdoors) in 2001, very few people were kayaking the rivers around downtown Pittsburgh. I would cross paths with Rob and Lisa Pfaffman, Mike Lambert, Ben Ledewitz, Sean Brady and a small handful of other devotees, but often had the rivers all to myself. It felt unfair to keep all the fun to myself.


    Lots of other cities had kayak rentals,

     » Read more about: Some Early Memories of Kayak Pittsburgh  »

  • Venture Outdoors, Visual Identity, and Me

    May 17, 2016

    By: Beth Pedone

    I have always loved living in Pittsburgh. Our city in the Allegheny foothills has many attractive attributes: beautiful topography, friendly people, and small-town charm in a medium-sized city.  After living away for six years, upon my BETH 3return to Pittsburgh I discovered a city experiencing a rebirth and sought to join the vibrant scene. I joined the newly-formed Western Pennsylvania Field Institute and enrolled in their trip leader program. The WPFI was pretty small at that point — only a couple hundred people — but it was an exciting time to meet friends who were also interested in getting outdoors.

     » Read more about: Venture Outdoors, Visual Identity, and Me  »

  • Sheila’s Early Wake Up Paddle

    May 10, 2016

    By: Shelia Stagnitta, Volunteer Trip Leader

    Wednesday Wake-Up Paddles. I love them. Except when the alarm clock goes off. At that moment I question my sanity. Why oh why am I dragging myself out of bed at this way-too-early hour? Oh yeah, for the views from the water that you can only get early. I wake up at this godawful time to start my day in the best way imaginable. For that special, peaceful moment. I get to sit in a kayak listening to the waters gently lapping my boat. Others are sitting in rush hour,

     » Read more about: Sheila’s Early Wake Up Paddle  »

  • I Am Curious, Outdoors (or Everything You Wanted to Know About Trip Leading, But Were Afraid to Ask).

    May 3, 2016

    By: Joel Johnston

    When I thought about writing this piece, I initially struggled with what to call it. Which gave me some immediate anxiety to think that if I was having trouble with a title, this was not a good omen. But then, what do you call something that tests you in so many ways — one that involves successfully planning and executing events for possibly dozens of people you may have never met before; one that may require you to master a skill set you never had – or more likely one you didn’t know you had,

     » Read more about: I Am Curious, Outdoors (or Everything You Wanted to Know About Trip Leading, But Were Afraid to Ask).  »

  • Are You Ready for the Day of Giving?

    April 26, 2016

    By: Kathi Radock, Venture Outdoors Membership and Volunteer Manager

    DOG postcard (3).1-page-001 (1)Since 2009 The Pittsburgh Foundation has sponsored the Day of Giving in Pittsburgh. Modeled after similar national programs including #GivingTuesday, the Day of Giving is a one-day opportunity to showcase our local nonprofits and support them on a grand scale.

    This year’s Day of Giving is on Tuesday, May 3, from 8 AM until midnight. Donations made at www.pittsburghgives.org will go to support your favorite organizations, including Venture Outdoors.

    Unlike previous DOGs where the Foundation offered up matching funds,

     » Read more about: Are You Ready for the Day of Giving?  »

Kayak Pittsburgh


Kayak Pittsburgh North Shore and North Park will both be open 7 days/week starting May 28 (weather permitting)!

Please click here for more information and times.

Featured Outing


Canonsburg Lake Restoration Paddle

May 29, 2016, 

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Discover Canonsburg Lake and learn of the restoration work that is planned. We’ll paddle around the 76-acre Fish and Boat Commission lake with members of the Chartiers Creek Watershed Association. Guest speakers Canonsburg Lake Restoration and Improvement Committee and Chartiers Creek Watershed Association will talk about the lake’s history and the plans for its improvement. If you have your own kayak, please call the office to register for $10 at 412-255-0564 ext 0. Only solo boats are available for this outing. Minimum age is 12 years old.

Sign up here!