Iron Garden Walk

Discover how nature has reclaimed a post-industrial landscape on a botanist-led tour of the wild gardens and grounds on the Carrie Blast Furnaces site.

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Discover a dense variety of ecological growth through the diverse, successional plant communities on site in this botanist-led tour. Dr. Anna Johnson will share with you how this 35-acre site is carefully edited through an “addition by reduction” approach to working the wild gardens and grounds that share this post-industrial landscape. A series of iron-casted plaques, which include botanical illustrations of the local plant community, supplement the experience.

A docent leading a group on the Iron Garden Walk at Carrie Blast Furnaces.

Dr. Anna Johnson with a group in the Iron Garden

Hours & Admission*

This tour occurs on the second Sunday of the month: June 9, July 14, August 11, & September 8, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Child (17 and under)

Advance/Door
$14/$17

Student (18+ with college ID)

Advance/Door
$17/$20

Senior (62 and above) 

Advance/Door
$17/$20

General Admission 

Advance/Door
$21/$25

*Tours are limited to 25 participants. We highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance as we cannot guarantee tickets will be available for walk-ups.

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Location & Directions

The Carrie Blast Furnaces are located in Swissvale and Rankin, PA in the Monongahela River Valley. The entrance to the Carrie Furnaces is located at Carrie Furnace Boulevard, Rankin, PA 15104.

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Please note that this is a new road and may not be recognized by your GPS or online mapping programs.

What to Know Before You Go

As a former industrial site, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure an enjoyable visit.

  • What to wear: The majority of each tour is outside; please dress for the weather. Additionally, the ground is uneven—sensible shoes are a must. Sneakers or boots are recommended. Open-toed shoes and high heels are prohibited.
  • Restrooms & concessions: The rawness of the site is certainly part of its charm. However, that rawness also limits the creature comforts many of us are accustomed to, like running water. Portable bathrooms and wash stations are available. Food amenities are generally not available (with some exceptions, such as food trucks at festivals).
  • Photography: Photography is permitted. For safety reasons, videography and drones are prohibited.
  • Accessibility: Handicapped parking is available, but the grounds covered during tours are not wheelchair accessible.
  • Liability: By purchasing admission tickets, all visitors are required to sign a liability waiver and consent to be photographed (PDF).
  • Admission: Site access is limited to guided tours, workshops, and events. Unless otherwise noted, all admissions are ticketed.
  • Duration: Allow two hours for your tour.
  • Children: While kids of all ages are welcome, the tour content is recommended for children ages 8+.

Thank you for following these guidelines. We wish you to have the best visit possible and appreciate your patience as we continue to improve the visitor experience.

For more information, contact tours@riversofsteel.com.

Learn more about the events

such as tours, workshops, and festivals happening at each unique attraction.