Greater Manchester police (GMP) explained the unnamed teenager was approached by a man she "vaguely recognised" from the Gorton area as she travelled along the path parallel with Mount Road and the railway line.
He asked her if she would go out with him, but after being rebuffed put his arm around her, getting steadily more aggressive until grabbing the woman, pushing her to the ground and raping her.
Upon letting the victim go he followed her for several minutes before disappearing.
The suspect is described as a west African man in his late 20s to early 30s, 6ft 2in tall with a slim build, a receding hairline and yellowed teeth.
At the time of the attack he was wearing black jeans and a creased shirt.
"This is a truly shocking attack on a young mother returning home," said GMP's Detective Chief Inspector Vanessa Jardine.
"This man is clearly a dangerous individual and we are appealing for anyone who may have seen this attack to come forward.
"It happened in daylight on a path that is popular with local people. We believe someone must have seen something - either the attack itself, the victim pushing her pram or the man himself," DCI Jardine continued.
"As a result of this incident we would urge women in the Gorton area to be particularly aware of their surroundings."
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