Spring Sports & Activities
Find the cure for Spring Fever in the Laurel Highlands
Spring bursts onto the scene in the Laurel Highlands with the rivers and streams full and stocked for fishing and our beautiful mountains and trails are ready for biking and hiking. Did you know that Pennsylvania has more miles of trout streams than any other state except for Alaska? Or that the Pennsylvania State Flower is the Mountain Laurel and nowhere can you find more beautiful of a display of these bright pink and white shrubs than right here in the Laurel Highlands. So hit the trails, whether on a bike or by taking a hike!
If you’re an angler, you’re in luck, because fly fishing in the Laurel Highlands is great all year long if you fish with flies and practice catch and release. For fishing regulations and licenses go to www.fish.state.pa.us. A special Laurel Highlands Trout Trail has been developed for fly fisherman and their families during the month of May.
Take a Hike!
Have a spring experience like none other and discover one of nation’s top trails. Hike the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, a 70-mile trail that runs north to south through state parklands and Forbes State Forest, from Ohiopyle State Park to near Johnstown. You’ll see panoramic vistas, sparkling streams, wildlife, mountain laurel and rhododendron that bloom in late spring. For those wanting to spend the night on the trail you’ll find Adirondack-style overnight shelters (reservations required). Wilderness Voyageurs, one of the region’s experienced outfitter’s provides a shuttle service for Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail users, for move information about this service click here.
Be sure and check out the beautiful new stone Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Bridge that spans the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The bridge is located just about midway between the turnpike’s Somerset and Donegal interchanges. Part of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, 80,000 to 100,000 hikers hike this trail each year. If you’re looking for an organized hike and would like to join others in the challenge, look no further than our friends at Venture Outdoors ventureoutdoors.org who offer lots of planned hikes for the trail.
Ready to ride?
Springtime and bike riding just go together. And the perfect bike trail winds its way through the Laurel Highlands - The Great Allegheny Passage is a wonderful trail for all ages and fitness levels. The trail goes through historic towns and stunning state parks, along rivers that George Washington forged, while offering some of the East Coast’s most spectacular vistas and scenery. There are six trail towns and numerous trail heads located throughout the Laurel Highlands for easy access to the Great Allegheny Passage. If you’re looking for a really special experience for the entire family, bike the entire trail from Pittsburgh through the Laurel Highlands to Washington, D.C! Need to rent a bike, no problem; most trail towns have plenty of bike rentals and repairs.
Famous Spring Events
Spring into action and attend one of the cool events that are taking place throughout the region this season. A sure sign of the sweet return of spring in the Laurel Highlands is when the sap starts to run on the sugar maple trees in “Maple City, USA,” a.k.a. Meyersdale, Pennsylvania . . . home of the annual Pennsylvania Maple Festival. Thousands of visitors attend this event to observe the ritual of tapping trees and the maple production process. The event includes living history tours and the traditional pancake and sausage meal topped with authentic Pennsylvania maple syrup.
For those eager to return to the water and ready for an adventure should head up to Vandergrift in May for the annual Allie-Kiski-Connie Rivers Sojourn which is held on the Kiskiminetas River. If you’re in that neck of the woods and in need of a canoe or kayak to rent, head to Leechburg to the River’s Edge Canoe & Kayak.
If you love history then you won’t want to miss the National Road Festival held each May along US Route 40. You’ll feel the spirit that the pioneers experienced while travelling the road in the early 1800’s on their way to a new life in the west. Period costumes and old-fashioned fun abound at the encampments where you can enjoy music, arts and crafts, and ethnic food.
For more information about other great springs events in the Laurel Highlands check out our special events section.
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