Hiking Trails

The PA Laurel Highlands and Ohiopyle Region are home to 120,000 acres of state parks that offer some of the best hiking trails in Pennsylvania.


Visit the PA Laurel Highlands for a hiking vacation and you're sure to have a unique experience everywhere you go. Our eight Pennsylvania state parks are different in the amenities they provide - like cabins, tent and RV sites, and the increasingly popular yurts - and the landscape you'll discover - like rolling hills, steep mountains, raging waters and even a sandy beach. Check out our PA state parks at-a-glance for a rundown of all the state forests and state parks in Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands.

A favorite among outdoor enthusiasts, Ohiopyle State Park provides picturesque hiking in PA year-round. From Ohiopyle State Park you can follow the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail and end up in Laurel Ridge State Park. Open year-round and visited by over one million people, this is one of the most celebrated hiking trails in Pennsylvania. With almost 20,500 acres of rugged natural beauty, you'll find it as peaceful as it is beautiful.

Two state forests and six other state parks in PA Laurel Highlands make sure you'll never run out of wilderness to explore and enjoy. In addition to some of Pennsylvania's best hiking trails, these preserves offer great opportunities for biking, swimming, fishing, hunting and bird-watching.

Over 140 miles of the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) pass through the Laurel Highlands. As one of the best bike trails, the GAP stretches from Cumberland, Maryland to Homestead, Pennsylvania just outside of Pittsburgh. Enjoy the trail towns along the way and spectacular scenery. 

So bring the family and plan to stay overnight so you'll have enough time to take in the scenic beauty of the Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands during a vacation you'll always remember.

State Parks and Forests throughout Laurel Highlands Pennsylvania

  • Nearly 120,000 acres of hiking, biking and outdoor recreation across 10 state parks and forests
  • Laurel-covered mountains and deep, water-carved valleys
  • Countless hiking trails, many with convenient overnight areas and camping facilities
  • Elevations can reach 3,000 ft. above sea level
  • Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle State Park is unforgettable

Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in Ohiopyle State Park

  • 70-mile backpacking and hiking trail
  • Meets the 1,000-foot Conemaugh Gorge near Johnstown
  • Overnight areas every 8-10 miles
  • Connector trails lead to and from parking and shelter areas
  • Ohiopyle State Park is open year-round

The Great Allegheney Passage: Over 150 Miles of Prestine Rail Trail Biking in Pennsylvania

  • Consists of over 150 miles of unpaved converted rail lines
  • Totals over 320 miles from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, D.C.
  • Gentle hiking; never more than a 2% incline
  • Six Rail Trail Towns along the way
  • Open to hikers, bikers and cross country skiiers

The Laurel Highlands is home to state parks that offer some of the best hiking trails in Pennsylvania.


Visit the PA Laurel Highlands for a hiking adventure and you're sure to have a unique experience everywhere you go. Our eight Pennsylvania state parks offer numerous trails through rolling hills, steep mountains, past raging waters and even unique water slides. Check out our PA state parks at-a-glance for a rundown of all the state forests and state parks in Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands.

The Laurel Highlands is filled with wonderful hiking trails for the experienced and novice hiker. Of course, the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail that spans through the region can be one of the most challenging, but we thought we'd share some shorter trails throughout our State Park system. These short hikes, ranging from 1.2 miles up to 4, are ideally suited for hikers and families looking to get out and explore many scenic locales. Remember to take a few photos and submit for our Annual Photo Contest. 

Six "Must Hike" Trails in the Laurel Highlands

Ohiopyle State Park
Meadow Run Trail: 3 miles, easy hiking, yellow blazes
There are trailheads near the park office, at the waterslides on SR 2011 and at Cucumber Falls on SR 2019. From the waterslides parking lot, take the left trail under the SR 381 bridge for 0.7 mile to Cucumber Falls. Take the trail to the right, which leads to a loop trail and the Cascades. This trail is intersected by a path leading to the SR 2011 trailhead.

Forbes State Forest

Cole Run Trail:  2 miles, easy hiking
Although this trail is only 2 miles long, you can make a relaxing 3 mile loop by incorporating Cole Run Road into your hike. Park at Cole Run Falls and follow the trail south along Cole Run. The trail will turn back to the northwest following Blue Hole Creek before it leaves the creek and heads north to a parking lot on Cole Run Road. Follow Cole Run Road back to the parking lot at the falls.

Wolf Rocks Trail is a relatively easy, 4 mile loop trail takes you along the Laurel Summit and culminates with an incredible vista from the Wolf Rocks area. 

Laurel Hill State Park
Hemlock Trail: 1.2 miles, moderate hiking
Narrow at times and running along steep banks at places, this trail loops through the six-acre nature area. Hemlock Trail Natural Area is a stand of old growth eastern hemlock trees surrounding Laurel Hill Creek.

Linn Run State ParkLinn Run State Park
Adams Falls Trail is a 1-mile loop that features a mountain waterfall tucked in among rhododendron and hemlock. This very rocky trail passes by large boulders.

Keystone State Park

Davis Run Trail (easy hiking) is a 2.5-mile trail that meanders through wetlands before reaching an upland forest of mixed conifers and mature hardwoods. Along part of the trail the conifers form a scenic tunnel.

Cool Off From Your Hike

Meadow Run Natural Water SlidesLong before there were man-made Water Parks, nature provided a way to cool off on a hot summer day. Favorite watering holes are numerous throughout the Laurel Highlands, but when you want to add a little zip to your day, you need to experience a natural water slide. There's nothing quite like whoosing down a slippery rock surface, in chilly water temperatures, and landing in a cool pool at the end. Ahh, refreshing! 

Ohiopyle State Park 
Meadow Run Natural Water Slides. The slides are located on Meadow Run. The Parking area for the slides is at the intersection of Route 381 & Kentuck Road. Park officials advise visitors to wear proper footwear and exercise caution when near the wet rock.

Linn Run State Park
Flat Rock Natural Water Slide. Located in Linn Run State Park this popular slide has been entertaining locals and visitors for generations. Park staff says for well over 100 years! The Trail head is at the Adam Falls Picnic Area of Linn Run Laurel Mountain State Park Complex. However, they do advise that the rocks are very slippery, and many injuries occur there every year. You will get wet on this ride. Caution is recommended.



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