Summer has burst onto the scene at Ohiopyle State Park. The park's legendary Youghiogheny River and waterfalls are gushing, the trees have budded, and wildflowers are cropping up everywhere throughout the park's 20,500 spectacularly scenic acres.
Here are some special events and activities to do with your family and friends, or spend some quality one-on-one time with Mother Nature. There's no better place to welcome summer than at Ohiopyle State Park.
Ohiopyle's premier feature is the fast-flowing Youghiogheny River, which attracts hundreds of thousands of whitewater boaters from spring to early fall. The seven-mile Lower Yough, with its class III and IV rapids, is the busiest section of whitewater east of the Mississippi River. But you don't have to be an experienced paddler to join in the adrenaline-pumping fun. The section known as the Middle Yough features class I and II rapids, making it ideal for beginning kayakers, families with young children, and anglers.
Experienced outfitters like Laurel Highlands River Tours, Ohiopyle Trading Post, Whitewater Adventurers and Wilderness Voyageurs can prepare you for the level and intensity of rafting that matches your desires and experience levels.
You'll be amazed by the numerous options for exciting Laurel Highlands rafting, kayaking and canoeing, as well as the beautiful surroundings you'll encounter while on the river.
One of Pennsylvania's most jaw-dropping panoramic vistas can be seen from Baughman Rock Overlook. It's a bit of a challenging hike to get there, a little over 1.5 miles up steep, rocky terrain, but it is well worth the effort to see the Youghiogheny River Gorge. Access Baughman Trail from either the Middle Yough Takeout Parking Area or Sugarloaf Snowmobile and Mountain Biking Area.
Zip into summer with a trip to the Ohiopyle Zipline Adventure Park where kids as young as 4 can zip through the trees on a 90-foot zipline. Adventurers can have their own Indiana Jones experience after maneuvering through an obstacle course before racing across a 200-foot zipline. The Ohiopyle Zipline Adventure Park in the heart of Ohiopyle State Park offers fun and excitement for all ages.
Check out the two course levels below to see what zip fits you best.
Check out this course made for the boldest adventurer! Ages 10 and older can challenge themselves on this course that includes a 25 foot climbing Entry Net, Swing Planks, Tarzan Walk, tight rope Burma Bridge, a Spider's Web, a Rickety Bridge, Silver Surfer and last but not least, an amazing ride on a 200 foot zip through the trees!
A ropes course designed for ages 4 and older will have you climbing up an Entry Net, balancing your way across the narrow Plank Bridge, then squeezing your way through the Taco Net, traversing Big Foot's footprints and finally concluding with you flying across a 90 foot zip line. Only to catch your breath and do it all over again!
The Laurel Highlands is home to many adventurous Zip Lines and Ropes Courses!
Bring your bike or rent one from an Ohiopyle outfitter and hop on the Great Allegheny Passage rail-trail at the Ohiopyle Trail Head. Pedal east along the banks of the Youghiogheny River for the scenic 11-mile ride to Confluence. Enjoy lunch with a view from the porch of the Rivers Edge Café before biking back to Ohiopyle or ask your outfitter to pick you up!
Make history and be one of the first biking enthusiasts to ride the completed Great Allegheny Passage into Point State Park in Pittsburgh. A special ride has been planned - beginning in either D.C. or Cumberland, Maryland and ending with the celebratory event at Point State Park on June 15, 2013.
The Great Allegheny Passage is a world-class rail-trail that spans from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Cumberland, Maryland. The trail gently winds through the Laurel Highlands, using historic tunnels, viaducts, and bridges to even out the rugged landscape. Extend your journey to Washington, D.C. on the C&O Canal Towpath for The Ride Of Your Life!
As summer thrives at Ohiopyle State Park, Ferncliff Peninsula, a 100 acre botanical reserve comes to life with beautiful plants and vegetation that have washed down river from warmer neighboring states. The peninsula is easily accessible via the Ferncliff Trail.
One of the most photographed waterfalls in Pennsylvania, Cucumber Falls is a "must-see" during your Ohiopyle visit. Park at the Cucumber Falls Trail Head (located off the Ohiopyle/Chalk Hill Road) and take the easy path to the falls which resemble a bridal veil cascading over the rocks.
The Blue Ridge Outdoors team visited Ohiopyle and created this fantastic video of their experience:
Rafters, kayakers, and partiers converge every summer in the mountains of western Pennsylvania. Surrounded by rolling hills and scenic countryside, this little slice of the Mid-Atlantic is the perfect base camp for paddling the lower and upper sections of the Youghiogheny River. These yinzers know how to throw down, too!
Soundtrack: Good Friend of Mine/The Bones of J.R. Jones
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