Things to Do
Places to Stay
There are a boatload of ways to cool off and enjoy the summer sun here in the Laurel Highlands. Raft the Youghiogheny River through Ohiopyle State Park; with Class I-IV rapids, you'll find a section perfect for your riding style, whether you're looking for some thrilling activities or a milder ride. Check out one of the excellent outfitters to rend gear and hook up with experienced guides. Or find your perfect fishing spot along the river.
Plan a family trip to Idlewild and SoakZone. It snagged Amusement Today's "Best Kids Park in the World!" award three years in a row, and it's easy to see why. In addition to classic rides and games galore, the park has a host of water attractions, including twisting slides, a tipping bucket, interactive spray features, the Wowabunga Family Wave Pool, and the Float Away Bay lazy river.
In the Laurel Highlands, you don't have to spend a cent to enjoy some waterslide action. Meadow Run, a small stream that feeds into the Lower Yough, is famous for its natural waterslides. Look for the parking lot off Route 381 about a hundred yards south of Ohiopyle, follow the path at the back of the lot, and hop in the water!
Looking for even more Family Fun this summer in the Laurel Highlands?! Check out these great options:
Find world-class whitewater rafting in Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands just minutes after you step out your car! Your adventure can be mild or wild, as Laurel Highlands rafting tours are available on Class I through Class IV waters. You can paddle your way down a leisurely stretch of flat water to simply enjoy the views or challenge yourself with some of the best kayaking and whitewater rafting in PA.
Find rentals, instructional schools, and outfitters that will make sure your trip will be safe and exhilarating. They have all the gear you need to make your whitewater rafting adventure in the Laurel Highlands is a memorable one.
Home to eight state parks, two state forests, Pennsylvania's highest peak, and more than 100 miles of the renowned Great Allegheny Passage rail-trail, the Laurel Highlands is a mecca for hikers and bikers of all skill levels.The nearly level Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) stretches 150 miles from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland. There it connects to the C&O Canal Towpath, creating an uninterrupted 335-mile trail to the nation's capital. The GAP was the first inductee to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Rail-Trail Hall of Fame, and anyone who's biked it knows why: spectacular scenery, charming trail towns, and plenty of amenities.
You'll find 79 miles of trail, including 25 miles open to mountain biking at Ohiopyle State Park. Hiking options range from an easy 1.7-mile loop around the verdant Ferncliff Peninsula (look for fossils underfoot!) to the challenging Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, a backpacker's delight, which starts in Ohiopyle and ends 70 miles later near Johnstown.
Forbes State Forest is perfect for hikers and mountain bikers, with more than 100 different trails. The 58,523-acre forest is also home to Mt. Davis, the highest point in Pennsylvania.
Seven Springs Mountain Resort offers recreational fun all year round, especially for mountain bikers. Its lift-serviced downhill bike park features 11 trails packed with berms, banks, drops, and tabletops.
Wilderness Voyagers offers a variety of fully supported bike tours. Enjoy the ride without worrying about the planning!
Want even more outdoor adventure options this summer? Take a shot at these other outdoor activities:
The Laurel Highlands are home to thousands of acres of preserved farmlands that offer great tastes as well as gorgeous views. Visit our farmers markets to sample the locally grown products, like the famous Sand Hill Berries. You'll find so much more than fresh produce, like artisan breads, mouthwatering baked goods, gourmet salsas and jams.
The region is home to several great wineries that offer everything from concerts to clambakes throughout the summer. Live music is a summer staple at Greendance Winery, located on the grounds of the beautiful Sand Hill Berries Farm. Christian W. Klay Winery hosts a free summer music series, in addition to murder mystery dinners, lobster and clam bakes, as well as other special events throughout the summer season. Be sure to check out the spectacular scenery and special events at Stone Villa Wine Cellars and Glades Pike Winery as well.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is the crown jewel of Pennsylvania resorts with two golf courses, including the Pete Dye-designed Mystic Rock. With one of the nation's top sporting clays facilities and an Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing center, you're sure to enjoy some great summer activities. Fly like a bird on their 1,060-foot zip line, experience high-altitude obstacle courses, test your limits on a 50-foot climbing wall, enjoy some fun with the family on an 18-hole mini golf course, find new thrills at their off-road driving academy, and more! The resort also houses internationally acclaimed dining and spa facilities. Nemacolin spa treatments and therapies are innovative and offer many different remedies to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. Services range from the Massage Experience, Hydrotherapy and Body Kurs to Microcurrent Therapy and Skincare Treatments.
Find other ways to relax and unwind this summer in the Laurel Highlands:
Each year the Black & Gold make their way to the Laurel Highlands for training camp. Join the Pittsburgh Steelers in late-July and early-August at Saint Vincent College as they kick off a new football season. Visiting Steelers Training Camp is FREE and open to the public! Learn all about the fun Steelers Experience for Kids, get some quick visiting tips, and see the full 2015 training camp schedule once it becomes available in late June on our Steelers Training Camp page.