Ohiopyle is known for the fast-flowing whitewater of the Youghiogheny River, which attracts boaters of all skills and ages. Go on an adrenaline-pumping adventure on the busiest section of whitewater east of the Mississippi River, ranging from Class III to IV. Experienced outfitters offer fully-guided and guide-escorted rafting tours and will prepare you with equipment that matches your experience before putting you on the water.
River trips aren't just for the brave and adventurous! Take a family-friendly river trip on the Middle Yough, which offers nine miles of gentle rapids perfect for a leisurely float. These Class I and II rapids are ideal for families with young children and those looking for a relaxing way to cool off. The Middle Youghiogheny River offers a relaxing float trip with a small amount of paddling, plenty of time to swim along the boat and a few mild rapids. Fun is guaranteed for rafters of all ages!
The Youghiogheny River is the perfect place to shred the gnar in a kayak. Sharpen your skills with an instructional program taught by experts at an Ohiopyle outfitter. They offer a program for every level of experience, so you are guaranteed to feel more confident on the water after your session. Once you feel comfortable, tackle the Lower Yough's Class III and IV rapids to get the adrenaline rush you're chasing.
Hop on the Great Allegheny Passage, a nearly-level rail-trail, at the Ohiopyle trailhead. The GAP spans 150 miles, beginning in Pittsburgh, weaving through the Laurel Highlands and ultimately ending in D.C. If you don't bring your own bike, you can rent one from an outfitter! From Ohiopyle, pedal east along the banks of the Youghiogheny River for a scenic 11-mile ride to Confluence, another charming trail town. Grab a bite to eat, shop and walk around town then head back to Ohiopyle. If you're not down for a long ride, ask your outfitter to pick you up or just bike until you feel like making a U-turn!
If you're looking for a thrill on two wheels, challenge yourself to a mountain bike ride. The diverse terrain in the Laurel Highlands is rugged, flowy and technical, but it's nothing you can't tackle with some practice! Ohiopyle State Park features a few downhill mountain biking trails that are well-maintained and guaranteed to give you a fun challenge. Join the mountain biking community by linking up with local clubs for group rides and work days.
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail spreads 70 miles from Ohiopyle State Park to the Conemaugh Gorge near Johnstown. The first 4.5 miles from Ohiopyle are some of the most challenging of the trail. Accept the challenge, park at Ferncliff and get to it! If you're in it for the long haul, you will find Adirondack-style shelters available for reservations every 6-12 miles.
As summer thrives at Ohiopyle State Park, Ferncliff Peninsula, a 100-acre botanical reserve comes to life with lush vegetation and its own ecosystem. Since it is surrounded by water, the peninsula is home to flora that you will not see anywhere else in the region. Four trails wind through the natural area, with the Ferncliff Trail circling the peninsula and offering excellent views of the Ohiopyle Falls and whitewater rapids of the Youghiogheny River.
Ohiopyle offers an array of places to rest your head, from campgrounds and cottages to yurts and a motel. Regardless of the vibe you're looking for, you're sure to find a secluded spot to take in the great outdoors and recharge for the next day's adventure.
Rock climbing is growing in popularity, why not give it a shot? As you practice the sport in Ohiopyle, you will take in breathtaking views while your talent ascends with you. If you're new to rock climbing, take a lesson! Regardless of your skill level, there is a rock climbing outfitter in Ohiopyle eager to get you on the ropes. You will learn everything from the basics of climbing knots and belay systems to rappelling techniques and the best locations to climb for your skill level. If you're an experienced climber, skip the lesson and check out Meadow Run Climbing Area, Bruner Run Climbing Area, School House Crag and Coll's Cove. You won't regret it.
Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a new, fun way to enjoy the water. With this sport comes more mobility and a short learning curve, but you will be paddling down the river in no time. Beginners should start on the flat water and intermediate paddlers can conquer the Middle Yough's Class II rapids.
In the middle of the state parks sits the small, charming town of Ohiopyle. Here, you can grab a bite to eat, snag an ice cream cone, enjoy a cold brewski, buy a souvenir, tour the Laurel Highlands Falls Area Visitor Center, play a round of mini golf, try zip lining, rent bikes and rafts from outfitters and more. A stroll through the town is just as exciting as the outdoor adventure beyond!
One of the most photographed waterfalls in Pennsylvania, Cucumber Falls is a 30-foot bridal veil waterfall that is a must-see during your visit to Ohiopyle. The waterfall is an easily accessible landmark. Park at the Cucumber Falls trailhead located off Chalk Hill Road and you will find steps leading you from the parking lot to a lookout spot, where you get a great view of the falls without a hike. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can trek further to ground level, get up close to the waterfall and even walk behind it. This is a great spot for photo opportunities and a picnic.
Baughman Rock Overlook offers one of the most jaw-dropping panoramic vistas of the Youghiogheny River Gorge, and the view doesn't require a hike! Take a short drive from Main Street in Ohiopyle to the parking area, just a few yards from the rocky overlook. Or you can choose to hike the steep, difficult mile-and-a-half trail if you're looking for an adventure!
In the heart of Ohiopyle, the Ohiopyle Falls stretches the width of the Youghiogheny River. Admire the power of the 20-foot drop and be sure to read some of the interpretive signage about the history of whitewater and the falls, including the story of George Washington’s run-in with the river.
Cool off and have a blast in Ohiopyle's natural water park, Meadow Run. Sit in the creek bed and ride the water down the natural waterslides. While Meadow Run is widely known for the waterslides, be sure to continue hiking upstream! You will find areas for rock climbing, extraordinary rock outcroppings, and Flat Rock, a great place to picnic with your feet in the river. Another secret stop is the Cascades, a large waterfall with multiple ledges that you can directly hike to.
Explore the interactive exhibits at the Laurel Highlands Falls Area Visitor Center to learn about the park's history and environmental treasures through topographic maps, adventure-inspiring displays and even interactive, educational exhibits for kids of all ages. The center also offers an excellent view of the main falls area from an indoor lookout.