The eight Pennsylvania state parks and two PA state forests of the Laurel Highlands encompass nearly 120,000 acres of beautiful laurel-covered mountains and deep, water-carved valleys.
If your travels and vacations lend themselves towards the outdoorsy, the rustic, the unstructured, and the adventurous, then the eight Laurel Highlands state parks are for you! No two state parks in the PA Laurel Highlands are alike, and the differences go well beyond expected amenities like cabins, tent and RV sites, and the increasingly-popular yurts.
Ohiopyle State Park provides access to both the tranquility and the excitement of the famous Youghiogheny River. Ohiopyle is your natural starting point for whitewater rafting (Class I-IV), canoeing, kayaking, and standup paddleboarding. This Pennsylvania state park welcomes over 1.3 million visitors each year, and encompasses more than 20,000 acres.
Here's something you might not expect in the Laurel Highlands: a beach! Both Laurel Hill State Park and Keystone State Park have beaches for visitors to enjoy. So pack your swimsuits, towels, sun block, and cameras. These parks also feature spectacular fields and hillsides full of wildflowers, depending on when you visit.
Head to Laurel Ridge State Park to experience the spectacular Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail (LHHT). The 70 winding miles of this PA state park are part of the Potomac Heritage Trail. The trail passes through a number of Pennsylvania state forests and game lands, making it ideal for hikers and hunters. The LHHT also offers eight dedicated overnight areas with Adirondack-style shelters, tent pads, comfort stations, and fresh water. Perfect for extended hiking adventures, the LHHT camping areas in this Pennsylvania state park are conveniently distributed along the trail at intervals of no more than 10 miles.
This park offers a wildlife observation deck for viewing area flora and fauna. Crisscrossed with hiking trails, it also provides a variety of camping facilities, including modern cabins, as well as safe swimming locations.
Kooser State Park is a renowned trout fishing site. It's also a good starting point for exploring the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. Guests to the park also enjoy cross-county skiing and hiking.
Make a splash at Laurel Hill Lake State Park with swimming, kayaking, canoeing - even sailing in small boats and catamarans. The park also includes hiking trails, as well as the majestic beauty of old-growth hemlock stands.
The views from Laurel Mountain State Park, located 3,000 ft. in elevation atop the Laurel Ridge, give you a one-of-a-kind view of the Laurel Highlands. This park also features downhill skiing perfect for families and beginners.
Laurel Ridge is a great park to visit and hop on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. In the winter, this park boasts outstanding cross-country skiing with an elaborate and well-maintained trail system suitable for any skill level.
Grab your picnic basket! Laurel Summit is an ideal picnicking spot with outstanding views of Laurel Ridge and surrounding scenery. During your visit, don't miss hiking Wolf Rocks Trail and taking a short walk to the Spruce Flats bog.
Linn Run offers everything from trout fishing (in season) and hunting to horseback riding and snowmobiling. Don't miss Adams Falls, the park's gorgeous scenic waterfall, and taking in the spectacular view at Wolf Rocks. Cabin rentals are also available.
At 3,213 feet, Mount Davis is the highest peak in Pennsylvania! The park offers visitors the choice of plenty of locations to enjoy this magnificent 60,000-acre forest with plenty of space for horseback riding, mountain biking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.
14 miles of the Youghiogheny River churn through the park, offering some of the best Class I-IV rafting and kayaking in the eastern U.S. Experienced outfitters are available to provide gear and guides. Plus, bike, hike, rock climb, kayak, canoe, eat at, and stay in Ohiopyle while you're here! Ohiopyle is also the site of the 30-foot Cucumber Falls, as well as the Ferncliff Peninsula - a 100-acre botanical reserve registered as a National Natural Landmark.
Located on the edge of the Laurel Highlands, this attraction's 15,000 forested acres extend into Bedford, Cambria, and Indiana counties. Known for an outstanding selection of hiking trails, Gallitzin also features easy road access, making it a very popular "stop, unload and ride" destination for off-road bicyclists.