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Things to do in Ohiopyle

Updated on October 7, 2013


Ohiopyle is the name of a state park and small town in the Laurel Highlands region of western Pennsylvania. Located only a few hours from the major metropolises of Baltimore, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh and Cleveland, this scenic area is a perfect weekend getaway for those needing a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Located right off of  Main street, the 20-foot high Ohiopyle Falls spans the Yough river.
Located right off of Main street, the 20-foot high Ohiopyle Falls spans the Yough river. | Source
View of the lower Yough from falls observation deck.
View of the lower Yough from falls observation deck. | Source

White Water Rafting, Biking, Hiking and Much More

Though many visitors come just for the scenery, Ohiopyle's 19 thousand acre park offers ample outdoor activities, many of which are suitable for the whole family. This Makes it easy for visitors to the area to create their own adventurous or relaxing vacation.

White Water Rafting in Ohiopyle

The lower Youghiogheny, which cuts through the middle of Ohiopyle, is considered one of the best rafting sites in the eastern United States. Two local outfitters, White Water Adventures and Wilderness Voyagers, offer guided trips on the class III river. Trips fill up quick, especially on summer weekends, so it is important to book in advance. Children must be 12 or older to participate.

Families with young children, or those who enjoy a slower pace, can take on the middle Yough. This is a fairly mild trip with class I and II rapids, which are little more than a few ripples. There are two islands in the middle Yough, which is a unique feature for a river of this size.

The middle Yough voyage begins at the Ramcat Launch Area just outside of Confluence and ends in Ohiopyle. Transportation is provided to the launch area by the outfitter of choice. Wilderness Voyagers also offers a Peddle and Paddle package that includes an enjoyable nine mile bike ride on the Great Allegheny Passage from Ohiopyle to the Ramcat Launch Area.

GAP trail bridge near the Ferncliff Peninsula.
GAP trail bridge near the Ferncliff Peninsula. | Source

The Great Allegheny Passage

The Great Allegheny Passage is a 152 mile trail connecting Pittsburgh, Pa to Cumberland, Md. Roughly 27 miles of the trail is located within the Ohiopyle park borders. The crushed limestone trail is relatively flat and easily managed by people of all fitness levels. It is an excellent choice for biking and jogging, as no motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail.

The 10 miles between Ohiopyle and Confluence are particularly pleasant. Here, the trail runs above and adjacent to the river, offering spectacular views of the middle Yough with a chance to spot local wildlife. The journey between the two towns is mostly shaded by a large canopy of trees that often keeps riders cool even in the summer months.

Baughman Rock overlooks the Youghiogheny River Gorge.
Baughman Rock overlooks the Youghiogheny River Gorge. | Source
Youghiogheny River Gorge.
Youghiogheny River Gorge. | Source

Other Activities

There are nearly 80 miles of hiking trails located within the park. Maps are available in the visitor center and at the park office. Many of the trails offer scenic overlooks and glimpses of the various habitats located within the area.

A natural water-slide is located off of the Meadow Run Trail. Parking is available near the intersection of Main Street and Ohiopyle Road. It can be a rough ride, jean shorts and common sense are recommended.

Several rock climbing routes are available in the park including the Bruner Run Climbing Area, Meadow Run Climbing Area, School House Wall and Maple Wall. Private and group instruction are available from the local outfitters.

Cucumber Falls
Cucumber Falls | Source

Area Attractions Within an Hour of Ohiopyle

Other Area Attractions
Approximate Drive Time
Falling Water
Architectural/Historic Landmark
3.7 miles
6 minutes
Kentuck Knob
Architectural/Historic Landmark
5.4 miles
11 minutes
Fort Necessity National Battlefield
Opening of French/Indian War
8.3 miles
16 minutes
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
5-star Resort/ Championship Golf Course
8.3 miles
17 minutes
Youghiogheny Dam
Beach/ Swimming/ Boating
10.9 miles
25 minutes
Lower Humbert Covered Bridge
Historic Landmark
13.3 miles
25 minutes
Laurel Caverns
Cave Tour/Geologic Formations
18.2 miles
30 minutes
Caddie Shak Amusements
Family Fun Center/ Miniature Golf/ Go Carts/ Arcade
21 miles
30 minutes
Seven Springs
Four Seasons Resort
22.1 miles
36 minutes
Idlewild Amusement Park
Family Amusement Park
38.3 miles
55 minutes
Fort Ligonier
French/Indian War Fortification
35.4 miles
50 minutes
Flight 93 National Memorial
9/11 Memorial
43 miles
66 minutes
Part of Flight 93's temporary memorial.
Part of Flight 93's temporary memorial. | Source
Fallingwater | Source
Kentuck Knob
Kentuck Knob | Source

Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob

Ohiopyle is fortunate to have two of Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural masterpieces, Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, only a few minutes drive from town. A third piece, The Duncan House, is located about 45 minutes away in Acme, Pa.

Fallingwater is one of Wright's most famous pieces of work. The house was designed to fit in with the landscape. It seems to magically float over Bear Run's 30 foot waterfall. Completed in the late 30's, Fallingwater graced Time magazine's cover in 1938. In 2008, Smithsonian Magazine included it in a list of "28 Places to See Before You Die".

Designed in the 50's for the Hagan family, Kentuck Knob was one of the last homes completed by Wright. The house is a prime example of Wright's organic design; it blends perfectly into the surrounding landscape. There is also a large sculpture garden in the surrounding grounds.


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