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Waterfalls at Ohiopyle State Park
What seems to be my last outdoor adventure for this year turned out to be one of the best.
There are a lot of different things that you can do at Ohiopyle State Park, but I'm going to focus on the waterfalls.
I came here to check out 5 different waterfalls, but only 3 of them are worth mentioning. The other two weren't as big as I thought they'd be, but it was still a nice hike.
How do you get here?
First and foremost, I want to make sure that you know how to get here so that you can see it yourself.
There are 3 different locations that I'm going to show you, so I'll give you directions to the different parking lots.
We first went to the Meadow Run Trail to check out the Cascades there.
So, click THIS LINK to open a map to the parking lot near the Meadow Run Trail.
There's a few trailheads for this trail, but I'm going to direct you to where we started our hike toward the Cascades.
This will show you exactly where you want to go and you can even enter your address to get directions to the state park from your house.
See the Falls in Action
Now you can chose to read the text below and look at the pictures first or you can "hike" the trails through the video to the right.
Once you make it to the parking lot, you'll see the trailhead for Meadow Run Trail at the one end of the parking lot. You can print out a trail map or get one in the Park Office nearby to ensure that you're going the right way.
You'll want to take the center trail and then a right at the fork to continue onto the Cascades. You can walk the whole loop back if you want, but it seems like a steeper incline if you do that. So we ended up just heading back the same way we came after we made it to the Cascades.
Capture your own memories.
When Shawna, Monkey (her dog) and I first made it to Meadow Run we pretty much decided that the trail wasn't going to be our path.
As you can see, from the first picture up top, the water is so clear here!
When it's shallow, like it was when we went, it's so fun to hike upstream to the waterfall. You can hop rock to rock or wade through the water; which is what we eventually ended up doing. This will take you a little longer than going up the trail, but it's so much more fun to explore this way.
You might be able to tell, from the picture on the right, why the water is so clear here.
As the water gets low, you can see that it's mostly flowing over solid rock. Not a lot of sediment for the water to kick up and it forms really cool pools in the rock.
You'll probably come across certain types of wildlife depending on the time of year you come here.
Fish were easy to spot in the water. There were some really big ones too! We also came across a black snake on the path. That was a nice surprise to liven things up haha.
As you continue upstream or on the trail, you'll eventually come to the Cascades.
The water level was down when we were here, which made the Cascades fun to climb up on. When the water flow is up it's a gorgeous waterfall that spans the whole width of Meadow Run.
The water flows over different levels but it really is wide once you're face to face with it.
If you're adventurous enough to climb up the rocks of the Cascades, then you'll be welcomed with what I thought was the most picturesque portion of the falls.
It's really cool to see how the water has worn grooves in the rocks and then to walk up the waterfall like a wet staircase.
After you've soaked up all the goodness of Meadow Run, head back to the parking lot and hop in your car. I'm going to direct you to the second waterfall we checked out: Ohiopyle Falls.
Click THIS LINK to open a map to the exact location of Ohiopyle Falls. There are parking lots on either side of the road here. This will show you exactly where you want to go.
You can check out the waterfall from the observation deck to get a good view of it. It's a 20 foot high waterfall and it's also pretty wide.
People actually take on this waterfall and float their kayaks right down over it!
If you walk upstream along side the river and watch people wading out into the Youghiogheny River; being taken downstream until they put their feet down to stop themselves.
It's a really cool spot to stop and have a quick picnic before continuing on.
Been here before?
What's your favorite waterfall?
After you've checked out Ohiopyle Falls and the Youghiogheny River, head back to the parking lot and hop in your car. I'm going to direct you to the third waterfall we checked out: Cucumber Falls.
Click THIS LINK to open a map to the parking lot above Cucumber Falls. This will show you exactly where you want to go.
You can reach the falls from the Meadow Run Trail if you like, but there's a parking lot right near it for easy access.
You'll be able to see this 30 foot waterfall from above before hiking down to the base of it.
There's a nice clear pool at the bottom that people were swimming in when we got there.
In my opinion, this has to be the most beautiful of the falls in the Ohiopyle State Park.
It's such a perfect spot and you can even climb up and walk behind the waterfall if you want.
What else is there to do at Ohiopyle State Park?
If you don't want to come here for the waterfalls, believe me you don't have to! There is so much that you can do here.
There are a bunch of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails you can check out. There's even a few more waterfalls on a couple trails. Or you can check out the natural waterslides.
You can fish, hunt, picnic or camp here. They even have yurts!
There's also rock climbing and in the winter there's snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and a hill for sledding.
Or you can come here for what a lot of people seem to come to Ohiopyle for: the whitewater rafting! There's a number of different places you can get geared up to take a guided trip down through the rapids.
So you can see that, even if you're not into waterfalls, you're not going to be bored at this state park. There's so much to do!
Take a trip here as soon as you can and build some memories of your own.