There are so many things to see and do in the Ohiopyle State Park. Visitors can often get overwhelmed with all the options. So here is our list of the top 10 things you should do on your next visit to Ohiopyle.
1. The Youghiogheny Falls and Falls Area Visitor Center at Ohiopyle
Located in the heart of the Ohiopyle, this 20-foot waterfall is a great centrally-located attraction. There is a parking lot entrance located across the street from our Old Mill General Store. The access trail to the platforms starts at this parking lot. After viewing the Youghiogheny Falls, be sure to check out the Falls Area Visitor Center. There are some great educational exhibits about Ohiopyle as well as a unique view of the waterfall. And lastly, stop up at the Old Mill General Store for some delicious hand-dipped Gallikers ice cream and do some gem mining at the Ohiopyle Mining Company mining sluice.
2. Raft the Youghiogheny River
Come see what makes the Youghiogheny River one of the most popular rivers in the country! The Youghiogheny (Yough) River offers three sections from Class I to Class V rafting. The Lower section of the Yough River is the most popular with its beginner to intermediate Class III rafting. Join one of the Lower Yough Express tours to enjoy all this section has to offer, but still have time to check off some more great things to do on our Top 10 list!
3. Ferncliff Peninsula
The Ferncliff Peninsula is a 100-acre peninsula created by the Youghiogheny River as it meanders through Ohiopyle. This peninsula is home to some very unique flora transported by the Youghiogheny River and its travels north to Pittsburgh from the mountains of Maryland. Because of the diversity of the plant life, the Ferncliff Peninsula was named a National Natural Landmark in 1973. The Ferncliff Trail circles the outer loop of the Peninsula and passes by the Ohiopyle Falls. There are three other trails that branch off the Ferncliff Trail. The Fernwood Trail passes the remnants of the old Ferncliff Hotel.
4. Bike the Great Allegheny Passage
The section of the Great Allegheny Passage that spans from Ohiopyle to Confluence was the first section of the Great Allegheny Passage completed 40 years ago. Combine two of Ohiopyle’s most popular activities, rafting on the Middle Yough and biking on the Great Allegheny Passage, with our Pedal and Paddle package. Begin in Ohiopyle for some easy pedaling along the nine-mile section of the trail that parallels the Yough River. You will end your biking trip at the Middle Yough put-in to exchange your bikes for your watercraft before you paddle back to Ohiopyle.
If you are just biking along the trail, be sure to check out the two bridges on the Great Allegheny Passage that were built in the 1860s for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The “High-Bridge” crosses the Youghiogheny River just downstream of Railroad Rapid and is a popular area to view people whitewater rafting on the Lower Youghiogheny. This was the first bridge in Ohiopyle to be converted for use by bike and pedestrian traffic. The “Low Bridge” spans Route 381 from the old train station, now used as Ohiopyle’s Visitor Center, to the other side of the Youghiogheny River above the Ohiopyle Falls.
5. Meadow Run
Meadow Run is a great little creek that flows into the Youghiogheny River. There is a parking lot off Route 381, by the southern bridge in Ohiopyle. What makes Meadow Run so special is the great geological formations in the rocks. This powerful little creek has carved natural water slides out of the stream’s sandstone rock bed. This is a great place to cool down in the summer months. But, please be careful! The rocks can get slippery.
6. Zip-lining at Ohiopyle Zip-line Adventure Park
Experience the gravity-defying thrill of flying through the trees 25 feet up at our newest adventure, the Ohiopyle Zip-line Adventure Park. Located just a short walk from Laurel Highlands Outdoor Center, the Adventure Park offers excitement for those as young as 4 years old. The Adventure Park is a perfect activity before or after a river trip or in combination with our other land activities.
7. Cucumber Falls and the Great Gorge Trail
Cucumber Falls is another great waterfall that is easily accessible in the park. It is a stunning 30-foot waterfall on Cucumber Run. There is a parking area off Kentuck Road and a short hike in to see the falls. Another great way to access the falls is hiking in from Ohiopyle on Great Gorge Trail. The Great Gorge trailhead is located just after the second high-bridge on the Great Allegheny Passage. The trail follows an old tramway that was used to transport coal to the railroad that is now the Great Allegheny Passage.
8. Rock Climbing
The personal challenge of overcoming nature with one’s own skill has drawn many people to the sport of rock climbing. Ohiopyle State Park offers several designated climbing areas providing top-roping and sport routes for climbers of all abilities. If you are an experienced climber, brave the rocks on your own. Or join one of our guided rock climbing groups to learn more about the sport with our highly trained staff.
9. Baughman Rock Overlook
Baughman Rock overlook is situated just outside of Ohiopyle on Sugarloaf Road. This scenic overlook provides a stunning view of the Youghiogheny River Gorge above Ohiopyle. The view from Baughman Rock is especially vibrant during the fall with the changing of the leaves. A must see!
10. Jonathan Run and Sugar Run
This great little creek is accessible from the Great Allegheny Passage as well as a trail-head off Holland Hill Road (the “take-out road”). There are some great little waterfalls along the length of the creek. Jonathan Run is often overlooked and not as popular as Cucumber or Meadow Runs, but it is definitely a must see in the park! If you are looking for a more difficult hike, consider taking the Sugar Run trail off Jonathan Run. This trail connects from Jonathan Run to the Old Mitchell trail system. You can access the Old Mitchell parking lot by continuing on Holland Hill Road.