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waterfall at Ohiopyle State Park

Serving as the gateway to the spectacular Laurel Highlands, Ohiopyle State Park is one of Pennsylvania’s most alluring outdoor destinations.

Nestled on the southern fringes of the Laurel Ridge, it comprises 20,500 acres of pristine natural beauty and offers a world-class selection of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy.

This includes the likes of whitewater rafting, which takes place on the rampaging waters of the Youghiogheny River Gorge, as well as fishing, rock climbing, hiking and hunting.

Other activities like kayaking, picnicking, birding, wildlife watching and photography are also popular too, while there is a huge campground onsite with several different camping options for those who want to stay for a few nights.

As the park is situated just a 75 minute drive from Pittsburgh, it is a popular day trip destination for those who want to escape into nature.

Possibly the best thing about it, is that while it attracts millions of visitors every year, there is so much open space to explore. So, you can easily get your nature fix without human distraction.

scenic overlook at Ohiopyle State Park

Activities

As mentioned, this Pennsylvania state park offers visitors a wide range of outdoor recreational activities for them to enjoy.

Outlined below is a quick rundown of some of the more popular things you can do while at Ohiopyle State Park.

Whitewater Rafting at Ohiopyle State Park

Whitewater Rafting is one of the main drawcards of Ohiopyle State Park.

Taking place along the Youghiogheny River Gorge, the park offers exciting opportunities for those with sturdy kayaks, rafts and canoes that are closed-deck.

Experienced practitioners will enjoy the class III and IV rapids, they will find on the Lower Yough. They begin shortly after the stunning cascade of the Ohiopyle Falls and flow downstream for about seven miles until they get to the Bruner Run Take-out.

bridge crossing the river at Ohiopyle State Park

Novice boaters are advised to stick to the class I and II rapids at the Middle Yough. They commence near the Ramcat Put-in close to Confluence and cease close to the charming town of Ohiopyle.

Anyone who attempts white water rafting should be aware that injury or even death could be a real possibility. So, if you are in any doubt about your ability to recognize and cope with the river’s natural dangers you should consider going on a guided trip.

Many of these are offered by licensed commercial businesses that also provide rafts, all required safety equipment, experienced guides and transport as required.

Rock Climbing at Ohiopyle State Park

The park is a haven for rock climbing with numerous scaling opportunities available within it.

Some of the best places to partake in this activity are at the Bruner Run and Meadow Run Climbing Areas, as well as the collection of four walls that reside in the Great Allegheny Passage, along its Lower Youghiogheny section.

Again, if you are inexperienced at this activity, you should consider going on a guided tour with one of the many outfitters that operate out of Ohiopyle.

Cucumber Falls waterfall at Ohiopyle State Park

Fishing at Ohiopyle State Park

Don’t forget to bring your fishing equipment with you to the park as the Youghiogheny River provides very good opportunities for trout fishing.

Much of this takes place within a scenic nine-mile section of it, although there are some streams you can also choose to fish at.

To cast a line, anglers will need to have a valid license and adhere to the laws and regulations of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Hiking at Ohiopyle State Park

Arguably the best way to explore the park is via its 79 miles of hiking trails.

Showcasing the Laurel Highland’s scintillating scenery, these trails will take you through forests, past waterfalls and along river gorges.

natural water slide at Ohiopyle State Park

One of the most popular hikes is the Ferncliff Peninsula Trail, which offers breathtaking views of the Youghiogheny River and the surrounding mountains. Similarly, the Great Gorge Trail is well worth tackling as it takes you on a scenic journey through a collection of wonderful waterfalls, including the towering Ohiopyle Falls.

For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail incorporates 6.3 miles in the park and around 70 miles overall. It can be attempted all year round and has several backpacking overnight shelter areas dotted every 8-10 miles along it.

Hunting at Ohiopyle State Park

Hunting is a very popular activity at the park, taking place within an area of 18,000 acres during the established seasons.

Visitors can engage in trapping, hunting and dog training, for species such as grouse, squirrel, deer, rabbit and turkey.

All hunters must hold relevant licenses and abide by the park’s rules and regulations.

the Youghiogheny River at Ohiopyle State Park

Pets

Pets are welcome to join you on your visit to Ohiopyle State Park, but owners will have to make sure they are well behaved at all times.

They will also need to keep them on a handheld leash that is not longer than six feet and refrain from taking them to specific parts of the park that are off limits.

Some other conditions also apply, so for those who want to bring their furry friends with them, it would be worth contacting the staff at the main office for a full rundown of what they are.

Camping

Ohiopyle State Park has a campground that offers around 200 campsites for those who visit between April and mid-December.

Many of these sites come with hookups for electricity, while some are walk-ins that require a short trek from your vehicle.

All of these sites come with individual fire rings and picnic tables, while the campground also has warm shower houses, flush toilets and a sanitary dump station.

In addition to these sites, there are also several rustic camping cottages and some round, canvas yurts available, which can sleep up to five people in bunk beds.

Other options include backpacking campsites and organized group tents.

Park Location

Ohiopyle State Park
24 Main St
Ohiopyle, PA 15470
Phone: 724.329.8591

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Ohiopyle State Park: