Top Things to Do in Ohiopyle State Park: Explore Like A Local

Written by: Ohiopyle Co.



Time to read 4 min

Welcome to Ohiopyle State Park, a true gem of Pennsylvania, where adventure and nature come together in perfect harmony. Whether you're a thrill-seeker or a nature enthusiast, Ohiopyle offers something for everyone. This guide will help you explore the Top Things to Do in Ohiopyle State Park, ensuring you make the most of your visit.

1. Hiking Trails for All Levels

Must-Visit Hiking Trails

Ohiopyle boasts over 79 miles of hiking trails, catering to all skill levels. Some of the must-visit trails include:

Challenging Hikes for Adventurers

For those seeking a more challenging hike, the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail spans 70 miles, offering breathtaking views and a rewarding experience for avid hikers.

  • Trailhead: Start at Ohiopyle and plan for overnight camping along the trail for the full experience.

A view of the Youghiogheny River as seen from the Great Allegehny Passage Loop Trail
Image by @jrpischke

2. Spectacular Waterfalls

Cucumber Falls

A picturesque 36-foot waterfall, Cucumber Falls is easily accessible and perfect for a quick nature escape. The falls are especially beautiful in the spring when the water flow is at its peak.

Ohiopyle Falls

Located in the heart of the park, Ohiopyle Falls offers a stunning 20-foot drop over a wide span of the Youghiogheny River. It's a must-see for any visitor and provides excellent photo opportunities.

Jonathan Run Falls

Hidden within Ohiopyle State Park, Jonathan Run Falls features a gentle cascade over rock ledges. Accessible via a moderate hike, it's a peaceful spot perfect for relaxation and photography.

The Cascades

The Cascades at Meadow Run offer a medium sized waterfall followed by a series of small waterfalls and natural water slides. Popular for its scenic beauty and fun water activities, it’s a must-visit for families and adventure seekers.

3. Biking the Great Allegheny Passage

Scenic Biking Routes

The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) is a 150-mile trail that runs from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, passing through Ohiopyle. It's perfect for both casual cyclists and serious bikers.

  • Bike Rentals: Available in town if you don't bring your own bike.
  • Rest Stops: Enjoy scenic spots along the trail, including Confluence and the historic town of Rockwood.

Planning Your Trip

Consider a multi-day biking trip along the GAP, with stops at charming towns and overnight accommodations. The trail is well-maintained and offers a mix of easy to moderate sections.

The Great Allegheny Passage trail in Ohiopyle State Park
Image by @tb4hisglory

4. Whitewater Rafting on the Youghiogheny River

Experience the Thrill of Whitewater Rafting

Ohiopyle is renowned for its exhilarating whitewater rafting opportunities on the Youghiogheny River. With rapids ranging from Class I to IV, both beginners and seasoned rafters will find the perfect challenge. Guided tours are available to ensure a safe and exciting adventure.

  • Best Time to Go: Spring and early summer, when water levels are highest.
  • Pro Tip: Book a guided tour to learn from experienced guides and enjoy a safer rafting experience.

Family-Friendly Rafting

For families and beginners, the Middle Yough offers a gentler experience with Class I and II rapids, perfect for a fun day on the water.

Whitewater Rafting on the Youghiogheny River in Ohiopyle State Park
Image by @ohiopyle

5. Camping and Lodging

Best Campsites

Ohiopyle offers several camping options, from primitive sites to modern campgrounds with amenities. Popular choices include:

  • Kentuck Campground: Offers both tent and RV sites with amenities like showers and electric hookups.
  • Youghiogheny River Lake: Provides a more remote camping experience for those seeking solitude.

Unique Lodging Options

For a unique stay, consider booking a yurt or cabin. These options provide a comfortable experience while still being close to nature.

  • Ohiopyle State Park Cabins: Cozy cabins located within the park, perfect for families or small groups.
  • Yurts at Kentuck Campground: Offer a unique and comfortable camping experience with a touch of luxury.

The Meadow Run Cascades in Ohiopyle State Park
Image by @ohiopyle

6. Wildlife Watching and Nature Photography

Prime Wildlife Viewing Spots

Ohiopyle is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including deer, black bears, and a variety of bird species. The Ferncliff Peninsula is a particularly good spot for birdwatching.

Tips for Nature Photography

Capture the beauty of Ohiopyle with these photography tips:

  • Golden Hours: Shoot during sunrise and sunset for the best lighting.
  • Bring a Zoom Lens: To capture wildlife from a safe distance without disturbing them.
  • Stay Patient: Wildlife photography requires patience; stay quiet and be ready to snap that perfect shot.

A view from the Buaghman Rock Overlook in Ohiopyle State Park
Image by Ohiopyle Co. Advocate @alex_newill_

Things to do in Ohiopyle State Park - Be Prepared!

Ohiopyle State Park is a treasure trove of hiking opportunities, with trails that appeal to casual walkers, serious hikers, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts alike. From the botanical-rich paths of Ferncliff Peninsula to the historical and scenic routes of the Great Allegheny Passage, and the adventurous twists of Meadow Run Trail, there is something here for everyone. As you explore these Ohiopyle trails, remember to respect the pristine natural environment and enjoy the incredible diversity and beauty of Ohiopyle State Park. Whether you seek a leisurely walk or a challenging journey, these trails promise to enrich your outdoor adventures with unforgettable experiences.

Plan Your Trip

After a day of hiking, you might be ready to refuel or relax. Visit our our dining page for recommendations on the best local eateries, cafes, and refreshing drink spots near Ohiopyle State Park. Plus, find practical information on parking, and other visitor amenities to make your trip seamless and enjoyable. Whether you're craving a hearty meal, a quick snack, or a relaxing drink, we have all the tips to enhance your Ohiopyle adventure.

For more tips and guides on exploring Ohiopyle, be sure to check out our other blog posts and stay connected with us on social media.