Hike, bike, kayak, whitewater raft or cross-country ski in this beautiful state park located south of Pittsburgh at the gateway to the Laurel Highlands.
No matter what your favorite outdoor activity is, Ohiopyle State Park has you covered. The Youghiogheny River, which runs through the park, brings in thousands of visitors every year for whitewater rafting and kayaking. The river is home to Class I to Class IV waters, so whether you’ve never held a paddle before or are a rapids fiend, you can get in on the fun.
For another thrilling activity, Ohiopyle features two natural waterslides. Ride down to a big splash into the river below. If you’re in the mood for something more relaxed, head to the middle “Yough,” as the locals call it, for leisurely kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or fishing.
Supplement your water-logged fun with some land-based activities. Ohiopyle has 79 miles (127 kilometers) of hiking trails, ranging in length and difficulty for all ages and abilities. Follow an easy trail from the parking lot for spectacular views of Cucumber Falls. Continue hiking or duck under the curtain of water for a fun, wet way to climb back up. If you prefer to ride through nature on two wheels, the park is crisscrossed by 25 miles (40 kilometers) of bike trails, with rentals available on site. For a little more intensity, ride your mountain bike into the hills.
Winter transforms Ohiopyle into a totally different kind of natural theme park. Bring your cross-country skis for a beautiful trip through the woods, take your kids sledding down Sugarloaf Knob or zoom through the winter wonderland on your snowmobile. The park is always open and has no admission fee. Pay to camp during the season from April to early December.
Ohiopyle State Park is a 1-hour drive south of Pittsburgh and easiest to access and explore with your own vehicle. Entrance to the park is completely free, but to stay overnight you will need to reserve in advance on the Pennsylvania State Parks website. Turn your nature jaunt into a complete Ohiopyle State Park adventure. Bring your own tent, stay in a cottage or a yurt or use Ohiopyle as your starting point for the 70-mile (113-kilometer) Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.