Ohiopyle State Park
Located on the southern reaches of the Laurel Ridge, Ohiopyle State Park encompasses approximately 20,500 acres of rugged natural beauty and serves as the gateway to the Laurel Highlands. Close to major metropolitan areas and offering vast choices of activities, Ohiopyle State Park attracts millions of visitors annually.
Passing through the heart of the park, the rushing waters of the Youghiogheny [yawki-gay-nee] River Gorge are the centerpiece for Ohiopyle. The “Yough” [yawk] provides some of the best whitewater boating in the eastern United States, as well as spectacular scenery.
Ohiopyle is the southern gateway into the Laurel Highlands and represents the beautiful natural resources and unique sense of community that visitors can find throughout the region.
Hiking - Biking - Mountain Biking - Horseback Riding - Picnicking - Fishing - Hunting - Waterslides - Education - Cross-country Skiing - Sledding - Snowmobiling - Organized Group Tenting - Backpacking - Camping Cottages - Yurts - Camping
Seasons and Hours: The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. The park office is open specific hours. Overnight areas and other areas are open specific seasons and hours. Contact the park office for facility seasons and hours.
Picnicking: Both picnic areas in the park provide picnic tables, grills, vault restrooms, and charcoal disposal areas.
The secluded Cucumber Run Picnic Area is adjacent to Cucumber Run, a beautiful creek lined with rhododendron bushes and large trees. The scenic Great Gorge Trail begins in this picnic area. Two pavilions are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tharp Knob Picnic Area is adjacent to the Tharp Knob Overlook that provides a panoramic view of the Youghiogheny River Gorge and the town of Ohiopyle. The picnic area has a large ball field, volleyball court, playground, and two pavilions available for reservation up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Tharp Knob Picnic Area has access to the Kentuck Trail.
Waterslides: Sit in the creek bed and ride the water through two natural waterslides in Meadow Run. Caution must be used at all times as natural hazards exist. Parking is available adjacent to the SR 381 bridge crossing Meadow Run. Follow the signs to Meadow Run Trail or follow the path at the back of the parking lot. An ADA accessible observation deck is easily reached from the parking area.
Whitewater Boating: The Youghiogheny River is one of the most popular whitewater boating destinations on the east coast. Explore whitewater boating for more information.
Fishing: The Youghiogheny River provides good wilderness trout fishing. In cooperation with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, fingerling trout are stocked throughout the entire section of river within the park. An all-tackle trophy trout program exists on a 9-mile section of the river from Ramcat downstream to the PA 381 bridge in Ohiopyle. Meadow Run also provides fine trout fishing for anglers who prefer smaller stream fishing. A 2.2-mile section of Meadow Run, from Dinnerbell Road downstream to the mouth of the river, is designated for delayed harvest, artificial lures only. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations and laws apply.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Hunting and Firearms: Over 18,000 acres are open to hunting, trapping, and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, turkey, grouse, rabbit, squirrel, and other small game. Loaded firearms are not permitted within 50 feet of the Great Allegheny Passage. Adjacent state game lands 51 and 111 provide additional hunting and recreational opportunities.
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.
Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner’s vehicle or enclosed trailer. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park.
Complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.
Rock Climbing: Numerous climbing opportunities exist in Ohiopyle State Park. Meadow Run Climbing Area, Bruner Run Climbing Area, and a series of four walls along the Lower Youghiogheny section of the Great Allegheny Passage have a combination of top-roping and sport routes for climbers of all abilities. The short entrance trails leading to the rock faces are blazed in blue. Inexperienced climbers should consider a guided trip with one of the outfitters in Ohiopyle.
Hiking: 79 miles of trails
Baughman Trail: 3.4 miles, red blazes, most difficult hiking
Beech Trail: 2.7 miles total, white blazes, more difficult hiking
Great Gorge Trail: 2.6 miles, green blazes, more difficult hiking
Jonathan Run Trail: 1.7 miles, blue blazes, easiest hiking
Kentuck Trail: 2.5 miles, pink blazes, more difficult hiking
McCune Trail: 3.5 miles, purple blazes, more difficult hiking
Meadow Run Trail: 3 miles, yellow blazes, easiest hiking
Old Mitchell Trail Loop: 2.9 miles, red blazes, more difficult hiking
Pressley Ridge Trail: 5.5 miles, orange blazes, more difficult hiking
Sproul Trails: 3.7 miles, purple blazes, easiest hiking
Sugarloaf Trail System: 10.4 miles, orange blazes, most difficult hiking
Sugar Run Trail: 1.6 miles, orange blazes, more difficult hiking
Campground Connector: 0.5 mile, unblazed, more difficult hiking
Ferncliff Peninsula Trails: All trails have black blazes.
Ferncliff Trail: 1.7 miles, easiest hiking
Buffalo Nut Trail: 0.1 mile, easiest hiking
Fernwood Trail: 0.5 mile, easiest hiking
Oakwoods Trail: 0.5 mile, easiest hiking
Youghiogheny River Trail: 27 miles, easiest hiking
Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail: Ohiopyle serves as the southern terminus for the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. This trail traverses the Laurel Ridge from Ohiopyle to the northern end near Johnstown. The trail is open for year-round hiking and backpacking. An overnight shelter area is located every 8-10 miles along the trail.
The portion of the trail within Ohiopyle State Park is 6.3 miles of very strenuous and rocky hiking. Hikers are rewarded for their effort as they pass beautiful overlooks and creeks on this section
Reservations for backpack camping are required. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance by calling 888-PA-PARKS or online. Same day reservation can be made by contacting the Laurel Hill State Park office at 724-455-3744.
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail: The Youghiogheny River Trail is a segment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. An enterprise of many partners, the evolving trail network celebrates the heritage of the Potomac and upper Ohio river basins and offers opportunities for hiking, bicycling, boating, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. National Park Service Passport Stamps for the trail are available at the Laurel Ridge State Park Office and at the visitor center in Ohiopyle. www.nps.gov/pohe
Biking: 27 miles of trails
From the Ramcat Launch Area and Trailhead Parking Area on the east side of the park, the trail descends at a one percent downhill grade to the Train Station/Visitor Center parking lot in the town of Ohiopyle. From the Train Station/Visitor Center in the town of Ohiopyle, the 17 miles of trail crosses the river twice and descends at a three percent grade to Connellsville. Parking is available in Connellsville in lots on Third Street and in the Yough River Park.
For bike riders who wish to camp, the trail connecting the Great Allegheny Passage to the Ohiopyle State Park Kentuck Campground is 0.43 miles in length (2249 ft) and has a change in elevation of roughly 300 feet. Trail users should walk their bikes while on the connector trail. Bikers should avoid using the roadways to get to the campground. Take the marked side trail just north of Ohiopyle High Bridge near mile post 73 at GPS DD Lat. 39.875 Long. -79.4926. Bikers should continue through the campground to the contact station for registration.
Mountain Biking: 25.2 miles of trails
Horseback Riding: 11.6 miles of trails
Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, some electric hook-ups
Explore camping for more information.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host position
Camping Cottages: These rustic, wooden structures have electric lights, heat and outlets, windows, and a small table and chairs. A cottage sleeps five people in bunk beds. One cottage is ADA accessible. Dogs are permitted in cottages 235 to 237 for a fee.
Yurts: These round, canvas and wood walled tents have a wooden deck and sleep five people in bunk beds. Yurts have a cooking stove, microwave oven, refrigerator, countertop, table, chairs, electric heat and outlets, fire ring, and picnic table. Located in the center of Kentuck campground, the yurts offer convenient accommodations for weekly rentals. Shorter stays are available during the spring and fall seasons. One yurt is ADA accessible.
Backpacking: Ohiopyle serves as the southern terminus for the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. This trail traverses the Laurel Ridge from Ohiopyle to the northern end near Johnstown. The trail is open for year-round hiking and backpacking. An overnight shelter area is located every 8-10 miles along the trail.
The portion of the trail within Ohiopyle State Park is 6.3 miles of very strenuous and rocky hiking. Hikers are rewarded for their effort as they pass beautiful overlooks and creeks on this section. Reservations for backpack camping are required and can be made up to 11 months in advance.
Organized Group Tenting: Qualified adult and youth groups may use this area which is equipped with picnic tables and grill, and access to a showerhouse. Groups may use a 20- or 40-person area or multiple sites for larger gatherings.
Explore organized group tenting for more information.
Enjoy the Winter
Ohiopyle State Park is exceptionally beautiful during the winter, and offers many winter activities. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and to follow all trail signs and markings to have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.
Cross-country Skiing: There are 33.9 miles of trails recommended for cross-country skiing. The Sproul Trails and a section of Kentuck Trail were created for cross-country skiing. With deep snowfall, the Great Allegheny Passage is good for cross-country skiing.
Sledding: A hill is maintained for sledding in the Sugarloaf Snowmobile and Mountain Bike Area, adjacent to the parking area.
Snowmobiling: The 15.9 miles of the Sugarloaf Trail System and Pressley Ridge Trail are open to snowmobiles. The Sugarloaf snowmobile area has a parking area with an unloading ramp.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
The park offers a wide variety of environmental education, recreational, and interpretive programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks, and evening programs, participants gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources. Programs focus on the Youghiogheny River, its gorge, and the natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Ohiopyle area. Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available to schools and youth groups. Teacher workshops are available. Group programs must be arranged in advance and may be scheduled by calling the Ohiopyle State Park Office and Laurel Highlands Falls Area Visitor Center at 724-329-0986.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.
Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
Access for People with Disabilities
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.