Ohiopyle State Park


A kayaker braves whitewater at Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania.

Whitewater Boating

The famous Lower Yough has class 3 and 4 rapids and is best for experienced boaters or guided trips. The Middle Yough has class 1 and 2 rapids and is good for beginning whitewater boaters.

 
This a-corny 10 means this is a top 10 list.

Top 10 Activities to do at Ohiopyle

There are dozens of fun activities at Ohioplye, but here's a list to get you started.

 

Located at 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.

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Hiking   -  Biking   -  Mountain Biking   -  Horseback Riding   -  Picnicking   -  Fishing   -  Hunting   -  Waterslides   -  Education   -  Cross-country Skiing   -  Sledding   -  Snowmobiling   -  Organized Group Tenting   -  Camping Cottages   -  Yurts   -  Camping


Picnicking: Both picnic areas in the park provide picnic tables, grills, 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.

Click on this orange dot to make a reservation at a Pennsylvania State Park.

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The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.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.


Two anglers fly fish around huge boulders at Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania.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 rules and regulations apply.

Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.


The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.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 car, trailer or leased campsite. 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
The hiking trails at Ohiopyle showcase the spectacular scenery of the Laurel Highlands. There is a wide variety of hiking trails from short day hikes to challenging backpacking. Always bring a map and water and wear sturdy shoes when hiking.

Baughman Trail: 3.4 miles, most difficult hiking, red blazes
This trail has trailheads at the back of the Middle Yough Take-out Parking Area adjacent to the Train Station/Visitor Center in downtown Ohiopyle and at the Mountain Biking Trail parking lot. This steep, rocky trail passes Baughman Rock, a spectacular overlook of the Youghiogheny River Gorge.

Beech Trails: 2.7 miles total, more difficult hiking, white blazes
The Beech Loop begins at the Kentuck Campground Amphitheater and connects to the Beech Trail and Sproul Trails. The 2.1-mile Beech Trail passes through a forest of towering American beech trees and leads to the Great Gorge Trail.

Ferncliff Peninsula Trails all have black blazes

Ferncliff Trail: 1.7 miles, easiest hiking
All other Ferncliff Peninsula trails branch off of this loop trail which circles the peninsula. The trailhead is near the Ferncliff Parking Lot.

Buffalo Nut Trail: 0.1 mile, easiest hiking
This short trail is the first branch off of Ferncliff Trail and is a shortcut to Oakwoods Trail.

Fernwood Trail: 0.5 mile, easiest hiking
This trail features beautiful ferns and the remnants of the old Ferncliff Hotel.

Oakwoods Trail: 0.5 mile, easiest hiking
This trail passes through a mature hardwood forest.

Two hikers stroll along the rail-trail at Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania.Great Gorge Trail: 2.6 miles, more difficult hiking, green blazes
This trail begins at the Cucumber Picnic Area and crosses several bridges and roads. The trail follows Cucumber Run and passes an area known for its spring wildflowers. The next trail section follows an old tramway used to transport coal to the railroad. A spur of this trail leads up a steep incline to the Kentuck Campground.

Jonathan Run Trail: 1.7 mile, easiest hiking, blue blazes
The trailhead is along the Holland Hill Road. The trail crisscrosses Jonathan Run and passes by small waterfalls, including Jonathan Run Falls. The trail connects to the Great Allegheny Passage.

Kentuck Trail: 2.5 miles, more difficult hiking, pink blazes
This series of trails begins at the Tharp Knob Picnic Area. A short, one-mile loop includes the Tharp Knob Overlook. The trail continues to the Kentuck Campground contact station, briefly follows the road, then descends to meet Jonathan Run Trail.

McCune Trail: 3.5 miles, more difficult hiking, purple blazes
This trail passes through various habitats and by evidence of the McCune Farm. Hikers can see an old spring house and pond as remnants of this working farm. The trail runs along the highest ridge in the park.

Meadow Run Trail: 3 miles, easiest hiking, yellow blazes
There are trailheads near the park office, at the waterslides on SR 2011 and at Cucumber Falls on SR 2019. From the waterslides parking lot, take the left trail under the SR 381 bridge for 0.7 mile to Cucumber Falls. Take the trail to the right, which leads to a loop trail and the Cascades. This trail is intersected by a path leading to the SR 2011 trailhead.

Old Mitchell Trail Loop: 2.9 miles, more difficult hiking, red blazes
This loop trail begins at the Old Mitchell Place Parking Area in the west side of the park. The trail meanders through a variety of habitats including forest and meadow and is excellent for birding in the spring. A connector trail splits off at the back of the loop connecting to the Great Allegheny Passage.

Pressley Ridge Trail: 5.5 miles, more difficult hiking, orange blazes
A continuation of the Sugarloaf Trail System, this trail follows the ridge line, providing several loop options. A small connector trail leads to Lytle Road.

Sproul Trails: 3.7 miles, easiest hiking, purple blazes
These five interconnecting loops are just north of the Kentuck Campground, near the second overflow parking area outside of the campground.

Sugarloaf Trail System: 10.4 miles, most difficult hiking, orange blazes
This hiking, biking and snowmobiling trail begins near the Train Station/Visitor Center. The trailhead is at the back of the Middle Youghiogheny Take-out Parking Area, to the right of the Great Allegheny Passage. The trail climbs 800 feet in elevation in two steep sections. The trail connects to the main bike trail area near Sugarloaf Knob.

Sugar Run Trail: 1.6 miles, more difficult hiking, orange blazes
This trail connects Old Mitchell Trail to Jonathan Run Trail.

Campground Connector: 0.5 mile, more difficult hiking, unblazed
This emergency access road begins off the Great Allegheny Passage paralleling Beech Trail and then uphill to connect with the back of Fir Road in the campground. Bicyclists traveling between the campground and the Great Allegheny Passage should walk their bicycles up and down this hill due to the steep grade.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Youghiogheny River Trail: 27 miles, easiest hiking
Explore the Biking section for more information.

Laurel Highlands Hiking 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 and must be made by contacting: Laurel Ridge State Park, 724-455-3744 or reserving online.

Click on this orange dot to make a reservation at a Pennsylvania State Park.

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Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail: The Laurel Highlands Hiking 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


The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Biking: 27 miles of trails
A family bikes on a wide trail at Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania.The Great Allegheny Passage has 27 miles of trail in the park and connects Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cumberland, Maryland. The flat, crushed limestone trail was once the rail bed for the Western Maryland Railroad. This trail is suitable for all ages and is ADA accessible. Rental bicycles are available. The trail is excellent for hiking, jogging and cross-country skiing and can be used to combine a bike ride or hike with some excellent wilderness trout fishing or hunting. All motorized vehicles and equestrians are prohibited. More information on the Great Allegheny Passage can be found at www.atatrail.org

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’s Center parking lot in the town of Ohiopyle. From the Train Station/Visitor’s 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 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.

Explore the Great Allegheny Passage: www.atatrail.org


Mountain Biking: 25.2 miles of trails
Trails currently open to mountain biking include the Sugarloaf Trail System, Pressley Ridge Trail, McCune Trail, Baughman Trail, Jonathan Run Trail and Sugar Run Trail. These trails are shared with other users; bikers are urged to use proper trail etiquette.


Horseback Riding: 11.6 miles of trails
There is a designated horse trailer parking area located on Grover Road that has a fenced paddock and nearby water. Sections of the Sugarloaf Trail System, as well as the Pressley Ridge Trail, are open to horseback riding. These are shared-use trails; please use caution when riding. 


Stay the Night


Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, some electric hook-ups
GPS DD: Lat. 39.88783 Long. -79.49427
Kentuck Campground has about 200 campsites and is open from April to mid-December. The campground has 27 walk-in sites that require a short hike from the vehicle to the campsite. Kentuck Campground also has three sites with walled tents and three multi-sites. All campsites have a picnic table, fire ring and parking space, and the campground has a sanitary dumping station and shower houses. Many campsites have electric hookups. Pets are permitted at designated campsites for a fee. Advance reservations are required to ensure campsite availability.

Explore the campground map.

Explore camping for more information.

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Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host position
The campground host site has amenities that include 20, 30 or 50-amp electric service, water and sewer hookup. Host is required to assist park personnel for 40 hours per week with a two-week minimum stay. Contact the park office for additional information and availability.


The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.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.

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The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.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.

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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.


Winter Activities


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 the 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 Train Station/Visitor’s Center at 724-329-0986.

Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of events from today forward.

Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.


Access for People with Disabilities


The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.