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Ohiopyle State Park

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Connellsville and South Connellsville Ohiopyle State Park Youghiogheny River and Trail
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Ohiopyle State Park
- Park Guide
- Geologic Features
- Pictures
- Overlooks
- Baughman's Rock
- Tharp Knob
- Sugarloaf
- Laurel Highlands
- Waterfalls & Streams
- Ohiopyle Falls
- Meadow Run
- Cucumber Run
- Camping
- Videos

Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania

by Michael D. McCumber

A crown jewel of the Pennsylvania park system, Ohiopyle is situated where the slopes of Laurel Ridge clash with the Youghiogheny River. This clash has resulted in waterfalls, whitewater rapids, scenic overlooks, rock outcroppings, and a steep mountainous landscape. Combine that with a maturing forest and wildlife, and you've got a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds, for all seasons.

Youghiogheny River's twenty-foot fall marks the focal point for most visitors to the park, with the visitor center located nearby. Rivaling the mighty cataract for popularity is the 30-foot bridal veil Cucumber Run waterfall, arguably the park's most beautiful. The other permanent waterfalls include the Jonathan Run Falls and Meadow Run's Cascades - they require a mile or more of hiking, but are well worth it.

Ohiopyle is a mecca for Whitewater Enthusiasts. The Lower Yough, which begins after the Ohiopyle Falls, is the busiest section of whitewater in the eastern United States. Numerous and challenging class III and IV rapids make the seven mile stretch of river, to Bruner Run Take-Out, an entertaining spectacle for both rafter and watcher alike. The Youghiogheny River Trail provides access for bystanders to watch the rafters take on the rapids.

The park's system of trails thoroughly provide an ability to interact with the park's features. Each trail offers a different vantage point, and feature worth visiting. From the botanical treasures on Ferncliff Peninsula, to the cascades along the Meadow Run Trails, and the scenic views of Baughman Trail each offers a worthwhile experience.

If biking is your sport, the park's 27-mile bike/hike trail along the river has been voted among the most beautiful in the world by travel and leisure magazine. Not steep or rugged enough? The Sugarloaf Snowmobile and Mountain Bike Area has 9.4 miles of mountain bike/equestrian trails.

Elevations range from 980 feet, at the lower Yough (nearing Connellsville), to 2920 feet at a point on top of Laurel Ridge. This difference in elevation provides for a varied climate and plant life. The higher elevations are often ten degrees cooler than the river valley, and receive more precipitation - particularly noticeable in the winter months when the park's roof receives three times the snow of the river valley.

Waterfalls
Several waterfalls reside at Ohiopyle State Park, the most famous being the Ohiopyle Falls of the Youghiogheny River.
Waterfalls
Overlooks
A number of magnificent overlooks are scattered about the park at differing elevations and vantage points.
Overlooks
Whitewater Rafting
Class III and IV rapids abound starting at the base of the great falls. Some of the best whitewater rapids in the east.
Whitewater Rafting
Bike Trails
Besides several mountain biking trails, the Youghiogheny River Trail provides 27 miles of flat riding within the park.
Bike Trails
Hiking Trails
Nearly 80 miles of hiking trails through some of the best scenery in Pennsylvania. From easy to rigorous.
Hiking Trails
Winter Activities
The roof of the park receives over ten feet of snow per year with ski, and snowmobile trails available to enjoy it.
Winter Activities

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