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Ohiopyle State Park

Connellsville and South Connellsville Ohiopyle State Park Youghiogheny River and Trail
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Ohiopyle State Park
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- Baughman's Rock
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- Laurel Highlands
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- Ohiopyle Falls
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Ohiopyle State Park Park Guide

Source: Pennsylvania DCNR

Guide Contents
- Directions
- Recreational Opportunities
- Whitewater Rafting
- Hiking
- History
- Natural Resources
- Waterfalls and Scenic Water Attractions
- Local Attractions
- Safety Message
- Contact Information

Whitewater Boating

The Youghiogheny River has exciting whitewater boating for all experience levels. Only sturdily constructed rubber rafts, kayaks and closed-deck canoes may be used in the river. River levels can change the difficulty of rapids. Check at the launch area or contact the park office for current water levels.

Visit the Safety Code of American Whitewater for useful safety information.

The famous Lower Yough begins after the Ohiopyle Falls and flows seven miles downstream to the Bruner Run Take-out. This is the busiest section of whitewater east of the Mississippi River.

The numerous class III and IV rapids make for exciting rafting that should only be attempted by experienced whitewater boaters. Inexperienced whitewater boaters should run this section of the river on a guided raft trip with an authorized concessionaire. The natural river environment contains undercut rocks, ledges and swift currents.

All whitewater boaters on the Youghiogheny must learn to recognize natural dangers and understand that injury and death are a possibility when boating the Lower Yougiogheny.

The Middle Yough begins at the Ramcat Put-in near Confluence, and ends near the town of Ohiopyle. This section contains class I and II rapids and is ideal for beginning kayakers or experienced canoers. Families often raft this section because it provides thrilling rapids at normal river levels.

For complete information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.

Lower Yough Rapids Map: You must have Adobe Acrobat to view this map. Go download a copy of Acrobat Reader. Go to the rapids map. (440 kb)

Private Trips: Call 888-PA-PARKS to schedule a launch time. Equipment rentals are available in the town of Ohiopyle. There is a fee to launch boats on weekends on the Lower Yough. During the week, boaters must sign-in at the launch area.

Guided Trips: Inexperienced boaters should not attempt the Youghiogheny River without qualified guides. Outfitted trips are available from licensed commercial outfitters that provide rafts, guides, all necessary safety equipment, and transportation to and from the river. The following is a list of licensed, commercial outfitters currently operating on the Youghiogheny River.

Laurel Highlands River Tours
P. O. Box 107
Ohiopyle, PA 15470
800-4-RAFTIN (800-472-3846)

Mountain Streams and Trails Outfitters
P. O. Box 106
Ohiopyle, PA 15470
800-RAFT-NOW (800-723-8669)

Ohiopyle Trading Post
PO Box 94
Ohiopyle PA 15470
1-888-OHIOPYLE (1-888-644-6795)

White Water Adventurers
P. O. Box 31
Ohiopyle, PA 15470
800-WWA-RAFT (800-992-7238)

Wilderness Voyageurs
P. O. Box 97
Ohiopyle, PA 15470

International Scale of River Difficulty

The classes below are the American version of the rating system used throughout the world. This system is not exact. Rivers do not always fit easily into one category and there may be regional interpretations. This information is from American Whitewater.

Class I: Easy - Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Self-rescue is easy.

Class II: Novice - Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers.

Class III: Intermediate - Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges is often required. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can occur.

Class IV: Advanced - Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. May be large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. Rapids require "must" moves above dangerous hazards. Self-rescue is difficult.

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