Wow, we find ourselves at the beginning of another week and the end of the weekend. This past few weeks have been extremely busy, but will hopefully be worth it in the end. This week’s blog is going to be on the Ohiopyle State Park. Now don’t get too confused this is not in Ohio but in Pennsylvania in a small town yep you guessed it Ohiopyle with a population of 59. This small town is a bustling center on the weekend when the tourist flock to the area for the outdoor recreations.
Ohiopyle State Park is located in the southern part of the Laurel Ridge. The park encompasses around 20,500 acres. The main attraction of the park is the rushing waters of the Youghiogheny River Gorge, which is pronounced as Yawki-gay-nee which has said to have some of the best whitewater boating in the eastern United States. The first inhabitants of the area were the Monongahela Native Americas who were a clan of the Mound Builders.
The area actually started becoming a tourist area once the National Railroad was built in 1811. Then the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Western Maryland Railroad accelerated the progress of timbering operations. These railroads helped bring the tourist to Ohiopyle. The round trip fare at that time from Pittsburg to Ohiopyle was one dollar. In 1963, the town entered its current chapter of tourism. The whitewater company called Wilderness Voyageurs began their commercial whitewater rafting on the River. This was the first company to offer commercial whitewater rafting east of the Mississippi.
The park is open every day of the year from sunrise to sunset. However, the overnight areas are only open during specific seasons and hours. The park has a lot of different activities that one can enjoy when visiting the area. There are two natural water slides in the park, picnic areas with tables, grills, and restrooms. Of course, there is the Whitewater Rafting along with Fishing, and Hunting. There are numerous areas for Rock Climbing, 79 miles of hiking trails. The park has over 27 miles of biking trails, 25.2 miles of Mountain Biking trails, and 11.6 miles of Horseback Riding Trails. The park has around 200 campsites and is open from April to mid- December along with Camping Cottages. However, winter does not stop the activities in the park. During the winter anyone visiting will have beautiful winter vistas, but the park offers 33.9 miles of Cross-country Skiing trails, a hill for sledding, and 15.9 miles of trails for Snowmobiling.
While visiting make sure you visit some of the waterfalls the park has to offer. I know only being there twice I have gotten to see the Cucumber Falls and the Ohiopyle Falls. However, there are other falls like the Upper and Lower Jonathan Run Falls, the Lower Sugar Run Falls, and Fechter Run Falls.
Hopefully, sometime in the near future I can make another visit to this wonderful park and find the rest of the waterfalls. If not that gives me another excuse to go again to this beautiful and serene area. Even if you just want to get out for a hike this is the perfect place. The quietness of nature is one place that anyone can go and relax and enjoy all the beauty that this world has to offer.