Thursday, April 21, 2016

Spring is in the air...

Spring has arrived in Ohiopyle! With spring we have lots of great new things going on here at Ohiopyle Trading Post and River Tours. The Kickstand has officially opened for the season and we are running Upper Yough trips on the release days! But the biggest new of all... WE HAVE A NEW WEBSITE! Over the winter we contacted a web design company and began work on a new site. Last Friday, April 15th, the new site went live! We are still working on a few new things for the site but everything you need is up and available to view. Check out the page for awesome videos and photos and a new section where you can see who the guides are and what each guide does for our outfitter! We also added an "About Us" section where you can learn the roots of our company and who the owners are. In other news, we started running trips on the Upper Youghiogheny already! We have trips scheduled for just about every release date this spring so if you want to join in the fun, give us a call! Our guides are back in the groove and gearing up for a great season and we want you to come be a part of it all!
The ice cream shop and bike rental, The Kickstand, has officially opened for the season! We have a full selection of awesome ice cream flavors and the bikes are ready for a day on the trail. Some of the most popular flavors we have this year are Mint Moosetracks, Chocolate Moosetracks, Salty Caramel Truffle, and (my personal favorite) Better Brownie Batter! The girls can make any ice cream flavor into a milkshake if you prefer, but we do not do sundaes since each flavor has its own toppings already mixed in. Come check it out for yourselves and decide which of the 32 is your favorite!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Planning a Family Field Trip to Ohiopyle This Fall

Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania provides marvelous opportunities for those wishing to connect with nature and enjoy numerous outdoor activities throughout the year. Visitors like exploring, bike riding, nature hikes, skiing, fishing, rafting, horseback riding and more within the park’s 20,000 acres. Although, many visitors love to usher in spring with the first wildflowers and Ohiopyle fishing, just as many people flock to the park in the fall for cooler temperatures to enjoy snowboarding, sledding and white water rafting. Whether you’re two or 92, visitors to the park have fun, relax and enjoy a memorable vacation for years to come.

Nature at its Best

Campers and hikers come from all over just to take in the beauty of the park. If you’re willing to stretch your legs and do a little hiking, you’ll be well rewarded with some amazing sights.

Checking out the waterfalls at Ohiopyle Park is usually at the top of everyone’s list. Visitors can easily access the Youghiogheny Falls, which are 20-foot falls located in the center of the park and are easily viewed from nearby platforms. Hikers also enjoy viewing the Cucumber Falls via the Great Gorge Trail. The falls are truly spectacular with 30-foot waterfalls.

New visitors to the park can get a sense of what the park has to offer by checking out the Tharp Knob Overlook. The overlook is accessible from the popular picnic area, and it provides stunning views of the town of Ohiopyle and the Youghiogheny River. Everyone in the family might enjoy exploring the botanical reserve on the Ferncliff Peninsula. The reserve is 100-acres filled with amazing natural vegetation and stunning plants.

The Youghiogheny River

There is no doubt that one of the main draws to the park is the Youghiogheny River. If you are thrilled by the idea of white water rafting, canoeing or kayaking now is your chance to experience it firsthand.

Although some portions of the Youghiogheny River are better suited to skilled paddlers, there are still plenty of areas suitable for children, families and the inexperienced.

The best way to experience the river for yourself is to sign up for a rafting tour where you’ll receive instructions from a professional guide who knows the river well. Raft rentals are supplied by a number of different outfitters that can suggest the best tour based on your experience.

Ohiopyle Fishing

The Youghiogheny River is regularly stocked with fingerlings each year. Anglers are more than ready to test the waters for rainbow trout, brown trout and smallmouth bass.

Fishing on the Youghiogheny is typically good from April through the fall months. You’re more than welcome to fish from your own boat or hire guides equipped with boats through Ohiopyle rentals.

Fall Activities

Slightly cooler temperatures, crisp mountain air and the first snowflakes of the season draw skiers, snowboarders, sledders and snowmobilers from across the country to Ohiopyle State Park and surrounding areas.

Skiers can look forward to a little more than 33 miles of cross-country ski trails in Ohiopyle, and the Sugarloaf Trail Systems offer almost 16 miles of beautiful terrain for snowmobiling.

Surrounding areas also offer skiing at the Nemacolin Resort and 7 Springs. You might also enjoy the nearby Laurel Caverns and Yough Lake.

Ohiopyle Biking

Biking is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the park. Whether you bring your own bike or opt to get one from Ohiopyle rentals, you’ll have a great opportunity to cover a lot of ground and see spectacular scenery throughout the park. Bicyclists love to make a day of it by riding and picnicking along the Great Allegheny Passage.

If you’re looking for fun and entertainment for the entire family, check out river rafting, nature exploration, Ohiopyle biking and fishing at the Ohiopyle State Park and stop by the Ohiopyle Trading Post. You’re one stop shop for all your adventure needs, the Ohiopyle Trading Post provides you with everything you need to experience the park for all its worth. Don’t miss your chance to explore all that Ohiopyle has to offer before the season ends, and start your adventure off right with help from the Ohiopyle Trading Post.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Stay in Shape Over the Offseason with These Indoor Rafting Exercises

One of the challenges with white water rafting, is keeping your body in shape during the off-season. As winter approaches, those who live in the Northeast US maybe be looking for a way to keep their rafting muscles in shape, so that they are ready to head back to the Yough River in Ohiopyle State Park as soon as spring weather permits. While working out in a gym will certainly keep you in generally good shape, year-round training is required for the muscles you use while rafting. The exercises below are perfect for the off-season.

Rowing Machine

While a rowing machine certainly won’t provide you with a realistic sense of the power and skill required while on the rapids—rowing is an essential part of your off-season training. This is because rowing machines will help to maintain the flexibility and range of motion in the joints and smaller muscles groups of your shoulders and arms. It will even provide you with some of the core training you require.

Torso Rotation Exercises

Torso rotation is required when riding the rapids in the Yough River in Ohiopyle State Park. You will be required to twist and turn while paddling, and this is a skill you don’t want to let fall by the wayside in the off-season. When looking for gym exercises that provide you with both rotation and resistance, you have to be careful. While adding weight to a torso rotation may sound like your best bet, adding too much weight can be the source of great strain. Instead, look for exercises that use your own body weight as resistance. A few to consider include:
Side plank with a twist. Hold you side plank for a minimum of 10 seconds, then twist to thread your upper arm underneath your lower armpit. Hold for 2 seconds, and repeat at least 10 times on each side.
Also look for crunch variations that require you to twist your torso while crunching.

Dry Land Paddling

Another excellent way to keep your white water rafting muscles in shape, is to do dry land paddling. To do this, find a box or bench that is high enough to allow you paddle clearance on each side. Use a paddle, a broomstick, or a minimally weighted bar (without weights) to practice paddling. If you opt to use a weighted bar, do fewer reps, and go in slow motion so that you do not jar your muscles. This will work your lower back, core, shoulders, and arms.

Lat Pull Downs

You must also keep your pectoral muscles and triceps strong during the offseason—and lat pull downs will help to do just that. Head to your gym to see if they have a cable machine that will allow you to perform standing lat pull downs. The key here is not to use the max weight, but instead a lower weight with many repetitions. Ensure that your knees are slightly bent, your back is straight—and that you are properly aligned from head to toe.
The exercises above can be performed in conjunction with your usual cardio to keep your body strong during the white water rafting off-season. While the current whitewater rafting season may be coming to a close, it’s never too early to start preparing for next year. Plan your next Pennsylvania rafting getaway with help from Ohiopyle Trading Post. Located in the heart of Ohiopyle State Park, the Ohiopyle Trading Post offers guided raft trips, raft rentals and more to help you plan the ultimate white water rafting vacation. While winter may be on its way, it doesn’t mean rafting has to come to an end. Start gearing up for next season, and book your next whitewater adventure with the Ohiopyle Trading Post.

Friday, October 9, 2015

5 Reasons Why Ohiopyle’s Rafting Season is Far From Over

Now that fall is here, many people assume that it's too late to go to Ohiopyle State Park and book a white water rafting tour. The weather is getting cooler, and school starting again means that people don't have time for Pennsylvania rafting. And yet, there are still some great reasons to go white water rafting in PA this year even though the summer boom period is over.

  1. Fewer Crowds

    One of the keys to booking any successful vacation is to visit places during the off-season, and visiting Ohiopyle State Park for a rafting tour is no exception to that rule. Going rafting during the fall means that there will be smaller crowds, which will make booking a rafting tour that much easier. You won't have to wait as long to get the time and date that you want, and you won't have to contend with as many people once you get out on the river.

  2. Lower Water

    Lower and gentler water may not seem like a good thing depending on who you are, but it is perfect for beginners. If you've never been white water rafting in PA before, the gentler waters of the fall will be much easier for you to handle than the big rapids you might experience in June. If you think you're getting cheated out of the "true" white water rafting experience, don't worry. Your white water rafting tour will still be exciting and challenging; it just won't be as challenging as a summer rafting trip.

  3. Beautiful Foliage

    There are few things more beautiful than foliage in the fall. The leaves are turning warm shades of gold and red, and that can make for a breathtaking sight as you paddle down the Youghiogheny River. The trees won't look this way for long, so book a rafting tour soon if you want to see them before the leaves fall.

  4. Experiencing the Rest of Ohiopyle State Park

    Of course, white water rafting isn't the only thing to do in Ohiopyle State Park. With plenty of chances for hiking, biking, fishing and camping, Ohiopyle is a great place to visit for anybody who enjoys the outdoors. You're sure to find at least one reason to stick around once your rafting tour is finished.

  5. It’s Still a Great Experience

    Above all else, white water rafting in PA makes for a great experience whether you go in the summer or the fall. It's a fun opportunity to bond with family and friends; it's an excellent workout and it allows you to experience the beauty of nature.

    The "best" season for whitewater rafting in the Ohiopyle area may be over for the year, but there are still plenty of good reasons to book a rafting trip in the fall. If nothing else, it will give you the chance to experience Ohiopyle State Park and all that it has to offer. Start your adventure off right with a stop at the Ohiopyle Trading Post. Whether you’re rafting, hiking or biking your way through Ohiopyle State Park, the Ohiopyle Trading Post carries everything you need to explore the great outdoors. The coming of the Fall season doesn’t have to be the end of your outdoor fun for the year, get out to Ohiopyle one last time before the close of the season and stop by Ohiopyle Trading Post today.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Experience Fall in Ohiopyle State Park

Fall is the perfect time of year to discover Ohiopyle State Park, and there's no better way to experience the changes of autumn than biking through an Ohiopyle bike trail. The park is known for its lush foliage, and biking through autumn at Ohiopyle State Park is one of the most impressive backdrops to stay healthy and enjoy the changing season. While biking, take a trip through the Yough River Trail, and experience the wonder of everything the Ohiopyle State Park has to offer the visitor.

Pedal Through the Park: A Fall Tradition

Ohiopyle State Park is known for its stunning bike trails, and doing it alone or meeting friends, you’re sure to find fellow bikers trekking through the trails. With the State Park hosting a number of bike trails, there are always various events held throughout the fall that will inspire long rides and leave you wondering where the time has gone. Featuring over 20,000 acres, the Ohiopyle State Park is the largest of Pennsylvania’s state parks, and that means there’s no end to all you can discover on your visit. Don’t be a stranger to your surroundings, get on your bikes and ride.

Exploring the Great Allegheny Passage

The Great Allegheny Passage has been many different things at different times. First a trail, then a railway passage, and now host to a biking trail, the Great Allegheny Passage has a number of different activities available for bikers throughout the spring, summer and fall months.
The trail extends all the way from Pittsburgh and can be followed in route to Washington, D.C., featuring variety of different stops along the way for riders and bikers to stay refreshed and having fun. The trail itself is maintained by a number of volunteers. Along the trail, you’ll also find ample fishing opportunities, so don’t forget your fishing rod if you decide to take a break and cast away.

Bike Tours and More

Ohiopyle State Park has a number of bike tours available, and is known for many of the best bike tours in the country. Some of these bike tours can be days long, so biking can turn to camping and give an even greater all around experience of the beauty of autumn at the park.

Everything ‘Bike” That You Can Do At Ohiopyle State Park

Besides cross-country biking, Ohiopyle State Park has other biking activities available. Mountain biking is extremely popular at Ohiopyle, and there are a number of BMX events as well as rentals for different kinds of bikes. Whether you're looking for a bike trail to simply cruise or you're looking for a place to tear up some earth, Ohiopyle State Park has a variety of different trails available.
There's something for every type of biker at Ohiopyle, whether you want to travel, fish, or do some stunts! Take the bike out of the garage—or take advantage of the bike rentals throughout the park and start exploring the incredible lands at Ohiopyle State Park today with a pit stop at Ohiopyle Trading Post.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Building Teamwork with Group Rafting Trips

Just about everyone can agree that teamwork is vital to the success of any corporate office, but not everyone enjoys going on trust-building business trips. Yes, these retreats can offer a refreshing change of pace and an excuse to get away from the office for a while, but many of these retreats fall flat due to the typical teamwork activities and games that can be done during most business meetings. Fortunately, there is a great way for a company to develop team working skills that most people will agree is fun, exciting and almost completely different from most business trips.

A Teambuilding Adventure Like No Other

An Ohiopyle white water rafting trip may not be the first thing that comes to mind when someone imagines corporate team building exercises, but there really is no better way to inspire a group of individuals to come together. Ohiopyle rafting is safe enough for a novice with the right equipment and training, but it’s also challenging enough to require a conscious group effort. Everyone has to do their part to stay afloat and move through the rapids, and even the most relaxed members of a rafting group will quickly learn to pull their weight. Naturally, this trial-by-fire approach will result in greater teamwork and an even stronger bond in the workplace once the trip is over.

Of course, the other reason to book a group rafting trip is to be outdoors. As difficult as white water rafting can be, it can also be invigorating and even quite relaxing at times. A rafting team will need to stay vigilant in choppy water, but rafting along the Youghiogheny River also provides plenty of chances to sit back and enjoy drifting down the river as you take in all the sights and sounds of Ohiopyle State Park. In other words, a rafting trip will give you and everyone in your group a chance to enjoy something far removed from the stress of their everyday jobs.

Plenty of Chances for Ohiopyle Rafting Trips

Ohiopyle and the surrounding area offers plenty of excellent opportunities for white water rafting and countless other outdoor activities that can make for great team building exercises. The next time you are in need of a company outing to build trust and bring your team closer together, take a look at Ohiopyle, PA and see what kinds of rafting, hiking or camping experiences it has to offer you.

Whatever you find, you can be sure that it will provide an unforgettable experience for your entire staff. Make sure to start your adventure at the park’s premier outfitter by stopping by the Ohiopyle Trading Post. Carrying all the adventure essentials you could ever need, the Ohiopyle Trading Post is your source for raft rentals, kayaking lessons and group trips and tours. Make your next business retreat something out of the ordinary and book your guided raft trips with Ohiopyle Trading Post today!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Rafter’s Guide to River Difficulty Ratings

The international standard for river difficulty as it relates to whitewater rafting attempts to remove at least some of the subjectivity involved in classifying rivers with whitewater rapids. The standard has no relation to how much fun each of these different classes may represent, it only takes into account the degree of difficulty in navigating rapids associated with each of the classes. Follow along as we briefly examine the various classes of international whitewater rafting difficulty, and move on to how these classes apply to Ohiopyle’s own Youghiogheny River rafting.

Degree of Difficulty Classes

Class I of the international standard includes moving water with a few small waves, and with few or no obstructions within the water. Class II includes those rivers with relatively easy rapids and some smaller sized waves, and clear channels that are readily apparent without prior scouting. Beginning with Class III rapids, rivers take on a more turbulent aspect with high rapids and irregular waves, often including narrow passages and obstructions which call for precise handling.

Class IV includes long, difficult rapids sometimes with very narrow passageways that require highly skilled maneuvering in turbulent water and difficult conditions. Rivers like this should be scouted ahead of time so that rafters understand where to expect the most difficult. Class V rapids are extremely difficult, with long and violent stretches requiring prior scouting from the shoreline. Class VI rapids are considered to be the most extreme of all whitewater rafting experiences. These are extremely dangerous and cannot be navigated with commercial rafts. They are also very challenging for specially made rafts, and should only be attempted by rafters with expert whitewater skills and experience.

Whitewater Rafting on the Youghiogheny River

Some of the best whitewater rafting in PA can be found along the Youghiogheny River, where guided rafting trips are available to help adventurers of any skill feel the rush of adrenaline that only whitewater rapids can provide. The Lower Yough rafting experience is roughly 7 ½ miles of combination Class III and Class IV whitewater rapids, ideal for rafters who are anxious to learn and test their skills on some stronger rapids broken up by stretches of calmer waters. The Middle Yough rafting experience includes some Class I and Class II rapids, making it a great introduction to whitewater rafting for the complete novice. There are long stretches of calm water, making it the ultimate on-the-water way to safely observe and take in all of your surroundings.

Upper Yough rafting includes a mix of Class IV and V rapids, mostly running quickly downhill through the upper part of the river. These rapids do call for proper scouting, and require you to be constantly aware of your surroundings to skillfully maneuver through the waves.

No matter what your skills on the rapids are, you can embark on the adventure of a lifetime with help from the Ohiopyle Trading Post. Our Ohiopyle rafting rentals and fully guided tours help you safely navigate your way through adrenaline rushing rapids of either the Lower, Middle or Upper Yough. Even if you’re new to whitewater rafting, our professional rafting staff offers lessons to get you out on the water and maneuvering through the rapids like a pro. Make sure you have all you need to float down the Yough and stop by the Ohiopyle Trading Post.