Thursday, August 13, 2015

Exploring the Waterfalls of Ohiopyle, Pa.

Ohiopyle may be a small community, but it’s nestled in some of the grandest natural outdoor space in all of Pennsylvania. The surroundings offer visitors the chance to enjoy a bounty of activities, everything from hiking in the parks down the Yough River Trail to whitewater boating on some of the best waters the state has to offer. Amidst the spectacular scenery, the many waterfalls stand out as the crown heels of the Ohiopyle region. Many are located in Ohiopyle State Park, which encompasses some 20,500 acres of natural playground for family and friends to explore. Here is a look at some of the beautiful waterfalls in the area and how to best enjoy them.

Cucumber Falls

With a drop of thirty feet, Cucumber Falls is the most impressive of Ohiopyle State Park’s many waterfalls. The falls drop into the gorge of the Youghiogheny River and can be easily accessed after a short hike from Kentuck Road, SR 2019 by Route 381. Visitors can admire the view from both an overlook by the top as well as besides the base. Though it has been touted as a nearly impossible run, a few brave souls managed to kayak over the falls earlier this year. Regular tourists, however, would be better off sticking to the trails and visiting Swallow Falls and Muddy Creek Falls in the nearby Swallow Falls State Park.

Ohiopyle Falls

The namesake of the park, Ohiopyle Falls has a twenty-foot drop that appears different nearly every time of year. During the winter and spring, when the water is plentiful, the waterfall gushes out in one giant wallop, while summer and autumn leave a more refined rock wall on either side. Regardless, it’s one of the best places to begin a white water rafting tour along the Youghiogheny River and head out for adventure further downstream. Ohiopyle Falls is also a highlight destination for many of the bike tours making their way along the Great Allegheny Passage.

Jonathan Run Falls

If you’re really looking for a long afternoon hike, a great option is taking the Youghiogheny River Trail to the Jonathan Run Falls. It’s a 6.4 mile out ad back trail that takes hikers and bikers on a grand journey through the wildlife and luscious greenery of the Ohiopyle community. There are actually two waterfalls, Upper and Lower Jonathan Run Falls, and it's easy to take a small side trip to Sugar Run Falls and Fechter Run Falls.

Meadow Run Waterslides

Not too far from Cucumber Falls, along the 4.2-mile loop of Ohiopyle State Park, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore one of Pennsylvania’s best natural waterslides. The 100-foot Meadow Run slide corkscrews its way through the sandstone creek bed and plunges people into a three-foot-deep pool at its terminus. For those hot summer Pennsylvania days, the Meadow Run Waterslides are certainly a must.


Grab a bicycle from one of the many Ohiopyle bike rentals and cycle your way over to Fallingwater for a truly breathtaking site. Made famous by great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the National Historic Landmark has been drawing thousands of visitors each year. The Kaufmann House continues to wow visitors of all ages, as the home appears to float in midair above the 30-foot waterfall beneath it. If you want to tour the inside, make sure to grab tickets in advance to hold your spot.
No matter what time of year you visit, Ohiopyle is filled with adventure around every corner. Make sure you’re prepared for whatever comes next by stopping at the Ohiopyle Trading Post. Our guided raft trips provide visitors with a once in a lifetime adventure opportunity they’ll remember for years to come, or explore on your own with our Ohiopyle biking and raft rentals. Give yourself an experience you won’t soon forget with a little help from the guided and rentals from Ohiopyle Trading Post.

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