Playtime in Ohiopyle

Old Man Winter seems to be moving a lot faster than I am, as I am now facing temperatures down in the 30’s at night.   There is even mention of that “S-word” in the forecast before the end of the work week.

Someone once told me  the easiest way to get through a winter is to get out and play in it.  So that is exactly what I did this past weekend.   Wool socks, two layers on the bottom, three layers on the top – two days off, and I was out to play!

Ohiopyle is a very unique place in that there are only 100 residents, yet there are at least four outdoor outfitters in town….more if you count all the bike shops.   So there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor play of all types, even as winter approaches.

Main Street, Ohiopyle, PA

A beautiful cascade of the Youghiogheny River, or “Yough” for short, runs right through the main thoroughfare, with white water rafting put-in points up and down the main road.   White water rafting tours are still taking place along the Class Three rapids, but I draw the line at having to rent a two-piece wetsuit to “ride the river wild!”

A more fitting form of entertainment for the season is the Great Allegheny Passage Trail, (GAP) a hike and bike trail that runs along an old rail bed on a 150 mile stretch from Pittsburg to Cumberland, MD.  The irony is, I remember reading about this trail when I used to ride the similar Silver Comet trail from Atlanta to Alabama.    I never actually thought I would get a chance to ride the GAP, until serendipity coincided with my bucket list visit to Fallingwater.

The bike trail runs alongside the Yough, passing beautiful geographical rock formations, tall beech forests, and scenic old railroad bridges.   I managed 22 miles before my legs gave out and the afternoon rains moved in.

“Pardon my back” (aka “What’s wrong with this picture?”)

There are also 72 miles of hiking trails in and around Ohiopyle.   On Sunday, I chose a combination of trails that started at Cucumber Falls.

Cucumber Falls, Ohiopyle State Park, PA

The trail continued along the Yough River, and turned up one of the tributaries to a series of natural rock and stream formations called “The Waterslides.”   Though there were no swimmers today, this area is supposedly packed in summer months as people shoot down the river from one pool to the next.

“The Waterslides,” Ohiopyle State Park, PA

Timing is everything!

I love a loop trail, and this one turned at “The Cascades,” and circled back through the meadow for about six miles of gorgeous scenery.

“The Cascades” along Meadow Run Trail

Unfortunately for the hiking enthusiast, another popular outdoor activity in Ohiopyle is hunting.   Deer hunting.  Squirrel hunting.  Pheasant hunting.  Wild turkey hunting.   As I crested the hill on one of my hikes to come face to face with two rifle-toting hunters, I realized it might be time to rethink my hiking gear.

“Visitors should wear fluorescent orange.”

With that said, what do you think of my new fashion statement?  😉

17 thoughts on “Playtime in Ohiopyle

  1. Rarely do I see pictures that actually make me with I were “there” but these did it. Rocks, hills, water, nice weather: what else is there to want? Beautiful, just beautiful. I can smell it and feel it…hope you enjoyed it as much as I am….. 🙂

    • Sarah, what a wonderful comment! I am so glad you can sense the beauty here, as it definitely is a feast for the senses in autumn’s peak! Sadly, though, rain and wind have had their way with most of the beautiful trees the last couple of days. They look so cold and bare now. ;-(

  2. Been there (ten years ago).. cool to find out where it was. Great photos. Trip to Fallingwater from DC but I wasn’t driving and it looked just like your photography. Put Taliesin West on your bucket list.

    • Thanks, Rand! Taliesin West is now on the list! Hopefully I will get there in 2014. I picked up a brochure while I was at Fallingwater, and it looks fascinating!

    • Mark, thanks for the compliment. Yes, the leaves smell wonderful, but I also laugh at how NOISY they are under my hiking boots. Sounds like walking on potato chips!

  3. Thanks again for the great pictures. I never had heard of this park and now it is on my list of places to visit. I have had some great times in PA and am looking forward to visiting this place.

  4. For some reason my last response was not acceptable. Just wanted to thank you for the pictures and text, but most of all for letting me know that this place exists. It is on my list of places to visit now.

    • Thanks for the nice comment, Allen! I am sorry you had trouble with the first try. Typically once someone is approved, they can post without further approval, but something must have gone wrong with that one. Yes, I highly recommend this area. I took my last hike this evening by the falls, as I am leaving soon. But I have really enjoyed my time here.

  5. Your pictures are fantastic and I can say that from experience. The ones I took of the same places wouldn’t even be in the contest. I loved Ohiopyle and think you have come in exactly the right season. Thanks for showing it to me in the fall. Just gorgeous! What a great place. Hope you’ll get to Shenendoah before November when I leave to head south. I’d love to meet up. BUT living in an area with hunting seasons for 30 years, I’d say PLEASE get a serious BLAZE orange vest and maybe even a hat. Too many hunters bare far too careless.

    • Hi, Sherry, I am headed that way Saturday morning. Big Meadows has been sold out, but I just checked again and got one of two remaining spots. How far is that from you? One of the hunters had a really BRITE orange vest with all these fancy pockets. I was thinking that would serve me well for my camera, phone, keys, etc. I might just wear it all the time! haha!

  6. Nice pictures. If you sit on the bench facing away from the bike trail, you will get a view of Sugar Run Falls, one of the smaller waterfalls along Old Mitchell Trail.

    • Stacie, that is good to know! I actually parked the bike and walked up the Old Mitchell trail a few feet to see if I could see what was “on stage,” but never could figure it out. Everyone kept talking about how exceptionally low the water levels were now, so I guess the falls must be dry at this time. Thanks for the info!

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