Places to Experience

Observation Area at Ohiopyle Falls

  • 9
  • 15 Min
  • 10
  • 2 Min
View from Observation Area at Ohiopyle Falls

The epicenter and focus for the park is the observation decks with their view of the nearly twenty foot Ohiopyle Falls. Three decks of various angles and Heights provide you a gorgeous view of the falls and the rapids leading up to them. The white frothy Youghiogheny River seems calm below the falls but a distant look down river shows old growth White Pines acting as sentinels to more white water river action below. The decks provide quite a panorama of scenery including Ferncliff ...

Ferncliff at Ohiopyle Falls

  • 10
  • 20 Min
  • 8
  • 10 Min
View from Ferncliff at Ohiopyle Falls

Ferncliff at Ohiopyle Falls is an area of exposed sandstone rock strewn with large slabs and ledges of rock along and above the Ohiopyle Falls offering a noisy and up close encounter with the nearly twenty foot tall large volume waterfall. You're so close all you hear is the water's roar and smell the river's scent as you experience its mists rising above the crash of the falls. From this vantage point you are looking over the falls, not at them. ...

Baughman Rock Vista Overlook

  • 10
  • 10 Min
  • 9
  • 1 Min
View from Baughman Rock Vista Overlook

This overlook is an easy park and see experience above Ohiopyle, but an angled rock slope may challenge some visitors. A large rock outcropping and high cliff formation called Baughman Rock perched along Laurel Ridge has forced a break in trees making for one of the finest views in Pennsylvania featuring the Youghiogheny River Gorge. In the center of this enormous panorama is the river rounding the Flats, a large horseshoe curved peninsula creating a deep chasm surrounded by steep sided mountains belonging to ...

Cucumber Gorge Bottom

  • 10
  • 15 Min
  • 9
  • 5 Min
View from Cucumber Gorge Bottom

Coming down the rustic stairs and dirt path provides you a mid height view of Cucumber Falls through a scene of broken slabs of sandstone rock. The overhanging ceiling of sandstone rock with its drips of water gives the feeling of being in a humid cave with the waterfall entering from a bright opening. At this point you can proceed up a small hill and get an unobstructed view of the waterfall or navigate down the stairs towards the rugged terrain of the gorge ...

Meadow Run Natural Waterslides Area

  • 10
  • 10 Min
  • 9
  • 1 Min
View from Meadow Run Natural Waterslides Area

A floor of sandstone rock provides the base from which to enjoy and marvel at Meadow Run's perfectly chiseled channels through the rock forming a fast moving and curving natural waterslide that ends in a deep pool of water. While during the summer the current is often just right for daredevils to take on the slides, spring and winter the water pounds through the channel at such a felicity at times that you can't imagine anyone surviving the ride without being pulverized ...

Cucumber Falls Gorge Rim Area

  • 9
  • 10 Min
  • 10
  • 2 Min
View from Cucumber Falls Gorge Rim Area

Ohiopyle's most scenic waterfall dominates the senses along the rim of Cucumber Gorge. While visitors are offered an option to cross a bridge and Cucumber Run where they can see the water and its rock floor end precipitously, most will be drawn down through rustic stairs in a jungle of rhododendrons to one of Ohiopyle's top observation points where a banister provides the arm rest for your uninterrupted view of the deep hollowed out Cucumber Gorge created by the 30 some foot tall ...

High Ohiopyle Bridge Scenic View Area

  • 8
  • 10 Min
  • 9
  • 10 Min
View from High Ohiopyle Bridge Scenic View Area

Following along the Great Allegheny Passage Trail you'll see the bright opening of the former railroad bridge as you cross on it through a gateway formed by tree tops and emerge out into the open vista that surrounds you featuring the river far below you on both sides roaring with rapids. As you continue to the center you can see the Youghiogheny River Gorge rounding through the bottom slopes of Laurel Ridge to your right and the Railroad Rapids in the distance adjacent ...

Tharp Knob Vista Overlook

  • 8
  • 10 Min
  • 9
  • 8 Min
View from Tharp Knob Vista Overlook

Tharp Knob is scenic vista from a grassy summit above Ohiopyle with a gorgeous view looking east of the Youghiogheny River and Gorge meandering through Laurel Ridge with its rugged slopes and knobs. Along the river town of Ohiopyle is partially visible and looks like a quaint little village that is dwarfed by the enormous wild natural terrain that surrounds it. Some benches are present to allow you to take the scene and if the conditions are right you can hear the river rapids ...

Yough Rock Ledges and Rapids at Meadow Run

  • 8
  • 15 Min
  • 8
  • 12 Min
View from Yough Rock Ledges and Rapids at Meadow Run

Where Meadow Run enters the Youghiogheny River is a sunbather's paradise of beautiful rock slabs, ledges, rapids, and small waterfalls that are fun to explore to see how far out into the river one can get by hopping over small waterfalls between the rocks. The experience here differs depending on the water level as nice rocks to sprawl out on become submerged and turned into vicious whitewater rapids after wet weather. You'll be entertained by the wild mountain river flowing loudly around ...

Rock Slabs Below Lower Yough Launch Area

  • 7
  • 10 Min
  • 9
  • 10 Min
View from Rock Slabs Below Lower Yough Launch Area

A series of rock slabs extending out into the Youghiogheny River provide a distant view of the Ohiopyle Falls along with a panorama of other scenery including Ferncliff Peninsula with its rough rocky shore and noisy river rapids as far as they eyes can see to the south. At this location you're above where Meadow Run enters the Youghiogheny River with a complex of sandstone rock bars that extend into the river, and you're below the Lower Yough Launch Area where kayaks ...

Kentuck Vista Overlook

  • 6
  • 5 Min
  • 10
  • 0 Min
View from Kentuck Vista Overlook

Kentuck Overlook, along Campground Road, provides a narrow view of the Youghiogheny River Gorge and Laurel Ridge framed by hardwoods. Benches are provided to relax and take in the scene where one can appreciate the different climate that exists near the river from the ridge top as you can see markedly different conditions at certain times of the year. The overlook is a grassy sloped field that needs maintained to keep the view clear from tree foliage making the view dependent on how recently ...

Meadow Run Cascades Waterfall Area

  • 8
  • 10 Min
  • 7
  • 45 Min
View from Meadow Run Cascades Waterfall Area

The Meadow Run Cascades is a large and wide complex of waterfalls and cascades down and through several terraces of broken sandstone rock near the southern edge of the park. Most visitors will experience the falls by walking out on a sandstone bar that leads out to the waters edge to a point where they're stopped by the start of a series of water channels flowing through and over the rock. How far out amongst the falls one can get depends on the ...

Ferncliff Rock Ledges and Rapids

  • 6
  • 10 Min
  • 9
  • 5 Min
View from Ferncliff Rock Ledges and Rapids

Where the Youghiogheny bends its course at the beginning of Ferncliff Peninsula is an area amongst giant sandstone rock ledges with small waterfalls and river rapids that are often shallow enough in the summer to allow for swimming. Visitors don't need to get wet to engage in this area as fossils featuring ancient plants are common and a maze of rock features allows one to get surprisingly far out into the river by walking or hopping over some small water channels. From this ...

Train Station and Low Ohiopyle Bridge

  • 5
  • 5 Min
  • 10
  • 2 Min
View from Train Station and Low Ohiopyle Bridge

Adjacent to the town of Ohiopyle is a former railroad station converted into a Laurel Highlands Visitor Center with outdoor benches on a plaza leading to the Low Ohiopyle Bridge that offers a scenic view of the Youghiogheny River bending to round Ferncliff Peninsula. This is the Great Allegheny Passage Trail so be mindful of bike riders passing as you admire the river rapids below the bridge. The Low Ohiopyle Bridge has a nice curvature and bend in elevation that is fun to bike ...

Jonathan Run Upper Falls Area

  • 6
  • 10 Min
  • 5
  • 90 Min
View from Jonathan Run Upper Falls Area

A beautiful scene of multiple waterfalls starts following a large pool of water but to access each of these features requires multiple short climbs down from the Jonathan Run Trail. Following along the pool of water's edge will take you to the top of Jonathan Runs Upper Falls where you can look out over the creek's beautiful scenery as it continues to cascade down two more falls in the distance. A steep sandstone rock ledge and some thick vegetation will likely force ...

Jonathan Run Lower Falls Gorge

  • 8
  • 10 Min
  • 2
  • 90 Min
View from Jonathan Run Lower Falls Gorge

A tough to access gorge rewards with the spectacle of Lower Jonathan Run Falls tumbling up to fifteen feet and splashing off a slab of broken sandstone rock. While you can glance through vegetation and experience the Lower Jonathan Run Falls from afar without climbing into its gorge the treacherous climb is worth it for those able to make it down. The trail leading down has been eroded into a steep angle that is particularly challenging after the leaf drop in fall. Once at ...

Cucumber Run Picnic Area

  • 2
  • 10 Min
  • 10
  • 1 Min
View from Cucumber Run Picnic Area

While not far from Ohiopyle, the Cucumber Run Picnic Area feels remote and is usually quiet even on summer weekends. There are no large pavilions here but instead a series of picnic tables usually shaded by hardwoods along Cucumber Run. You'll find it a great location to get away from the park's crowds and engage in the sounds of wildlife intermingled with the flowing water. This area is favored by bird watchers.

Tharp Knob Picnic Area

  • 2
  • 10 Min
  • 10
  • 1 Min
View from Tharp Knob Picnic Area

A large picnic area with multiple pavilions and an open field are available at the Tharp Knob Picnic Area, a great location for a packed lunch or barbecue. There is a play area for children, a softball field, and a large mowed field for activities like flying a kite. You'll occasionally encounter wildlife early in the morning of deer or turkeys browsing through an adjacent meadow. The atmosphere on Tharp Knob is that of being on a hilltop open field surrounded by hardwoods ...