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 area one can see the Low Ohiopyle Bridge, the distant mist rising from the Ohiopyle Falls, and the slopes of Laurel Ridge are visible from certain places. Thick rhododendron and forest cover force you along the river as you navigate the ground made up of solid Pottsville Sandstone intermingled with some small vegetation.

Features to Experience

Ferncliff Peninsula Laurel Ridge Low Ohiopyle Bridge Youghiogheny River Youghiogheny River Gorge


The terrain is rocky and may be challenging for some visitors. Swim only when and where allowed by the park.

How to Access

Park at the Youghiogheny River Parking lot and cross the Great Allegheny Passage Trail to access the Ferncliff Trail. Follow trail along the river towards the Ohiopyle Falls.

Get Directions to Parking Using Google Maps:

Adjacent Places

Ferncliff at Ohiopyle Falls High Ohiopyle Bridge Scenic View Area Train Station and Low Ohiopyle Bridge

More Information

The experience here can be different each time you visit as a small rise in the water level can engulf your rocky stepping stones turning them into rapids while previous rapids are smoothed out by the higher waters. For many visitors this place is a passage leading to Ohiopyle Falls at Ferncliff and both places are combined into one scenic and enjoyable experience.