Laurel Highlands Trail Youghiogheny Overlook

  • 10
  • 15 Min
  • 4
  • 120 Min
View from Laurel Highlands Trail Youghiogheny Overlook

A large flat topped rock formation serves as the perch from which to enjoy one of the finest views in western Pennsylvania, your reward for having climbed up a thousand feet from the Youghiogheny River that is now far below you. Here before you is a giant schism in Laurel Ridge where the river rounds a wide peninsula known as the Flats and leaving considerable distance between you and the opposite walls of the Youghiogheny River Gorge.

While the full heights of the opposing ridge top are obscured from view, an unmistakable Sugarloaf Knob can be seen presiding over the gorge wall and the folding terrain cut by streams fanning into Long Run. A full glance around the view reveals many gorges cut into the ridge's side by eroding mountain side streams.

It's a challenging hike to get to this overlook not because the trail is particularly tricky but because of the elevation climb involved. Many individuals will need plenty of rests while climbing the ridge. Descending back down isn't much easier as it can take quite a toll on your knees and ankles.

Features to Experience

Laurel Ridge The Flats Youghiogheny River Youghiogheny River Gorge

Caution

Besides caution around the cliff you'll also encounter a strenuous hike getting here. It's a significant elevation rise from the valley floor below.

How to Access

On Route 381 from Ohiopyle cross the river and turn right immediately after onto Garrett Street and follow that back to a parking area for the Laurel Highlands Trail. Occasionally this area is really congested from some businesses along this road. An alternative parking lot exists higher up on the ridge or park on the other side of Route 381. This would force a longer hike.

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More Information

On a calm day you can hear the distant sound of the Youghiogheny River's rapids far below and occasionally rafters coming down the river as they encounter them.

Birds of prey can often be seen circling the heights along the gorge.

The Laurel Highlands Trail can be busy with hikers during certain parts of the season and you may encounter a group taking up residence at the overlook. Often walking a little further ahead on the trail and returning will give you the opportunity for privacy at the overlook. Thankfully the trail flattens out considerably beyond the overlook.