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Ohiopyle State Park

Ohiopyle State Park

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Ohiopyle State Park is a Pennsylvania state park on 19052 acres (7,710.1 ha) in Dunbar, Henry Clay and Stewart Township
Stewart Township, Pennsylvania
Stewart Township is a township in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. The population was 743 at the 2000 census....

s, Fayette County
Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Fayette County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the2010 census, the population was 136,606. The county is part of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area....

, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 in the United States. The focal point of the park is the more than 14 miles (22.5 km) of the Youghiogheny River
Youghiogheny River
The Youghiogheny River , or the Yough for short, is a tributary of the Monongahela River in the U.S. states of West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania...

 Gorge that passes through the park. The river provides some of the best whitewater boating in the Eastern United States. Ohiopyle State Park is bisected by Pennsylvania Route 381
Pennsylvania Route 381
Pennsylvania Route 381 is an long state highway located in Fayette, and Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania. The southern terminus is the West Virginia state line near Elliottsville, where it continues as Preston County Route 8 to its southern terminus at WV 26 in Brandonville, WV...

 south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike
Pennsylvania Turnpike
The Pennsylvania Turnpike is a toll highway system operated by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States. The three sections of the turnpike system total . The main section extends from Ohio to New Jersey and is long...

. The park opened to the public in 1965, but was not officially dedicated until 1971.

Ohiopyle State Park was chosen by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources , established on July 1, 1995, is the agency in the U.S. State of Pennsylvania responsible for maintaining and preserving the state's 117 state parks and 20 state forests; providing information on the state's natural resources; and...

 (DCNR) and its Bureau of Parks as one of "Twenty Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks".

Natural history


The park lies within the Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests
Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests
The Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests are an ecoregion of mesophytic plants west of the Appalachian Mountains in the southeastern United States.-Setting:...

 ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

.

Waterfalls


Ohiopyle State Park features several waterfalls.
  • Ohiopyle Falls is a 20 feet (6.1 m) waterfall that spans the Youghiogheny River
    Youghiogheny River
    The Youghiogheny River , or the Yough for short, is a tributary of the Monongahela River in the U.S. states of West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania...

     and is surrounded by the Falls Day Use Area located at the center of the park.
  • Cucumber Falls is a 30 feet (9.1 m) bridal veil waterfall on Cucumber Run, a small creek which flows into the Youghiogheny River. It can be reached from Meadow Run Trail.
  • Cascades is a woodland waterfall that is near the park office and is very popular with anglers.
  • Jonathan Run Falls is a series of rhododendron
    Rhododendron
    Rhododendron is a genus of over 1 000 species of woody plants in the heath family, most with showy flowers...

     lined waterfalls on Jonathan Run that can be seen by hiking on Jonathan Run Trail.
  • Sugar Run Falls is a waterfall on Sugar Run Creek
    Sugar Run Creek
    Sugar Run Creek is a tributary of the Susquehanna River in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, in the United States.Sugar Run and Sugar Run Creek join immediately downstream of Pennsylvania Route 187, then continue to join the Susquehanna at the community of Sugar Run.-References:*Gertler, Edward....

     that is accessible from a walking trail that spurs off of the Great Allegheny Passage
    Great Allegheny Passage
    The Great Allegheny Passage is a rail trail in Maryland and Pennsylvania. It is the central part of a several-hundred-mile long network of long-distance hiker-biker trails through the Allegheny region of the Appalachian Mountains, connecting Washington, D.C...

    .
  • Meadow Run Waterslides have unique geologic formations for exploration. There are ripples and potholes that have been carved into the stone by years and years of powerful currents and spinning rocks. Visitors to the park are permitted to ride these natural waterslides.

Ferncliff Peninsula National Natural Landmark


Ferncliff Peninsula is a 100 acres (40.5 ha) peninsula
Peninsula
A peninsula is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland. In many Germanic and Celtic languages and also in Baltic, Slavic and Hungarian, peninsulas are called "half-islands"....

 in the Youghiogheny River inside the park. Due to the warmer microclimate
Microclimate
A microclimate is a local atmospheric zone where the climate differs from the surrounding area. The term may refer to areas as small as a few square feet or as large as many square miles...

 inside the gorge, seeds carried by the river from the south survive. It was declared a National Natural Landmark
National Natural Landmark
The National Natural Landmark program recognizes and encourages the conservation of outstanding examples of the natural history of the United States. It is the only natural areas program of national scope that identifies and recognizes the best examples of biological and geological features in...

 in November 1973 and was named a State Park Natural Area in 1992.

Native Americans



The first known group of people to inhabit the Ohiopyle area were the Monongahela
Monongahela tribe
The Monongahela culture were a Native American cultural manifestation of Late Woodland peoples in present-day western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and West Virginia from AD 1050 to 1635...

, a clan of the Mound Builders. These Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 disappeared from the scene just as European colonists began to arrive in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

. As the east coast was being settled, Native Americans who had lived closer to the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 were exterminated or forced to flee to the west. Various tribes, including the Shawnee
Shawnee
The Shawnee, Shaawanwaki, Shaawanooki and Shaawanowi lenaweeki, are an Algonquian-speaking people native to North America. Historically they inhabited the areas of Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Western Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania...

, Lenni Lenape, and Seneca people, inhabited the Ohiopyle area during the 18th century, but were ultimately removed after the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

. One of the few remnants of American Indian culture in the area is the name. "Ohiopyle" is derived from the Lenape
Unami language
Unami is an extinct Algonquian language formerly spoken by Lenape people in what is now the lower Hudson Valley area and New York Harbor area, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, but later in Ontario and Oklahoma. It is one of the two Delaware languages, the other being Munsee...

 phrase ahi opih…ôle which means 'it turns very white', referring to the frothy waterfalls.

French and Indian War


The colonial powers of New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 and the British Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

 fought for control of the trading routes in the Ohio River Valley in what was then the northwestern frontier of America. The French were the first to explore the upper reaches of the Ohio and Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 valleys. They built several forts in what is now western Pennsylvania, including Fort Duquesne
Fort Duquesne
Fort Duquesne was a fort established by the French in 1754, at the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in what is now downtown Pittsburgh in the state of Pennsylvania....

, now in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the US Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States...

. Fort Duquesne was built on the remains of Fort Prince George
Fort Prince George
Fort Prince George was an uncompleted fort on what is now the site of Pittsburgh, at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The site was originally a trading post established by Ohio Company trader William Trent in the 1740s...

 which the French had seized from the British. George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 was sent by the colonial governor of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 to retake the all-important fort at the confluence
Confluence (geography)
In geography, a confluence is the meeting of two or more bodies of water. It usually refers to the point where two streams flow together, merging into a single stream...

 of the Allegheny
Allegheny River
The Allegheny River is a principal tributary of the Ohio River; it is located in the Eastern United States. The Allegheny River joins with the Monongahela River to form the Ohio River at the "Point" of Point State Park in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...

 and Monongahela River
Monongahela River
The Monongahela River is a river on the Allegheny Plateau in north-central West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania in the United States...

s. He was on two expeditions that passed through the Ohiopyle area. Washington tried to use the Youghiogheny River to reach Fort Duquesne quickly, but was forced to abandon the river passage by the waterfalls in the Ohiopyle area. Still, Washington pressed on to the Pittsburgh area. His troops encountered and routed a small party of French soldiers in the Battle of Jumonville Glen
Battle of Jumonville Glen
The Battle of Jumonville Glen, also known as the Jumonville affair, was the opening battle of the French and Indian War fought on May 28, 1754 near what is present-day Uniontown in Fayette County, Pennsylvania...

. One of these soldiers escaped to Fort Duquesne, and Washington was forced to quicky build a fort to prepare for the oncoming French attack. This was Fort Necessity, just southwest of Ohiopyle State Park. Washington's colonial forces were overwhelmed by the French and their Indian allies. The Battle of the Great Meadows
Battle of the Great Meadows
The Battle of Fort Necessity, or the Battle of the Great Meadows took place on July 3, 1754 in what is now the mountaintop hamlet of Farmington in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. The engagement was one of the first battles of the French and Indian War and George Washington's only military surrender...

 at Fort Necessity and the earlier Battle of Jumonville Glen are considered the opening shots of the French and Indian War which would spread to the Old World
Old World
The Old World consists of those parts of the world known to classical antiquity and the European Middle Ages. It is used in the context of, and contrast with, the "New World" ....

 and become the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

. The loss at Fort Necessity marked George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

's only military surrender. The British ultimately won the French and Indian war and the French were forced to leave western Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania or Virginia?


King George III declared that the area be an Indian Territory and that all European settlers were to leave. The settlers refused to leave and King George "bought" the land from the Iroquois
Iroquois
The Iroquois , also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse", are an association of several tribes of indigenous people of North America...

 in 1768. The land was claimed by both Pennsylvania and Virginia. The dispute of the territory lasted through the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 and was not resolved until 1784.

Whiskey Rebellion


The Whiskey Rebellion
Whiskey Rebellion
The Whiskey Rebellion, or Whiskey Insurrection, was a tax protest in the United States in the 1790s, during the presidency of George Washington. Farmers who sold their corn in the form of whiskey had to pay a new tax which they strongly resented...

 was a major test for the new government of the United States after the Revolution. The citizens of western Pennsylvania, mostly near Washington, PA
Washington, Pennsylvania
Washington is a city in and the county seat of Washington County, Pennsylvania, United States, within the Pittsburgh Metro Area in the southwestern part of the state...

, were not pleased with the excise
Excise
Excise tax in the United States is a indirect tax on listed items. Excise taxes can be and are made by federal, state and local governments and are far from uniform throughout the United States...

 tax
Tax
To tax is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities...

 on liquor and distilled drinks. This tax had been proposed by Treasury Secretary
United States Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also with some issues of national security and defense. This position in the Federal Government of the United...

 Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

, passed by Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

, and signed into law by President Washington in 1791. The tensions of the whiskey tax intensified over the next three years and in 1794 there was a state of insurrection in the area. 13,000 militiamen under the direct command of George Washington were sent to put it down, and passed through the Ohiopyle area. The rebels "could never be found," according to Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

, but the militia rounded up 20 prisoners, clearly demonstrating Federalist
Federalist
The term federalist describes several political beliefs around the world. Also, it may refer to the concept of federalism or the type of government called a federation...

 authority in the national government. The men were imprisoned, where one died and two were convicted of treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

 and sentenced to death by hanging. But Washington pardon
Pardon
Clemency means the forgiveness of a crime or the cancellation of the penalty associated with it. It is a general concept that encompasses several related procedures: pardoning, commutation, remission and reprieves...

ed them on the grounds that one was a "simpleton," and the other, "insane." The military suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion set a precedent that US citizens who wished to change the law had to do so peacefully through constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

al means; otherwise, the government would meet any threats to disturb the peace with force.

Lumbering and tourism



The earliest European settlers to the Ohiopyle area were farmer
Farmer
A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture, who raises living organisms for food or raw materials, generally including livestock husbandry and growing crops, such as produce and grain...

s, trappers and hunters. The population of the area expanded after the building of the National Road
National Road
The National Road or Cumberland Road was the first major improved highway in the United States to be built by the federal government. Construction began heading west in 1811 at Cumberland, Maryland, on the Potomac River. It crossed the Allegheny Mountains and southwestern Pennsylvania, reaching...

 in 1811 that passed near Ohiopyle. This road made the area more accessible and connected it the eastern markets. Lumbering became the dominant industry. Smaller industries in the area included cooperages, tanneries, salt mining and coal mining
Coal mining
The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States,...

.

The construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was one of the oldest railroads in the United States and the first common carrier railroad. It came into being mostly because the city of Baltimore wanted to compete with the newly constructed Erie Canal and another canal being proposed by Pennsylvania, which...

 and the Western Maryland Railroad greatly accelerated the progress of the lumbering operations in Ohiopyle
Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania
Ohiopyle is a borough in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 77 at the 2000 census. While Ohiopyle has a tiny year-round population, it is often filled with tourists on the weekend, who come take advantage of outdoor recreation...

. Both railroads had stations in the borough
Borough
A borough is an administrative division in various countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing township although, in practice, official use of the term varies widely....

. Several narrow gauge railroads were built up into the surrounding mountains. These smaller railways were able to efficiently transport to lumber to the sawmill
Sawmill
A sawmill is a facility where logs are cut into boards.-Sawmill process:A sawmill's basic operation is much like those of hundreds of years ago; a log enters on one end and dimensional lumber exits on the other end....

s and rail stations of Ohiopyle.

The railroads also brought tourists to Ohiopyle. The round trip ride from Pittsburgh to Ohiopyle was one dollar
Dollar
The dollar is the name of the official currency of many countries, including Australia, Belize, Canada, Ecuador, El Salvador, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States.-Etymology:...

. Tourists flocked to the area to see the waterfall
Waterfall
A waterfall is a place where flowing water rapidly drops in elevation as it flows over a steep region or a cliff.-Formation:Waterfalls are commonly formed when a river is young. At these times the channel is often narrow and deep. When the river courses over resistant bedrock, erosion happens...

s and stay at the resort
Resort
A resort is a place used for relaxation or recreation, attracting visitors for holidays or vacations. Resorts are places, towns or sometimes commercial establishment operated by a single company....

s that quickly sprouted up along the Youghiogheny River. The resorts had boardwalk
Boardwalk
A boardwalk, in the conventional sense, is a wooden walkway for pedestrians and sometimes vehicles, often found along beaches, but they are also common as paths through wetlands, coastal dunes, and other sensitive environments....

s, dancing pavilions, bowling alleys, fountains, tennis court
Tennis court
A tennis court is where the game of tennis is played. It is a firm rectangular surface with a low net stretched across the center. The same surface can be used to play both doubles and singles.-Dimensions:...

s, and hiking trails. The rise of the automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 caused the end of the resorts at Ohiopyle. The buildings were torn down and the forests were allowed to regrow. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy , headquartered in Pittsburgh, has been around for more than 75 years and exists to protect the water, land and life of western Pennsylvania. Half of all the land that has been protected by land trusts in Pennsylvania has been conserved by the Western...

 purchased the land and then sold it to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was the first and largest park acquired under the Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act
Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act
Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act is a public lands acquisition law enacted in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on 22 June 1964. It permits the state to issue bonds for the purchase of lands for public parks, reservoirs, and other conservation, recreation, and historical preservation...

 with the governor approving the acquisition on August 8, 1964. Ohiopyle State Park was opened to the public in 1965 and was formally dedicated on May 28, 1971.

Recreation



Ohiopyle State Park is a popular destination for rafting, kayaking, and canoeing, but it also has over 100 miles (160.9 km) of trails that are open to hiking
Hiking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

, horseback riding, cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing is a winter sport in which participants propel themselves across snow-covered terrain using skis and poles...

, mountain bike
Mountain bike
A mountain bike or mountain bicycle is a bicycle created for off-road cycling. This activity includes traversing of rocks and washouts, and steep declines,...

s and snowmobile
Snowmobile
A snowmobile, also known in some places as a snowmachine, or sled,is a land vehicle for winter travel on snow. Designed to be operated on snow and ice, they require no road or trail. Design variations enable some machines to operate in deep snow or forests; most are used on open terrain, including...

s. The trails pass by several of the park's waterfalls and ascend the mountains to scenic overlooks.


Whitewater paddling


The Youghiogheny River
Youghiogheny River
The Youghiogheny River , or the Yough for short, is a tributary of the Monongahela River in the U.S. states of West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania...

 is the busiest section of whitewater
Whitewater
Whitewater is formed in a rapid, when a river's gradient increases enough to disturb its laminar flow and create turbulence, i.e. form a bubbly, or aerated and unstable current; the frothy water appears white...

 east of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. The Lower Yough, a 7 miles (11.3 km) run, begins at Ohiopyle Falls and ends at the Bruner Run take-out. The Middle Yough begins at the Ramcat put-in near Confluence
Confluence, Pennsylvania
Confluence is a borough in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is part of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 834 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Confluence is located at ....

 and ends just above the falls in Ohiopyle
Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania
Ohiopyle is a borough in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 77 at the 2000 census. While Ohiopyle has a tiny year-round population, it is often filled with tourists on the weekend, who come take advantage of outdoor recreation...

. One weekend per year or so, there is a race and festival devoted to the falls, and the state park permits paddlers to run the falls. Only rubber rafts, closed-topped canoes and kayaks are permitted in the river. All visitors must wear life jackets certified by the United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

. The Lower Yough River is rated Class III to Class IV on the International Scale of River Difficulty
International Scale of River Difficulty
The International Scale of River Difficulty is a standardized scale used to rate the safety of a stretch of river, or a single rapid. The grade reflects the technical difficulty and skill level required associated with the section of river...

, depending on water conditions; the easier Middle Yough is rated II, and Ohiopyle Falls is rated IV. All watercraft in the Lower Yough must display a state permit that can be purchased at the main park office. Boating must be in accordance with the Safety Code of American Whitewater. Inexperienced visitors are encouraged to hire one of the several private outfitters that offer guided trips down the rapids.

Long-distance hiking, biking and equestrian trails



Ohiopyle State Park is connected end-to-end by the Youghiogheny River Trail
Youghiogheny River Trail
The Yough River Trail is a non-motorized multi-use rail trail that stretches between McKeesport, PA and Confluence, PA. It is part of the Great Allegheny Passage that will one day allow cyclists to bike from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, D.C...

 South section of the Great Allegheny Passage
Great Allegheny Passage
The Great Allegheny Passage is a rail trail in Maryland and Pennsylvania. It is the central part of a several-hundred-mile long network of long-distance hiker-biker trails through the Allegheny region of the Appalachian Mountains, connecting Washington, D.C...

, part of a 318 mile system (512 km) of off-road long-distance trail
Long-distance trail
Long-distance trails are the longer recreational trails mainly through rural areas, used for non-motorised recreational travelling ....

s for hiking and biking between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the US Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States...

 and Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....



This rail-trail parallels the rapids from Ramcat to the Bruner Run take-out on either end of the park, and crosses over the "Loop" near the falls at Ohiopyle on a high trestle. The trail system connects to a wide network of rustic hiking and equestrian
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 trails, including the Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. It is approximately long...

 in Maryland. A network of hiking trails exist within the park itself. The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, part of the larger Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, has its southern terminus at Ohiopyle State Park.

Hunting and fishing


Hunting is permitted on 18000 acres (7,284.3 ha) of Ohiopyle State Park. Hunters are expected to follow the rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Game Commission
Pennsylvania Game Commission
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is the state agency responsible for wildlife conservation and management in Pennsylvania in the United States...

. The common game species are Ruffed Grouse
Ruffed Grouse
The Ruffed Grouse is a medium-sized grouse occurring in forests from the Appalachian Mountains across Canada to Alaska. It is non-migratory.The Ruffed Grouse is frequently referred to as a "partridge"...

, Eastern Gray Squirrel
Eastern Gray Squirrel
The eastern gray squirrel is a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus native to the eastern and midwestern United States, and to the southerly portions of the eastern provinces of Canada...

, Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey
The Wild Turkey is native to North America and is the heaviest member of the Galliformes. It is the same species as the domestic turkey, which derives from the South Mexican subspecies of wild turkey .Adult wild turkeys have long reddish-yellow to grayish-green...

, American Black Bear
American black bear
The American black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most common bear species. Black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in...

, White-tailed deer
White-tailed Deer
The white-tailed deer , also known as the Virginia deer or simply as the whitetail, is a medium-sized deer native to the United States , Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America as far south as Peru...

 and Eastern Cottontail
Eastern Cottontail
The eastern cottontail is a New World cottontail rabbit, a member of the family Leporidae. It is one of the most common rabbit species in North America.-Distribution:...

 rabbits. Hunting of Groundhog
Groundhog
The groundhog , also known as a woodchuck, whistle-pig, or in some areas as a land-beaver, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Other marmots, such as the yellow-bellied and hoary marmots, live in rocky and mountainous areas, but...

s is prohibited. Loaded firearms are not permitted within 50 feet (15.2 m) of the river. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is the state agency responsible for the regulation of all fishing and boating in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania...

 assures that anglers will have plenty of chances to catch fish by stocking
Fish stocking
Fish stocking is the practice of raising fish in a hatchery and releasing them into a river, lake, or the ocean to supplement existing populations, or to create a population where none exists...

 trout
Trout
Trout is the name for a number of species of freshwater and saltwater fish belonging to the Salmoninae subfamily of the family Salmonidae. Salmon belong to the same family as trout. Most salmon species spend almost all their lives in salt water...

 in the waters of Youghiogheny River. All fishermen are expected to follow the rules and regulations of the fish commission.

Camping and picnicking


Visitors can stay overnight at Ohiopyle State Park's Kentuck Campground, or rent a cottage
Cottage
__toc__In modern usage, a cottage is usually a modest, often cozy dwelling, typically in a rural or semi-rural location. However there are cottage-style dwellings in cities, and in places such as Canada the term exists with no connotations of size at all...

. The campground has 226 campsites with 27 of them being walk-in, tent only sites. All campsites have a picnic table
Picnic table
A picnic table is a modified table with attached benches, designed for eating a meal outdoors .-Uses:...

 and fire ring, modern restrooms with hot showers and flush toilets, and four playground
Playground
A playground or play area is a place with a specific design for children be able to play there. It may be indoors but is typically outdoors...

s. The rustic cottages have electricity, but lack running water. Each cottage can sleep five people in single or double bunks
Bunk bed
A bunk bed is a type of bed in which one bed frame is stacked on top of another. The nature of bunk beds allows two people to sleep in the same room while maximizing available floor space...

.

There are two picnic areas at Ohiopyle State Park. Both have tables, grills, restrooms, and pavilions. Cucumber Run Picnic Area is near Cucumber Run. Tharp Knob Picnic Area is near the Tharp Knob Overlook. It has a large ballfield, volleyball court, playground and two pavilions.

Nearby state parks



The following state parks are within 30 miles (48.3 km) of Ohiopyle State Park:
  • Big Run State Park
    Big Run State Park
    Big Run State Park is a state park in the state of Maryland. It is located in Garrett County, Maryland and features campsites, fishing, flat water canoeing, hiking trail, historic interest, picnic facilities, and shelters. The main part of the park is located at the northern end of the Savage...

     (Maryland
    Maryland
    Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

    )
  • Casselman River Bridge State Park (Maryland)
  • Deep Creek Lake State Park (Maryland)
  • Herrington Manor State Park
    Herrington Manor State Park
    Herrington Manor State Park is a Maryland State Park on in Garrett County, Maryland. The focal point of the park is a lake formed by the damming of Herrington Creek. Development of the park began in the 1930s as a project of the Civilian Conservation Corps...

     (Maryland)
  • Laurel Hill State Park
    Laurel Hill State Park
    Laurel Hill State Park is a Pennsylvania state park in Jefferson and Middlecreek Townships, Somerset County, Pennsylvania in the United States. Laurel Hill Lake is a man-made lake with a dam that was constructed during the Great Depression by the young men of CCC camps SP-8-PA and SP-15-PA...

     (Somerset County
    Somerset County, Pennsylvania
    Somerset County is a county located in the state of Pennsylvania. As of 2010, the population was 77,742. Somerset County was created on April 17, 1795, from part of Bedford County and named for Somerset, United Kingdom. Its county seat is Somerset. It is part of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania,...

    )
  • Laurel Mountain State Park
    Laurel Mountain State Park
    Laurel Mountain State Park is a Pennsylvania state park in Ligonier Township, Westmoreland County and Jenner Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania in the United States. This state park is a ski resort that closed for business in 2005. The ski assests of the park were purchased by Seven Springs...

     (Westmoreland County
    Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
    -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 369,993 people, 149,813 households, and 104,569 families residing in the county. The population density was 361 people per square mile . There were 161,058 housing units at an average density of 157 per square mile...

    )
  • Laurel Ridge State Park
    Laurel Ridge State Park
    Laurel Ridge State Park is a Pennsylvania state park that passes through Cambria, Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland counties, Pennsylvania in the United States. The park is home to the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail that runs through the park from the Youghiogheny River at Ohiopyle to the...

     (Cambria
    Cambria County, Pennsylvania
    Cambria County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It comprises the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2010, the population was 143,679....

    , Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland Counties)
  • Laurel Summit State Park
    Laurel Summit State Park
    Laurel Summit State Park is a Pennsylvania state park in Cook Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in the United States. It is also a picnic area with a scenic view of Linn Run on the summit of Laurel Mountain. The temperatures at Laurel Summit State Park are generally several degrees...

     (Westmoreland County)
  • Linn Run State Park
    Linn Run State Park
    Linn Run State Park is a Pennsylvania state park on in Cook and Ligonier Townships, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The park borders Forbes State Forest. Two smaller streams, Grove Run and Rock Run, join in Linn Run State Park to form Linn Run which has a waterfall, Adams...

     (Westmoreland County)
  • New Germany State Park
    New Germany State Park
    New Germany State Park is a Maryland state park contained within Savage River State Forest. The park features boat launch, boat rental, cabins, cross country skiing, camp fire programs, camp sites, snack bar, dump station, fishing, flat water canoeing, hiking trail, historic interest, picnic table...

     (Maryland)
  • Shallow Creek Falls State Park (Maryland)

External links