Looking to find the best hikes in Ohiopyle State Park? Check out this list for some hikes to add to your bucket list!
Ohiopyle is one of the best Pennsylvania State parks for hiking! At less than ninety minutes from Pittsburgh, it’s great for a day trip to escape the city but is also absolutely worth visit for those who come from further away.
I’ve visited Ohiopyle in every season and I always feel like there are more things to do each time. However, hiking is my favorite thing to do in the park so I’ve compiled a list of my favorite hikes in Ohiopyle!
As always, follow the principles of leave no trace when you're out exploring! Pack out all trash, leave wildlife alone, and generally leave it better than you found it - for more information visit the Leave No Trace Center.
Hike Length: 1.8 miles
Description: Ferncliff is a go-to any time I am showing someone new Ohiopyle. It’s a beautiful hike and is short enough to be relatively manageable for most levels of hiker. This hike has great views of the Ohiopyle Falls and the Youghiogheny River and some fun terrain change. I personally love visiting this trail in the fall best, but it is lovely all year round.
Cucumber Falls via Great Gorge Trail
Hike Length: 0.3 miles to the Falls only or 5.0 with Great Gorge Trail added in.
Description: Who doesn’t love an amazing waterfall? Cucumber Falls is one of the best waterfalls in Western Pennsylvania and should absolutely be on the list of any Ohiopyle visitor. This waterfall with its 30 foot drop is one of the few in Western Pennsylvania that you can walk behind (similar to Buttermilk Falls in Indiana County PA!). It is accessible from a very close parking lot or you can go on an adventure and have it as your first stop on a hike on the Great Gorge Trail. While the hike is nice, it’s hard to top starting with one of the best waterfalls in the state.
Insider tip: Cucumber Falls is one of the most popular attractions in the park, so if you want the falls to yourself, go early!
Looking to visit more state parks in the Laurel Highlands area? Check out these parks! - Kooser State Park - Laurel Ridge State Park - Linn Run State Park
Jonathan Run Falls
Hike Length: 2.5 miles
Description: This is one of my favorite hikes because you get not one, not two, but three waterfalls all in one hike! This is a great trail to visit after a lot of rain as the falls can be amazing! Make sure you wear good shoes, because if the falls are amazing, the trail is muddy.
Insider tip: The last falls is only accessible by a rope built into the side of the hill. It’s tough to spot without help, so download the AllTrails map with the waypoints to guide your way.
If you want more waterfalls in your life, check out these posts! - Best Waterfalls Near Pittsburgh - Best Waterfall in Ohio - Visiting Freedom Fa
Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail (Ohiopyle Section)
Hike Length: ~5 miles round trip to the overlook, 70 miles if you do the whole thing!
Description: The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail is a 70 mile long backpacking trail that starts in Ohiopyle. (Click here to read about my experience thru-hiking the Laurel Highlands Trail!) The Ohiopyle section is known as the hardest part of the trail, as it has steep elevation gain and loss in the 6.5 mile section to the Bidwell shelter. However, I recommend only hiking five miles (2.5 each way) to the first overlook on the trail. It offers a beautiful view of the Youghigheiny River and is absolutely worth the work to get there.
Insider tip: This overlook is lovely in all seasons but is INCREDIBLE in the fall. Highly recommend visiting then.
Natural Waterslides – Meadow Run
Hike Length: Expect to walk about half a mile total to see the slides, but can vary depending on how far you go along the trail.
Description: The Natural Waterslides in Ohiopyle are one of the most unique features of the park! Here the water has carved through sandstone to create an almost waterpark-like attraction. This is the only place to cool off in the park on a hot day, as there is no pool or beach like other state parks. The slides are located about half a mile out of downtown Ohiopyle and are a short walk from the parking lot. However, I recommend hiking on Meadow Run trail that parallels the slides to see more of their beauty.
Insider tip: If you plan to slide, be very aware of water levels. If they are too high, it could be dangerous and if they are too low, sliding could be….painful.
Unsure what to take on your hike? Check out my list of 10 essentials for day hiking!
FAQs about Hikes in Ohiopyle
Does Ohiopyle have a waterfall?
Ohiopyle has a ton of waterfalls! There are waterfalls that are easy to get to, like Ohiopyle Falls and Cucumber Falls and then waterfalls that require a hike, like Jonathan Run Falls. Waterfalls are one of the main reasons I love Ohiopyle so much!
Does Ohiopyle allow dogs?
Yes! Like the majority of state parks, dogs are allowed in Ohiopyle as long as they on leash and controlled.
Where is Ohiopyle?
Despite the name, Ohiopyle is not located in Ohio. This state park is located in western Pennsylvania in the three counties known as the Laurel Highlands.
What is there to do besides hike in Ohiopyle?
Ohiopyle is home to all sorts of outdoor activities, such as biking, white water rafting, rock climbing, and more! Ohiopyle also has an awesome main street where visitors can shop for souvenirs and eat delicious food. I highly recommend eating at Falls Market after a hike – their burgers are AMAZING.
Ok, but what is your favorite hike in Ohiopyle?
That would be like picking a favorite state park! However, the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail has a special place in my heart since it was my first backpacking trip ever and also my first thru-hike.
Updated September 10, 2023