Ohiopyle Weekend Itinerary

Want to spend a weekend in Ohiopyle – one of the best state parks in the US? Read on the best Ohiopyle weekend itinerary!

Cucumber Falls is a must for any Ohiopyle itinerary
Table of Contents
- Why Visit Ohiopyle
- Best Weekend Itinerary for Ohiopyle
     - Start off with an adventure
          - Ride a section of the GAP
          - White Water Rafting
          - Go Rock Climbing
          - Fishing
     - Eat Lunch at Falls Market
     - Check out the Visitor Center
     - Schedule a Tour of a Frank Lloyd Wright Property
     - Take a Hike
           - Cucumber Falls
           - Jonathan Run Falls
           - Laurel Highlands Overlook
     - Wander Ohiopyle's Main Street 
- Where to Stay
- What to Pack for A Weekend in Ohiopyle
- FAQ about an Ohiopyle Weekend Itinerary

Why Visit Ohiopyle

At less than ninety minutes from Pittsburgh, Ohiopyle in Fayette County is great for a day trip to escape the city. But a day is just not enough time to visit this amazing park. I’ve visited Ohiopyle in every season and I always feel like there are more things to do each time. A weekend trip to this park is the perfect length of time to get a taste of one of my favorite places in Pennsylvania.

Ohiopyle is one of the best places to visit on the east coast for outdoor adventure lovers. This park has something for everyone – hiking, white water rafting, rock climbing, fishing and more! If you’re planning a visit, get the most out of your time in this park by planning ahead. I’ve visited Ohiopyle over ten times and this is my recommendations for the best weekend itinerary in Ohiopyle.

Check out my best weekend itinerary for 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.
Fall is one of the best times to visit Ohiopyle, but its very busy this time of year!

Best Weekend Itinerary for Ohiopyle

Note that this post contains adventures that were comped by the Go Laurel Highlands tourism board. While the experience was paid for, my opinions are my own and I would never recommend anything I did not enjoy. 

Start off with an adventure

Ohiopyle is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. I recommend planning to start with your most intense adventure on the first day, so that way if you have bad weather, you can switch it to your second day. This region has a ton of options for adventures and no Ohiopyle itinerary is complete without some adrenaline seeking.

Ride a section of the GAP

The GAP, or Great Allegheny Passage, bike trail is a cyclist’s dream. It runs from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD, cutting through Ohiopyle on its way. The Ohiopyle section of the GAP runs over the Youghiogheny River on a bridge that has great views of the river. You can either bring bikes with you or rent them from one of the local outfitters. Wilderness Voyagers also offers guided bike tours.

White Water Rafting

The Youghigheny River is one of the best spots on the east coast for white water rafting. This is a must-do adventure if you’re visiting Ohiopyle and I had the best time!

There are multiple companies for white water rafting but I highly recommend Wilderness Voyagers. I had a great experience on their guided tour summer 2023. (They also run a Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail shuttle, which I used for my thru-hike of the LHHT in fall 2023). Our guide, Tyler, made the experience a great time while teaching us about the region and the sport.

Visitors can also do a “self guided” tour where a guide accompanies you in a kayak and you pilot your own raft. However, there have been white water rafting deaths on the Youghiogheny and I highly recommend the guided version if you are new to white water rafting. Having our guide tell us exactly when to paddle and helping us steer made me feel a lot safer.

Go Rock Climbing

Ohiopyle is one of the only three state parks in all of Pennsylvania that allow rock climbing. (McConnells Mill State Park in Western PA and Ralph Stover State Park in Southeastern PA are the other two).

Multiple outfitters in the area offer guided rock climbing experiences, including Wilderness Voyagers and Laurel Highlands Outdoor Center. These guided tours are good for beginner and inexperienced climbers. Both of these tours have a minimum age of 10 and weight requirements so make sure to check those out when booking.

I only recommend this if you have rock climbing experience but there are areas in Ohiopyle to climb without a guide. Meadow Run Climbing Area, Bruner Run Climbing Area, and a series of four walls along the Lower Youghiogheny section of the Great Allegheny Passage have climbing routes. Mountain Project has more details on these routes and locations. If climbing without a guide, please use caution and only climb if you have the proper experience.

Fishing at Ohiopyle

The PA Fish & Boat Commission ranked Middle Yough as the second best trout river in the entire state. The tour companies in the area also offer guided fishing outings or you can cast out on your own. When fishing, make sure to comply with all rules of PA Fish and Boat Commission.

Eat Lunch at Falls Market

Who ISN’T hungry after an adventure? Not me, that’s for sure. I recommend picking up food at Falls Market in the main town center. This super casual picnic style eatery is a great place to grab food in between adventures. I highly recommend getting one of their burgers. Keep in mind that portions are LARGE so come hungry or willing to share with a friend!

Check out the Visitor Center

The visitor center at Ohiopyle is one of the better state park visitor centers in Pennsylvania! Visitors can learn more about the region, including things to do, conservation in the area, and history of the area. While at the Visitor Center, don’t forget to get your state park passport stamped! (Every purchase of a PA State Park Passport helps benefit our state parks).

The visitor center also offers amazing views of the Ohiopyle Falls. You can see the falls from inside the center or visit the double tiered platform outside the parking lot to take in these amazing falls.

Winter view of the Ohiopyle Falls from the visitor center
Want to check out another cool state park visitor center? VIsit Kinzua Bridge's visitor center to learn about this amazing state park and the history of the railroad in the Pennsylvania Wilds.

Schedule a tour at one of the Frank Lloyd Wright Houses

Did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright has not one but two houses in Ohiopyle? Fallingwater is the more well-known architectural wonder, built with the beautiful Pennsylvania natural landscape instead of on top of it.

Access to Fallingwater is available at different levels. Visitors can access (in order of least to most expensive) grounds only, guided grounds tour, guided architectural tours, or an in-depth tour with photography allowed. Normal tours do not allow photos. For more information and to book a tour of Fallingwater, visit the official website.

Kentuck Knob is less well known than Fallingwater but is also an architectural marvel. With Kentuck Knob, Frank Lloyd Wright also integrates the house into nature rather than the other way around. Kentuck Knob offers guided tours or in-depth tours.

For more information about Kentuck Knob or to book a tour, visit the house’s official website.

Take a Day Hike

Start your next day with another outdoor adventure in the form of a hike! This is one of my favorite activities so I have tons of thoughts here. The below trails are my recommendations if you only have one weekend in Ohiopyle.

Cucumber Falls

  • 0.3 miles to the Falls
  • Cucumber Falls is one of the best waterfalls in Western Pennsylvania and should absolutely be on the list of any Ohiopyle visitor.
  • This is the easiest hike on the list, but is not accessible as visitors have to climb up and down stairs

Ferncliff Trail

  • 1.8 mile hike
  • This hike has great views of the Ohiopyle Falls and the Youghiogheny River and some fun terrain change.
  • If you’re traveling with young children, please watch children near the falls and on the rocky parts of this trail as it can be dangerous.
Views of the Yough from Ferncliff Trail in Fall 2022

Jonathan Run Falls

  • 2.5 miles
  • 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.
  • 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.

Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Ohiopyle overlook

  • ~5 miles round trip to the overlook
  • This overlook offers a beautiful view of the Youghigheiny River and is absolutely worth the work to get there.
  • Fall is the best time to visit this amazing view but this hike is much harder than the other options due to the elevation gain and loss.

It is absolutely possible to do multiple trails in a day. If you’re going to do this, I recommend Cucumber Falls, Jonathan Run, then Ferncliff in that order. It’s under five miles and hits the hiking highlights of the park. Since Cucumber Falls is super popular, go first thing if you want to have the falls to yourself. If you’re looking for something more strenuous, do Cucumber Falls and then the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail overlook.

If you want more hiking recommendations for Ohiopyle, check out my guide to the best hikes in Ohiopyle. 

Wander Ohiopyle’s Main Street

Ohiopyle’s main street is small and quirky and totally worth a visit. Check out the awesome shops below for the perfect small town experience.

  • The Beef Jerky Outlet is a haven for meat lovers and offers over 100 flavors of jerky
  • Oddly Enough is an adorable shop for souvenirs, clothing, and jewelry. I got one of my favorite rings here.
  • Old Mill General Store takes visitors back in time with nostalgic souvenirs
  • Ohiopyle Candy Company is a great place for a sweet treat
  • Take a photo with the Ohiopyle mural, right across from Falls Market
Coffee from the Ohiopyle Candy Company
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Where to Stay for A Weekend in Ohiopyle

There are some great places to stay near Ohiopyle that are perfect jumping off points for your adventure. Use the map below to explore rentals and hotels in the area!

What to Pack for A Weekend in Ohiopyle

A weekend in Ohiopyle is an outdoorsy weekend so make sure to bring all the right gear to enjoy your time outside. Assuming you’re visiting the park in high season (May to October), remember to pack the following items!

  • Hiking Shoes – my favorite are Topo trail runners
  • Rain Jacket – Western Pennsylvania weather can change in an instant
  • Hiking ShortsKuhl Freeflex shorts are my go-to for all adventures
  • Moisture wicking socksSmartwool socks keep my feet blister free
  • Sun shirt – the Smartwool Ultralite hoodie kept me from roasting on the LHHT in 2023
  • Sunscreen
  • Lounge shorts or pants – stay comfy!
  • Flannel – Ohiopyle dress code is “adventure casual”
  • Jeans

Most people wandering around Ohiopyle are not dressed up so you don’t need anything fancier than jeans or your adventure clothes for eating out. This is an outdoor adventure town after all!

Cheesing by the Ohiopyle mural with Lydia of Lost with Lydia and Mindy of Mindy on the Move!
Looking for more weekend road trip ideas? Check out my guide to the Best Road Trips from Pittsburgh!

FAQs about Planning an Ohiopyle Itinerary

What is the best length of time to stay in Ohiopyle?

I recommend at least two days in the area. Day trips are doable if you live close (like Pittsburgh) but there’s so much to do, it’s easier to stay in the area overnight to hit all the highlights.

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 are 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.

Can you swim in Ohiopyle?

Swimming in the Youghigheny is not safe and unlike other state parks, this one does not have a beach or lake for swimming. However, the Meadow Run Natural Waterslides are great for visitors to cool off on a hot day. Use caution when monitoring whether water levels are safe for sliding – when in doubt, check with a park ranger.

Updated April 2 2024

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