Road Trips From Pittsburgh

Looking for the best road trips from Pittsburgh? Check out my list of awesome road trips that are easily drivable from Pittsburgh!

Enjoying a long weekend in Cook Forest State Park
Table of Contents
- Why Take a Road Trip from Pittsburgh
- Pennsylvania Road Trips
     - Cook Forest & the Pennsylvania Wilds
     - Ohiopyle State Park
     - Kinzua Bridge & the Pennsylvania Wilds
     - State College State Park Extravaganza
     - Harrisburg Hiking Weekend
- Ohio and West Virginia Road Trips
     - Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
     - Coopers Rock, West Virginia

Why Take a Road Trip from Pittsburgh

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway driving distance from Pittsburgh, I hear you! I love Pittsburgh so much. But sometimes you just need to get out of town. A change of scenery is amazing for staying refreshed. I find that a weekend somewhere new rewires my brain in a way that helps me be more creative and happier!

I’ve personally been on all of these road trips and can’t recommend them enough! There’s something for everyone in this list. Whether you want to visit as many state parks in one weekend as you can or visit a National Park – all of these things are withing driving distance of Pittsburgh!

Read on for more of the best road trips from Pittsburgh!

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.

Road Trips From Pittsburgh: Pennsylvania

Cook Forest and the Pennsylvania Wilds

Driving Distance: 1.5-2 hours from downtown Pittsburgh

Description: This three day itinerary is great for the outdoorsy folks who are looking to check off many of Western Pennsylvania’s best sites. In this itinerary, you can visit five waterfalls, hike through one of the oldest growth forests in PA, and check three state parks off of your list. Use the exact plan provided or pick and choose your favorite spots to check out in more detail!

Trip Highlights: While I loved Cook Forest, my unexpected side trip to Freedom Falls and Rockland Tunnel were my favorite parts of this itinerary.

Click here for a three day itinerary in the Cook Forest region of the Pennsylvania Wilds.

Visit this Rockland Tunnel, an abandoned railway tunnel on your visit to the western PA wilds!

Ohiopyle State Park

Driving Distance: 1-1.5 hours from Pittsburgh

Description: Ohiopyle State Park is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Hiking, fishing, rafting, biking. climbing – this park has it all. This itinerary packs the best of Ohiopyle into one weekend!

Trip Highlights: White water rafting the Yough was the best part of my trip! I was a bit scared at first, but our guide did a great job making us feel safe and it was one of the highlights of my summer in 2023.

Click here for the Best Weekend Itinerary for Ohiopyle!

The Laurel Highlands Overlook at Ohiopyle State Park is amazing in the fall

Kinzua Bridge and the Pennsylvania Wilds

Driving Distance: approximately 3 hours

Trip Description: Looking to really get away from the an urban environment? A road trip to Allegheny National Forest will make you feel like you’ve escaped to a completely different world. This itinerary visits three State Parks, but the crown jewel of the trip is Kinzua Bridge. This state park is a one of a kind place to visit. The destroyed Kinzua Viaduct is a true testament to nature’s power.

This two day itinerary is close enough to allow a last minute weekend trip (we planned ours two days before) and helpful for busy travelers who don’t have time to take a longer trip.

Trip Highlights: Kinzua Bridge is a one of a kind State Park. Nothing shows you how small you are than looking at what nature can do to human creation. I also loved staying at Kane Manor Inn, a former mansion converted into a bed and breakfast.

Click here for a two day itinerary to Kinzua Bridge and the Northern PA Wilds [COMING SOON].

The Kinzua Skywalk looking over the 11 collapsed towers of the former Kinzua Viaduct
Looking for a real escape from the city? Check out the Best Places to Backpack in Western Pennsylvania!

State College State Park Extravaganza

Driving Distance: 2.5 hours

Trip Description: Looking to head to State College for something other than football? Check out this itinerary to visit six state parks in three days! This trip is great for those who are fine with doing some extra driving once they arrive at their destination. You can mix and match this itinerary to visit as many or as few of the state parks as you like.

Trip Highlight: Some of my favorite memories from summer 2022 are watching sunrise from a state park all by myself. I also highly recommend visiting Penn State’s Creamery for some of the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted!

Sunrise at Greenwood Furnace was one of the most peaceful moments of my summer

Harrisburg Hiking Weekend

Driving Distance: 3 hours

Trip Description: Pennsylvania’s state capital is a surprisingly great place for an outdoor themed weekend with enough city elements to feel like you’re still connected to civilization. I did not expect to love the Harrisburg area as much as I thought I would but there are so many beautiful trails and parks here.

Trip Highlights: Hawk Rock is a short but HARD section of the Appalachian that is absolutely worth it for the breathtaking views of the Susquehanna River. Reward yourself with a post hike beverage and meal at Zero Day Brewing, a brewery named after the thru-hiker concept of a zero-mile or rest day.

An all-time sunset viewing spot on the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg
Want to make sure you're prepared for your road trip? Check out my guide on Top Ten Pieces of Road Trip Advice!

Road Trips from Pittsburgh: Ohio and West Virginia

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Driving Distance: 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours

Trip Description: Did you know that there’s a national park only two hours from Pittsburgh? Cuyahoga Valley National Park has a ton of trails and things to do for all levels of hiker. Check out popular sights like Brandywine or Blue Hen Falls or go off the beaten path to trails like Wetmore or Hunt Farm.

Trip Highlights: Brandywine Falls is one of my all time favorite waterfalls, but if you’re visiting in the winter, Ledges Trail is like being transported to another world.

Click here for my guide to Cuyahoga Valley National Park!

Ledges in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Coopers Rock State Forest, West Virginia

Driving Distance: 1 hour 30 minutes

Trip Description: Coopers Rock State Forest is an amazing place to experience nature! I had only ever driven through West Virginia before this trip and I can’t wait to explore more. We stayed in a Tentrr, which is a canvas tent on a platform. Coopers Rock also has more traditional campsites for tents or electrical sites with hookups.

Trip Highlight: Fall foliage in this state park was out of this world. I highly recommend visiting during peak foliage.

Click here for my review of a camping weekend in Coopers Rock!

View from the Coopers Rock overlook in Fall 2022

Check back regularly to see what new weekend trips I’ve been on! Looking for more ideas for trips from Pittsburgh? Check out the PA DNCR website!

Post updated March 16, 2024

Leave a Comment