When it comes to state parks, it is no secret that the United States are a home to a great number of them. If you’re on the market for experiencing nature at its fullest, and in addition, doing so in a safe and protected environment, you can’t make a better choice than a state park. To be perfectly clear, state parks are not zoos. That means that you will never be 100% safe during your stay at a particular park. After all, it is nature that you will be “trespassing” and sometimes it just doesn’t like what we humans do. Many of us treat it like it is an evil stepmother rather than the loving and caring mom she really is. That’s why you’ll need to be on your guard, as sometimes nature has a way of fighting back. However, this seldom happens, so you will probably be safe most of the time.
Learning From Mistakes
Let’s be honest, we men are wretched things (sometimes). Wait…that sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Anyway, we as a race have a way of putting our selfish interests before everything else. There are abundant historical examples of man destroying Earth for the sake of progress. While the consequences of that progress are visible today, one must ask the question of what is the total price that this planet had to pay in order for us to have everything we wanted. It is easy to be a hypocrite here and act like the achievements of the modern times aren’t beneficial and don’t make life easier. Sure they do, there is no arguing that. But, what about everything that had to happen in order for us to get here? Nature has suffered greatly by human hand in the past and that can never happen again. That is one of the reasons why there are many state parks in the U.S. – they exist to protect nature from the harmful influence of people. One of the largest and most interesting ones happens to be the Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania.
Something To Brag About
Stewart, Henry Clay and Dunbar Townships located in Pennsylvania’s Fayette County proudly brag with the fact that Ohiopyle State Park is located on their territory. When you come to think of it, if you had a state park that covers 19,052 acres (or 7,710 hectares) of your turf, wouldn’t you do the same? Come on, be realistic – when it comes to these types of locations, the Ohiopyle State Park is certainly one of the big ones in the game. One of the most fascinating and interesting things about the place is the Youghiogheny River Gorge that has become its pride and joy among the numerous famous amenities in the park. Actually, if you happen to be into whitewater boating, you’ve probably heard about this river. It is quite famous throughout the Eastern United States for providing some of the best whitewater boating out there. Historically speaking, the area was officially dedicated in 1971; however, the Ohiopyle State Park was first opened to the public in 1965. In that sense, maybe it’s not one of the oldest, but it is certainly one of the most impressive and beautiful natural areas in the United States.
Ohiopyle State Park – The Waterfall Mecca
The Ohiopyle State Park is home to a number of waterfalls, each one more interesting and beautiful than the previous.
- The Meadow Run Waterslides is perfect for exploration as it consists of interesting geologic formations. Potholes and ripples carved into the stone are the result of many years of spinning rocks and powerful currents that exist in this waterfall. These natural waterslides can be ridden by the visitors of the Park.
- Sugar Run Falls on Sugar Run Creek is a waterfall that can be accessed from a walking trail near the Great Allegheny Passage.
- Jonathan Run Falls – if you go hiking on the Jonathan Run Trail, you will be able to see the series of waterfalls that are rhododendron lined, located on Jonathan Run.
- Very popular with anglers, the Cascades is a beautiful woodland waterfall located just off the park office.
- Finally, the two heavy hitters are the Cucumber Falls and the Ohiopyle Falls. Cucumber Falls can be reached from the Meadow Run Trail and it is located on Cucumber Run. The Cucumber Run is a small creek, which represents a sort of a tributary of the Youghiogheny River. The 30-foot (or 9.1-meter) height of this bridal veil waterfall fits into the breathtaking surroundings quite nicely.
- Last but not least, the Ohiopyle Falls’ 20-foot (6.1-meter) drop is lower than that of the Cucumber Falls, but is equally beautiful. It spans the Youghiogheny River and its location is conveniently in the center of the park, surrounded by the Falls Day Use Area.
A Trail For Everybody
The Ohiopyle State Park provides an impressive trail system that enables visitors to enjoy every single feature of the park easily and effectively. Each trail provides a beautiful and interesting vantage point, not to mention a different feature to visit and learn something new. Whether it’s the scenic views of Baughman Trail or the botanical gems on the Ferncliff Peninsula, there is a trail specifically made to enable your pleasure at any (or both) of these interesting amenities of the Ohiopyle State Park.
Officially No. 1
Here’s an interesting fact: the Ohiopyle State Park is home to the most beautiful bike/hike trail in the world! This trail runs for 27 miles alongside the river and was deemed the title of “most beautiful in the world” by a certain travel and leisure magazine. On the other hand, if beauty is not what you’re looking for while on your bike, the Sugarloaf Snowmobile and Mountain Bike Area will surely get your heart pumping. It features more than 9 miles of equestrian/mountain bike trails. This area in the Ohiopyle State Park has a range of elevations between 980 feet (lower Yough) and 2,920 feet (on top of Laurel Ridge). Because of these variations in elevation, the plant life and overall climate of the park are diverse and offer many possibilities for your enjoyment.
The Ohiopyle State Park is truly one of man’s greatest monuments to nature and not visiting it will definitely come back to bite you in the…back some day.