Just an hour’s drive north from Morgantown gets you to Ohiopyle and Pennsylvania’s lush and dramatic Laurel Highlands.
This year’s economy calls for summer adventures close to home, and Morgantown residents can count on Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania, the Youghiogheny River, and the surrounding Laurel Highlands for nearby fun. A great starting point for your trip is Ohiopyle State Park Visitor Center right on Main Street in Ohiopyle—open 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Not only will you get to see the quaint town and find all the information you need to plan your fun, but you’ll be right at the center of activities that are within a few miles’ radius in all directions.
The Youghiogheny River is the centerpiece of Ohiopyle recreation. Check out the Ohiopyle Trading Post and River Tours to experience the Yough by raft or kayak. A novel attraction is its natural water slides at Meadow Run—downhill rock pathways smoothed by years of water flow that make beating the heat extra fun. For adventurers who prefer dry land, see Ohiopyle Falls from the observation deck or visit the Baughman Rock Overlook for a stunning panorama of the river and its surrounding splendor. A large number of waterfalls, hiking and biking trails, rock climbing spots, and shops are also nearby for you to explore.
Some of the best advice you can follow in a new place is to avoid restaurants you have back home, and the Laurel Highlands is full of unique places to eat. Falls City Pub’s extensive menu and thorough beer list make it the perfect stop after a day on the water or a long hike. Local favorite Ohiopyle Bakery and Sandwich Shoppe serves up loads of sweet treats and made-to-order sandwiches. For an early morning or midday pick-me-up, head to Bittersweet at the Falls cafe for a selection of handcrafted beverages and to-go wraps.
For those who like to stick close to the action, Ferncliff Guest House sits right in the heart of downtown Ohiopyle. Down the road, the Ohiopyle Suites offers a classic hotel experience that is the perfect option for someone who is already planning on spending more time on the trails and water than anywhere else. To get away from the hustle and bustle, book a room at Starlight Hill Bed & Breakfast, a charming B&B on a 200-acre farm a few minutes outside town. And for those who don’t want to leave the wilderness at all, Laurel Highlands is full of campgrounds where you can pitch a tent, park your RV, or book a cottage or yurt.
Just outside central Ohiopyle awaits still more adventure. Nemacolin is a 15-minute drive south of town. The luxury resort boasts adventures that include Jeep off-roading, a ropes course, paintball, and much more, as well as a variety of casual and formal dining experiences. Should you choose to stay the night, options range from a small home perfect for a family getaway to a decadent room at the Chateau. Interested in architecture, or especially in that of Frank Lloyd Wright? Then book a couple excursions into your trip, because two Wright designs located within a few miles of Ohiopyle—Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob—are breathtaking in their artistry and larger-than-life presence.