If you missed all my waterfall Snapchats, I spent the weekend camping in Ohiopyle State Park with my family. Since it's my second time at Ohiopyle, I figured I'd share a little bit about our trip, what there is to do (hint: a lot!) and some of my favorite snapshots since I was 'that person' carrying my camera everywhere.
One of my favorite things is discovering parks where I can hike and bike and take in scenery - especially around this time of year when the leaves begin to change and the weather is cooling down. Mom suggested a weekend camping trip a while back, so our trip planner (a.k.a Dad) decided on going to Ohiopyle State Park again because my parents and I camped there 2 years ago in October and we loved it. Plus, it's about halfway between me and my family who lives near Pittsburgh so the drive time for everyone was doable for a weekend trip.
Ohiopyle State Park covers over 20,000 (!!) acres in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. From the DC area, it's about a 2.5 - 3 hour drive. (I left Friday at 3pm and it took 2 hours and 45 minutes to get there.)
The drive up is beautiful and the closer you get to the park, cell service is spotty, signs warn you of windy "main" roads, houses are few and far between, and cows roam around the many acres of farm land. I feel like I'm at home again!
Friday evening, I met my parents and 4 other siblings there and since there was 7 of us, we reserved two campsites. It was dark out when we got to our sites so we had to set up the camper and tent in the dark. Don't worry, I took my job as flashlight holder very seriously as the guys did most of the work.
Once our campsites were set up, it was time for a fun weekend despite some rain. When we weren't enjoying our campfire, roasting s'mores, making hobo pies, sleeping, or making dinner together, we were out exploring the area.
What To Do In Ohiopyle
There is so much to do that it would make this post super long, but here are some of the must-do activities while you're there:
1. Whitewater rafting
My Dad and I did this 2 years ago with Wilderness Voyageurs and it was a blast! The Youghiogheny River is one of the most popular whitewater rafting destinations on the east coast and has some of the fastest rapids depending on river levels but trust me you're safe, ha!
It was my first time and I wanted to do it again but it was full last weekend. It's a guided tour with about 4-5 rafts of 6 people or so. There are several guides that give you a crash course before you start and help each raft the whole way down the river and over rapids. They even packed us lunch as it was almost a full day trip. One of my favorite parts was when we ate lunch on top of a huge rock, then jumped in the water to get back to our raft. (But seriously, there wasn't anything I didn't like about it.)
There are 79 miles of trails that vary from short day hikes to challenging backpacking trips. Both times I've been to Ohiopyle, we haven't been on a full hiking trip but definitely on the next visit! I bet the views are incredible, especially this time of the year.
Biking trails cover 27 miles and connect Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Cumberland, Maryland. These trails are covered in flat, crushed limestone and were once the rail bed for the Western Maryland Railroad. Visitors can bring their own bikes or rent them on-site. Also on my list for next time!
(Duh.) Friday night, the girls slept in the tent but we managed to stay dry despite the pouring rain! Whether you're in a camper or tent, you have to experience camping at Kentuck Campground. There are also cabins and yurts you can rent which were so cute. Don't worry, there are electric hookups at most sites as well as nearby bath houses.
5. Walk around town
Even with all the other fun activities there are to do in Ohiopyle, I loved walking around town for a few hours before lunch on Saturday. There's a General Store, ice cream shop, and so many other local stores with unique finds. We pretty much went in each one and found so many cool treasures. Also, I wanted to buy every pumpkin I saw because, #fall!
In town is also where you can see this amazing waterfall. There are several platforms that visitors can walk on to see the rushing water up close. You can also walk for several miles along the water. Seriously, these photos don't do it justice but I had to get pics. I could sit here all day and fall asleep to the sound, too! It is my favorite view at the park by far. Fun fact: George Washington made a raft out of wood and sailed down the river!
Other Local Attractions
Even though I've been here before, I didn't know there are also several great destinations close to Ohiopyle if you want to explore beyond the park. Here are a few:
1. Seven Springs
After we ate lunch at the campsite on Saturday, we spent the rest of the day/evening at Seven Springs - which I had no idea was only about 20 minutes away from Ohiopyle. (The last time I was there, I was a lot younger.) It was their Octoberfest weekend so there was a lot of fun activities going on. We walked around the festival, did the Alpine Slide - where I totally beat my Mom down the mountain, and walked around the grassy ski slopes which was such a cool experience!
2. Steelers training camp
Yes, my beloved Steelers practice very close to Ohiopyle! You know you want to go! ;)
3. Wine tours & tastings
While sitting by the campfire after a day of hiking is never a bad idea, why not check out a local winery to relax and enjoy views of the Allegheny mountains? Why not take me with you?
What I Packed
I must say it was fun to pack for a weekend of camping because I had cozy clothes and a campfire on the brain. Aside from a pair of jeans, I focused on bringing warm clothes and socks since we're getting into cooler weather - especially at night. I had so much fun packing, I packed too much but I like to be very prepared.
SHOP MY SUITCASE:
Ohiopyle definitely makes a great weekend trip, but I'd love to spend more time there in the future because there's still so much to do and see! I can't wait to go back!
Have you ever been to a state park? Which one is your favorite?
This trip was in no way sponsored. I just wanted to share my weekend with you all!