10 of the Best Hiking Trails at Ohiopyle State Park

The author photographing a late winter sunrise at Baughman Rock Overlook.

Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County is home to nearly 80 miles of “official” hiking trails.

From rugged mountain ridges to smooth riverside rail trails, there’s an exciting trail for hikers of any skill level at Ohiopyle State Park.

Fall foliage around the High Bridge over the Youghiogheny River along the Great Allegheny Passage.
Fall foliage around the High Bridge over the Youghiogheny River along the Great Allegheny Passage.

What I wish to share with you here are 10 of my personal favorite hiking trails at Ohiopyle State Park, accompanied by a brief description of the highlights of each trail.

The First Bridge on the Jonathan Run Trail at Ohipyle State Park.
The First Bridge on the Jonathan Run Trail at Ohipyle State Park.

All 10 trails are featured on the official Ohiopyle State Park map, which you can pick up for free at various kiosks around the park, or you can download the free digital version HERE.

Ascending the Meadow Run Trail at Ohiopyle State Park towards the rock climbing area.
Ascending the Meadow Run Trail at Ohiopyle State Park towards the rock climbing area.

1. Jonathan Run Trail

The 1.7 mile-long Jonathan Run Trail is one of the finest waterfall hikes in western Pennsylvania.

A selfie at Upper Jonathan Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.
The author at Upper Jonathan Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.

The trail head / parking area for this hike is located along Holland Hill Road, and the opposite end of the trail connects to the Great Allegheny Passage (more on that trail in a bit).

The Jonathan Run Trailhead sign along Holland Hill Road.
The Jonathan Run Trailhead sign along Holland Hill Road.

This trail closely follows the edge of Jonathan Run, so during wet weather Jonathan Run Trail can be quite muddy in places – dress appropriately for current conditions.

The payoff is close-up views at two of Fayette County’s most captivating waterfalls.

Winter selfie at Lower Jonathan Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park
Winter selfie at Lower Jonathan Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park

You can read a much more in-depth description of the Jonathan Run Trail hike in my write-up about it HERE.


2. Ferncliff Trail

The Ferncliff Trail is a 1.8 mile loop hike that takes explorers on a journey around the perimeter of the Ferncliff Peninsula, an ecological wonder and a Registered Natural Landmark.

An autumn view of Youghioghney River from the Ferncliff Trail at Ohiopyle State Park.
Autumn scene from along the Ferncliff Trail at Ohiopyle State Park.

Along the way you’ll pass the namesake Ohiopyle Falls along the Youghiogheny River, as well as observe numerous plant species normally found much further south.

Fall foliage at Ohiopyle Falls in the Laurel Highlands.
Fall foliage at Ohiopyle Falls along the Ferncliff Trail.

You can check out a much more detailed write-up I published about the Ferncliff Trail HERE.


3. Meadow Run Trail

The Meadow Run Trail is a 1.85 mile loop hike that features up-close views of the Cascades on Meadow Run.

Fall foliage along the Meadow Run Trail at Ohiopyle State Park.
Fall foliage along the Meadow Run Trail at Ohiopyle State Park.

Meadow Run Trail also takes you through a massive boulder outcropping enjoyed by rock climbers.

Rusty Glessner approaching the Meadow Run climbing area at Ohiopyle State Park.
The author approaching the Meadow Run climbing area at Ohiopyle State Park.

You can read a more detailed write-up on the Mitchel Trail HERE.


4. Mitchell Trail

The Mitchell Trail is a 1.2 mile path connecting the Mitchell Field to the Great Allegheny Passage.

Intersection of the Mitchell Trail Spur and the Great Allegheny Passage at Ohiopyle State Park
Intersection of the Mitchell Trail Spur and the Great Allegheny Passage at Ohiopyle State Park

Mitchell Trail will take you past the base of Sugar Run Falls, one of the many impressive waterfalls at Ohiopyle State Park.

Selfie at Sugar Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.
The author at Sugar Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.

You can find parking directions and a turn-by-turn description of the Mitchell Trail hike HERE.


5. Baughman Trail

Baughman Trail is a challenging 3.4 mile excursion that passes Baughman Rock, one of the premier scenic overlooks in the Laurel Highlands.

The author photographing an autumn sunrise at Baughman Rock Overlook.
The author photographing an autumn sunrise at Baughman Rock Overlook.

6. Kentuck Trail

Kentuck Trail is an undulating 2.5 mile path that connects the Tharp Knob Picnic Area to the Jonathan Run Trail, passing the outstanding Tharp Knob Overlook in the process.

Tharp Knob Overlook at Ohiopyle State Park.
Tharp Knob Overlook at Ohiopyle State Park.

7. Great Gorge Trail

The Great Gorge Trail spans 2.6 miles, and connects the Cucumber Picnic Area to the Great Allegheny Passage, passing world-famous Cucumber Falls in the process.

An autumn view of Cucumber Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.
Cucumber Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.

8. Sugar Run Trail

Sugar Run Trail is a 1.6 mile trail connecting the Old Mitchell Place to the Jonathan Run Trail, passing Fechter Run Falls in the process.

Selfie at Fechter Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.
The author at Fechter Run Falls along the Sugar Run Trail at Ohiopyle State Park.

9. Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail

The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail is a 70 mile-long trail that stretches along the Laurel Ridge from Ohiopyle to Johnstown, and 6.3 miles of the trail passes through Ohiopyle State Park and past the Youghiogheny River Overlook.

The Youghiogheny River Overlook along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.
The Youghiogheny River Overlook along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail at Ohiopyle State Park.

10. Great Allegheny Passage

The Great Allegheny Passage is a 150 mile-long rail trail stretching from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, PA.

Fall foliage in Ohiopyle at the Low Bridge on the Great Allegheny Passage.
Fall foliage in Ohiopyle at the Low Bridge on the Great Allegheny Passage.

27 miles of the Great Allegheny Passage is contained within the boundaries of Ohiopyle State Park, where it crosses two historic, repurposed railroad bridges.

Fall foliage around the High Bridge at Ohiopyle State Park.
Fall foliage around the High Bridge at Ohiopyle State Park.

So there you have it – 10 of the best hiking trails at Ohiopyle State Park!

The Second Bridge along the Jonathan Run Trail at Ohiopyle State Park.
The Second Bridge along the Jonathan Run Trail at Ohiopyle State Park.

And while this is not a COMPLETE list of all the trails at the park, it’s a great starting point for those of you new to Ohiopyle State Park, with hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty represented.

The Ferncliff Trail in the summer.
The Ferncliff Trail in the summer.

From streamside views to soaring vistas to miles of forested pathways in between – there’s a hiking trail for every interest and skill level at Ohiopyle State Park!

Taking in the view from Baughman Rock Vista during Winterfest.
Taking in the view from Baughman Rock Vista at Ohiopyle State Park.

Nearby Attractions

If scenic overlooks are your thing, be sure to check out The 15 Best Scenic Overlooks in the Laurel Highlands.

Fall foliage at Laurel Run Overlook along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.
Fall foliage at Laurel Run Overlook along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.

If waterfalls are more your speed, be sure to check out 23 Must-See Waterfalls in the Laurel Highlands of PA.

The author at Yoder Falls in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.
The author at Yoder Falls in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s most famous private residence, Fallingwater, is just minutes from Ohiopyle State Park.

The author (Rusty Glessner) taking a photo at Fallingwater on a winter day.
The author at Fallingwater on a winter day.

In 1991, an American Institute of Architects poll voted it “the best all-time work of American architecture”!

Fallingwater as seen from the bridge over Bear Run.
Fallingwater as seen from the bridge over Bear Run.

Nearby Laurel Caverns is billed as “Pennsylvania’s Largest Cave”, and is a great way to spend an hour or two BENEATH Fayette County!

The overhead Grand Canyon of Laurel Caverns.
Laurel Caverns in Fayette County.

Exploring the Haunted Quaker Church in Fayette County will take you to a rural hilltop church where history and urban legend combine for one incredible supernatural tale!

The historic Quaker Cemetery and site of the former Quaker meetinghouse outside Perryopolis, PA.
The historic Quaker Cemetery and site of the former Quaker meetinghouse outside Perryopolis.

Looking for a place to call home during your stay in Ohiopyle?

Discover Ohiopyle offers an array of rustic cottages and cabins, luxurious honeymoon spots and retreats, hotels, campgrounds, and even more unique options, like tree houses!

An Ohiopyle vacation rental available through Discover Ohiopyle.
Photo courtesy of Discover Ohiopyle.

If you’re looking for an Ohiopyle lodging experience like no other, look no further than Discover Ohiopyle.

An Ohiopyle vacation rental home available through Discover Ohiopyle.
Photo courtesy of Discover Ohiopyle.

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

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