10 Must-See Waterfalls at Ohiopyle State Park

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Selfie at Lower Jonathan Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park

Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County is THE BEST water-themed state park in western Pennsylvania.

Whether it’s waterfalls, natural waterslides, or whitewater rafting – Ohiopyle has it covered.

A young couple enjoying the magnificent view at the Ohiopyle Falls overlook along the Ferncliff Trail.
A young couple enjoying the magnificent view at the Ohiopyle Falls overlook along the Ferncliff Trail.

And while I’ve published many individual write-ups about the various waterfalls at Ohiopyle State Park over the years, I’ve never put together one comprehensive list.

Until now.

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

What you’ll find here is my hand-picked selection of the 10 must-see waterfall spots at Ohiopyle State Park, as well as links to my detailed maps and directions for each one.


Ohiopyle Falls

A fisherman casts a line on an autumn morning at Ohiopyle Falls.
A fisherman casts a line on an autumn morning at Ohiopyle Falls.

Whether you’re snapping photos or casting a line, Ohiopyle Falls is the namesake of the park for a reason.

This massive, river-wide waterfall, sometimes referred to as the “Niagara Falls of Western PA“, creates a thunderous roar as it plunges over a 20 foot drop on the Youghiogheny River.

Kayakers congregated near Ohiopyle Falls.
Kayakers congregated near Ohiopyle Falls.

Ohiopyle Falls is also a fantastic spot to take in the sunrise as it peaks over the mountains to the east.

A magnificent autumn sunrise over Ohiopyle Falls.
A magnificent autumn sunrise over Ohiopyle Falls.

You can read all about Ohiopyle Falls and view my maps/directions to it HERE.


Cucumber Falls

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

For my money Cucumber Falls is THE MOST beautiful waterfall in western Pennsylvania.

The view from above Cucumber Falls on a winter day. Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County, PA
The view from above Cucumber Falls on a winter day. Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County, PA

Whether you’re there for the fall foliage or the winter snow, Cucumber Falls is about as graceful and photogenic as a waterfall can get.

Checking out Cucumber Falls during Winterfest at Ohiopyle State Park.
Checking out Cucumber Falls during Winterfest at Ohiopyle State Park.

You can find my detailed write-up (including map/directions) about Cucumber Falls HERE.


Jonathan Run Falls

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

The Jonathan Run Trail is one of the most popular waterfall hikes at Ohiopyle State Park.

The reason being there are 2 magnificent waterfalls and a slew of smaller cascades along this trail that parallels Jonathan Run for nearly 2 miles.

Upper Jonathan Run Falls

A summer scene at Upper Jonathan Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.
A summer scene at Upper Jonathan Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.

Upper Jonathan Run Falls is an intricate series of starkly juxtaposed rocks which makes for a truly unique waterfall.

A winter scene at Upper Jonathan Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park
A winter scene at Upper Jonathan Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.

The ice formations at Upper Jonathan Run Falls are also outstanding.

Lower Jonathan Run Falls

Snow and ice at Lower Jonathan Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.
Snow and ice at Lower Jonathan Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.

Lower Jonathan Run Falls is one of the more challenging waterfalls to get to in the park, owing to the lack of an “official” trail down to it.

Angelic light at Lower Jonathan Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park
Angelic light at Lower Jonathan Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park

I created one of my favorite waterfall images ever at this very waterfall, thanks to some extraordinary filtered sunlight.

Lower Jonathan Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park - Spring 2019.
Lower Jonathan Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park – Spring 2019.

You can read all about Upper and Lower Jonathan Run Falls in my detailed write-up HERE.


Fechter Run Falls

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

Fechter Run Falls lies on a tributary of Jonathan Run, thus I always visit this one if I’m already hiking the Jonathan Run Trail.

Fall foliage at Fechter Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.
Fall foliage at Fechter Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.

As it lies on a smallish stream, Fechter Run Falls isn’t always a gusher, but when it is, it’s spectacular.

A winter scene from Fechter Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park
A winter scene from Fechter Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park

You can read more details about how to find Fecter Run Falls in my write-up HERE.


Sugar Run Falls

A downstream view of Sugar Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.
A downstream view of Sugar Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.

Sugar Run Falls is located just off the Great Allegheny Passage, not far from Jonathan Run.

So as with Fechter Run Falls, if I’m already hiking the Jonathan Run Trail, I make sure to stop at Sugar Run Falls as well.

A winter scene at Sugar Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.
A winter scene at Sugar Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.

It’s also worth noting that there is a smaller waterfall on Sugar Run (I call it Lower Sugar Run Falls) located just BELOW the Great Allegheny Passage on Sugar Run.

In the image below, you can see the bridge on the Great Allegheny Passage immediately above Lower Sugar Run Falls.

Lower Sugar Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.
Lower Sugar Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.

You can read all about Sugar Run Falls in my write-up HERE.


Bruner Run Falls

Bruner Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.
Bruner Run Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.

Bruner Run Falls are located just off the Great Allegheny Passage, north of Sugar Run Falls.

Bruner Run Falls Map at Ohiopyle State Park
Bruner Run Falls Map at Ohiopyle State Park

There are several small waterfalls and cascades along Bruner Run.

And as Bruner Road runs parallel to and just above the stream, the easiest way by far to see these falls is to simply drive along the road and park at the obvious pull-offs next to them.

Waterfalls along Bruner Run at Ohiopyle State Park.
Waterfalls along Bruner Run at Ohiopyle State Park.

In the busy summer months however, Bruner Road is closed to all but shuttle buses used to transport boaters to/from the Youghiogheny River.

The best course of action at that time of year is to simply hike/bike out the Great Allegheny Passage from Ohiopyle itself.

Cascades on Bruner Run at Ohiopyle State Park.
Cascades on Bruner Run at Ohiopyle State Park.

The Cascades on Meadow Run

Cascades Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.
Cascades Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.

Meadow Run is one of the largest tributaries of the Youghiogheny River as it passes through Ohiopyle State Park.

It is also home to a set of water features collectively known as the Cascades on Meadow Run.

The Upper Cascades on Meadow Run

The Upper Cascades on Meadow Run at Ohiopyle State Park.
The Upper Cascades on Meadow Run at Ohiopyle State Park.

The Upper Cascades are jagged and wild, reminiscent of streams of the western United States.

A side view of the Upper Cascades on Meadow Run after the spring thaw.
A side view of the Upper Cascades on Meadow Run after the spring thaw.

When heavy rain or snow melt has Meadow Run charged up, there is NO photographing the Upper Cascades from below, unless you are far downstream.

Lower Cascades on Meadow Run

The Lower Cascades on Meadow Run at Ohiopyle State Park.
The Lower Cascades on Meadow Run at Ohiopyle State Park.

The Lower Cascades remind me of a shorter version of Ohiopyle Falls, spanning the entire stream but not quite as thunderous.

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

You can check out my detailed write-up on how to find the Cascades on Meadow Run HERE.


Natural Waterslides on Meadow Run

Late winter scene from the Natural Waterslides at Ohiopyle State Park.
Late winter scene from the Natural Waterslides at Ohiopyle State Park.

The Natural Waterslides on Meadow Run are a roadside attraction on the southern edge of the town of Ohiopyle, just across the street from the Laurel Highlands Visitors Center and Ohiopyle Falls.

Look for this sign and large parking lot right along Route 381.

Parking area for the Natural Waterslides at Ohiopyle State Park
Parking area for the Natural Waterslides at Ohiopyle State Park

A staircase takes you from the parking lot down to stream level.

Stairway to the Natural Water Slides at Ohiopyle State Park.
Stairway to the Natural Waterslides at Ohiopyle State Park.

There are several levels to the Natural Waterslides.

The upper levels seem most popular with the folks actually “sliding” this stretch of Meadow Run in the summer.

Long exposure from the Natural Water Slides at Ohiopyle State Park.
Long exposure from the Natural Water Slides at Ohiopyle State Park.

Whereas the lower level is my personal favorite to photograph.

The lower portion of the Natural Waterslides at Ohiopyle State Park
The lower portion of the Natural Waterslides at Ohiopyle State Park

Even on a winter day the Natural Waterslides are inviting, if not for a dip then at least a few photos.

The Natural Waterslides at Ohiopyle State Park on a winter afternoon.
The Natural Waterslides at Ohiopyle State Park on a winter afternoon.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it – my top 10 must-see waterfall spots at Ohiopyle State Park!

Rusty Glessner behind Cucumber Falls.
The author behind Cucumber Falls.

If you’ve been to all 10 – congratulations!

If you haven’t – you’ve got some exceptional hikes ahead of you!

The author and daughter at the Ohiopyle Falls Overlook along Ferncliff Trail.
The author and daughter at the Ohiopyle Falls Overlook along Ferncliff Trail.

Either way, I hope you found this Ohiopyle State Park Waterfall Guide to be informative and enjoyable to look at.

Feel free to bookmark it in your browser and refer back to it as a resource for future visits to Ohiopyle.


Nearby Attractions

I’d certainly be remiss if I didn’t point out that Pennsylvania’s most famous residence, Fallingwater, is just a few minutes away along Route 381.

Fallingwater as seen from the "Classic View" on the Visitor Center map.
Fallingwater as seen from the “Classic View” on the Visitor Center map.

Baughman Rock Overlook, one of the truly majestic mountain vistas in the Laurel Highlands, is just minutes away along Sugarloaf Road.

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

Robinson Falls in nearby Connellsville is rumored to have been a campsite of George Washington during the French and Indian War.

Robinson Falls in Connellsville Pennsylvania
Robinson Falls in Connellsville, Pennsylvania

East Park Falls, also located in Connellsville, is a beautiful two-tiered waterfall in a town park setting.

East Park Falls Connellsville, Fayette County

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