The PA Laurel Highlands are home to some of the best winter attractions in Pennsylvania!
The Laurel Highlands spans 3,000 square miles of Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland Counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.
A magnificent mountainous region, this is also one of the snowiest places in PA!
So if you’re looking for an beautiful winter road trip destination, here are 10 of the best natural and man-made winter attractions in the PA Laurel Highlands.
Simply click on the BLUE TEXT LINKS to view detailed directions to each attraction mentioned here.
1. Ohiopyle State Park
Located on the southern edge of the Laurel Highlands, Ohiopyle State Park encompasses approximately 20,500 acres of rugged natural winter beauty in Fayette County.
There are SO MANY fantastic winter sightseeing opportunities at Ohiopyle State Park that I dedicated an entire article to the subject, which you can read HERE.
Ohiopyle State Park’s Winterfest, which takes place the first Saturday in February is always a good time!
Just up the road from Ohiopyle State Park you’ll find Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, one of the most famous homes in Pennsylvania.
In 1991, an American Institute of Architects poll voted it “the best all-time work of American architecture”.
With a list of accolades a mile long, it’s no wonder Fallingwater is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the PA Laurel Highlands!
3. Laurel Mountain State Park
Laurel Mountain State Park features a family-oriented downhill skiing area and beautiful views of the rolling countryside of the Ligonier Valley.
The slopes and trails provide opportunities for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, and the lodge at Laurel Mountain is a cozy place to eat and enjoy the view.
Opened in 1939, Laurel Mountain was one of the first ski areas in Pennsylvania.
4. Beam Rocks Overlook
Beam Rocks Overlook is one of the most scenic mountain vistas in the Laurel Highlands.
Located in the Forbes State Forest near the Westmoreland / Somerset County line, it offers a fantastic 180° view to the east.
5. Cole Run Falls
Cole Run Falls is a beautiful “almost-roadside” waterfall in the Forbes State Forest.
An arched tree trunk that creates a natural “frame within a frame” is a favorite vantage point for visiting photographers.
Another natural frame of sorts is created by surrounding trees along the Cole Run Trail.
6. Laurel Hill State Park
Laurel Hill State Park is comprised of 4,062 acres of mountainous, wooded terrain in central Somerset County.
At the heart of the park is the 63 acre Laurel Hill Lake.
Jones Mill Run Dam, located at the park and constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, is one of the most photographed spots in all of Somerset County.
7. The Flight 93 National Memorial
The Flight 93 National Memorial is a tribute to the bravery, service, and sacrifice of the 40 passengers and crew members on board United Airlines Flight 93, who fought one of the first battles in the Global War on Terrorism in the skies over Pennsylvania.
By preventing the terrorists from carrying out their intended attack on Washington D.C, these brave passengers and crew gave their lives to save countless others.
The Flight 93 National Memorial is quite busy during the summer months, but much less so in the winter, ideal if you’re looking to visit when you can quietly and privately reflect on the events of that day.
8. The Covered Bridges of Somerset County
Taking the Somerset County Covered Bridges Driving Tour is a popular wintertime activity in its own right.
The 10 historic covered bridges along the route stand out beautifully against the snowy backdrop of winter.
The Pack Saddle Covered Bridge, one of the most famous covered bridges in PA, lies along the route as well.
9. Kooser State Park
Kooser State Park occupies 250 wooded acres along Route 31 in Somerset County.
Initially constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s, the focal point of the park is 4-acre Kooser Lake.
10. Spruce Flats Bog
Spruce Flats Bog is one of the most unique ecosystems in all of Pennsylvania – a high altitude bog featuring plants and trees found nowhere else in the state.
The strong westerly winds that sweep across Spruce Flats Bog cause the trees to take on a bent shape known as Krummholz – German for “crooked wood”.
24 Must-See Waterfalls in the PA Laurel Highlands is your guide to the best waterfalls in the region.
The 14 Best Scenic Overlooks in the Laurel Highlands gives you directions to some of the finest mountain vistas in the region.
7 Man-Made Wonders of the PA Laurel Highlands is your guide to the 7 most iconic structures in the region.
The 50 Best Winter Waterfalls in Pennsylvania is your guide to more amazing winter scenes across the Keystone State!
16 Must-See PA State Parks for Winter Weather Lovers is for folks that can’t get enough cold weather outdoors fun!
20 Must-See Attractions in Fayette County is your guide to everything from historic forts to towering waterfalls to architectural masterpieces in the southern third of the PA Laurel Highlands.
21 Must-See Attractions in Westmoreland County introduces you to the best things to see and do in the northwestern third of the PA Laurel Highlands.
21 Must-See Attractions in Somerset County introduces you to the best things to see and do in the eastern third of the PA Laurel Highlands.
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