Western Pennsylvania Tour➤
My friend Patty and I hit the road in October of 2022 for a tour of the Western Pennsylvania NPS units. The National Parks of Western Pennsylvania (WEPA) includes the following five parks: Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, Johnstown Flood National Memorial, Flight 93 National Memorial, Fort Necessity National Battlefield and Friendship Hill National Historic Site.
We decided to start the circuit at the southernmost unit, Friendship Hill, and work our way North. Along the way we also toured a Frank Lloyd Wright UNESCO Heritage Site and Ohiopyle State Park. After Fort Necessity National Battlefield, we began the trek North to Flight 93. We stopped in Ohiopyle on the way.
Ohiopyle State Park➤
Ohiopyle State Park runs along 14 miles of the Youghiogheny River Gorge. Visitors can kayak the whitewater or hike the trails in the surrounding forest.
We walked the path along the river from the center of town to the visitor center. The visitor center sits on the river by the 20-foot Ohiopyle Falls. With floor to ceiling windows and a veranda, you can get a pretty good view of the falls from here.
There are some exhibits in the visitor center on Native American history and the Ferncliff peninsula. A sharp bend in the Youghiogheny River carved out the 100-acre Ferncliff peninsula. It forms an isolated habitat for plants and animals. The government declared the area a National Natural Landmark in 1973.
Ohiopyle once served as a resort area. The railroads brought tourists from Pittsburgh to Ohiopyle for one dollar. Tourists came to see the waterfalls and stay at the resorts along the Youghiogheny River. With the rise of the automobile the resort boom died.
The forests regrew after the resorts were demolished. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy purchased the land and then sold it to the state of Pennsylvania. Ohiopyle State Park opened to the public in 1965.
Western PA Posts➤
- Friendship Hill
- Fort Necessity
- Mount Washington Tavern
- Flight 93
- Flight 93 Tower
- Johnstown Flood
- Allegheny Portage
Location: 124 Main St, Ohiopyle, PA 15470
Designation: State Park
Date designated/established: 1965
Date of my visit: October 9, 2022