2018 Summer Travels – Ohiopyle State Park and Our Dilemma


Our next travel adventure in Pennsylvania, while in New Stanton, took us to Ohiopyle State Park. When Bill was a senior in High School, some friends asked him one day if he wanted to skip school and go to the rapids to ride a raft. He was always game to skip school – so off they went – with a rubber raft. A cheap rubber raft. I’ve heard this story for years – how he almost drowned! Now I get to see where he almost met his waterloo. Here he is looking at the place they jumped in with their rubber raft:

Bill reliving that fateful day when he nearly drowned.

Would you jump in here if you were a wild and crazy teenager? See the rocks to the right side? That’s where they jumped in. The raft lasted less than a minute with the rocky bed and down the rapids Bill went. His two friends managed to get out right away..

We’re not sure if you can tell, but there were a lot of rocks in the way down this river. Bill wasn’t sure how far he went, it was a distance, but he said he finally managed to get on a rock, catch his breathe, then swam to another rock then repeat.

This is an “infomercial” by the rapids. Bill said they didn’t have any of this type of equipment back in the day! In fact, this park has blossomed with many amenities.

Off we are on to what is going to be our epic hike of the summer! Baughman Rock.

This is Baughman Rock. It was very windy there if you notice my hair standing on end! There was a caution that it was not easy getting to the top of this rock due to the slant.

And this is our epic view!

Not bad! 8.9 miles on this app, elevation was 1,417′ and we were hiking for 3 hours 44 minutes. I checked my All Trails stats and this was my personal best for elevation. Not bad!

Do you think we liked it here? You betcha! There are so many trails, we wanted to try them all! Click here to see a list of the trails – to take a longer hike, it was easy to link the trails. We had to return. So we came back two more times. It was about a 45 minute drive there, otherwise we would have went more. We did see several campgrounds close to this state park, but the roads were not big rig friendly in Bill’s opinion! We’d sure love to camp closer and spend more time here. We’ll just have to settle for the long drive (in our opinion).

After reviewing the above website with the list of trails, we settled on this one, knowing we had to see the Cucumber Falls: 

Great Gorge Trail: 2.6 miles, more difficult hiking, green blazes. This trail begins at the Cucumber Picnic Area and crosses several bridges and roads. The trail follows Cucumber Run and passes an area known for its spring wildflowers. The next trail section follows an old tramway used to transport coal to the railroad. A spur of this trail leads up a steep incline to the Kentuck Campground.

It should have been a clue, we were the only car here!

We looked and looked for a place to cross this creek, but there just wasn’t a place. We could have taken off our shoes and waded across but you have to know me to know that’s never an option!

We tried and tried to find a way to hike to the Cucumber Falls. We’ll add this mileage to our next hike.

Rather I should say, we attempted to hike the Great Gorge Trail to the Cucumber Falls. Unfortunately, the water was too high for us to cross over on the trail to complete the hike to the Falls. We made a good effort but it took us nearly an hour to realize we just couldn’t hike to the falls from this location. We hopped in the car and drove a few miles to this parking area and to see the Falls:

There was a parking lot here. Many people just park, take a 100 yard walk or so to see the falls.

Cucumber Falls. We didn’t climb down to get a better look. We’d lost an hour trying to get on a hiking trail so we had to regroup once we saw these beautiful falls.

From here, we went on to finish hiking the Great Gorge Trail from the Falls.We knew it was somewhere near the falls. We crossed over this bridge and eventually found the sign, if you turn to the the right from here:

The trail was fabulous as it wound up to the top of the mountain. We never really “saw” the Great Gorge but we enjoyed the trail!

Such a great trail and it was well marked.

Maybe we missed the Great Gorge because we decided to hike up to the top – to the campground. Since we are campers, we felt we could follow the trail on up. And it was UP!

We were able to hike up to the campground so we could check it out – maybe camp in this park one day? That would be great, but we knew we wouldn’t be able to in our 40′ motor home. But we still checked it out. We didn’t take any pictures of it as we knew we wouldn’t stay here. Mainly because it was an electric only campground and the long winding road up to the top of the mountain was undesirable. This shows the route and the climb we took up:

This was a challenging hike – it really made us want to hike more here, even if we couldn’t camp in the State Park, or nearby.

After we completed this hike, Bill wanted to go see one more childhood memory on our way home: the Youghiogheny Dam or the official name, the Youghiogheny River Lake. We discovered there was another campground here, a US Army Corps of Engineers (COE) park. Click herefor details. Maybe we’d stay here one day?

Nice info board to help us understand the flow of the river.

We are walking on top of the dam. But it was a dam unlike another we’ve seen. There isn’t a water spill so it is really a lake!

Such a beautiful day after lots of hiking! Time for a selfie with a beautiful background.

Beautiful isn’t it? Lots of fishing goes on here. But since we don’t fish (yet) we don’t know what’s in here!

We extended our stay for a few more days. Everyone kept asking where we were going next – but Bill hadn’t figured it out yet! It really takes him time to make our itinerary. There were just so many options. He needed to plan our next stops with an exit strategy in mind – back to Virginia by the end of June. Since we didn’t know where we were going, we decided to go back to Ohiopyle one more time.

When we came back, we again parked in the same place from our previous hike. We looked at the options and it looked like the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail would be our best option. We had to cross the street and look for the trail head.  The signage wasn’t the best, but Bill followed his gut instinct and got us to the trail head – it turned out to be well over a mile there. And up we went to see what, we didn’t know!

Such a great start up! The rest of the trail was pretty much a woodsy trail. But what will be our reward?

This was the view we hiked to see! There was a flat rock area to take a break on but our other pictures didn’t turn out. I tried to take one on our way back but someone else was there resting. It was a bit of a steep climb straight up!

Where to next? Bill finally narrowed our next two weeks down. He gave me the options and asked me to make the final decision. Now I had to do some research. He just couldn’t decide which way to go.

http://www.pavisnet.com

Bill likes to look at a state by region. Click here to go to the live map.

We started in the Pennsylvania Dutch – Amish Country Region. Then we were in the lower Allegheny Mountains and Valleys Region. And here we are in our third Region, Pittsburgh – Laurel Highlands Region. Bill had hopes of making it to the Great Lakes and Erie Region and to the Pennsylvania Wilds. But looking at the typography, it wasn’t looking like this summer we would see it all. But Bill learned the state roads are sufficient for him to drive the motor home. We’ve really enjoyed what we have seen so far, but little do we suspect how much more we are going to like it! Stay tuned for where we spent our two final weeks in Pennsylvania.

In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.       Psalm 95:4

15 thoughts on “2018 Summer Travels – Ohiopyle State Park and Our Dilemma

  1. Absolutely most beautiful…thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Looks like you managed to get in some great hiking with lovely views. Waterfalls are always a welcome sight.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love that you include screenshots of the Trail app. Something I will consider doing as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was reading your PA adventures so I went back to my post when we were there. We were at Clearfield County and we did manage a few hikes while we were there. Just a thought in case you continue your PA adventures on the west side.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Gosh you guys are such a cute couple! And my goodness you walk a long way! I am so envious because I am laid up with a fractured ankle and can hardly walk from the living room to the kitchen!!! So now not only do I have to live vicariously through your RV adventures but your hiking adventures too I guess, 🙂 Keep posting my friend because it brightens my day. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amen-Amein!! ❤ Beautiful Country in the USA We Live in!!

    Love ❤ Always and Shalom, YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

    Liked by 1 person

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