Pretty Views in You Don’t Have To Hike To Near Ohiopyle

Waterfalls and scenic views in Western PA are plenty, but if you want to get away from the city, many of these destinations require some hiking and even trailblazing to find. Let’s face it; sometimes, you’re just feeling lazy but need some inspiration for your Instagram account, or Grandma is in town and you want to show around. You know a trip to the Laurel Highlands is in store! Plus – add 10 brownie points if the visit is in October because of the spectacular reds, golds and oranges of Pennsylvania’s foliage.

THE SUMMIT OVERLOOK | Route 40 East, Hopwood

Take in the ultimate in scenic viewing without really moving. Drive on up “the mountain” and pull off to the right at the Scenic View signage. Roll down the window, take in the sunset ahead and listen to the semi-trucks behind. 


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Other Ways To See It: Find this view again without much effort at Laurel Caverns. Or, if a hike is on your mind, pull off the road sooner at Lick Hollow and hike Pine Knob Trail 2 miles uphill. 

OHIOPYLE FALLS | Ohiopyle State Park
  1. Park 2. Walk 3. See. This PA state park gem is in the bag for “Best Day Ever,” especially if you likes ice cream from nearby Falls Market. Even better, relax with a craft beer from Falls City Pub around the corner.

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Other Ways to See It: Use the easy Ferncliff Trails to hike around the peninsula and end up on the other side of the falls. The end of this hike will take you alongside the river and winds through river rocks and the water pools.

Cucumber Falls | Ohiopyle State Park

This is a FAN FAVORITE. I repeat, this is a fan favorite. A beautiful waterfall that is easy to access, but plan this view accordingly: you will encounter major crowds in the summer or icy steps in the winter (falling on your ass is worth it).


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Baughman Rock | Ohiopyle State Park

This view is also an Ohiopyle fan favorite but no one will be standing in front of yout spectacular view! Think “Pennsylvania gorge,” but not quite “Grand Canyon” and make note to come back to this spot in autumn, too.

Other Ways To See It: As with most mountain views, hike up. Parking – take a right past Falls Market in Ohiopyle there will be a lot alongside the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail. Baughman trail is marked at the end of the lot. Go straight once you enter the trailhead. Taking a right will take you on another path.

Fallingwater or Kentuck Knob | Mill Run & Chalkhill, PA

Last but certainly not least in this area, these two homes were designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Fallingwater is the most popular, with the gorgeous house built over a waterfall, but Kentuck has views of the Laurel Highlands countryside and a river gorge (which the original owners covered up with trees) that is quite fantastic.

Other scenes nearby

At 3,200 feet, Mount Davis the highest mountain in Pennsylvania, and a lookout tower allows you to climb even higher. Other options allow you to head further southeast past Ohiopyle to Swallow Falls in Maryland or about an hour into West Virginia to Blackwater Falls. Both have scenic vistas and falls you can get to easily, or hike around if you prefer. Want more? Check out the UncoveringPA Blog for more scenic views across the state of Pennsylvania that you don’t have to hike to.

The Truck-load List

Why do we have to put it in a bucket? There are so many things I want to do and see in life, and opportunities to conquer those desires are few and far between. My life has consisted of a lot of “I want” instead of “I have done,” and this blog started as almost a half-push to get my ass going.

travel, states
This is the saddest visit map I’ve ever seen. Add California, Arizona and Texas if you want to count ages 0-1 years.
  • Australia, Philipenes, Galapagos, Brazil, Ireland, Greece, Italy (again), Spain (Again), too many to count. Don’t even get me started on the States. All of them, starting with Alaska. National Parks, State Parks, I want to see it all.
  • Skydiving – this is happening. I just so happen to know a guy…
  • Waterfall Hunting, everywhere. I will hit Rickets Glen, PA and Blackwater Falls, WV this summer.
  • Snorkeling… I would love to scuba but I am terrified of sharks. Need to do it now. Thank you media.
  • And of course, ski (or snowboard) unlimited powder runs all over the West, North and into Canada.
  • Bonnaroo. See Pearl Jam live. See a festival out of the country. A DJ Koze show. Beardyman live.
  • Ride a cutting horse. Compete in reined cowhorse competition. Show at Congress. Wait… own a horse.
  • Turn any children I have into little rippers immediately.
waterfall, nature, ice, winter
A Frozen Cucumber Falls – Ohiopyle, PA
trail, hike, trees, outdoors, woods
View from McCune Trail – Sugarloaf, PA

I can’t even fit most of my adventure dreams and travel lists into one bucket. I don’t even have one genre of bucket. Travel, adventure sports, horses, music… It’s all over the place. How can you ask me to fit THIS into a bucket? It’s a truckload.

Meadow Run, Ohiopyle

3-Miles, Easy-Moderate Hiking in Ohiopyle State Park

With the trailhead right before the heart of Ohiopyle, Meadow Run is easily one of my favorite after-work loops. The trail provides access to fantastic views of Cascades as well as a nice place to sit and hang out at Flat Rock, and connects to Cucumber Falls and the waterslides if you’re with friends. This trail also leads to some great spots for fishing. I don’t fish, but I the parking lot is full on the first day of trout season and I usually run into someone in waders, so I assume there’s good spots.

Hiking Meadow Run Trail, Ohiopyle State Park

Flat Rock Ohiopyle State Park Hike
Flat Rock

None-the-less, the trail is absolutely beautiful and the loop takes a little over an hour or so to finish. I take the middle branch to begin, there’s a slight downhill grade in that will get you access to the water, and then it turns and gives you a nice workout at the end, uphill. Worth it, though, because you get this little snippet of beauty:

waterfall, state park, hike, cascades

The Cascades!

After this spectacle you take a right (there’s rocks marking your way) and start uphill to begin the last bit of the hike, passing the climbing area as you go. You’ll end up back at your car refreshed and happy.