Home » 2005 Cross Country Road Trip

Ohiopyle State Park, PA

Tuesday, August 2, 2005 - 9:30am by Lolo
9 miles and 0.25 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


This was it--our last night out on the road together. Tomorrow we would be back to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and each of us--especially the boys--would be running in different directions. Last nights always make me quite introspective.

For our final night, we chose Ohiopyle State Park, one of the parks highlighted in our reliable . This book has never failed us yet and has provided us with some of our most memorable stops. Unfortunately, the book didn't happen to mention how to approach the park in an RV.

We came down Route 381 into the village and crossed over the roaring white water of the Youghiogheny River, which rushed through a beautiful 1,700-foot-deep gorge. The scenery was spectacular. We whipped right past the parking area for the Ohiopyle Falls, intending to come back to enjoy it more leisurely once we had secured a campsite for the night.

We followed the signs for the Kentuck Campground, which lead us to SR 2019, a steep and winding road to the very top of the gorge. The road made Herb quite cranky as it made the mountain passes of the Rockies look mild. I saw my visions of returning to the Falls for sunset disappearing before my eyes.

Fortunately, we were able to get a campsite--in fact, it was the very last one available. But now what? Here we were stuck on top of a mountain with no river access or view. There was no way that Herb was going to drive back down that road again this evening--in fact, at this point I wasn't even sure if I was going to get him to drive down it tomorrow morning to go home.

While looking at the detailed park map to find a way down to the river, Herb found the small print--"Special directions for RVs to Kentuck Campground: SR 2019 is very steep (no kidding!). Large RVs should avoid this road and take PA 40 to SR 2010 etc., etc. Why the heck didn't they have it signed out that way in the first place. Well, we at least found our way out of here for tomorrow. Still, it didn't do us any good for tonight, since SR 2010 headed away from the river rather than towards it.

Well, we did get down to the river that evening, but it was with running sneakers rather than the motorhome. It wasn't so bad since we wanted the exercise anyway, but unfortunately we didn't carry a camera. We would come to regret that when we saw the Ohiopyle Falls in the evening light.

The Great Gorge Trail, which led from the campground down to the river was quite steep, something I definitely wasn't looking forward to running back up. Once down at the river, we ran along the scenic Youghiogheny River Trail, a lovely gravel path which traces the curves of the river for 27 miles. We headed right on the trail, which crossed over the river twice before coming to the Ohiopyle Falls. We were dying that we didn't have a camera. The lighting was perfect and the white water rushing through the gorge and over the 25-foot-high falls was spectacular. We continued running a bit further along the river and stopped for awhile to watch some kayakers skillfully playing in the rapids. This place was a whitewater paradise. Too bad we had to get home by tomorrow--it would have been great to use our raft.

Our only road out the next morning took us quite a ways south before running into another main road. I couldn't convince Herb to drive the 15 miles or so back to the Falls, so that's why this page is boring and has no picture.


Ohiopyle State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania contains more than 14 miles of the Youghiogheny River Gorge. The "Yough" (pronounced "yawk") river has some of the best whitewater rafting and kayaking in the eastern U.S. Every year, more than 100,000 rafters launch here, making it one of the most heavily used recreational rivers in the country. For the less adventurous, the scenery of the river rushing through this 1,700-foot-deep gorge is spectacular, with the focal point being the 25-foot Ohiopyle Falls in the heart of the gorge. Although not especially high, the falls do span the width of the river creating beautiful clouds of mist and rainbows.
The Youghiogheny River Trail, which passes through the park, follows an abandoned railroad bed paralleling the river. Its 28 miles are great for hiking or mountain biking.
The Kentuck Family Campground sits atop a hill above the river. It has 226 campsites, some of which have electrical hookups. A steep trail lead down from the campground to the Youghiogheny River Trail.

Jim on May 13, 2013

I just love a state park, you never know what you will find!

Ohiopyle State Park location map

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