Best Rainy-Day Activities in Ohiopyle
Best Rainy Day Activities in Ohiopyle
You’ve been planning your family vacation to Ohiopyle for weeks. The car’s packed full of camping gear, river shoes and food. The kids are buckled in the backseat, buzzing with excitement about the fun weekend ahead. As you crest the final hill into Ohiopyle, you catch a glimpse of something looming on the horizon. Rain…
What to do now? Call off the trip? Heck no! Ohiopyle is full of fun things to do on any summer day – rain or shine!
Here are our top five favorite rainy-day activities in Ohiopyle:
1. Whitewater Rafting
Guess what – if you go on a rafting trip, you’re gonna get wet! And rafting in the rain means you won’t get so hot paddling through a big, calm pool. On a typical summer day, rain showers come and go. You might be in a downpour one minute and under blue skies the next. A Lower Youghiogheny rafting trip is fun for ages 12 and up, and the Middle Youghiogheny is family-friendly for kids as young as 5 years old!
Here’s some feedback from a recent rainy-day guest:
“Once again, Wilderness Voyageurs came through with a great trip. What a way to spend July 4th! Whitewater rafting with the family. The guides were great and did a super job making the trip safe and fun. Even the pouring rain during our lunch stop couldn’t dampen the fun. We will be back again.” Kevin Hook, Lower Yough Rafting Trip Guest
2. Waterfall hunting
When the rain comes down, waterfalls come up! All of these small streams and larger creeks feed into the Youghiogheny River and make for some awesome photo ops. Explore this interactive map for an idea of where to get the best waterfall views.
3. Visit two iconic Frank Lloyd Wright houses
On a rainy day, it’s fun to tick a cool (indoor) cultural experience off your list!
Ohiopyle is directly in between two Frank Lloyd Wright houses, both of which are open to visitor’s year-round. The most famous house in the area, Fallingwater, is almost-impossibly perched atop the waterfall on Bear Run Creek. In 2019, the Fallingwater house was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
“[Fallingwater reflects] the ‘organic architecture’ developed by Wright, which includes an open plan, a blurring of the boundaries between exterior and interior and the unprecedented use of materials such as steel and concrete,” a news release on UNESCO’s website said.
But don’t overlook the other Wright house near Ohiopyle! Designed on a hexagonal module, Kentuck Knob is a small, one story Usonian house (meaning – affordable for the average American). Both dramatic and serene, the house, situated just below the crest of the hill, appears almost part of the mountain itself and stands 2,050 feet above sea level. As an open floor plan, cantilevered overhangs and great expanses of glass effortlessly integrate the inside with the outside.
4. Go for a hike
Grab a rain jacket and a pair of waterproof hiking boots! (If you forgot yours, our outfitter store is always fully stocked on rain gear!) Ohiopyle’s trails hold up exceptionally well in the rain, so they’re open for walking all year long. A beautiful rainy-day hike is around the Ferncliff Peninsula (expect lots of fun puddle-jumping).
The Ferncliff Peninsula is a 100-acre botanical reserve. This small, lush piece of forest has a unique habitat with rare and unusual Pennsylvania plants like the lady slipper and the mountain laurel, our state flower. Keen observers will even find 300-million-year-old fossils embedded in the rocks along the river! In 1973, this special peninsula was designated a National Natural Historical Landmark.
A small network of trails wind through the natural area, which is fun to explore with kids. The 1.7-mile Ferncliff Trail circles the peninsula, with great views of Ohiopyle Falls and whitewater rapids on the Youghiogheny River.
5. Bird watching
The Ohiopyle area is famous for its trails and waterfalls. Most visitors don’t know that Ohiopyle is also home to vast high-quality bird and animal habitat! The region surrounding the Youghiogheny River contains rocky banks, steep hillsides covered with hemlock and thick groves of rhododendron and Mountain Laurel, mixed deciduous forest, and open meadows.
The Youghiogheny Valley/Watershed is host to a wide variety of forest interior and edge-sensitive species. The adjacent Ohiopyle State Park makes this area one of the largest bird-habitat blocks in southwestern Pennsylvania. Species include: Whip-poor-will, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Golden-winged Warbler, Pine Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Ovenbird, Scarlet Tanager, Acadian Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Vireo, Wood Thrush, Yellow-throated Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Cerulean Warbler, Veery, Hermit Thrush, and Red-eyed Vireo.
As many birders know, bad weather often results in good birding. Rainy conditions can make birds very approachable. Migrants which would otherwise fly straight over are forced down, swifts and hirundines feed low over the water. For more information on birding in this area, check out Audubon.com.
There are so many things to do in Ohiopyle – even if it’s raining! Have no fear and come explore Pennsylvania’s largest state park!