The Perfect Ohiopyle Microcation
For many people, the idea of a week-long vacation is out of the question. It’s stressful to plan a big getaway, and it might not be viable to take a whole week away from work. If you’re one of these folks, you might consider a microcation! This new travel trend is pretty simple — a short, inexpensive trip close to home. A microcation is easier to plan and more affordable than a longer trip. Plus you don’t have to worry about abandoning your coworkers at the office.
An Ohiopyle Microcation
Ohiopyle is the perfect spot to take a microcation, since it’s just a one-hour drive from downtown Pittsburgh, and three hours from Cleveland or Washington, D.C. The town (just a few streets wide) is surrounded by Ohiopyle State Park — an outdoor adventurers paradise with whitewater rafting, mountain biking, kayaking, SUP’ing, and world-class fly fishing. Nestled in this small river valley town is the oldest outfitter on the East Coast, Wilderness Voyageurs (that’s us!) with over 50 years of experience leading outdoor adventures on area rivers, trails and roads. It’s a big getaway, surprisingly close to home.
Where to stay in Ohiopyle
If you’re planning a microcation in Ohiopyle, it’s best to plan ahead. On the weekends, most hotels, cabins and campgrounds are often booked. Check out these places to stay while you’re visiting.
If you’re planning a weekend with the whole family, the Trillium Lodge is the place to be! Perched on top of Laurel Ridge, the Lodge has breathtaking views on 40 private acres, with plenty of space for everyone (it sleeps up to 23 people). The Trillium is only ten minutes from Ohiopyle, and perfectly situated for a day exploring the Frank Lloyd Wright houses or hiking trails in the area.
Ohiopyle State Park Campground
Take the tribe out for a campout at Kentuck Campground in Ohiopyle. This campground has over 200 sites – some with electric hookups, and all with access to flush toilets and hot showers. There are also 27 walk-in sites secluded in the forest, as well as rustic cottages and yurts. From the campground, you can take a short walk on Kentuck Trail to a sweeping overlook of the river and town.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
Here’s where to go if you’re feeling fancy: located on 2,000 acres, Nemacolin resort has an on-site spa and two golf courses. There are indoor and outdoor pools, plus a variety of dining options — only 5 miles away from Ohiopyle!
Read more about lodging options in Ohiopyle.
Ohiopyle Microcation Ideas
If you and your kids love adventuring outside, think about a guided trip on the Middle section of the Youghiogheny River. A Middle Yough rafting trip is an easy paddle, ideal for first-time whitewater rafters. Rafting the Middle Yough is a 3- to 5-hour trip down Class I-II rapids, meaning that there’s some flat water, as well as a few ripples and rocks along the way. On a guided trip, you’ll have plenty of time to swim and play in the water. You can also rent a raft and go down the river at your own pace.
Bring your own bikes or rent bikes in Ohiopyle, so you can spend a day cruising down the Great Allegheny Passage bike path. This 150-mile rail-trail passes through Ohiopyle on its way from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland. The “GAP,” as it’s locally known, is an easy trail with very little gradient that winds alongside the river. A popular direction to ride is from Ohiopyle to Confluence (22 miles round-trip), where you can stop at the Outflow Soft Freeze for an ice cream cone before your ride back to Ohiopyle!
Weekend with Friends
If you’ve got a group of adventurous friends, take them on a whitewater rafting trip down the Lower Yough River. The Lower Yough (a Class III-IV stretch of the river, with lots of fun rapids) is the perfect place to spend a hot summer day. The rapids are separated by calm deep pools, allowing you to catch your breath and enjoy the scenery along the way.
Rehydrate and refuel after your adventure at Falls City Pub, just steps away from Wilderness Voyageurs headquarters.
Treat yourself to a day of guided rock climbing in Ohiopyle State Park. Depending on your experience level, you can go to a number of different climbing areas. Steep sport climbing is the norm around here, with some bouldering opportunities as well. When you get to the rocks, your guide will set up a top rope over the route. Expect a few hours of climbing, break for lunch and then hit the wall again. It’ll be a memorable day!
Spend a day exploring Ohiopyle’s vast singletrack network on mountain bikes. Ohiopyle has over 20 miles of mountain bike trails. (Stop into our retail store and grab a map, you might need one!) Trails currently open to mountain biking include the Sugarloaf Trail System, Kim, Kentuck, Pressley Ridge, McCune and Baughman. These trails are shared with other users, so use proper trail etiquette! For the most recent information on open trails and trail conditions check in with the Ohiopyle Biking Club.
For something totally different, try learning a new skill! We offer Beginner Kayak Instruction classes. You can book a private instruction for you and a small group of friends, which can be anywhere from one to five days. Our kayak instructional classes include lots of one-on-one time with an experienced instructor, so you can perfect your skills and gain the confidence to paddle on your own.
Day 3: (If you have an extra day…)
Get a real thrill with a whitewater rafting trip on the Upper Yough! This is our premier rafting trip on the southernmost stretch of whitewater on the Youghiogheny. The Upper is a fun, fast-paced stretch of Class IV-V whitewater — full of big rocks, drops and tight moves in a small raft. (This trip is for experienced rafters only!) It’s sure to leave a big smile on your face.
Day 1 – 7:
If you really want to get out into nature, take a backpacking trip on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. This 70-mile, backcountry hiking trail stretches along Laurel Mountain from the picturesque Youghiogheny River at Ohiopyle State Park to the Conemaugh Gorge near Johnstown. Seasoned backpackers challenge themselves on the steep, rugged areas of the trails. Casual hikers enjoy areas that are reasonably level and pleasant for walking.
This trail has shelters along the way, but not much in the way of services. It’s a great place to disconnect from the world! Shuttling services for hikers on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail are available from Wilderness Voyageurs.
Create your own adventure!
Read our blog about the top 10 things to do in Ohiopyle, so you can choose your own microcation adventure!