Known as the “Gateway to the Laurel Highlands,” Pennsylvania’s Ohiopyle State Park consists of approximately 20,500 acres of the state’s finest and most rugged natural beauty. A quick drive from Pittsburgh and Morgantown, WV, this park can get you back to nature conveniently. The million annual visitors the park gets act as proof of just how convenient this state park is.
Camping at Ohiopyle State Park offers campers 200 campsites at the Kentuck campground, with flush toilets, warm showers, picnic tables, fire rings, and some electric hook-ups. Yurts and cottages are available as well for those looking for a more comfortable stay in the great Allegheny passage.
When visiting this state park, campers and adventurers will both notice the mighty Youghiogheny [yawki-gay-nee] River flowing through the center of the park. Capitalizing on this, the park offers whitewater boating opportunities for all experience levels. For those looking to stay on dry land, however, hiking, biking, horseback riding, hunting and rock climbing are all available in the summer months. In the colder months, cross-country skiing and snowmobile riding are available across the park.
First, I must say, we did not anticipate camping, hiking or rafting in Pennsylvania. The plan was to camp and hike throughout West Virginia, but when we visited Pathfinder outdoor retailer in Morgantown, WV the staff encouraged us to check out Ohiopyle, while we were so close.
Traveling to Ohiopyle, PA from Coopers Rock State Forest, WV…the drive was enjoyable and took less than an hour. Our plan was to visit and drive back and resume camping at CRSF. Upon arrival, we were so stunned and enamored by the beauty of the area…we quickly secured a campsite in Kentuck…then drove back to CRSF and tore down camp.
Kentuck Campground is a very nice campground, the sites are plentiful, and though there are many…there is enough foliage that separate campsites that it feels somewhat private. (That is, until discourteous fellow car campers selfishly disregard quiet hours…but hey, that can…and often does…happen anywhere). One gripe at several campgrounds we visited on this monthly foray…it all seemed to be self-governing…no rangers or enforcement…possibly due to limited funding…I found it stressful. That's the only negative…everything else was…in a word a…blast!
Ohiopyle is a trendy, hip little town…like Boulder East. Running smack dab through the center of town is the Youghiogheny River…Yough for short. A picturesque waterfall, numerous outdoor retailers, bicycle & raft rentals, peaceful trails and a sweet, cutting edge visitor/nature center.
You could easily spend a week here and not exhaust all there is to see and do. The town is tiny, so you cannot miss the plethora of outfitters down every street. Of the numerous cool outfitters, we chose Wilderness Voyageurs across the river, over the tracks and to the right. Time and finances limited us to a "family friendly" float self-guided raft down the Middle Yough…laced with minimal Class 1 and 2 rapids, which I would classify as riffles. The float took three hours, was relaxing, serene and full of solitude.
The Ferncliff Trail loops around the inside of the Yough as it does a near 360 in town. Gentle terrain along the falls and then through moss covered forest.
Just outside town as you climb the hill, to the left is Sliding Rock. Get there early to get a parking spot…and then look forward to having some serious liquid fun. A natural water slide extends around 100 feet as it winds through the rock. Wear sturdy shorts and shirt…I'd also recommend solid footwear…its fun but it is still rock.
As you journey further up the mountain toward Kentuck campground, Cucumber Falls is on the right. Again, get there early for one of the few parking spaces to walk down to the falls. In early August, the falls were not flowing heavy so it wasn't as spectacular as it would be after rains or in the spring. If you are looking to take photos, you will contend with people wading under the falls later in the day.
The local outfitters are a wealth of information for places to go.
From the campground trails head mostly straight down the mountain to the river or to the Great Allegheny Passage mult-use trail…that also runs through Ohiopyle. So give yourself time to climb them, as there are many switchbacks…pretty much straight up…but doable.
Bottom line…Pathfinder staff tips were spot on and we had a memorable time. I gave four stars for Kentuck Campground. I give 5 stars plus…for Ohiopyle!
Lots of places to play in the water here. The campground isn't right on the water but it's shady and lovely. Clean, friendly caretakers, nice quiet campground (or at least as quiet as can be when filled up!).
Youghiogheny in Ohiophyle…say that 10 times fast. Amazing swimming with a rock water slide!! Trust me, let your kids do it, they will love it forever. Pretty good hiking trails, all through great green countryside, some along the river. The campground is set far back from the river but there are plenty of places to catch a view since it’s up on a ridge. It’s wooded and lots of people packed in but it’s pretty clean and the natural beauty is worth a busy camp site.
I've rented cabins up here, biked, hiked, and swam! So exciting and such friendly people and great food everytime!
Ohiopyle is pretty much a camping family's delight. Aside from the rock water slide, which is burned into the kid's memories, there's great, easy hiking trails and a pet-friendly campsite. Late spring is my favorite time to go because the water is at its highest and everything is lush and green!
This place is such a beautiful place! It is so green and in the fall there are so many beautiful hues of reds and yellows! I highly recommend this place, the camping ground is absolutely beautiful, and the Ohiopyle town is such a cute little place to visit.
I love ohiopyle! the road up to it has many little waterfalls and wonderful little hikes to take. There is a natural water slide as well that is fun to swim in. There is also some great little shops in the town, and a wonderful wine festival that happens in May! I will definitely be back!
The Kentucky campground at Ohiopyle State Park in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania is the most convenient campground to stay at if you are a private boater who is rafting or kayaking the Lower Youghigeny River. It is located ½ way between put in and take out right on the road that goes between the two. I have camped here MANY times. I always travel with my dog, so I can only provide information about the facilities on Ginko, Cherry and Juniper Roads and the sites that fall within the 'Pet-Friendly' side of the campground - which is Ivy Road and Hickory Road.
Most convenient, being the operative words here and the whole reason to stay here, really. That being said - it is a very nice campground - it just has some draw backs. I have broken down the 'Good' and the 'Bad' (in my opinion). For some, the things I have listed as 'bad' would be on their 'good' list - so take it for what it is worth - advice from someone who likes to paddle and relax with an adult beverage around a campfire at the end of the day. I don't want to throw a loud obnoxious camping party, I just want to be able to sit around the campfire and enjoy a few beverages with my friends and talk in a normal voice to share our stories from the day.
The Good: Large tall shade trees throughout the entire campground. I cannot think of a single campsite that is actually in full sun. Nice fire pits and picnic tables. Clean bathrooms and showers - and lot's of them (although that being said, they could use another shower facility down at the end of Hickory Road - if you are in Hickory sites 160 - 175 it's a far walk to a shower). Hot water for showers seems pretty plentiful - it's been few and far between that it has run out or not been available when I needed it. There are large sinks outside all bathrooms for washing dishes. There are additional potable water taps throughout the campground as well. There is an RV dump station. There are dumpsters for trash and recycling. Dogs ARE now allowed at this campground (in designated areas - and there are a lot of them) - in years gone by dogs were not allowed. There are a lot of flat/level campsites.
The Mediocre: There are also quite a few campsites that are not so flat or level. You cannot tell very well when making your reservations which are flat/level and which are not.
The Bad: 'Quiet hours' start at 9pm. The Rangers are ridiculously vigilant about 'Quiet'. You literally need to almost whisper around the campfire in order to not arouse the interest of the Rangers which frequently patrol the campground on both foot and by vehicle. As soon as you arouse their suspicion by 'talking too loud', they make it perfectly clear that they can exercise their right to search your campsite and destroy/remove anything that is not allowed and/or kick you out.
This campground is in a PA state park. Alcohol is not allowed in any PA State Parks. Certainly there are ways around that - using cups and mugs, etc. - but you have to know before you go to do that. It is obvious by the content of the trash in the dumpsters and recycling bins that NO ONE follows this rule. So what you then need to know is that the Rangers are vigilant about patrolling the campground for people violating the alcohol rule. (refer to the info about Quiet hours above.)
Bottom line is: If you are traveling alone or in a very small group/just your family and are looking for somewhere clean, quiet and convenient to camp near the Lower Youghigeny River - this is a great place for you.
If you've got a decent sized group, that will need multiple campsites and you want to be able to hang out, talk, drink without worrying about hiding it from the Rangers and enjoy yourselves later than 9pm, you might want to look for somewhere else to stay.
If you've got a large and potentially loud group of people who want to party - don't even consider staying here. (My suggestions for that would be Tall Oaks in nearby Farmington or Scarlett Knob on the other side of Ohiopyle.)
closeness of natures wonders was felt by all
Enjoyed visiting the wonders of nature. Natures water slide, waterfalls, whitewater rafting, camping and exploring. Nature at it's best!