Top Family Activities in Ohiopyle State Park

Welcome to Ohiopyle State Park—a haven of natural beauty and boundless adventure! Located just a quick 10-minute drive from Benner's Meadow Run RV Campground, this sprawling park is packed with loads of activities perfect for families looking to jump right into the great outdoors. Whether you're up for serene hikes, picturesque bike rides, engaging educational programs, or leisurely picnics by the river's edge, Ohiopyle has something to delight every member of your family.  

Our team at Benner’s is excited to share our favorite family-friendly activities in Ohiopyle State Park and to offer some handy tips to make sure that your visit is truly unforgettable!

1. Tackle the Trails Together

Ohiopyle boasts over 79 miles of trails that cater to all ages and skill levels, making it a fantastic place for family hikes. Here are a couple of trails that are sure to keep your family happy and engaged:

  • Meadow Run Trail: This easy 3-mile loop is perfect for families. It features smooth paths suitable for little legs and leads to the natural waterslides area where kids (and adults!) can slide down rock formations into shallow waters below. Bring water shoes and towels, and prepare for a fun-filled day!
  • Cucumber Falls Trail: An easy, short round trip trek that leads to a stunning waterfall, this trail is great for families with small children or for those who want a quick but rewarding hike. The area around the waterfall offers a picturesque setting for family photos.
  • Baughman Rock Overlook: If you're looking for more of a challenge, the trail to Baughman Rock Overlook isa moderate round trip that leads to some of the best views in Ohiopyle. The overlook provides a panoramic view of the Youghiogheny River Gorge and an ideal spot for a memorable family photo!

2. Bike Along the Great Allegheny Passage

The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) runs through Ohiopyle State Park and is a superb biking trail for both families and advanced riders. The trail is mostly flat and well-maintained, making it easy for cyclists of all ages and abilities.

  • Rent a Bike: Don’t worry if you didn’t bring your bikes; rentals are available very close to Ohipyle’s Visitor Center. There are even tandem bikes and trailers so that everyone in the family can join the fun.
  • Ride to Confluence: A great family-friendly segment of the GAP trail is the ride from Ohiopyle to Confluence that’s approximately 11 miles one way. It’s a peaceful ride with beautiful river views and ample locations to stop for a rest or snack.

3. Splash and Paddle in the Youghiogheny River

Ohiopyle is famous for its whitewater adventures, and there’s something for every level of thrill-seeker:

  • Family Rafting Trips: The Middle Youghiogheny River offers gentler class I and II rapids that are perfect for families with younger children or those new to rafting. Guided rafting trips provide all of the safety gear and instruction that you’ll need for a safe and exciting day on the water.
  • Kayaking and Canoeing: For a slower pace, rent kayaks or canoes and paddle along the calmer sections of the river. It’s a relaxing way to explore Ohiopyle’s stunning scenery and wildlife at your own speed.

4. Explore the Natural Water Slides

Located at Meadow Run, the natural water slides are a unique and thrilling feature of Ohiopyle State Park. Smoothed over thousands of years, these rock formations create natural chutes that both kids and adults can slide down into the refreshing pool below. Remember to check water conditions at the park office and bring water shoes to protect your feet from the rocky bottom.

5. Enjoy a Leisurely Picnic

With numerous picnic areas equipped with tables and grills, Ohiopyle is the perfect place to relax and enjoy an outdoor meal.

  • Lunch at Cucumber Falls: Combine a hike to Cucumber Falls with a picnic. There are several spots around the falls where you can spread a blanket and enjoy lunch with the soothing sounds of water flowing in the background.
  • Tharp Knob Picnic Area: This area not only has picnic facilities but also offers a large green space and a playground, making it a favorite spot for families.

6. Join Educational Programs

The park offers a range of educational programs that can make your visit both fun and informative.

  • Visitor Center Exhibits: Start your visit at Ohiopyle’s Visitor Center, where you can explore exhibits on the area’s natural history and wildlife. The center also provides information on the park’s ecosystems and conservation efforts.
  • Guided Nature Walks: Check Ohiopyle’s schedule for guided nature walks and children’s programs. These walks are often led by park rangers or naturalists who can provide fascinating insights into the flora and fauna of the area.
  • Junior Ranger Program: Younger visitors might enjoy participating in the Junior Ranger Program, which offers educational activities and the chance to earn a badge.

7. Stargazing Adventures

After a day packed with adventure, don’t forget to look up!  Ohiopyle is situated far away from any city lights, making it perfect for stargazing. Lay out a blanket in a clearing or right at your campsite and look up at the twinkling stars. It's a serene way to wrap up your day and a truly magical experience for both kids and grown-ups.

8. Relax and Unwind at Benner’s Meadow Run

After a long day of adventure, head back to Benner’s Meadow Run RV Campground to unwind. Our campground offers:

  • Swimming Pool: Take a dip in our 75,000-gallon swimming pool to cool off after a day in the sun.
  • Playground and Arcade: Let the kids burn off any remaining energy at our playground or experience an array of brand-new games at the arcade.
  • Mini Golf: Enjoy a family-friendly competition with a round of mini golf right next to the pool.
  • Fishing: We have two ponds that are stocked with fish ready to be caught (and released)!
  • Live Music: What’s better than enjoying the sounds of a local band around the campfire with s’mores?  We can’t think of much!

Practical Tips For Your Ohiopyle Visit

  • Pack Appropriately: Weather in the Laurel Highlands can be unpredictable. Dress in layers and bring rain gear just in case. Don’t forget sunscreen, hats, and comfortable walking shoes.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bring plenty of water, especially if you plan to hike or bike. There are several natural springs in Ohiopyle, but it’s best to have your own supply.
  • Plan Your Activities: Check Ohiopyle’s website or visitor center for any special events or alerts that might affect your visit. Planning ahead ensures that you make the most of your time in the park!
  • Respect Nature: Help preserve the beauty of Ohiopyle by following Leave No Trace principles. Keep to marked trails, dispose of trash properly, and respect wildlife.

Ohiopyle State Park is a wonderful destination for families seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse themselves in nature. Whether you're looking for light walks, exciting bike rides, educational opportunities, or simply a spot to relax and embrace the outdoors, Ohiopyle has something for everyone. And with Benner's Meadow Run RV Campground so close by, you can enjoy a comfortable and relaxing home base before and after your adventures. Happy exploring @ Ohiopyle!


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