Ohiopyle Falls is an example of a waterfall that can end up looking less exciting when there’s more water. For many waterfalls, the higher the water levels, the bigger the rush. But for a few, the higher water levels make those waterfalls look smaller.
I visited Ohiopyle Falls in mid-April 2015. The snow was mostly melted, but this still led to high water levels. Because of that, the falls look like they’re only a few feet tall, when at lower levels, the drop approaches 20′. The waterfall is wide, so it is still powerful, but it’s visual impression is lessened. And it doesn’t help that another waterfall nearby, Cucumber Falls, is taller and more interesting to view (at least I thought so). Ohiopyle’s one major redeeming quality is that it’s wildly easy to visit. Because it’s found on a larger river, a short walk of only 100-200′ is required to view the falls. The area around the falls is handicapped accessible. I would suggest that if you’re going to visit the falls, visit when it hasn’t rained as much or later in the season.
- There are multiple ways to arrive at the falls, so I’ll list the least complicated option. Drive along US-40. US-40 forms somewhat of a loop around the city of Uniontown, and you’d be heading east along US-40 if you started near Uniontown.
- In the town of Farmington, turn north onto PA-381. Drive for a few miles along PA-381 toward Ohiopyle State Park. The road passes through the park and town, so once you enter Ohiopyle, you just need to find the visitor’s center.
- From there, take a short walk to the falls. There are multiple viewing areas.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 20′ at low flow
Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip
Ohiopyle Falls in April 2015
Where in the World is Ohiopyle Falls?
Waterfalls are spread all around Pennyslvania, so the likelihood that you’re near a waterfall there is pretty high. Due to geology, certain regions seem to have more. In western Pennsylvania, there are a number of waterfalls, though the distance between them seems to be a bit longer.
One clustered concentration of waterfalls in Pennsylvania can be found in Ohiopyle State Park. There are five or six waterfalls in a relatively short radius. While the main attraction often might be Ohiopyle Falls, Cucumber Falls comes pretty close. While Ohiopyle Falls is wide, it isn’t as tall. Cucumber Falls isn’t as wide, but it is taller. It also ends up seeming more personal, as you can get much, much closer to Cucumber Falls. You can actually walk behind the falls, which makes it pretty awesome.
No hike is actually required to view the falls, as it can be seen from the top of the trail leading down to the base. If you want to see the falls from the base, then a pretty short hike is required. Since the falls aren’t extremely tall, the hike down to the base isn’t very strenuous. It does mean it can be pretty popular, though. Still, it’s totally worth the visit!
- Head toward the town of Ohiopyle, which is found along PA-381.
- If you are heading north along PA-381, the turn for Cucumber Falls will come before you enter the town. If heading south along PA-381 toward Ohiopyle, you will pas through the town.
- Turn onto PA-2010. If heading north, this would be a left turn.
- Head a short distance along PA-2010 to the parking area for Cucumber Falls. When I visited in the middle of the day, the parking area was relatively busy, but I still managed to find a spot. (There is no cost to visit this park.)
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Distance of Hike: 0.1-0.2 miles one-way
Cucumber Falls in mid-April 2015
Where in the World is Cucumber Falls?