While winter in the Southwest is hard to beat we’ll be heading to Florida this winter. We have too many friends and family members in Florida who we don’t see enough to pass up a visit in the Southeast.
The plan is to take three or four weeks to get to Pat’s brother’s house in Florida where we’ll store the Tincan until we return in January. Our first stop was Franklinville to meet up with with our friends Bill and Sandy. We met in Florida in 2018 when they were full time RVers. It’s always a good time when we met up.
The next day we packed up and drove to Ohiopyle State Park in the Laurel Highlands of southern Pennsylvania . We hoped to catch some autumn color and we sure did!
The name Ohiopyle is believed to be derived from a combination of American Indian words that mean “white frothy water “. That water is the Youghiogheny River, providing some of the best white water rafting in East.
In addition to the fall foliage, we came to ride The Great Allegheny Passage. This Rails to Trails bike path starts in Pittsburgh and travels 150 miles to Cumberland MD. We rode 24 miles (48 miles round trip) of it along the Youghiogheny River.
We used our mountain bikes to ride the trail but it could be easily traversed on road bikes.
The trail was lined with mountain laurel. This would be a wonderful ride in the spring.
The trail rises from laurel along the river and shows a great view of the river below. The 3 percent grade along this section gave us a good workout.
The railroad was originally used to move coal from this area. Coal veins can be seen in the rock walls along the trail.
In addition to biking there is plenty of hiking to enjoy. We focused in on waterfalls and river hikes.
The hike to Cucumber Falls is a popular hike with limited parking at the trailhead. The trick is to arrive early for parking and solitude along the trail.
The Meadow Run Waterslides are another popular hike. The fast moving water flume would be great fun on a hot summers day.
Across the river from the village of Ohiopyle is the Ferncliff Peninsula National Natural Landmark. This hundred acre peninsula was created by a meander in the Youghiogheny River. The peninsula has lots of hiking and closeup views of Ohiopyle Falls.
300 million years ago Pennsylvania had a tropical climate. As you hike the peninsula you can see fossils from that period along the trail.
After four days it was time to move on. We only scratched the surface of things to do. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water and Kentuck Knob are nearby as well as more hiking and biking. Our next stop will be the Lake Powhatan Recreation area south of Asheville NC and a visit with our nephew Jack and his family.
The highlight of our stop was a visit with Jack, Emily and our great niece Sky.