A Day Trip from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania: Laurel Caverns and Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle State Park

On our way to visiting some of the Frank Lloyd Wright Houses along the Pennsylvania countryside we made a stop at Laurel Caverns. In addition to being an architecture fan I am also a fan of caves.

The history of the Laurel Caverns is quite extensive with several landowners over the years although no real concrete date of discovery. According to their history page, Native American arrowheads have been found around the entry to the cave thus implying the Natives had at least known about the cave, if not occupied it at one time. The lands passed around between different owners, starting around 1794 and finally ending with the current 1986 owners.

The hour-long tour departed from the visitors center into the cool, both in temperature and awe-inspiring, first room. The tour is not long, just over a ½ of a mile (0.80 km) and takes you to a few different rooms that are filled with lights illuminating the interior. Some of the rooms are outfitted with colored lights to give the rooms a little more pazazz.

Could it be the Holy Grail  at Laurel Caverns?!?!?

Could it be the Holy Grail at Laurel Caverns?!?!?

The tour was a pretty easy walk with a few stairs to climb (they advise you should be able to walk 5 flights of stairs if you plan on taking the tour) . There is also a very long, slightly sloping walk up a sandy path, but nothing too difficult.

Laurel Caverns

Laurel Caverns

If you would like to visit the Laurel Caverns they are located about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh in Hopwood. Apparently GPS does not work for locating the caverns (big surprise) so I will let them do the explaining on directions. Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, $10 for youth (grades 6-12) and $5 for children (grades K to 5). Pre-school children are free with a parent. They also offer spelunking and cave repelling for additional fees if you are interested.

About 18 miles away from Laurel Caverns while on our way to Kentuck Knob we found Cucumber Falls located in Ohiopyle State Park. We parked the car near the trailhead and followed the path down to the base of the waterfall. As always when you are around waterfalls use precaution as the spray from the falls coats everything and makes it slippery.

Cucumber Falls

Cucumber Falls

After taking in the beauty of the waterfall we continued on to the end of the trail to the Youghiogheny River where we saw several rafters partaking in the afternoon water activities. They Youghiogheny River is a popular whitewater boating location and according to the Pennsylvania State Park website it even boasts “some of the best whitewater boating in the eastern United States”. Rapids on the river range from 1 to 4 class.

If you would like to visit Cucumber Falls it is located near the intersection of Kentuck Road (where Kentuck Knob is) and Mill Run Road (the road Fallingwater is located on). I was not able to locate an address for the falls but it is well-marked and we were just passing by and saw the sign so it should be easy to find.

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