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Water-Carved Valleys in Laurel Highlands, PA

With eight state parks and two state forests spanning nearly 120,000 acres of pristine wilderness, Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands is a playground of laurel-covered mountains and water-carved valleys. But it’s not just the breathtaking scenery that draws visitors here; it’s the wealth of water adventures waiting to be explored. From thrilling whitewater rafting excursions to serene paddling journeys, the Laurel Highlands region offers an array of aquatic experiences for all skill levels.

Rushing Rapid Runs

Dive into adventure with a variety of water activities in the Laurel Highlands region. For a refreshing swim, head toKeystone State Park or Laurel Hill State Park, or opt for the adrenaline rush of Meadow Run Natural Waterslides. If paddling is your passion, there’s something for every skill level. Beginners can enjoy the stunning Packsaddle Gap section from Bolivar to Blairsville, while experienced paddlers can tackle the excitement of Lower Youghiogheny‘s Class III rapids, which are the best-known whitewater run in the eastern United States, according to American Whitewater. Or, explore Stonycreek Canyon‘s Class II and III stretches. 

For the ultimate challenge, expert paddlers can brave the Class IV/V rapids of the Upper Yough in Maryland, renowned worldwide for its thrilling runs. Looking for a family-friendly outing? Quemahoning Recreation offers picturesque canoeing and fishing from Kantner to Hollsopple, perfect for creating lasting memories with your loved ones.

Allow Laurel Highlands River Tours, Wilderness Voyageurs, Ohiopyle Trading Post, or White Water Adventurers to lead you on an exhilarating journey down the rapids, offering a range of rafting experiences to suit your preference and skill level. They have most of the gear you need to feel prepared to take on any rapid run. Alternatively, reserve a rental for your own personalized adventure! 

Passages and Caverns

There is much more to explore on land and below the surface! Traverse the renowned Great Allegheny Passage, hailed as one of America’s top trails for outdoor recreation. Delve into nature along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, a scenic 70-mile trek offering conveniently situated shelters for overnight stays. Dive into the depths of exploration at Laurel Caverns, Pennsylvania’s largest cave system, unveiling a subterranean world of wonder. 

Whether you’re cycling through breathtaking landscapes, embarking on a multi-day hiking excursion, or spelunking beneath the earth’s surface, the Laurel Highlands promises unforgettable experiences for adventurers of all stripes.

Endless Entertainment

Adults can journey through the Laurel Highlands Pour Tour, boasting 52 craft beverage makers to delight your palate. Nearby, Timber Rock Amphitheater hosts nationally renowned music acts just moments from the adventure hub of Ohiopyle. For family fun, Idlewild Park & SoakZone awaits, recognized as one of the nation’s premier children’s parks. Thrill-seekers can satisfy their need for speed at Jennerstown Speedway, offering high-octane racing action at budget-friendly prices. Plus, immerse yourself in architectural marvels at nearby Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Laurel Highlands provides not just unforgettable water adventures but also boundless entertainment for the entire family!

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