Ohiopyle State Park Ferncliff Peninsula

Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania 15470

Ohiopyle State Park Ferncliff Peninsula

Ohiopyle State Park Ferncliff Peninsula Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This hike winds through Ohiopyle State Park’s Ferncliff Natural Area, a hundred-acre peninsula that’s a National Natural Landmark. You’ll likely see kayakers and rafters churning through rapids, get a bird’s-eye view of the Yough from an old railroad bridge, and wander almost under the 30-foot Cucumber Falls.

In the late 1880s, Ferncliff Natural Area was anything but natural. Entrepreneurs turned the peninsula into a regular Coney Island, with a boardwalk, dance pavilion, ball fields, tennis courts, fountains, and hotel.

Today Ferncliff has largely returned to its natural state. It’s a unique one, too. The Youghiogheny River, known as the “Yough” and pronounced “yock,” flows north into Pennsylvania here, carrying seeds from Maryland and West Virginia."

More Ohiopyle State Park Ferncliff Peninsula Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

"Using the Cucumber Falls access allows easy viewing of the falls as a way to both begin and end the hike. This loop also features the Cascades Waterfall and an area called the Slides where water cascades over smooth boulders. It is a very beautiful hike. The hike begins by walking down the gravel ramp and then stairs to an overlook of the bridal veil Cucumber Falls. The stairs continue but you can leave them at the dirt landing and go left to get closer for photos and perhaps a cooling spray. Return to the trail and continue down the remainder of the stairs, following the trail away from the falls. Step carefully, making your way over calfhigh boulders. Once the trail levels out it will appear to head left toward Meadow Run. Look toward the right for the continuation of the true trail. It will be marked by a sign, which faces away from the water and says Meadow Run Trail End; you should pass with the sign on your left. Look up and inland for yellow trail blazes. A small waterfall over flat rocks can be seen here. You will walk beside a moss-covered, 100-foot-long boulder. Negotiate over rocks and tree roots while enjoying the view of water flowing over the boulders." Read more
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Pittsburgh (Menasha Ridge Press)
Donna L. Ruff
View more trails from this guide book
"If you want a leisurely walk that is rather level and avoids the crowds, this trail provides an easily accessible escape into Pennsylvania’s woods and is suitable for hikers of all ages. Park in the parking lot at the trailhead for the Ferncliff Natural Area and walk over the bridge to the visitor’s center. The bridge was rebuilt as part of the Rails-to-Trails system in the 19th-century style of the former train station. It is a pleasurable experience to walk along its length over the scenic Youghiogheny, letting the stresses of modern day melt away. The visitor’s center has been maintained in much the same fashion of the time of its former operation. Inside you find friendly and helpful personnel, old photos and a bit about the area’s past, restrooms, and many resources for local information." Read more

Ohiopyle State Park Ferncliff Peninsula Reviews

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This is a beautiful waterfall hike right outside of the town of Ohiopyle. Cucumber Falls are a very short walk on dirt (not paved) from the parking lot. It's a really short walk. When you walk from the parking lot you are at the top of the falls looking straight at them. You can hear the roar of the falls and see the bridal-like veil of water, and it is simply gorgeous. There is also a walking dirt trail down to the river's edge and there are railings to secure you. Some folks were at the bottom of the falls taking pics and others were actually behind the falls and walking through, getting super wet, of course! You can either head down to the falls and hike on a more difficult trail along the water or stay at the top of the falls and travel a much flatter and easier trail on a ledge above the river. Allow a few hours if you want to be adventurous, otherwise you can just enjoy Cucumber Falls for a half hour. If you want to spend more time and decide to do the loop, you will also see the Cascades Waterfall and the Slides, where water beautifully cascades over smooth rocks. Be careful! The rocks are slippery, so bring appropriate waterproof shoes, or good shoes with traction that you don't mind getting wet.
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This is great, easy trail for beginners or children. There are multiple places to stop with a wonderful view. If you're just looking for a nice, casual, walk to enjoy nature and explore the wonderful world of Ohiopyle, this is a great trail to start at!

Ohiopyle State Park Ferncliff Peninsula Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
Spring to Fall
USGS Fort Necessity and Ohiopyle
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018