By: Levi Opsatnic
Though State College and its surrounding areas have enough trails, nature, and other assortments of wildlife to keep one occupied for the rest of their life, I find myself occasionally wanting to stray outside of the area and experience some of the rest of Pennsylvania’s wonderful scenery. And with us being in the middle of a pretty brutal, yet highly aesthetically pleasing winter, I decided to make a southwestern trip to some of Pennsylvania’s most outstanding waterfalls around the Ohiopyle State Park area.
Knowing that the drive would take a little less than three hours and that daylight would be far from plentiful, I decided to leave the area around 8:30 AM to allow for some more than adequate exploration time. And after a quick bite of breakfast along the way, I found myself in the town of Ohiopyle and staring right into the current of one of Pennyslvania’s largest waterfalls. Being made from the Youghiogheny River, this river and its falls are far larger than the spring creeks that I’m most used to around State College.
Fortunately for those of us who enjoy a good sight, there is a terrace overlooking the falls nearest the road, which provides a pretty nice view. And for the more adventurous crowd, you can cross the bridge and take a trail to see the falls from the opposing side, which is where the above picture is taken. Regardless of which side you choose, you’ll surely find it to be pretty difficult not to be quite impressed at this great display of nature.
After spending some time exploring the Ohiopyle Fall, I decided that my Pennsylvanian waterfall thirst wasn’t totally satisfied. Knowing that another pretty popular waterfall, Cucumber Falls, was nearby, I decided to make my way there before calling it a day.
Cucumber Falls is quite a bit smaller than Ohiopyle Falls, taping in around thirty feet or so, but still a pretty awesome sight, and certainly worth the visit anytime that you find yourself in the area. Parking and beginning at the Cucumber Falls Trail Head, I was able to walk on a pretty scenic trail and make my way down to the falls no too long after that.
Similar to the Ohiopyle Falls, Cucumber Falls has a wooden deck that overlooks the falls and provides a really nice view. After gazing at the falls for a few minutes, I was able to walk down to the creek and check out some pretty cool ice formations that were made. This served as one heck of a reminder that even though Pennsylvania’s winters can be cold and uncomfortable at times, they surely provide some of the best outdoor scenery.
Once I was finished taking in all of the fun scenery around Cucumber Falls, I began the walk back to my car and started the trek home. On the long ride back into town, I found myself reminiscing on a great day spent checking out a really cool area of Pennsylvania, and halfway wishing that State College had some waterfalls of this size to offer.