Duration: Two days and two nights
Western Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands region has more than its share of steep hills and thrills. It also has the kind of country markets, inns and dining places, as well as one of the world’s most famous houses, and not just because it has a natural waterfall in the living room. So whether you’re a hill hiker or a mountain biker, you’re in for some serious trails. Not just any trails, the kind that are steeped in history, lush scenery, interesting side-routes and plenty of other excuses to take it all in, and fall behind in your itinerary (it’s worth it).
Once ranked by USA Today as one of the Top 10 Great Places to (bike) Ride the Rails, the Great Allegheny Passage begins in Pittsburgh, Pa., and crosses the border into Maryland, eventually ending in the nation’s capital. The 335-mile journey from Pittsburgh to the end of the trail makes it the longest unpaved bike path in the East Coast. Crushed limestone offers a smooth surface for bikers, hikers, runners and cross country skiers to experience all the natural beauty between... Read More >
If hiking is more your style, then head off to Ferncliff Peninsula for a two hour hike you won’t forget. Get a good walking stick, some trail mix and explore this National Natural Landmark, rich with rare and unusual plants. These plants wouldn’t normally grow in PA, but the microclimate in the river gorge allows the plants to thrive. Keep going, and stop to smell the flowers — there’s nothing like pausing before a bubbling stream in a field of wildflowers. Remember to pack a camera for a... Read More >
Fresh sandwiches served at backyard tables let you soak in Ohiopyle while you refuel. Firefly Grill serves up cool wraps like the Summer Hummer loaded with red pepper hummus and Thai Chicken with spicy peanut sauce. Don’t forget to quench your thirst with some fresh squeezed lemonade.Read More >
These charming log cottages are full of the rustic beauty you’re looking for. Stay in the Creek House, which accommodates up to six guests in two bedrooms, and admire its vaulted ceiling and stone fireplace. Or perhaps you’ll want to stay in the Springs House, which accommodates up to four guests, with a galley kitchen and wood burner.Read More >
No snooze alarm needed. The promise of these great outdoors (and hundreds of songbirds) is a natural way of getting ready for the morning. Good thing, because you’re headed to the Bear Run Nature Preserve just outside Ohiopyle State Park. Check out the Lower Bear Run Trail — it lies along the west slope of Laurel Ridge, facing the spectacular Youghiogheny River gorge. As you traverse the Reserve's trails, you’ll see everything from the beauty and solitude of dense oak and hemlock forest to... Read More >
Your drive from Mill Run to Donegal will take you along Routes 711 and 381, one of our favorite portions of the Laurel Highlands Scenic Byway. This 68-mile strip of road is like a moving postcard show, with rolling hillsides, sparkling waterfalls and picturesque farmlands.Read More >
Hop back in the car for an entirely new view of the terrain. This hiking trail is the gem of Ohiopyle State Park, stretching atop the Laurel Ridge and going for 70 miles. Chances are that's a little more backpacking than you bargained for, but no worries, the day hikes are just as spectacular. Access the trails just off Route 30 near the Westmoreland/Somerset County line. You'll get some more ridiculously scenic views of your new favorite river, the Youghigheny. You’re sure to meet a few... Read More >
This family owned and operated restaurant has been a favorite amongst Donegal residents since it opened in 2007. Those with a insatiable appetite love going to the chic cafÃ© and watching their food being made “out of the fire” through the open kitchen. Guests can enjoy signature smoked salmon or lobster ravioli indoors or on the deck while admiring the beautiful scene of the Laurel Highlands ridgeline.Read More >
Located just minutes off the Pennsylvania Turnpike, The Holiday Inn Express in Donegal is an excellent place to rest after a day full of fun. Before you head back to your suite or family room, be sure to spend a few minutes relaxing in the pool and hot tub. Holiday Inn Express provides its guests with much needed comfort and relaxation at their home away from home.Read More >
Fort Ligonier is a cornucopia of cool information. The fort built a rich history in a short, eight-year career as a garrison. It withstood a couple attacks from Native Americans, but was never captured. And it proved to be a vital link for British supplies and communications during Pontiac’s War of 1763.
Fallingwater is the only remaining Frank Lloyd Wright house with its setting, original furnishings and artwork intact. Once featured on the cover of TIME Magazine, the architectural wonder built over cascading falls served as a vacation home for department store owners, Edgar and Liliane Kaufmann. Today, guests can choose between a variety of tours and explore the grounds of Fallingwater on 20 miles of trails at the nearby Bear Run Nature Reserve. Fallingwater is a must-see on your trip to the Laurel Highlands.
What do you get when you combine 80 acres of Pennsylvania wilderness and an architectural genius? You get Kentuck Knob, one of the last homes completed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Today the architectural wonder is open to wide-eyed visitors looking to catch a glimpse of a masterpiece.