Setting

A magnificent mountainous region, the Laurel Highlands spans 3,000 square miles of Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland Counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. Located just east of Pittsburgh, our beautiful four-season destination offers some of the most spectacular natural scenery, outstanding outdoor recreation venues, historic sites & attractionsfamily activities, and world-class resorts.

The region's striking scenery provides a picturesque backdrop for notable attractions, such as Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater® built over a waterfall. The AAA Five-Diamond award-winning Nemacolin Woodlands Resort provides a luxurious getaway on 2,000 wooded acres. Even George Washington documented his thoughts about the rugged terrain while at Fort Necessity and Fort Ligonier.

The region offers one-of-a-kind hiking, biking, and ski trails as well as amazing waterways. The union of Seven Springs and Hidden Valley offers snow enthusiasts 64 slopes and trails and 10 terrain parks on 395 acres of skiable terrain. The Great Allegheny Passage, now complete to Point State Park in Pittsburgh, offers a 335-mile biking trail experience to Washington, D.C. Add the Youghiogheny River with all of the fun water activity that can be had on the Class I-IV whitewater and you've found your mountain playground in the Laurel Highlands.

Source: Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau

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Recreation

Winter

The region's high elevation [Mount Davis, 3,213 ft.] and abundant amount of natural snow - more than 150 inches a season, creates a haven for snow sports enthusiasts. Three ski areas including Hidden Valley Resort, Mystic Mountain at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, and Seven Springs Mountain Resort - PA's largest ski resort deliver the goods with phenomenal downhill skiing, snowboarding, and snowtubing. In addition to traditional winter activities, the resorts also offer dog sled rides, snowmobile tours, and snow groomer rides. Naturalists wanting to explore the Laurel Highlands on a pair of cross country skis or snowshoes have 8 state parks and the Great Allegheny Passage to experience.

Spring

All of the snow has to go somewhere and as it begins to melt the creeks and streams rise in time for the opening day of Trout Season. The Laurel Highlands Trout Trail is a month long event which identities some of the region's best fishing spots along with fly fishing clinics and other fish-related events. Explore the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail and see wildflowers in bloom along with incredible vistas. The Laurel Highlands' rugged terrain and vast amount of green space creates a significant migrating spot for birds. Many of our state parks offer birding and nature walks and Powdermill Nature Reserve is home to one of the longest continually running bird banding stations in the United States.

Summer

While our summer temperatures may be cooler than our city neighbors, it's still plenty warm to cool off in a natural water park or at Idlewild & SoakZone. The Youghiogheny River winds through the southern part of the Laurel Highlands offering Class I-IV whitewater rafting. Class I-II rapids are gentle and can be enjoyed by kids as young as 4 years of age. Class III-IV delivers heart-pumping adventure. Just hook up with one of the region's experienced Ohiopyle-based outfitters and they'll plan a great experience for you. Head north to Whitewater Park where you'll discover the first artificial set of rapids constructed for boaters and tubers in PA. Chill out at Idlewild & SoakZone on any one of the dozens of water attractions from the wave pool to lazy river, waterslides and more!

Fall

The temperature is cooler, the leaves are changing from summer's lush green to vivid autumn colors and you'll discover a ton of unique ways to see the beautiful fall foliage in the Laurel Highlands. See fall colors from a bird's eye view as you glide over the mountains on a chairlift ride at Seven Springs Mountain Resort; reach speeds of up to 60 mph on the new Super Fatbird Flyer, over 3,000' of dueling zip lines at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Bike the Great Allegheny Passage to see amazing colors with sweeping vistas and overlooks. Whether you're a serious leaf peeper and want to hike deep into the woods or meander along a gentle path, the Laurel Highlands has thousands of miles of pristine trails, nature reserves, and state parks and forests waiting to be explored.

Source: Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau

 

 

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