With the exception of Pittsburgh, I don’t give western Pennsylvania much love, mainly because I’ve traveled very little in that region. Let’s try to change that.
This week’s “Weekend Trip Idea” is western PA’s Laurel Highlands. The Laurel Highlands is a mountainous region located southwest of Pittsburgh encompassing Cambria, Fayette, and Somerset counties. It’s mountains are some of the highest in the state, including PA’s highest peak Mt. Davis, and the Monongahela and Ohiopyle rivers run their course through the highlands, making it popular for rafting and boating.
There’s several interesting lodging options in the highlands. I’d either camp, stay at Seven Springs Ski Resort which has a ton of activities right on the grounds, or if you read my recent hosteling post, try Hostel On Main in the small town of Rockwood.
Outdoor activity is obviously the big draw in the Laurel Highlands. The aforementioned Mt. Davis is a popular hike with a metal observation tower on top with views into Maryland and West Virginia. There’s a whole ton of maintained trails to chose from. The Great Allegheny Passage starts in western PA and stretches 150 miles to Washington DC and another popular option is the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail which goes from Ohiopyle to Johnstown. A portion of this goes over the PA turnpike, I’ve always noticed it whenever I go to Pittsburgh to see my brother.
There’s a number of lesser known hiking trails. Whenever I make it out there, I’d like to try the Ghost Town Trail: a 34 mile trail that runs through several abandoned mining towns.
The Laurel Highlands website (first link in this post) has all the links for activities and sightseeing that you need.