Youghiogheny River Trail In Pennsylvania

Here is everything you need to know about the Youghiogheny River Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Pennsylvania
  • Length: 28 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use.
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: Great Allegheny Passage Trail Towns
  • Permit Required?: No.
  • Website:

The Youghiogheny River Trail, located in southwestern Pennsylvania, holds a rich historical significance that dates back centuries. The trail follows the path of the Youghiogheny River, which was once a vital transportation route for Native American tribes and early European settlers. The name “Youghiogheny” itself is derived from the Native American word meaning “a stream flowing in a contrary direction.”

During the 18th century, the Youghiogheny River became an important waterway for the fur trade, connecting the Ohio River to the Allegheny Mountains. Traders and trappers utilized the river to transport goods and furs, establishing trading posts along its banks. The river’s strategic location also played a significant role during the French and Indian War, as both British and French forces sought control over this crucial transportation route.

In the 19th century, the Youghiogheny River became an integral part of the region’s booming coal and coke industry. The river served as a means to transport coal and coke downstream to Pittsburgh, where it fueled the city’s industrial growth. Numerous coal mines and coke ovens were established along the river, leaving behind remnants of this industrial heritage that can still be seen today.

In recent decades, the Youghiogheny River Trail has been developed as a recreational resource, offering visitors the opportunity to explore the area’s rich history and natural beauty. The trail, which spans approximately 70 miles, attracts hikers, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts from near and far. Along the trail, historical markers and interpretive signs provide insights into the river’s past, allowing visitors to connect with the region’s fascinating history as they traverse its scenic path.

While On The Trail

Access Points

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Transportation Available

1. Youghiogheny River Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service for hikers and bikers along the Youghiogheny River Trail.
2. Youghiogheny River Taxi – Taxi service providing transportation along the Youghiogheny River Trail.
3. Youghiogheny River Trail Bike Rentals – Bike rental service for exploring the Youghiogheny River Trail.
4. Youghiogheny River Trail Bus – Bus service offering transportation to various points along the Youghiogheny River Trail.
5. Youghiogheny River Trail Water Taxi – Water taxi service for convenient transportation along the Youghiogheny River Trail.


The Youghiogheny River Trail offers several amenities for visitors. Some of the amenities available at the trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at various points along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: The trail provides parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles while using the trail. These parking lots are located at different access points along the trail.

3. Camping Sites: The Youghiogheny River Trail offers camping sites for those who wish to spend the night. These campsites are equipped with amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to restroom facilities.

4. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas are equipped with picnic tables and sometimes have grills available for use.

5. Water Access: The trail provides access points to the Youghiogheny River, allowing visitors to engage in activities such as fishing, kayaking, or swimming.

6. Bike Rentals: Some sections of the trail offer bike rental services, allowing visitors to rent bicycles and explore the trail without bringing their own equipment.

7. Information Centers: There are information centers or visitor centers located at certain points along the trail. These centers provide maps, brochures, and information about the trail and its surroundings.

8. Trailhead Facilities: At the trailheads, visitors can find facilities such as information boards, parking, and sometimes even food vendors or nearby restaurants.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary depending on the specific section or access point of the Youghiogheny River Trail. It is recommended to check with the local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information on amenities and facilities.

Nearby Services

1. Yough Lake Campground – Campground located near the Youghiogheny River Trail offering scenic views and outdoor activities.
2. Falls City Pub – Casual pub serving American fare and craft beers, conveniently located near the trail.
3. Ohiopyle House Cafe – Cozy cafe offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner options near the Youghiogheny River Trail.
4. Yough Plaza Motel – Budget-friendly motel with basic amenities, situated close to the trail.
5. Confluence House Bed & Breakfast – Charming B&B providing comfortable accommodations near the Youghiogheny River Trail.
6. Confluence Cyclery – Bike shop offering rentals, repairs, and gear for trail enthusiasts.
7. Confluence Volunteer Fire Department – Emergency services available in case of any emergencies along the Youghiogheny River Trail.

Youghiogheny River Trail Difficulty Notes

The Youghiogheny River Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for outdoor enthusiasts. With a total length of 27 miles, the trail provides a diverse terrain that includes both flat sections and challenging inclines. Hikers and bikers can expect to encounter some rocky and uneven surfaces, as well as occasional tree roots along the path. The trail also features several bridges and boardwalks, adding an element of adventure to the journey. While the trail is generally well-maintained, it is important for visitors to come prepared with appropriate footwear and gear, as well as a moderate level of physical fitness to fully enjoy the experience.

Features And Attractions

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Usage Guidelines

1. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
3. Bicycles and pedestrians have the right of way. Yield to them and pass with caution.
4. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail, except for authorized maintenance vehicles.
5. Camping is not permitted along the trail.
6. Fires and open flames are prohibited.
7. Hunting and fishing are allowed in designated areas only, following state regulations.
8. Do not disturb or harm wildlife or vegetation along the trail.
9. Littering is strictly prohibited. Please carry out all trash and dispose of it in designated bins.
10. Respect private property adjacent to the trail and do not trespass.
11. Alcohol consumption is not allowed on the trail.
12. Use caution during hunting seasons and wear bright colors for visibility.
13. Observe and follow any seasonal restrictions or closures posted by park authorities.
14. Stay on designated trails and do not create new paths or shortcuts.
15. Use designated restrooms and facilities for personal hygiene needs.
16. Be mindful of other trail users and maintain a safe and respectful environment for all.

Seasonal Information

The Youghiogheny River Trail, located in southwestern Pennsylvania, offers a picturesque and diverse outdoor experience for visitors throughout the year. The best times to visit the trail largely depend on personal preferences and the activities one wishes to engage in. Spring and fall are particularly popular due to the mild temperatures and vibrant foliage. During these seasons, the trail is adorned with colorful blossoms and leaves, creating a stunning backdrop for hiking, biking, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along the river.

Summer is another great time to visit the Youghiogheny River Trail, especially for water enthusiasts. The river provides ample opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. The warm weather also makes it ideal for camping and picnicking along the trail. However, it’s worth noting that summer can be quite busy, especially on weekends, so visitors may want to plan their trips accordingly.

Winter transforms the Youghiogheny River Trail into a winter wonderland, attracting outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The trail offers breathtaking views of snow-covered landscapes, and the peacefulness of the surroundings adds to the charm of winter visits. However, it’s important to note that some sections of the trail may be closed or inaccessible during the winter months due to snow and ice, so it’s advisable to check for any seasonal closures before planning a visit.

While the Youghiogheny River Trail is open year-round, it’s important to be aware of any seasonal closures or restrictions that may be in place. Some sections of the trail may be temporarily closed for maintenance or repairs, so it’s always a good idea to check with the local park authorities or visit their website for up-to-date information. Additionally, certain facilities along the trail, such as restrooms or visitor centers, may have limited hours or be closed during the off-peak seasons. Being prepared and informed about any closures or restrictions will ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to the Youghiogheny River Trail.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces are available near the trail entrance for easy access.
2. Accessible Trail Entrance: The trail entrance is designed to accommodate wheelchair users with smooth and level surfaces.
3. Paved Pathways: The trail features paved pathways, ensuring a smooth and accessible surface for wheelchair users.
4. Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are available along the trail, equipped with features like grab bars and wider doorways.
5. Picnic Areas: Wheelchair-accessible picnic areas are provided, allowing individuals to enjoy outdoor dining comfortably.
6. Benches: Wheelchair-accessible benches are strategically placed along the trail, providing resting spots for users.
7. Trail Signage: Clear and visible signage is installed along the trail, including accessible maps and directions.
8. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible water fountains are available at various points along the trail.
9. Trail Width: The trail is designed to be wide enough to accommodate wheelchair users and allow for easy passing.
10. Accessible Trail Exits: The trail exits are designed to be accessible, with ramps or smooth transitions to surrounding areas.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked paths to avoid getting lost or wandering into unsafe areas.
2. Carry a map and compass: Always have a map and compass handy to navigate the trail and find your way back if needed.
3. Wear appropriate footwear: Use sturdy, closed-toe shoes or hiking boots to protect your feet from potential hazards on the trail.
4. Dress in layers: Be prepared for changing weather conditions by wearing layers that can be added or removed as needed.
5. Stay hydrated: Carry an adequate supply of water to prevent dehydration, especially during hot weather or strenuous activities.
6. Use sunscreen and insect repellent: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays and prevent insect bites by applying sunscreen and repellent.
7. Watch out for wildlife: Be aware of your surroundings and respect the wildlife by keeping a safe distance and not feeding or approaching them.
8. Be cautious of slippery surfaces: Watch out for wet or muddy areas, especially after rain, as they can be slippery and increase the risk of falls.
9. Be mindful of cyclists: Share the trail with cyclists and be aware of their presence, allowing them to pass safely.
10. Carry a first aid kit: Have a basic first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers in case of minor injuries.
11. Inform someone of your plans: Let a friend or family member know your itinerary and expected return time in case of emergencies.
12. Stay alert and aware: Pay attention to your surroundings, trail markers, and any potential hazards to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Conservation Notes

The Youghiogheny River Trail, located in southwestern Pennsylvania, is a significant natural resource that requires conservation efforts to ensure its long-term sustainability. As a designated National Recreation Trail, the conservation status of this trail is of utmost importance. The trail traverses through diverse ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and riverbanks, providing habitat for a variety of plant and animal species.

Conservation efforts for the Youghiogheny River Trail primarily focus on preserving the natural vegetation and wildlife along its route. The trail is managed by various organizations and agencies that work together to protect and restore the surrounding environment. These efforts involve regular monitoring of the trail’s condition, including erosion control, invasive species management, and maintenance of the riparian buffer zones.

To maintain the conservation status of the Youghiogheny River Trail, strict regulations are in place to ensure responsible use by visitors. These regulations aim to minimize human impact on the trail and its surrounding ecosystems. Visitors are encouraged to stay on designated paths, refrain from littering, and respect the natural habitats and wildlife encountered along the trail.

Overall, the conservation status of the Youghiogheny River Trail is actively managed to preserve its ecological integrity. Through ongoing efforts, this trail continues to provide a valuable recreational experience while protecting the natural resources it encompasses.

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