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Pittsburgh is known as one of the most livable cities in the U.S. and is enjoyed by its inhabitants not only for its history and charm, but also for the vast array of natural parks and attractions in the surrounding areas. Whether you fancy birdwatching, watersports, or hiking, we’ve compiled a list for everyone in the family to enjoy.

 

Ohiopyle

Known for its beautiful waterfalls and majestic scenery, Ohiopyle is the perfect summer outing for the whole family. Choose from countless activities such as hiking to kayaking and rafting. One particular aspect you may enjoy is a natural waterslide called Meadow run. On most days it is gentle enough for swimmers to gently ride down to a natural swimming pond. Finish your day by taking a short hike to Cucumber Falls.

Laurel Caverns 

Less than a two-hour drive from Pittsburgh, the Laurel Caverns offers a unique experience inside the deepest cave in the northeastern United States. The cave itself sits under 435 acres of privately owned geological preserve. Due to its size, three different trip sizes are offered to range from one hour to an over three miles to reach the bottom of the mountain. A natural habitat for bats, this cave is open during the spring, summer, and fall, and will be closed during the winter for hibernation. 

 

Presque Isle State Park 

With over 3,000 acres of sandy beaches, Presque Isle is the only “seashore” located in Pennsylvania. Activities include hiking, swimming, bicycling, and in-line skating. If you prefer to be on the water, you can enjoy boat rentals or fishing. Stay overnight at a water-front hotel, or enjoy sleeping within nature at a nearby campground. 

 

Deep Creek Lake State Park 

Looking to truly escape? Look no further than the Deep Creek Lake State Park. Nestled in Western Maryland’s Garrett County, the park boasts over 1,800 acres of preserved woods. Choose from over 112 campsites and visit a 6,000 square foot Discovery Center. A manmade lake, Deep Creek was originally constructed by the Youghiogheny Hydroelectric Company. Rent or bring your pontoon boat to take out onto the lake for the day, or utilize one of the many pavilions within the park to have a family picnic. 

 

Moraine and McConnell’s Mill State Park 

Moraine and McConnell’s Mill State Park are one of the well-known gems within reach of Pittsburgh residents. McConnells Mill is well known for its rock climbing and fabulous hiking along with the beautiful scenery of the lake. Keep an eye out for a landmark called the Slippery Rock Gorge, a beautiful 6.2-mile gorge that runs through the center of the park. 


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