Tour Explores Hidden Ohiopyle in Fayette County

By Hollenbaugh, Barbara | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 8, 2008 | Go to article overview

Tour Explores Hidden Ohiopyle in Fayette County


Hollenbaugh, Barbara, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Hiking, biking ... and a moonlight cruise on Cranberry Lake.

Ohiopyle State Park will present a tour called "Keels, Heels and Wheels" to showcase the park's amenities Friday through June 15.

The purpose of this tour, said park naturalist Barbara Wallace, is to "get people out and experience the recreational opportunities of the park."

The weekend will begin with a moonlight boat trip along Cranberry Lake, just north of the park.

"People will have a chance to enjoy the serenity," said Clyde Trout, environmental education director at Ohiopyle, who, along with Wallace, will lead the tour. "Also, we will study the osprey."

The osprey is a bird of prey that feeds on fish. Several years ago, the Pennsylvania Game Commission placed some telephone poles vertically in the lake so osprey would have a place to nest.

"Most water birds like to nest above the water," said Trout.

The romantic aspect of this tour attracted more older couples than young people the last time it was held, he added.

"We had a number of older couples come last year," Trout said. "Some people were nervous about getting into the boats, but once they were out on the lake, they loved it."

The next day will begin with a 9-mile bike trip along the Great Allegheny Passage, which goes through the park.

"We'll shuttle people to Confluence, then they'll bike back," Trout said.

Along the way, participants will learn the history of the passage, beginning when George Washington passed through the area.

"We'll discuss the industrial history of the area as well," Trout said. "We'll talk about the timber industry and the coal industry.

The next activity will be a 9-mile guided hike through the Cucumber Falls section of the park.

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