We Pittsburghers are pretty lucky with all that we have to do right in our own backyard – from sports and shopping to dining out and some of the country’s finest museums. But sometimes, we all need to just slow down, take a breath, and marvel at the artistic masterpieces of nature. Several waterfalls in the area promise unparalleled beauty, the opportunity to hike or to picnic, and plenty of photographic moments. Here are seven beautiful hidden waterfalls in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area:
1. Cucumber Falls
Get a bird's eye view of Cucumber Falls from the observation deck overlooking the waterfall. Then descend down the staircase that leads to the base of the 30 foot waterfall. Approximately an hour outside of Pittsburgh, Cucumber Falls is part of the nearly 21,000 acre Ohiopyle Park. Be sure to stop in the visitor's center to pick up a map of the park before setting out on your exploration.
2. Ohiopyle Falls
Only half a mile from Cucumber Falls cascades Ohiopyle Falls, a 15 foot waterfall that unlike Cucumber Falls, is wider than it is high. Flowing along the Youghiogheny River, the powerful waterfall beckons kayakers who often kayak the lower and upper part of the river.
3. Buttermilk Falls
Spend the perfect day at the pristine Buttermilk Falls. Nestled in New Florence in Indiana County, the 45 foot waterfall is the centerpiece of a natural paradise. Visitors can enjoy a picnic at the pavilion near the waterfall, can use the nearby bathroom facilities, or can hike around the waterfall for panoramic views.
4. Fall Run Park
Fall Run Park in Shaler promises the ideal backdrop for hiking, photography, and enjoying nature. The waterfall, perhaps the masterpiece of the nearly 94 acre park, sits at the end of a one mile trek. After drinking in nature's beauty, visitors can play a game of pickup at the basketball court, can kick the ball around on the soccer field, or can play at the playground.
Get ready to be blown away by the sheer beauty of Fallingwater, a waterfall that cascades under what is perhaps one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous architectural designs. Built for the Kaufmann family, of Kaufmann's Department Stores, Fallingwater welcomes visitors for tours of the home and the falls from March through December. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
6. Springfield Falls
Tucked away in Mercer County, Springfield Falls offers impressive dimensions at 40 feet wide and 25 feet high. The falls, which can easily be seen from the parking lot, are typically best viewed from above as the trip to the base requires hiking down a steep, tricky trail.
7. Jackson Falls
Discover three spectacular waterfalls at Jackson Falls, located in Roaring Run Recreational Area in Apollo. Each is larger than the next – the smallest at five feet, the middle at 10 feet, and the highest at 20 feet – and each provides ample opportunities for amateur and professional photographers.
Pittsburgh has plenty of hidden gems, including natural waterfalls. What is your favorite waterfall in Pittsburgh? Or, are there any beautiful hidden waterfalls in Pittsburgh that should be included on the list?