Start packing and hit the road on these seven inexpensive road trips from Pittsburgh. Whether you prefer to hide away in the middle of a state park or you’re in the mood for thrills, you’ll find the perfect destination within easy driving distance of Pittsburgh.
1. Cherry Springs State Park – 4639 Cherry Springs Road, Coudersport, PA 16915
Pack your camping gear and your telescope and head to Cherry Springs State Park. A three and a half hour drive from Pittsburgh, the cozy state park boasts the clearest nighttime sky on the Eastern Seaboard, making it the perfect spot for an evening or two of stargazing. Stay at one of the 30 campsites in the park, each of which feature a fire ring, a lantern hanger, and a picnic table. A sanitary dump site is also available. Rustic camping sites cost between
$15 and $17 a night.
2. Ohiopyle State Park – 124 Main Street, Ohiopyle, PA 15470
Stay a bit closer to home - less than an hour and a half from PIttsburgh - with a road trip to Ohiopyle State Park. Snap stunning photos of Cucumber Falls, Ohiopyle Falls, and Jonathan Falls. Enjoy a leisurely picnic. Embark on one of nearly 79 miles of trails. Go horseback riding or biking. Ohiopyle State Park also offers camping at Kentuck Campground, which features tents, yurts, and camping cottages. Fees range from
$17 to $90 a night depending on the type of accommodation you reserve.
3. Presque Isle State Park – Peninsula Drive & Fisher Drive, Erie, PA 16505
Sit back and enjoy the nearly two hour drive to Presque Isle State Park. Spend your day frolicking on one of the beaches. Or, wile away the hours scuba diving, water skiing, boating, or fishing. The park itself offers plenty to do, including biking, hiking, and picnicking.
4. Penn’s Cave – 222 Penns Cave Road, Centre Hall, PA 16828
Embark on an epic adventure, a little over two and a half hours from Pittsburgh, when you journey to Penn's Cave, the country's only all-water cave. Explore the cave on a guided boat. Return above ground to go on the wildlife tour or the cave mountain tour. Penn's Cave also features a miner's maze, gem mining, and a cafe. Entrance fees for Penn's Cave vary depending on how many attractions you plan to visit. The basic tour of the cave, however, costs
$18.50 for adults and $10.50 for children between two and 12.
5. Conneaut Lake
Only an hour and a half from Pittsburgh, Conneaut Lake promises plenty of economical fun. Spend a day at Midway Beach where you can lounge on the sand and play in the cool water of this spring-fed lake. Or, make it a day at Conneaut Lake Park. The renovated park offers plenty of rides, game, and food.
All Day Ride Passes cost $10 per person.
6. Laurel Caverns – 1065 Skyline Drive, Farmington, PA 15437
Wander through the more than three miles of passages at Laurel Caverns, the state's largest and deepest cave. Laurel Caverns offers a traditional guided tour covering 3,000 square feet. Rappelling and spelunking are also available. Above ground, play mini golf, pan for gemstones, and shop at the gift shop. A traditional tour costs
$12 for adults, $10 for students in sixth through 12th grade, and $9 for kindergartners through fifth grade.
7. Cook Forest – 113 River Road, Cooksburg, PA 16217
Journey nearly two hours to the picturesque Cook Forest along the Clarion River. The 8,500 acre state park provides the perfect getaway. Get closer to nature as you hike, bike, horseback ride, or canoe. Camping is also popular at the state park, which features RV spaces and rustic cabins.
Overnight rates begin at $17 and go as high as $116 per night depending on the type of accommodation you book.
What are some other affordable road trips from Pittsburgh you’d like to add to a part two of this list? Click here to read about some of the most amazing
natural wonders in the area.