Ohiopyle State Park is located in Southwest Pennsylvania near Uniontown. Ohiopyle is known for whitewater rafting. However, the rapids and waterfalls on the Youghiogheny River also make terrific photo ops.
The are two easily accessible waterfalls to photograph in Ohiopyle State Park:
- Ohiopyle Falls
- Cucumber Falls
Ohiopyle Falls is located on Main Street in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania. There is a parking lot with a short walk to view/photograph the Ohiopyle Falls. There are three observation decks where you can photograph the falls. They are currently building a new visitor center and falls observation area. The GPS coordinates for OhioPyle Falls is 39.86778, -79.49583.
Ohiopyle Falls are low falls that span the Youghiogheny River. There is another small falls and rapids that can also be photographed on the way back to the parking area. These falls can be photographed with the trees in the background that are especially nice in the fall color.
Cucumber Falls is a short hike down some stairs. However, I found that the best photo ops were at the base of the falls from the rocks. You'll need to climb down the rocks for this shot. Be careful as these rocks and the moss on them can be slippery. The GPS coordinates for cucumber falls parking area is 39.862803, -79.502683.
Cucumber falls is a tall, slender waterfall with rocks and boulders at the base. When your done photographing Cucumber Falls, continue down the trail to the river. There is a gravel bar there where you can take some scenic photos of the river, rapids, and the forest background. If you continue down Meadow Run Trail for about a mile, you can photograph Meadow Run Cascades.
Rapids on the Youghiogheny River
I used a Canon 24-105mm f/4 lens for photographing both waterfalls. I brought along my 16-40mm lens but I didn't use it. A tripod is a must for slower shutter speeds for a silky look to the waterfall. A tripod also makes a nice walking stick for climbing down the rocks at Cucumber falls. A circular polarizer is useful for slowing down the shutter speed and reducing the glare on the falls.