Visiting Ohiopyle State Park 6.6.2015
I paid an early morning visit to Ohiopyle State Park this past Saturday morning, hoping to avoid the summer crowds by getting an early start.
I arrived at the Jonathan Run Trail parking lot right around 0545, just as the sun was beginning to rise. Some overnight rain and overcast skies had me cautiously optimistic that this would be a nice morning to photograph waterfalls along my favorite trail in the park.
Arriving first at Upper Jonathan Run Falls, I was pleasantly surprised to find it flowing as well as it was. Normally in the summer months it's not uncommon to find this one with just a trickle coming over the far right side of the falls.
After 30 minutes or so at Upper Jonathan Falls, I proceeded on down the trail (temporarily bypassing Lower Jonathan Run Falls) to the GAP bike path, hung a left, and hiked the short distance to Sugar Run Falls.
The flow here was about average for this time of year, nothing too spectacular but still a pleasant scene.
Now backtracking along the GAP and Jonathan Run Trail, I made my way back to Lower Jonathan Run Falls. This one is becoming my favorite summer waterfall along this trail, as it seems to look good with any amount of flow.
Finishing up at Lower Jonathan Run Falls, I scrambled back up the banks onto the Jonathan Run Trail, hiked back to where it intersects with the Sugar Run Trail, and followed the Sugar Run Trail to the first footbridge above Fechter Run Falls.
The flow here on this morning was again average or maybe even a little better for this time of year.
After finishing up at Fechter Run Falls, I made my way back to the car, drove past the throngs of tourists already crowding Cucumber Falls, and proceeded to the Meadow Run parking area off of Dinnerbell Road.
From there I hiked to the Cascades along Meadow Run, a much more serene scene.
I didn't encounter another soul the entire time I was at the Cascades, which was a far cry from the scene as I passed back through town and the namesake Ohiopyle Falls.
Having photographed those falls countless times before, I decided to just bypass the congested parking lot near the Visitor's Center and head back home, another good morning along the trails in the books.