The History of Ohiopyle State Park
Ohiopyle State Park first started out as a home for the local Indian tribes in the 1700's. The Monogahela and Iroquois Indians settled in the area at one time or another.
The Beginnings of the French and Indian War
In the mid-1700's explorers from Europe started to realize the importance of the Ohio River valley, this includes the Youghiogheny, which flows through Ohiopyle State Park. George Washington was put in charge of trying to find an all water route to Pittsburgh however, the falls in Ohiopyle made it impossible to use the Youghiogheny. While trying to find an all water route to the future city of Pittsburgh, Washington happened upon a group of French soldiers and attacked them. The French eventually fought back against Washington and his small force of men. Washington erected Fort Necessity to help his troops defend themselves against the French. Washington eventually surrendered and this was the start of the French and Indian War.
The 1800's | Ohiopyle becomes Civilized
In the 1800's Ohiopyle found itself slowing becoming a town. By the end of the 1800's the railroads had made their way to Ohiopyle. By this time lumber had become a big industry. A lumber mill was erected near Ohiopyle Falls. The holes left by the building's posts can still be seen in the rocks near the falls today. The railroads were also an important factor in bringing tourists to the Ohiopyle region. It would cost you almost $1 to travel from near by cities to Ohiopyle and back. People would come from far away like Pittsburgh to experience the pristine nature Ohiopyle State Park provided.
Hotels also started popping up in the late 1800's. Buildings were constructed on Ferncliff Peninsula. The Ferncliff Hotel was the largest building on Ferncliff. They were many other buildings including a bowling alley and decorative fountains. The buildings were eventually demolished to allow the forest to reclaim its place.
Ohiopyle State Park is founded
In the 1960's the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy sold the land of Ohiopyle State Park to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Realizing the importance of protecting the beauty of Ohiopyle the state turned the land into Ohiopyle State Park.
Ohiopyle State Park is one of the most visited state parks in American. With well over 250,000 people visiting Ohiopyle every year it is a major tourist destination for those who love being in the outdoors.
Ohiopyle State Park Today
Ohiopyle State Park remains one of the most popular destinations for people wanting to experience the outdoors. The Pennsylvania State Government has recently set aside a large amount of money for improvements in Ohiopyle. Some of these improvements include a new visitors center, the relocation of the seage treatment plant and much more. They are putting a major emphasis on the transformation of Ohiopyle back to a more natural state.
For more information on Ohiopyle State Park, visit their web site.