Swimming and Rafting with Dogs in Ohiopyle

Ohiopyle State Park is a great place for dogs to swim, fetch, and even go whitewater rafting. Below are some of our favorite places to take your dog swimming in Ohiopyle, as well as information on rafting with your furry friend.


  • Cucumber Falls Area: With fantastic views of both the Cucumber Falls waterfall, and of the first two rapids on the Lower Yough River, it is one of the most popular spots in the state park.
  • Lower Yough Launch Area: This is a sandy beach just downstream of the famous, Ohiopyle Falls. You can access this area by walking down from the visitor center at the falls overlook. Keep in mind, this area is used by private and commercial rafters as a launch point, so it is usually busy and you may have to move for boats to get through.
  • Below the Bike and 381 bridges: This area encompasses are large area across from falls marketing. There is easy access to the water on the opposite side of route 381 -across from Falls Market. Be aware that the waterfall is downstream, and there is a specific point where swimming is not allowed. Be cautious and make sure to pay attention to signage.
  • Meadow Run Natural Waterslides: This area is almost always packed with people, but that is for a good reason. There is a great swimming hole for dogs and people alike. It is not recommended that you take your dog on the actual waterslides, but rather enjoy the pools above and below. You can always walk upstream for some great views and even better swimming holes.
  • Ramcat Launch Area: This swimming area is located at Ramcat in Confluence. This is the launch point for the Middle Yough, so just like the Lower, you will encounter commercial and private rafters and kayakers launching into the river. You can go up or downstream on the bike trail from this parking location and find an array of places to access the river for play time.

Whitewater Rafting and Floating

Take your dog on a float trip in Ohiopyle. While there are four rafting companies that operate on the Youghiogheny River, they may not all allow dogs on all trips. The most common option is a rental on the Middle Youghiogheny, which is mostly flat water with some rapids scattered throughout. Please contact the company directly to inquire about what rafting trips or rentals allow pups.

Wilderness Voyageurs

103 Grant Street, Ohiopyle, PA 15470



Ohiopyle Trading Post

4 Negley Street, Ohiopyle, PA 15470



Whitewater Adventurers

6 Negley Street, Ohiopyle, PA 15470



Laurel Highlands Guide Services

Guided Fishing Trips – Confluence

412-715-8461 (Rob)


A very important note!

Ohiopyle and Ohiopyle State Park are home to some amazing wildlife like bears, deer, ground hogs, fox, and snakes. There are two types of poisonous snakes that you should be aware of while you are adventuring with your dog in the park.

  • Copper Heads: These snakes are a coppery color, with a mixture of a reds and browns in a striping pattern. Their heads are large, flat and have a triangular shape. They are mostly found along river banks, and are very camouflaged among the rocks and river driftwood. Be very careful when swimming along river and creek banks within the park, as these snakes are very common. They love to sun themselves on rocks, and can also swim. In the spring during mating season, they give off a smell that is often likened to cucumbers. If you are visiting the cucumber rapid and cucumber falls are, know that these snakes are very prominent in those locations.
  • Timber Rattler: This snake is not commonly found along the riverbed, but is often seen in forests, along rock outcroppings, and rock ledges that contain vegetation. While these snakes are darker, and do have a V or W pattern, the easiest way to identify them is by the rattle located on the end of their tail. These snakes have been known to show up on the GAP bike trail from time to time, so be careful.

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