Ohiopyle Visitors Center and Meadow Run

Yesterday we stopped by the new Visitors Center at Ohiopyle State Park.  The boys and I had been earlier in the summer but this was the first time for Ryan.  The park did a really did a great job with the building and surrounding area.  Yesterday was quite a hot day, and it was nice to detour inside for a few minutes to get some water, cool off, and check out the exhibits and gorgeous view of the falls.  After the Visitor’s Center, we walked over to Meadow Run and hiked up the stream.  The water was fairly low, so this time boys opted to skip on sliding down the natural waterslides.  Instead we opted to keep hiking, alternating between boulder scrambling along the edges of the stream and hiking on the path through the woods.  It was a gorgeous walk and we had a such a great time that we didn’t get home until evening.  Despite the late hour, Ryan started up the grill to make a batch of his famous Double Smoked Chili.  We finally ate around 9:30, and it was worth the wait!

 

 

Mushroom Hunting Along the Great Allegheny Passage

Today we took a trip out to one of our super secret locations along the Great Allegheny Passage to collect some chanterelles. We found enough to have a side dish with tonight’s dinner and they were tasty.

The other super secret location that we find them is along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.  There were probably many more there, but it requires either a serious off road adventure in the truck or a 10 mile hike/trail run which involves several thousand feet of elevation gain. The truck adventure was attempted but the “road” was too washed out to make it down this year. We made it to both places last year and scored a huge bag full.  Since it is such an adventure to get there, there really is no point in keep their location a secret. Simply start in Ohiopyle and hike to the Ohiopyle shelters along the LHHT sometime in August.  You’ll find a few spots right along the trail, with large groups (colonies?) in the valley near the shelters. Good luck getting there, you are sure to see some beautiful scenery.

Hunting for Chanterelles reminds me of the times we went looking for them in Sweden.  They were more abundant there, but much harder to find since the leaf litter matches the mushrooms.  We were also able to find two other varieties in Sweden. I can still remember the amazing flavor of the big brain looking one. Parke and I were discussing that score during our adventure today.  Hopefully Mats found a few this year.  Looking at the photos of our last hunt in Sweden also reminded me that Marley went along on that trip and that was probably the last and best adventure we had with him.  We miss you Marley!

Heading in to see if there are any around

Heading in to see if there are any around

Got some in the bag

Got some in the bag

Out of the bag and into the pan

Out of the bag and into the pan

Lover’s Leap

The best place to view Ohiopyle Falls is from Lover’s Leap, on the Ferncliff side of the river. I’m looking forward to coming back in the early morning, just before sunrise, when the fog and mist are dense.

The best part of any trip to Ohiopyle is the post event candy bar, ice cream, or steak and cheese from Fall’s Market. Since Fall’s has gone under new managment, the place is looking great. They have upgraded the coffe selection, cleaned it out, and totally reorganized the store.