The Laurel Highlands, Pa

Nemacolin-Chateau-Lafayette-640x480

 Photo by GETAWAY  Mavens

The Laurel Highlands, only about 45 minutes away from Morgantown WV, offers so much in the way of outdoor activities. There is the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail that runs through the heart of Ohiopyle going in each direction to Pittsburgh or DC. At Ohiopyle one can enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the surrounding waterfalls and picturesque bridges. Kayaking and white-water rafting are summertime sports enjoyed here solo or led by a group. With many local restaurants and Bed-n-Breakfasts the small town is abuzz morning noon and night during the warm season. The Laurel Highlands Hiking trail is on the list of things to do this year with our hiking friends who we enjoyed three days on the Maryland AT with last fall. We hope to accomplish some mileage closer to home this year.

Laurel Highlands Trail

Trail Map

For those with interests in the arts or entertainment, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater  and nearby Kentuck Knob are architectural wonders that attract the world. Then there is the Nemacolin Woodlands resort where my husband and I snowboarded this past weekend. It’s a great place, and a great price, to start a season of snow sporting. The handful of trails were not crowded and the recently built ski lodge offered a good lunch with a fireplace to warm up. There were many first time skiers and children, so I didn’t feel out-of-place trying to balance for the first time this year. We enjoyed the slopes and then changed for dinner on the resort. The resort offers a Disney-like experience for families who enjoy ski sports, shopping, soda-pop style ice cream, artful sculptures of bronze, and a serpentine ‘chateau’ with high-priced art and photos of the Mediterranean coast, all in once place. The grounds would be lovely for a spring stroll, as portions of the snow-covered paths were exposed between large rock outcroppings. An interesting history is on their website here.

The Lafayette Chateau is grand and built to mimic French architecture. At night the three glowing arms that embrace you upon entering are majestic.

I can’t find the architect of the Chateau, even in articles that were published around the time of the opening, such as this one in the Washington Post.

We had a casual dinner near the shell collection and the salt-water fish tank, at The Tavern, where our waitress was really sweet, and we enjoyed acorn squash soup, fresh salads, and craft beer. We’ll go back, perhaps this winter to ride the trails again -it was a nice and easy day trip from Morgantown.

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One thought on “The Laurel Highlands, Pa

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