Fayette County, PA

04/11/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/11/2024 10:33

Ohiopyle Named 'Best Small Town in the Northeast'

The borough received the honor from USA TODAY's 2024 10Best Readers' Choice Awards.

Uniontown, PA- Fayette County's smallest municipality has big news to share.

Ohiopyle Borough was officially named Best Small Town in the Northeast by USA TODAY's 2024 10Best Readers' Choice Awards.

According to USA TODAY, Ohiopyle was chosen by an expert panel and 10Best editors as one of 20 finalists for its "gorgeous scenery, historic charm, local cuisine and cultural attractions," and for having less than 25,000 residents. Readers then cast thousands of votes to help Ohiopyle top the list, which was narrowed to 10.

The 2020 United States Census lists Ohiopyle's population as 37, but less than 20 of those residents live there year-round. Despite its small number of locals, more than 1.5 million people visit Ohiopyle annually.

"We, as residents of Ohiopyle Borough, do appreciate the special quality of this town," borough Mayor Mark McCarty said in a statement. "It is an honor that this special community be recognized by the very visitors who share our passion for this unique place."

Borough and state park officials, along with the Fayette County Commissioners, GO Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau, Fayette Chamber of Commerce, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and state legislators' representatives joined residents and supporters for a celebration Wednesday at the borough's Laurel Highlands Information Center, located along the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) Trail.

"With all the outdoor amenities and activities available in Fayette County, it's great to see the hub of it all - Ohiopyle - recognized as the Best Small Town in the Northeast by USA TODAY," Commissioner Chairman Scott Dunn said. "Locally, we know how cool our little gem is, and now the rest of the country also gets to know. Whether it's the natural waterslides, the GAP Trail, the river, hiking, or the food and drinks, my family loves to spend time in Ohiopyle. We extend our well-deserved congratulations."

Commissioner Vince Vicites said the award is "fantastic news" for the Ohiopyle community.

"Ohiopyle is a beautiful, small community with the best natural resources you could ever ask for. It is truly a gem, and we congratulate the borough on this tremendous award," Vicites said. "It's a wonderful place with good people and so many amenities, including the state park. It's a unique place deserving of this designation and honor."

Commissioner Dave Lohr said he's "excited to see Ohiopyle receiving the recognition she so richly deserves."

"One frequent visitor describes Fayette County as 'the best-kept secret in Pennsylvania'. With gems like Ohiopyle, that comes as no surprise. From panoramic, pristine beauty creating a stunning backdrop that changes with each passing season, to abundant outdoor activities for everyone - regardless of age or fitness level - seasonal festivals and great food all year long, Ohiopyle has it all," Lohr said. "Visiting just once is never enough because you'll see a different Ohiopyle each time you visit. Activities here meet everyone's needs, without wasting time standing in line and without spending a fortune. Throw in the significant physical and psychological benefits of spending time outdoors, and you'll find yourself drawn to Ohiopyle over and over again."

Ohiopyle was one of four Pennsylvania towns to make the top 10 list, with Wellsboro (Tioga County), placing second; nearby Sewickley (Allegheny County) placing fifth; and Gettysburg (Adams County) placing 10th.

With the GAP Trail and Youghiogheny River running through the heart of Ohiopyle, locals and visitors alike flock to the borough for whitewater rafting, kayaking, fishing, swimming, hiking, biking and much more. Located in the beautiful Laurel Highlands mountains, the four-seasons destination is close to Frank Lloyd Wright's Kentuck Knob and Fallingwater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa; Fort Necessity National Battlefield; Jumonville Glen; and countless other Fayette County attractions.

Ohiopyle Borough Council President Jessica Kruse said Ohiopyle is "not just a place," but "a sanctuary brimming with natural splendor."

"We extend an open invitation to all to come and experience firsthand why Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania, stands as the epitome of small-town charm in the USA," Kruse said. "Join us in exploring the magic of our community."

To learn more about USA TODAY's 2024 10Best Readers' Choice Travel Awards, visit https://10best.usatoday.com; or the Laurel Highlands, visit www.GOLaurelHighlands.com.

For more information about Ohiopyle State Park, visit www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks, and for video of Wednesday's announcement ceremony, visit the Fayette County TV YouTube channel www.youtube.com/@fayettecountytv.

To learn more about Fayette County, visit www.fayettecountypa.org.

Editor's Note:

Photosattached (Fayette County Commissioners; Ohiopyle Best Small Town in the Northeast Ceremony; Nathan Reigner, Director of the Pennsylvania Office of Outdoor Recreation)

Image attached (USA Today Readers' Choice Logo)

Video Footage from the ceremony is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/l8cTuXf9D8g.


This communication, among other initiatives, is funded through the 2016 Fayette County Local Share Account (LSA) in cooperation with the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, Fayette Chamber of Commerce, The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Fayette, The Redstone Foundation and other partners. This funding has been designated for the continued promotion and marketing of Fayette County, PA.

For more information, contact Kristi Kassimer Harper, Public Relations Specialist, at 724-437-4571, [email protected] or Kaylie Glaze, Community Relations Coordinator, at 724-430-1200 Ext. 1611, [email protected].