Kayakers Gain Access to Ohiopyle Falls

For decades, kayakers and other whitewater boaters were prohibited by park safety rules from paddling over the crest of an 18-foot waterfall in this scenic corner of southwestern Pennsylvania.

But it was just too tempting, so daredevil paddlers simply slipped over Ohiopyle Falls at night to avoid being seen. “We haven’t been able to catch them,” said Stacie Faust, the assistant manager at Ohiopyle State Park, about 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

Now, however, after pressing for access for more than 20 years, paddlers are running the falls in plain sight in a three-week trial that ends next Sunday.

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