Fast Facts

Hopefully any of these quick stats will help you write or inspire your next Laurel Highlands article. 

The Great Outdoors


  • The Great Allegheny Passage is the longest multi-purpose rail trail in the eastern U.S. with 335 continuous, nearly level, miles of trail. Over 100 miles of the GAP wind through the Laurel Highlands, from near Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD. It connects to the C&O Towpath in Cumberland, providing a motor-free route from Pittsburgh to the District of Columbia.
  • Our natural areas consist of 8 state parks, 2 state forests, and 11 state game lands.
  • Laurel Caverns in Farmington is Pennsylvania's largest developed cave, featuring a 430-acre natural park Kavernputt, and an indoor mini-golf course.
  • Somerset County boasts Pennsylvania's highest elevation at Mt. Davis State Forest Natural Area. The rock is 3,213 feet above sea level.
  • Our mountains traverse the Laurel and Chestnut Ridges of the Alleghenies.
  • The Laurel Highlands receives the largest accumulative amount of natural snowfall in Pennsylvania. 
  • Wildflower information: Mountain Laurel begins to bloom the first and second weeks in June and lasts for approximately 3 weeks. Rhododendron follows and blooms for 3 weeks. These wildflowers are most likely to bloom in the perfect growing condition in the Laurel Highlands every year.
Month Blooming
April Trillium
May Hepatica
June Columbine
July Nodding Pink Onion
August   Trumpet Vine
Sept Joe-Pye-Weed
Oct Ironweed and exceptional fall foliage


History of the Laurel Highlands

Fort Ligonier

  • George Washington lost his first and only battle at Fort of Necessity along Route 40, east of today's Uniontown.
  • Two historic routes wind through the Laurel Highlands with many historic locations along the way, The National Road and The Lincoln Highway.
  • The first banana split was created by Dr. David Strickler at his drug store fountain on Ligonier Street in Latrobe in 1904.
  • The only two historic tollhouses remaining in Pennsylvania from the United States' first National Road are located along today's Route 40, in the towns of Addison and Searight right here in the Laurel Highlands.
  • The rescue of the nine Quecreek miners took place on a family farm near Somerset.
  • The Big Mac was first prepared at a McDonald's in the Laurel Highlands.
  • Saint Vincent College, along Route 30 in Latrobe, was the first Benedictine College in the United States.

Local Attractions and Events

Sheena Baker, Fallingwater, Mill Run

  • Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion is Pennsylvania's largest ski and year-round resort.
  • Fallingwater®, built by Frank Lloyd Wright, is considered to be one of the most influential houses of the 20th century. This architectural wonder dramatically cantilevers over a rushing waterfall
  • Fallingwater® is not only an architectural masterpiece but also an impressive art museum that houses works by 20th-century masters, such as Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera. 
  • Nemacolin's fine dining location, Lautrec, is one of only 28 restaurants in the world to hold both a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond award simultaneously.
  • Touchstone Center for Crafts is Pennsylvania's only residential arts school. Join them for a weekend or a week to hone your craft
  • Ligonier is home to special events all year round, from the ice festival in winter, outdoor antique shows in summer, and the historic festival called Fort Ligonier Days in early autumn.