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Eaton Canyon, CA | West Clear Creek, AZ | Meadow Run, PA
Starting with the 35-foot Cucumber Falls at the trailhead, this 4.2-mile loop in Ohiopyle State Park near Pittsburgh provides a day full of water, including a 100-foot-long waterslide carved by the Youghiogheny River. Eastern hemlock, beech, maple, and mountain laurel shade the dirt path as it weaves between moss-draped boulders and a leafy smattering of rhododendrons. At mile 2.8, you’ll arrive at the Meadow Run waterslide with its long corkscrewing waterway; it terminates with a dunk into a three-foot-deep pool. Wear cutoff jeans to protect your rump and shorts against the skin-scouring sandstone creek bed. Close the loop in the spray of Cucumber Falls.
Eat like a local at the Firefly Grill, which claims the best cheesesteak outside Philly. Wash it down with a fresh-squeezed lemonade. (724) 329-7155; thefireflygrill.com
From Pittsburgh: Take I-376 West for 12 miles to I-76 East. Take exit 75 for US 119/PA 66 North, and exit onto US 119 South toward Connellsville. Turn left onto PA 711 North for 14 miles and merge onto PA 381. In 8.8 miles, turn left at SR 2017, then turn right onto Hall Rd., left at King Rd., and right onto Rock Springs Road and drive to the park entrance.