World class fishing

The section of river from the dam (at the Tree and Riverhouse) from Confluence to Ohiopyle is considered by many as the finest stretch of trout water on the Youghiogheny. Here, the river is at its coldest, surging from the dam in the low 40-degree range and increasing as the water migrates downstream where the 2 rain fed rivers (Casselman and Laurel Hill) join the Yough (at the Stonehouse)

The Youghiogheny at the houses is cold and shallow. Better for fishing and boating than swimming. The lake is warm, but the water in the river is flowing out of the deep bottom of the lake and therefore very cold.  Most wade below the dam and in the shallow waters just downstream. Trout will hold on the edges of soft seams and pockets where they can relax in the soft currents and intercept passing food.

If fly fishing, locate your best dry-fly water, look for flat pools, softer runs, and eddies. Bait fishing is also good. The State stocks brown and rainbow fingerlings in this area, and good-sized holdover trout in the 12- to 16-plus-inch class are caught with regularity.

Another option for fishing on the Yough is biking along the trail and taking one of the many paths down to the river and paddling or floating from Confluence to Ohiopyle.

There is also great lake fishing on our 3 lakes. Yough Lake is 2 minutes from the house. Cranberry Glade and High Point Lake are within 20 minutes.

Here’s a blog post of a biking-fishing trip.

We see more and more fishing on the Casselman and the Laurel Hill is fantastic for fly fishing. As is Whites Creek and Meadow Run in Ohiopyle.

You will need a fishing license. Check rules here. You can get one at the local hardware store.

Want a guide to find the secret spots? Contact our friends at Wilderness Voyageurs.

Check out this article. (and learn how to pronounce Yough)

Finally, love the Yough and want to help protect her? Please consider supporting Mountain Watershed Association. This hard working, grass roots organization has been designed the Yough Riverkeeper and is the only organization specifically protecting and preserving the Yough!

Big Bear Lake

Strewn throughout Big Bear Lake Camplands,  Big Bear Lake Trail Center is quickly becoming known as the hot spot for classic east coast single track mountain biking. Years of trail development, by experienced mountain bikers, have created a trail system that will have you grinning ear to ear. The terrain has everything to offer; gradual climbs, large embedded rocks, tight slaloms, challenging rock gardens, and off the saddle downhills. Almost 50 miles of trail wind through knee deep ferns, soft needle pine plantations, and groves of mountain laurel. Riders of all ages and abilities will find trails to fit their individual riding skills and need for adrenaline.
Trail maps are provided at the main entrance. Trail fee is $10/day or $30 for a season pass. Season passes can be purchased at the main entrance or online HERE.


All trails may be used for hiking, trail running and x-c skiing. Trails are closed from November 1 to December 31.

Bittersweet Cafe

Bittersweet Cafe is a unique garden cafe in nearby Farmington, PA with fresh, thoughtful food. The Bittersweet Cafe has the ability to cultivate our fresh ingredients right at their mountain location to create unique dishes with outstanding flavor. Their grass fed meats, free range chickens and eggs are all locally raised, along with farm fresh produce- some of which grows in their gardens.  Don’t miss the homemade English muffins.

Local wineries

Currently there are 3 wineries within an hour of Confluence. They all offer tours.

Christian Clay Winery Chalk Hill, PA

Winery owner Sharon Klay and her husband John first developed an interest in winemaking while living in New York City in the 1970s.  This interest led them to research and select the nearly 100 varieties of grapes that would be suitable for cool climate growing conditions.

When the Klays relocated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, they searched for three years to find a suitable vineyard site.  In 1986, the couple purchased a 215-acre farm in Chalk Hill, Pennsylvania.  John developed a successful practice as a cardiothoracic surgeon, while Sharon decided to take the original 1,000 vines on the property to 14,000 vines.  In 1997, Fayette County’s first commercial winery opened, named after the Klays’ son Christian. Sharon planned to offer her customers the complete wine experience and soon developed an array of enticing special events for the public, such as murder mysteries and a “Wine & Dine in the Woods” series.

Fayette Springs Farm was a suitable place for the Klays’ venture as the farm had a long history of entertaining and welcoming guests.  At the turn of the century, the farm was owned by U.S. Senator William E. Crow who opened his mountain estate to many visitors including President Harding and Black Jack Pershing.

Today, the winery offers guests entertaining special events, informative and educational tours, ideal venues for private events, wine tasting, and shopping in six locations.  An active partner in the community, the winery also hosts annual benefits for Fayette Friends of Animals and other non-profit organizations.

Glades Pike Winery Somerset, PA

Glades Pike Winery started out as a family business, and both the business and our definition of family have expanded since that time. At the root of our family tree are Steve and Karen – the couple who joined a winemaking club for fun and ended up with a new business on their hands. Branching out, you’ll find our tight knit staff who welcome customers into our “home” with open arms and, of course, bottles. Those customers are part of the family, too. Many become regulars, not only as customers, but as our goodwill ambassadors – spreading the word and bringing their friends into our happy little home.

Deep Creek Cellars Friendsville, MD

A small winery in the mountains of western Maryland emphasizing wines made from grapes that reflect their soil and site, mostly dry in style and meant to pair with good food. The winery is located near major mid-Atlantic tourism destinations: Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake and the scenic Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.  In our own vineyards, we use sustainable farming practices for “natural wine-making” — relying on wild yeast fermentation and no filtering. Many of our bottlings contain no sulfites. We make similarly low-tech wines from grapes grown in other Maryland climate zones: classic red and white Pinot and Cabernet Franc from a limestone ridge-top near Cumberland, unique native American Norton from quartz-rich soils in Carroll County, and spectacular dry Riesling from clay-over-limestone in Howard County. A little-known facts is that we are emerging as one of the few Mid-Atlantic Pinot Noir specialists.

Riversport School of Paddling

Since 1981 Riversport School of Paddling has been teaching quality canoe and kayak instruction to thousands of beginner to advanced paddlers. They are the only outfitter who’s sole focus is teaching kayaking in the area. Their week long kids summer camps are wildly popular. They also do a parent/child week along with their standard group or private lessons by the day, weekend or week.

Confluence is arguably one of the very best spots in the world to learn to kayak. It’s like visiting Aspen, Colorado in the winter and not skiing.  We’ve got clean, warm, consistent water year round along with the perfectly progressive whitewater for a beginning paddler up to class V. Learn to roll on the warm Yough Lake, then learn to steer your kayak on the slow moving current of the Yough below the dam. Just downstream at Ramcat Rapid, you’ll learn to catch eddies, peel outs and ferries. Next it’s on to another local class II river like the Casselman, Laurel Hill or Cheat Narrows. From there you’ll have your choice of a variety of class III runs in the area like the Loop, Lower Yough, Upper Casselman, Cheat Canyon and other rain fed creeks and streams. For the experienced boater, you’ll most likely spend time on the Lower Yough working on technique to get you ready for the harder class IV-V runs in the area like the Upper Yough.

Riversport is on the bike trail, next to Lucky Dog Cafe (near the Tree and Riverhouse and a short walk from the Stonehouse). They also rent rafts, SUP boards, canoes and recreation kayaks for the Middle Yough float trip. They also have bike rentals and a whitewater retail shop.

If you are interested in a float trip but don’t want to spend the entire day on the river, ask about the Mini float. It’s perfect for families with small children or if you don’t have a lot of time.

Mt. Davis

The Mount Davis overlook tower offers a spectacular 360-degree view. The trails are pretty, especially in spring and fall. You can make this hike shorter or longer, as you wish. Mount Davis, at 3,213 feet, is the highest point in Pennsylvania. It is not a pinnacle but a broad flat plateau, and it’s surrounded by 5,685 acres of state forest land. Although not high by many standards, wind in the area keeps some of the trees stunted and frost can be present any month of the year. The mountain is named after John Nelson Davis (1835–1913), an early settler who was an active community leader, teacher, and ordained minister, among his many occupations. He was also one of the oldest Civil War veterans of his time, and an avid naturalist fascinated with the environment of Mount Davis. The overlook is about 20 min drive from Confluence.

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