Come run the Falls! 
Ohiopyle Over The Falls Festival 2017 Canceled

The organizers of the Ohiopyle Over The Falls Festival, along with its partner, American Whitewater, have decided not to hold the event in 2017. The primary reason for the cancellation is after 17 years of holding this event, the goal of getting access to the Falls had been accomplished in 2010. The event continued hoping the initial Private Boater Ohiopyle Falls Access Guidelines would be modified after the pilot period. Unfortunately, guideline modifications to date have been limited. In 2016, event organizers were required to move the event past Labor Day, creating conflicts with other opportunities for the paddling community. In addition, the event was postponed due to high water in 2016.

Fortunately, for the paddling community and spectators there are other events involving waterfalls. Spectators and paddlers are welcome to come to the 2nd Annual Cuyahoga Falls Kayak Race in downtown Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio April 22, 2017. The scenic, urban setting provides both spectators and racers alike with spectacular views of the river. In addition, the location offers all the amenities of an urban river, including lodging, restaurants and outdoor supply stores within minutes of the race course. The mayor and community are supporting this event, so we would encourage everyone to support this event. For more information see:

On August 20, 2017 once again there will be a spectacular event at Valley Falls State Park on the Tygart River in West Virginia. There will be a clinic on how to run a waterfall and plans are on the way to also have a race. Once again, the State Park will support this event and Corps of Engineers will adjust the water to an appropriate level for paddlers. Spectators are also welcome.

Barry Adams
Falls Festival Coordinator

October 17, 2016: Falls Festival Update--Congrats to the Winners!

Congratulations to Bobby Miller, Mackenzie Hatcher, and Kaelin Friedenson for their first-place finishes! Congrats to the other competitors, too! Click here for results.

Ohiopyle, PA - American Whitewater, and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds & Rivers announce that the 17th Annual Ohiopyle Over The Falls Festival will be held October 15, 2016. Whitewater paddlers nationwide will gather there to race over the spectacular eighteen-foot waterfall in the picturesque mountain village of Ohiopyle. Spectators are invited to watch paddlers sprint and cartwheel, end-over-end, off the waterfall.

Other event features include the Falls Under Lights, Town Party, and Silent Auction. The area also offers biking, hiking, camping, magnificent scenery, photographic opportunities, history and cultural activities.

Here is the event schedule:

Saturday, October 15
Registration will begin at 8am in Ohiopyle State Park.
9:00 AM - 12 Noon: Waterfall Practice Runs
12 Noon: Two competitions: Falls Race
200-yard whitewater course includes two-foot, four-foot and eighteen-foot drops.

After race - Freestyle - Kayakers will surf the rapids above the waterfall's eighteen-foot drop, and do routines and cartwheels competitively, end-over-end, off the edge for points. Waterfalls practice runs will continue afterwards until 3:00 PM.

7:30 p.m.: Ohiopyle Town Party
The party will be at Falls City Pub. In addition, lights will be cast on the eighteen-foot waterfall, making it a spectacular spectacle and party centerpiece.

Volunteers needed for the event.

Boater Information

We need plenty of help and this year we will require everyone 18 and over who wants to run the Falls to give the event at least one hour of safety! Registration fees have been reduced to $15 and volunteers who give us at least two hours of their time will receive a cool T-shirt. Registration forms and waivers are included on this Website. We ask that you download the forms and bring them with you to the event in order to save time or send them in to the address indicated in advance. You can sign up for the race and/or freestyle competitions or to just do practice runs the day of the event.

We have prize money this year for both the Race and Freestyle Events. Tell your friends!

It is important that everyone realize that running this waterfall should be for experienced boaters only. Running this class-IV waterfall has all the potential hazards involved with any other class IV rapid. Our safety at the base of the falls only involves helping swimmers if and when they wash out from under the falls. As with any whitewater activity you are responsible for judging your own capabilities and for your own safety. If you do not have the experience to run the Falls, please do not attempt to do so.

This event is dependent on getting enough Safety boaters. The time commitment for volunteers is minimal. Those interested in assisting with registration or race administration should contact me in advance. We also have a separate registration form for volunteers only for safety and administration.

Note the Private Boater Ohiopyle Falls Access Guidelines have changed as far as the time that the Falls can be run. The new times are as follows:

Runs over the falls will be permitted: April 1st through the weekend before Thanksgiving with the last permit issued or sold 45 minutes prior to end of the posted office hours.

Posted office hours are at the main office in the new Visitors Center; they can vary, but are currently to 6PM; however, you should call ahead of time at 724-329-8591.

Barry Adams, Festival Coordinator
Note: we have new bibs sponsored by Thompson and Gusic Insurance Group and Friends of the Cheat. Click here to see the bibs.

PLEASE abide by the Private Boater Falls Guidelines. We will keep you updated on any new developments regarding access. Please review the guidelines if you are going to run the Falls. A quick overview of the rules:
1. Paddlers will be allowed to run the Falls up to 45 minutes prior to the end of the posted office hours. 
2. The water level must be 1.8' or lower.
3. A minimum of three boaters per party is required. (The second and third boaters need not run the Falls.)
4. When a permit is required, paddlers must have a permit. All paddlers must register.
5. Putin on river right (Ferncliff).
6. Takeout at the Loop takeout or Bruner Run. Please read the full set of guidelines by clicking here.

Thompson-Gusic Insurance Group

Friends of the Cheat


Wilderness Voyagers POWR   

Ohiopyle Falls Access Committee

Upstream Race

Town Party

2016 Results
2015 Results
2014 Results
2012 Results
2011 Results
2010 Results
2009 Results
2008 Results
2007 Results
2006 Results
2005 Results
2015 Festival Wrap-up by Barry Adams
2014 Festival Wrap-up by Barry Adams
2012 Festival Wrap-up by Barry Adams
2011 Festival Wrap-up by Barry Adams
2010 Festival Wrap-up by Barry Adams
2008 Festival Wrap-up by Barry Adams
2007 Festival Wrap-up by Barry Adams

Photos from Outdoor Adventure Photography:
2016 Falls Race
2015 Falls Race
2014 Falls Race
2012 Falls Race
2011 Falls Race
2010 Falls Race
2009 Falls Race
2008 Falls Race
2007 Falls Race
2007 Upstream Race
You can also see Outdoor Adventure's 2010 Lower Yough photos by clicking here.
Ohiopyle Adventure Photography is offering professional photography services for those boaters running the Falls from August 22 - Sept 5!
Please call Nikki at 412-558-0274 to arrange to have a photographer there for your runs. Please notify them 48 hours in advance to make appropriate arrangements.

Click for T-shirt Design 
(Click the above for the large image of this year's NEW t-shirt!)

Article from the 2015 Festival:
"Over the Falls race once thought a hoax remains a fun reality", Herald-Standard, 8/16/15

Articles from the 2010 Festival:
Editorial in the Post-Gazette, 8/25/10
Article in the NY Times, 9/6/10
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Uniontown Herald-Standard (just a photo)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 8/14/10.

Articles from Previous Festivals:
2009 Article from the Post-Gazette about our efforts toward getting access to this great Falls
Also, from 2009: please check out this article, this video, and this article from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Riview, and this article from the Post-Gazette.
Post-race Article on the 2007 Falls Race in the Tribune-Review including video

Groups offering activities:
  • Mountain Watershed Association
  • Ohiopyle-Stewart Volunteer Fire Dept.

  • Check out some recent and not-so-recent videos:
    NJMike's buds
    NJMike's beatdown
    Open Boater from way back
    We think you'll find that some of these vids show that Ohiopyle Falls is not at all trivial. Please heed the warnings listed above and shown in these videos.