The Laurel Highlands is a region lying in the western foothills of Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountains. Located approximately fifty-five miles east of the city of Pittsburgh, the Laurel Highlands is situated within five southwestern Pennsylvania counties: Fayette, Westmoreland, Cambria, Bedford, and Somerset.
The Laurel Highlands is a popular area for hiking, mountain biking, hunting, trout fishing, wildlife viewing, and downhill skiing.
- 1 Connellsville
- 2 Donegal
- 3 Farmington
- 4 Greensburg
- 5 Irwin
- 6 Latrobe — birthplace of Arnold Palmer, Mr. Rogers, the banana split, and Rolling Rock beer
- 7 Ligonier
- 8 New Stanton
- 9 Ohiopyle
- 10 Somerset
- 11 Uniontown
The primary method of transportation in this area is by automobile. Interstates 70 and 76, the Pennsylvania Turnpike toll road, cross east-west through the region. Moving eastward, they are separate roads until New Stanton, where they merge into one road.
Another major road into the area is U.S. Route 40, "The National Road", which cuts east-west through the southern part of the region through Uniontown, Farmington, and near Ohiopyle. PA 51 connects Pittsburgh directly to Uniontown. Cutting across the northern part of the highlands is U.S. Route 30, "The Lincoln Highway," which passes through Ligonier, Latrobe, and Greensburg before continuing in to Pittsburgh.
As far as north-south routes go, U.S. Route 119 cuts through the western part of the region, heading north from Morgantown, West Virginia and passing through Uniontown, Connellsville, New Stanton, and Greensburg, continuing north to Indiana, PA. U.S. Route 219 cuts through the eastern part of the region, passing through Somerset, continuing north to the Johnstown area.
There is very limited bus service to Fayette and Westmoreland Counties from Pittsburgh, which is primary of use to commuters. Greyhound operates an east-west line through the area which stops at Greensburg and Latrobe. Amtrak operates two lines through the region, both of which connect to Pittsburgh: the Capitol Limited, which stops in Connellsville, and the Pennsylvanian, which stops in Greensburg and Latrobe. Both routes run once daily.
- Historic landmarks abound in the Laurel Highlands and are easy to find. From historic roads (the National Road and the Lincoln Highway) to the estates of important Americans of the past (Friendship Hill, the home of Albert Gallatin) to French and Indian War battlefields (Fort Necessity), there are bountiful places for the historian to visit.
- For those who love natural beauty, this is a wonderful area to explore. The western front of the Appalachian Mountains runs through the region, making this one of the more scenic areas in Western Pennsylvania.
- The Highlands is also home to several of Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous works, including Fallingwater near Ohiopyle.
- Flight 93 Memorial, the passengers & crew of Flight 93 gave their lives to thwart an attack on our Nation's Capital on September 11 2001, is right off the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76/I-70) near Somerset.
- St. Vincent College about 25 miles east in Latrobe, contains the summer camp of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the first Monastic brewery in the U.S. along with being one of the top catholic colleges in the area.
- The lovely town of Ohiopyle is surrounded by the beautiful Ohiopyle State Park with acres of mountains and the Youghiogheny [yaw-ki-GAAY-nee] River. Whitewater rafting is popular here, but there are many opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and more.
- The Mystic Rock golf course in Farmington is home of the PGA 84 Classic and is rated among the top courses in the world.
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - About 55 miles west, Pittsburgh is the only major city nearby and includes many attractions to see.
- Morgantown, West Virginia - Often referred to as the University City, this is an important retail, industrial and entertainment center easily accessible to the Laurel Highlands.