Fallingwater and the Laurel Highlands

By Joe Sebastiani, Seasonal Programs Team Leader

Last week, I had the pleasure of leading the Delaware Nature Society’s Fallingwater trip.  Sheila Vincent, Group Programs Coordinator, was my co-leader, and we had nine wonderful participants with us.  Fallingwater is a famous house in western PA designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Why is a nature center focusing a trip on this house?  Because it is the perfect fustion of nature, art, architecture, and beauty that can be found, in my opinion.  You leave wondering how you can incorporate just a little bit of Fallingwater into your house and life.  At the very least, you plan to clean and de-clutter your place.

Inspiration is easy to come by in the Laurel Highlands, where Fallingwater is located.  This corner of southwestern PA mountains is packed with recreational opportunities, scenic beauty, wildlife, and culture.  To whet our whistle at the the trip’s start, we visit Fallingwaters little brother…Kentuck Knob, which was also designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Stops at the Youghiegheny River Falls, Powdermill Nature Reserve, Spruce Flat Bog, and the perfect little town of Ligonier round out the trip.  This year, we stayed at the Trillium Lodge and had it to ourselves.  I think we found the perfect place for our group to stay on this trip.  Join us the next time we offer this unique opportunity, and enjoy some highlights of the trip below. 

The Youghiogheny River falls in Ohiopyle State Park.
Kentuck Knob, another Frank Lloyd Wright design, is a great way to start the trip to become familiar with Wright's incorporation of nature into design.
At the Powdermill Avian Research Center, we get an education about bird biology and get to see wild songbirds up close and in the hand.
A Cedar Waxwing is ready for release after banding, weighing, measuring, aging, and checking fat levels.
A bug-eye-view of round-leaved sundews and sphagnum moss in Spruce Flat Bog. Birds and wildflowers were bursting in this high elevation bog.
Here is the view from where we stayed at Trillium Lodge. I will stay no where else with groups on this trip. Spectacular scenery, room for all, and isolation.
Finally...Fallingwater, the perfect fusion of nature, architecture, and art...a bit of heaven on earth.
This bedroom is tiny, but the view is large. This is my favorite room in the house, where you feel like you are outside, looking out of your very own cave, with the sound of the waterfall all around.

3 thoughts on “Fallingwater and the Laurel Highlands”

  1. laurie a curl

    I so totally agree with you about how awesome of a place Fallingwater is and the surrounding area. I took a road trip there years ago after being inspired when learning more about Frank Lloyd Wright. When there, I stayed at the Old Summit Inn which had spectacular views, visiting local cemetaries, Kentuck Knob and of course Fallingwater. Needless to say, I did not want to return to reality! Glad you had a great experience!

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