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Ohiopyle nominated for title of Northeast's best small town

Ohiopyle nominated for the title of best small in the Northeast
Ohiopyle nominated for the title of best small in the Northeast 02:53

OHIOPYLE, Pa. (KDKA) -- Even on a rainy day, Ohiopyle still shines. This town that doesn't even have a stoplight sits in the heart of a massive state park by the same name and it is currently in the running for USA Today's Readers' Choice Award for best small town in the Northeast. The grand prize for this competition: bragging rights, of course.

Fayette County Commissioner Scott Dunn has no problem being boastful about Ohiopyle. He says that this little town is the center for all things recreation in both the county and in the region.

"Whatever you can do outdoors, you can do in Fayette County," said Dunn. "From biking, hiking, walking, whitewater rafting, golfing, skiing, you name it -- outdoor, and you can do it here. Fishing, hunting, fly fishing, everything. It's right here in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. This is the hub of it all: Ohiopyle."

As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, Ohiopyle is sitting at No. 2 on the top ten list of best small towns, and they have some stiff competition with places like Bar Harbor, Maine; Tarrytown, New York; and two other Pennsylvania towns, Gettysburg and Jim Thorpe. Sewickley is also on the list, sitting at No. 12. 

Pamela Kruse is not only the owner of the Falls Market, a longtime general store in Ohiopyle, but she is on the town council, and one of currently 13 people who call the borough home. Yes, that's right, we said 13. It's quite the contrast to the over 1 million people that visit the town and the state park each year.

"I am so happy that we got chosen," said Kruse. "I've wondered why they haven't picked us in the past. I think we're one of the best towns in  the United States."

Kruse, along with her fellow Ohiopyle entrepreneur Abby Greenbaum, the owner of Ohiopyle Coffee Roasters, says that the secret about this once-hidden spot is out.

"It's a gem," said Greenbaum. "I'm sure everyone said, 'oh, it's a gem,' but it's only an hour or so away from Pittsburgh and two hours from D.C. or Maryland, so we're kind of right in the middle and it's great. We want to keep it a little bit of a secret, but we want people to know about it and still come visit us."

And if you do want to visit, trails are open and nearby attractions like Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob are about to open for the season. The borough also has several big events planned for this year, including their annual Wine and Arts Festival in June, which pumps a lot of money in the town's economy.

The deadline to vote for Ohiopyle as best small town in the Northeast is only about 26 days away. You can vote online. More information about Ohiopyle can be found on VisitPA's website.

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