Tiny Borough Recognized as Best Small Town to Visit 

USA today released its Best Small Towns rankings and tiny Ohiopyle Borough, Fayette County (population 37) ranked as the number one town to visit in the northeast U.S. This tiny riverside community surrounded by Stewart Township, Fayette County is famous for Ohiopyle State Park, where visitors can enjoy first class white-water rafting, rock climbing, hiking, and more. Weekend population estimates can soar to 50,000.  That’s a lot of road maintenance for 37 people to carry! 

With no tax base to speak of, Ohiopyle has a huge tourism impact due to its natural wonders and demonstrates the need for increased payment-in-lieu of tax payments to local governments for commonwealth-owned properties. In December 2023, these fees did see a long-overdue bump from $2 to $2.40 per acre for state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources owned lands and from $1.20 to $2.40 per acre for Pennsylvania Game Commission or Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission owned land, paid for with gaming funds. However, these rates are very low when many of these affected communities host thousands of visitors and have roads and emergency services to provide. PSATS continues to push for more increases to PILT for state-owned lands and additional revenue options for municipalities.  

To read the USA Today article, click here. Pennsylvania’s Gettysburg, Sewickley, and Wellsboro also made the list of best small towns to visit in the Northeast.  

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