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Falls Trail

Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania

Hiking the Falls Trail in Ricketts Glen State Park is a spectacular way to spend the day—18 waterfalls, 3.2 miles of hiking, and countless opportunities for fun, photography, and adventure await those who set out to enjoy this amazing trail.

The Glens Natural Area, located within Pennsylvania’s Ricketts Glen State Park, protects three deep gorges that are traversed by the Falls Trail—Glen Leigh, Ganoga Glen, and Ricketts Glen, a scenic trio that gained National Natural Landmark status in 1969.

Three trailheads, (Lake Rose, Beach Lot #2, and Rt 118)provide access to the Falls Trail System—a Y-shaped path connected by the Highland Trail to form a 7.2 mile Lollipop Loop that highlights 21 waterfalls. Most hikers choose to hike just the upper portion of the Y, creating a 3.2 mile loop, with the addition of the Highland Trail, that passes by 18 of the 21 named falls—these cascades are found within Glen Leigh and Ganoga Glen, but this route option bypasses Ricketts Glen (the stem of the Y)and its three named falls.

To follow in our footsteps, make your way to the Beach Lot #2 Trailhead Parking area—from there, signs clearly mark the way to Falls Trail.

After a short trek on an old road you enter Glen Leigh and come upon your first waterfall, 15 foot Onondaga Falls, followed shortly by 38-ft F.L. Ricketts Falls, 30-ft Shawnee Falls, then 41-ft Huron Falls—the rugged trail makes use of stone stairs and numerous footbridges that span the many crossings of Kitchen Creek, allowing for unparalleled views of the waterfalls. As you make your way deeper into the gorge, you pass 60-ft Ozone Falls, 36-ft R.B. Ricketts Falls, 40-ft B. Reynolds Falls, and last but not least, 15-ft Wyandot Falls at Waters Meet.

At Waters Meet, you can turn left and descend into Ricketts Glen or make your way up the steep trail that climbs through Ganoga Glen—Sook and I opted to skip Ricketts and make the ascent towards Ganoga Falls, the highest waterfall in the park.

The trail begins its ascent right away, leading the hiker past 47-ft Erie Falls, 47-ft Tuscarora Falls, and 17-ft Conestoga Falls—gradually the trail becomes steeper and more narrow as you climb towards the top of the glen. After a walk across a bridge spanning a side stream, you come to 39-ft Mohican Falls, followed by 37-ft Delaware Falls, and 12-ft Seneca Falls. Keep hiking, next up is the highest cascade in the park—94-ft Ganoga Falls, over twice as high as any other waterfall in the park.

Ganoga Falls, an impressive sight from any angle, is most dramatic when approached from below—one reason that we feel hiking the trail in this direction (down Glen Leigh and up Ganoga Glen) is the most favorable. Take your time at this massive falls, as just three cascades remain—11-ft Cayuga Falls, 13-ft Oneida Falls, and 37-ft Mohawk Falls.

After passing the last waterfall, watch for signs that direct you back to Beach Lot #2—a trail junction directs the hiker to turn right onto the Highland Trail, a connector path leading back to Glen Leigh. The leisurely, and level, trek back through the woods offers your legs a chance to rest—along the way, you’ll pass through Midway Crevasse, a narrow passageway through a jumble of Pocono Sandstone, before arriving back at your car.


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