Hike to Indian Ladder Falls Along Hornbecks Creek

Hike to Indian Ladder Falls Along Hornbecks Creek

Emery Rd Pull-Off

Distance

2 Miles

Elevation Gain

400 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Mike Servedio

Dog Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Hike to beautiful 50 foot Indian Ladder Falls as well as a number of smaller falls along Hornbecks Creek.

For some time, the trail was eroded above the first falls on Hornbecks Creek, not allowing hikers to access the creek's upper falls if they were coming upstream from Route 209. I am writing this in June 2017 and that is no longer the case! You can hike from Rt. 209 all the way up the creek to Emery Road, and experience the creek's numerous beautiful waterfalls.

On the day that I hiked Hornbecks Creek, I started at the top, from the small parking area on Emery Road. From the parking area it's just a short walk back up the road to the obvious trail on the south side of the creek. The stream is small at the start of the hike, giving no indication of the waterfalls and chasms that are below as the water tumbles toward the Delaware River.

You arrive at the upper most falls only five minutes into your hike. The trail drops you at the top of the falls, where you have a great view down the 25 foot drop at the impressive pool below. Follow the trail a little further and then backtrack to the base of the falls for a great vantage point for pictures.

Head back downstream where the creek enters an impressive chasm with steep rocks along the sides. There is a beautiful falls in this chasm that looks like a moss covered waterslide. You will have to hike downstream and backtrack along a side trail to get to the base of the falls again. This was tricky, be careful if you head into the chasm.

Heading downstream again, there is another falls in the chasm, this one a little harder to reach without getting wet. But you can still steal a few great pictures of the small cascades with the bigger drop looking upstream.

Here, you are at the top of probably the most impressive falls on Hornbecks Creek, Indian Ladder Falls. The trail will lead to the top of a staircase, which will allow you descend easily to the base of the falls. Indian Ladder Falls is 50 feet high and even wider at its base, giving it a unique, expansive look as water tumbles over and around large boulders. There are many great vantage points for taking pictures, I recommend exploring the area to find your favorite angle. Many people even climb into the middle of the falls using side trails.

There are still more falls though! Keep heading downstream and reach a 15 foot falls hidden deep in its own small chasm. This one is hard to reach and I had to get my feet wet to find an angle to shoot the falls. 

Next you'll come upon a scenic 10 foot falls that you'll have to shoot from the trail, as there is no way to descend to the creek here. This is essentially the area where the trail was once eroded due to flooding and is a little difficult to navigate. But grab onto the roots and keep your balance on the slippery rocks to keep descending.

You will then reach the first falls on Hornbecks Creek. This is a sizable 30 foot falls with a great plunge pool. People seem to swim here and there is a rope to swing into the pool. 

I turned around after this falls on the day I hiked, but you can continue the final 3/4 of a mile to Route 209. The stream does not have any more big falls but is scenic as it flows through the forest. 

Retrace your steps and hike back upstream. You'll have the chance to visit all the waterfalls again as you hike the 3/4 mile back to your car. 

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $120/night

Camp Lake Grinnell

Sparta Township, New Jersey

From $130/night

Barkley's Resort

Matamoras, Pennsylvania

From $125/night

River's Edge

Pond Eddy, New York

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

closed

trail is closed due to storm damage...closed at least a year

Good Hike

This was a nice trail. The waterfalls were very scenic and there were lots of them! However, when doing this trail I would recommend paying close attention during the hike because without trail markers it is easy to get off the path.

Distance

2 Miles

Elevation Gain

400 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Mike Servedio

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Hike to Hornbeck's Creek Waterfall

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