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Hike the Falls Trails in Ricketts Glen State Park

Benton, Pennsylvania

4.9/5
based on 10 reviews

Details

Distance

7.2 miles

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Shannon Kalahan

This hike through Ricketts Glen provides access to 21 waterfalls, the tallest one being 94 feet. The full waterfall loop is 7.2 miles, but there is an alternative, shorter loop of 3.2 miles.

Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania sprawls over 13,050 acres in the Luzerne, Sullivan and Columbia counties. The park boasts a lake, 21 named waterfalls, diverse wildlife and old growth timber. There are two Falls Trails alternatives – a long and short loop.

The long loop is 7.2 miles long and begins of Highway 118, below the glens. For the long trail, park at the Evergreen Parking Area.

The short trail begins closer to the visitors center, off of route PA-487. Once you enter the park, follow the signs for the Lake Rose Trailhead, where you will find parking. The short loop trail is 3.2 miles long, and includes 18 of the park's 21 waterfalls, including the park's big attraction, a 94-footer named Ganoga Falls.

Whether you choose the long or short variations, both trails are considered difficult. The terrain varies. Many sections through the woods are flat, crossing over the water a few times. Other sections, however, are rocky, steep and often slippery. Decent physical conditioning and sturdy footwear is a must.

Although Ricketts has a wide variety of activities, the main attraction by far is the Falls Trails. The falls are stacked consistently along the trail, making it an extremely worthwhile hike. While sections can be a bit strenuous, I always take my time to enjoy the falls on my trips through the park. The full 7.2 mile loop can be done in 4 hours or so...but in my opinion...why rush? I hike to enjoy the beauty of nature, so I give myself plenty of time.

As a word of caution, the trails are very well marked but the forests in the northeast get dark quickly once the sun starts to set. Know your daylight hours and plan accordingly. There is also limited cell phone reception, so stay to the trails to avoid getting lost and to help keep erosion in check. It never hurts to carry an emergency whistle and flashlight in your day pack, just in case.

If you want to camp at Glen Ricketts, make your reservation here.

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Features

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Snowshoeing
Hiking
Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Reviews

I can't even describe how beautiful it is. A little challenging, but fun.

I've hiked this trail about five times now, it's absolutely breathtaking. For anyone who hasn't gone yet or is looking to go back, I recommend parking at the lake rose parking lot, not far from the camping area in the park. From there take the highland trail across to the opposite side of the falls trail. This way you won't be tired on the way down the mountain and you'll see Ganoga towards the end of your trip

Such a cool place to hike, with my camera and tripod I could spend days there! Thankfully I don't live far so I'll be headed back with much more time and will alternate the way I go around the loop. My only regret is that it took me so long to make my first visit. I would love to visit in the winter, who wants to teach me to ice climb?

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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