Hornbecks Creek (Indian Ladders) Trail

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Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Hornbecks Creek (Indian Ladders) Trail is a 3.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, bird watching, and fishing and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.7 miles Elevation Gain: 469 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

fishing

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

river

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

scramble

washed out

One of the hidden treasures of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is undoubtedly Hornbecks Creek Trail, known to some locals as Indian Ladders. Visitors will be delighted to discover an old road-bed trail that meanders along Hornbecks Creek. Once you've arrived at the first waterfall, which by itself is worth the trip, the trail becomes a bit more narrow and rugged. The "ladder" sequence of waterfalls following the first will keep your enthusiasm high. The trail ends at Emery Road.

4 days ago

very awesome trail, make sure to keep going after the first waterfall via the hidden steps to the left as you approach the waterfall. It leads to multiple other waterfalls but the trail is arguably difficult for some with downed trees, narrow paths, mud, and somewhat steep incline.

muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
5 days ago

Great trail to the first waterfall, well marked filled with awesome bridges and planks and the waterfall was spectacular. The second part of the trail was not moderate I would say definitely difficult. Not for the inexperienced hiker. Be prepared to go though down trees, small narrow trails, lots of mud, rocks, but with that said totally worth the climb. I clocked the hike to Emery Road and back to parking lot on highway at 5.4 miles. Loved the waterfalls

nature trips
blowdown
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
5 days ago

hiking
bugs
off trail
rocky
5 days ago

Didn’t make it to Emery road, however the falls were beautiful. This is definitely a technical trail once you pass the waterfall, and would not recommend for those not experienced. No railing on the ascend past the falls and many down trees to climb over.

hiking
8 days ago

Upper and lower trails used to connect but the middle is washed out now. Lots of downed trees everywhere. That said, we loved the upper falls - Lower trail was less interesting. Upper trail parking is just south of the bridge and is a car pull-off only. Trail starts gently with several falls off to the side off the rail, then drops quickly to reach the best falls about a mile in. Unfortunately many trees are around the nicest falls but still worth the hike. Another nice falls can be reached at the top by parking just north of the bridge and is a short hike down.

Trail has been well maintained. Hike to the falls was easy, highly recommended.

hiking
13 days ago

Not difficult at all. I was the only one at the falls and didn’t see anyone walking on the trail either, so that was kind of cool. At the falls, you might need some bug spray- the mosquitos started to get to me around that time.

Super easy for the first waterfall (first mile) then it gets a little sketchy. A lot of fallen trees.

hiking
blowdown
scramble
17 days ago

Really beautiful hike. An easy and scenic walk to the first falls. We carried on after the first falls. Took the very steep trail at the falls. Should have taken the path about 100 feet back. Tough terrain and some scrambling and scary edges. But so worth it to hike all the way to the end and see all of the waterfalls.

Nice trail but slippery and muddy on some spots of narrow trail. Also wasn’t clearly marked as to where to go about halfway thru (large pile of rocks). Steep areas but beautiful. Many downed trees too

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
27 days ago

First half of the trail is easy and pleasant. You can easily stop at the first waterfall and have a nice time. But the hike really takes off when you get to the unmaintained portion, which is beautiful the whole way through and fun hiking to boot. That's where the path picks up to a moderate.

Great trail saw a turkey flyover right away in the beginning not sure if it ended at the last waterfall or it kepts going it was wetAnd chose to turn around look forward to coming back to this trail

Beautiful falls!! Definitely more easy than moderate but would do this again!

hiking
1 month ago

This is my latest favorite hike. The trail got a lot more difficult and wet and muddy in some areas once we got past the first waterfall. As long as you are extremely careful with your footing and don’t mind army crawling under some large trees, it’s definitely worth pushing on. Thank you to whoever tied the orange rope on the tree to help get up/down the super slippery part of the trail!!!

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Awesome hike! A little dicey in some areas since it was wet, but our 8 year olds did just fine and this is by far our favorite trail so far!! Beautiful waterfalls and one new adventure after another! Can’t wait to go back. Also not crowded!!! We spent most of the hike on our own.

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Hiked on 04/25- Other trails were pretty crowded today, but Hornbecks was fairly quiet. The trail starts out pretty wide and well groomed as you track along the creek. There are a few switchbacks and narrow bridges with pretty views of the water. The trail leads hikers to the first waterfall where families were gathered enjoying the scenery and basking in the sunny glow of an April Saturday; albeit an April Saturday under quarantine. However, I chose to continue up the side of the mountain and press on. This section of the trail is very narrow and slippery in places with lots of logs- a fun challenge indeed! This winding narrow section leads hikers to the bigger waterfall along the creek, and there is a set of stairs leading up to the top of it. Once summited one can choose to descend back down the mountain and back to the wider section of trail or continue on another ten minutes or so. The final ten minutes of the trail are not as well maintained as the main sections but not as narrow as the portion that leads to the second waterfall. The trail ends on a quiet section of Emery Road. It was definitely a fun hike, one to try out if you're up for a bit of a physical challenge!

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