Hornbecks Creek (Indian Ladders) Trail

MODERATE 86 reviews

Hornbecks Creek (Indian Ladders) Trail [CLOSED] 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



nature trips

bird watching




wild flowers




washed out

Note: As of June 2019, this trail is still closed. 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.

over grown
1 day ago

11 days ago

Trail is open and it's beautiful. well worth the hike.

20 days ago

This trail is now open and is excellent! The first part is a wonderful rebuilt wide path with picturesque bridges. This part leads to a great waterfall. You can turn back here and it's a good hike. However, if you look closely you can find the continuation of the trail on the left before you get to the waterfall. There are a lot of downed trees but the old trail is there if you look. This leads to a great adventure of a trail climbing over and under downed trees for another mile or so. We did it on a wet day and this part is only for experienced hikers. The gorge trail does not disappoint. The Indian Ladder is majestic. The trail ends at the final waterfall and one not to be missed. (Which can also be reached by a spur from the nature center.) It was 4.2 miles round-trip.

23 days ago

Great easy scenic hike to a waterfall. app directions pointed to parking area on opposite side of the road of the trail head. Ranger was there who said that parking was typically used by hunters and kindly pointed tme to drive up the small roadway on the other side of the road that led up to the parking for the actual trail head. The officer also told us the trail was *completely* open. This was Saturday Oct. 26 (2019). Great fall hike, well maintained and engineered trail with several interesting bridges. Culminates at a waterfall. The trail map showed the trail continue past the waterfall but we couldn't see where it continued so we just turned back. Short ride into Milford where we enjoyed a flite of beer at the Log Tavern brewery.

27 days ago

This newly renovated Trail is now just 2.4 miles RT. This is an EASY hike, I would not rate it as moderate. Gorgeous autumn foliage; trail ends at a pretty waterfall.

1 month ago

Just a hair over 2 miles from the route 209 trail head to the waterfalls. My 4 and 7 year old loved it.

1 month ago

Nice out and back hike...about 1.3 miles one way. Trail re-opened mid-Sept 2019. However from what I could ascertain, trail now ends at waterfall. NPS and volunteers did a very nice job opening up the trail after winter storms a couple years ago. Nice rustic bridges and maintained open trail! Recommend for 1 to 2 hour hike.

1 month ago

Trail has reopened and it is a lovely hike. The NPS did a terrific job rerouting and rehabbing the trail.

1 month ago

THE TRAIL IS NOW OPEN!! And what an awesome trail it is! Stone path is an easy and beautiful hike, you dont have to watch you feet due to root or rocks...90% of the trail is smooth. Well crafted new bridges and benches, the end of the walk to the falls is a bit of a rocky climb, but well worth it to see the gorgeous slick rock the falls wash down. Not much water falling, but still a quiet and serene area to visit!

10 months ago

Showed up to hike, but changed our minds upon seeing two other hikers being ticketed at the trail head. The trail is definitely closed.

Sun Oct 28 2018

looks nice but it seems closed

Mon Jul 23 2018

I have been using this trail for the last 30 years. Before it was posted and maintained by parks & rec. We referred to the Indian ladders as the horse tail falls. Several places to swim and fun to climb the Indian ladders.

Mon Jul 02 2018

Great path

Mon May 14 2018

Even though the trail is closed I attempted to hike it anyways. And sadly there are way to may fallen trees. I made it to the first 2 falls then the trail became super sketchy. I'm not to sure what happened in that area but it had to been a nasty storm. At least 50+ trees need to be cut and moved away from the trail. It's a shame , this trail is one beautiful gem. Was pretty upset the trail is in this condition. The last couple waterfalls are rewarding. Hope this information help guys! Happy hiking! DC

Sun Mar 04 2018

Just went today. Amazing place however the recent storm has left the trail rather impassable close to the first falls before going up the stairs. I highly recommend waiting at least 3 weeks to maybe a month for trail rangers to clean the trail up from all the fallen trees

Wed Oct 18 2017

This is a really nice hike. The first mile is very easy, more of a walk in the woods than a hike. At roughly the first mile you'll encounter some moderate steepness, a narrowing of the path and some mildly rocky terrain. The views at this point are excellent, as you're right next to the first waterfalls. If it's rained recently use caution as the ground is somewhat slippery and spongy and there are some steep drop-offs. The trail splits a number of times, giving ample opportunity to walk close to the falls / stream, but the trail also blazes through the woods on a well-cleared (But not marked) path that leads up to Emery Road. I would put the majority of this hike on the easy side of moderate. There is no rock scrambling or bushwhacking necessary on this hike at all, but be prepared for a couple of very short steep patches. Loved this one!

Sat Sep 30 2017

First leg is easy for any skill level: Very well-maintained. It pays off with a beautiful waterfall. For a moderate trail, scramble up the path along the side of the first falls and be rewarded with a collection of waterfalls and river views that embellish the trail along the way.

Tue Aug 22 2017

I hiked this trail on 16 August and enjoyed it. Some of the trail has been washed out however you can continue the ascend if you go slightly off the trail. I climbed on the falls without getting hardly wet. I recommend this trail on warm days if you wish to swim in some of the swimming holes. We did not find the end at Emery Road owing to over growth at that part of the trail.

Fri Aug 18 2017

Great hike , great waterfall. did it with the dogs ! Not difficult.

Wed Aug 02 2017

Wonderful trail and the first waterfall is beautiful when the sun comes through the trees. Definitely a hike worth doing

Sun Jul 30 2017

Great combination of beautiful scenery and exercise. Third waterfall is worth the trek.

Sat Jul 29 2017

Beautiful. Easy when it's dry, slippery when wet. If the conditions are good I highly recommend going up to the upper falls too.

Mon Jul 17 2017

Beautiful waterfalls

Sat Jul 15 2017

Easy shaded hike along a stream. There's a rope swing at the lower falls which is fun.

Sat Jun 24 2017

Nice hike but I see two different pictures of the falls. What I saw was the plain one drop waterfall not the cascading one like some of the posts have...not sure if I missed something.

Sun Jun 04 2017

Have come here twice this past fall and am heading there today if the weather holds out. Love taking the dogs and it's a really easy trail.

Sun Jun 04 2017

Had a lot of fun. Haven't been here in the last 2 years and there are a lot of improvements to the trail. Especially the addition of the new bridge. And the trail up to the upper Indian ladders is no longer closed. It's still a bit hairy but glad you can walk completely thru. Great hike.

Sun May 21 2017

Such a nice trail and relatively easy. Took my two dogs and they loved it. Good place to swim. Come here :)

Thu Mar 09 2017

Hike in from Emery road to see the upper and mid falls. Great trail! I loved all the different viewpoints to get pictures of the waterfalls and cascades.

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