Ricketts Glen Falls Loop

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Ricketts Glen State Park

Ricketts Glen Falls Loop is a 6.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,010 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

Please beware of weather related closures. Falls Trail in Ricketts Glen State Park is the classic hike in the park. It's also one of the best hikes in all of Pennsylvania and is considered by many to be the single best waterfall hike in the eastern United States. The 7-mile semi-loop through both Ganoga Glen and Glen Leigh visits 21 named waterfalls, the highest being 94' Ganoga Falls. Start your journey at the bottom of the glens along Highway 118, parking at either the Evergreen Parking Area on the south side of the highway, or the small picnic area and trailhead on the north side. If parking at the Evergreen Parking Area, pick up a park map at the kiosk and carefully walk across the highway to reach the start of the Falls Trail on the west bank of Kitchen Creek. If you're starting from the picnic area, a short connector trail takes you across a bridge over Kitchen Creek to join the main Falls Trail. For the first mile, Falls Trail follows an old roadbed on a mostly level course along Kitchen Creek. You'll be in a mixed hardwood forest for the entire hike. Because the steep terrain in the glens prevented logging, you'll pass through some old growth forest along the way. Spruce trees become more common as you climb in elevation. If you're hiking in the spring, look for blossoming dogwood trees and a variety of wildflowers. You'll cross two sturdy wooden bridges over Kitchen Creek before reaching a split in the trail. Here, the Lower Trail to the right descends to follow very closely along the bank of Kitchen Creek. This trail is occasionally quite exposed and can also be flooded if Kitchen Creek is running high. To your left, the alternate Upper Trail climbs briefly, then contours along the hillside on a wide path. Both the Lower and Upper Trails reunite at the first waterfall in the Glens: 16' Murray Reynolds Falls. While not particularly high, this waterfall is quite beautiful and provides a taste of what you'll encounter further up the trail. As you pass each waterfall, look for small wooden signs identifying the name of the fall. These signs are attached directly to the rock on the opposite side of the creek, usually near the crest of the waterfall. Continue on a gradual climb along Kitchen Creek, passing 36' Sheldon Reynolds Falls and 27' Harrison Wright Falls before reaching a major trail junction at Waters Meet. Here, the trails split, with the Ganoga Glen Trail continuing straight up the west bank of Kitchen Creek while the Glen Leigh Trail crosses a bridge to your right to climb up into Glen Leigh. Waters Meet is an idyllic spot, with waterfalls visible up both of the glens. For our hike, we'll climb up Ganoga Glen, then take the Highland Trail over to Glen Leigh, where we'll descend into Glen Leigh and eventually return to this spot. Starting up Ganoga Glen, the trail passes 47' Erie Falls, 47' Tuscarora Falls, and 17' Conestoga Falls. The trail gradually becomes steeper and more narrow as you climb up the glen. Staircases assembled from natural stone help with the ascent of the steeper sections, but lack guardrails of any kind. Water seeps down onto the trail from above, meaning that you are virtually guaranteed to encounter muddy, slippery conditions at any time of year. Continuing your climb up the glen, cross a side stream on a wooden bridge and come to 39' Mohican Falls. Pass 37' Delaware Falls and 12' Seneca Falls before passing a trail junction on your left. This signed trail connects to the Ganoga View Trail and the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail to the west of Ganoga Glen. Looking up the glen, you will shortly see Ganoga Falls. At 94', it's the highest waterfall in the park, and twice as high as any of the other waterfalls. Before climbing to the top of the falls, you'll want to take an unmarked side path to your right that leads to the base of the falls. This is where you'll find the best view of the entire waterfall. At the top of the falls, views are limited as the trail has to climb above a steep embankment rather than follow along the bank of the stream. Resist the temptation to wander off-trail down the embankment, as this is where many accidents occur. Continuing uphill, you'll pass 11' Cayuga Falls, 13' Oneida Falls, and 37' Mohawk Falls before reaching a major trail junction. Here, turn right on the Lake Rose Trail and continue uphill. The trail to the left connects to the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail. The Lake Rose Trail eventually leads up to the Lake Rose Trailhead, a possible alternative start if you want to do a shorter loop and still see most of the park's waterfalls. After 0.2 miles, turn right onto the Highland Trail for the traverse over to Glen Leigh. The trail here is very different than the one you've been on so far. It's mostly a level walk through the woods. Enroute to Glen Leigh, you'll pass through Midway Crevasse, a narrow passageway through a rock formation of Pocono sandstone.

hiking
rocky
15 hours ago

A long, fairly challenging trail that shows nearly two dozen waterfalls. Some nice little nooks and crannies to explore. A but rocky and steep at times. It's a loop, so you'll be descending for half the trail and ascending the rest of the way on rock staircases. Stunning views, well-shaded most of the way.

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 days ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
5 days ago

great trail that is doable for all hikers. lots of bottleneck points so that can be a bit annoying particularly in light of COVID-19 crowds. beautiful scenery and took about 3.5 hours with lots of splashing around under the 94' waterfall. well shaded trail

hiking
rocky
5 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

Well layed out parking lot at the start of the trails with a sign to get a map and restrooms. Take a nap; you lose all reception pretty early on in the hike. Lots of beautiful waterfalls. It was a bit muddy at some parts given all the water plus the rain the day before but drier than I expected. There is a ton of shade. The waterfalls are all beautiful. The trail is easy to follow and people of all ages can do it. Lots of beautiful spots for pictures. Very dog friendly. The hike took about 3.5hrs and was lovely at every point.

hiking
muddy
rocky
6 days ago

Trail was amazing, fun to hike but not overly challenging. Beautiful views. Only complaint is waaaaay too many people

hiking
muddy
8 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

Amazing, most beautiful place I have ever been too, I arrived at 9 so we barely saw anyone until about 12 which wasn’t bad but definitely nicer not having to wait and let people go or having people tailgate you especially during dangerous sections, that being said the 2hr and 15 min drive one way was totally worth it, just be a friendly human and you’ll have a great day, I went on a Wednesday, wear comfortable grippy shoes, I am 27 and workout regularly(not cardio) hiked 7.6 miles there and my adrenaline made me feel like I was in shape lol, take your time on the dangerous sections and if your not in the best shape find the parking lot at the loop and avoid the stem of the lollipop as I called it

running
muddy
rocky
9 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

This is a STUNNING trail! I was surprised by how crowded it was on a Tuesday and how many people had sandals/flip flops and no drink! Stupidity! But the trails and very well marked. Just beware of the slippery rocks and take your time. It was doable for my 10yo with time for breaks.

hiking
rocky
10 days ago

Very beautiful trail, very busy when I went (Memorial Day). Seems to be very touristy with a good amount of congestion. It’s definitely a workout with peaceful scenery and beautiful waters.

hiking
bugs
muddy
11 days ago

Hadn’t been in years and loved this trail! However, do it counterclockwise. Park at lake rose trailhead. Go down the Ganoga glen side. If you go the other direction, which someone told us to do, essentially the views of the falls are at your back. If you go counter clockwise, you will be facing the falls as you walk. Also, go when it is not crowded. I can’t believe the number of people who think that it’s wonderful to have a cigarette in the middle of a beautiful nature area. And then we had to have our moments spoiled by walking behind a trail of filthy disgusting poison. Or, the family who felt the need to have booming music and a speaker on their back the entire time they were walking. You could hear it hundreds of yards away. We kept trying to stay away from them. I mean come on. Go very early in the morning on the weekend or go on a weekday so you probably won’t have to deal with these types. Be careful. Don’t let people coming up right behind you breathing down your neck make you feel like you have to rush. It can be very slippery. Take your time.

hiking
muddy
11 days ago

Nice trail, if you start at the lower parking lot it’s 6.6miles with some steep stretches to get your legs burning, scenic waterfalls, trail can be a little muddy and slippery in spots, easy to follow and a good option to get out on a trail for a few hours, highly recommended

hiking
11 days ago

Gorgeous hike. Pictures don’t do this place justice. Well maintained and well marked trail. I went on a Friday morning (started at 8) when it was supposed rain later in the day. I only saw ~10 people as I was finishing my loop later in the morning. It’s hard to see this place not crowded but it’s possible!

hiking
11 days ago

Brought my younger girl’s, wouldn’t recommend Old Bulldozer route, it’s mostly uphill and steep at times, (for young ones). I loved it! Did one side of the falls, beautiful. We went early am- and hit waterfalls on the way back- there was ALOT of people. Next time I would hit the waterfalls first.

hiking
bugs
muddy
11 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful waterfalls. Way too crowded. Never will I do this hike on a weekend

hiking
muddy
rocky
12 days ago

Amazing trail loop with so many beautiful waterfalls. Moderate traffic, but a highly recommended must do if you are in the area.

hiking
muddy
rocky
12 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

It’d be very hard to find a trail more beautiful in this entire area, probably the whole east coast. Amazing views, noises and smells. While listed as moderate, it’s got some difficult stretches to it that adds to its character. Started the hike right before 10am, and it was not at all busy, was in the car before 2. Traffic was really starting to pick up on our way out. I can’t say enough good things about this place. Just don’t take eyes off the trail.

hiking
muddy
rocky
13 days ago

Awesome hike! Can be busy. Wear proper shoes.

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