Lower Laurel Falls, New Jersey

Lower Laurel Falls in May 2009

New Jersey is another one of those states where you wouldn’t necessarily expect many waterfalls, but there are surprising number of both tall and large waterfalls in the state. Lower Laurel Falls isn’t particularly tall or wide, nor is its upper brother, Upper Laurel Falls. The scenery is particularly beautiful, though, and that makes up for the size.

New Jersey’s border with the Delaware River is very scenic. It is more hilly (mountainous?), and it’s very enjoyable to drive down the roads that wind through the area. The Laurel Falls are found northeast of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and are very easy to get to from that area. As you head to the falls, you’re actually travelling on a very old road that has been used to transport goods for hundreds of years. Once you get to Laurel Falls, you might not necessarily expect anything extremely exciting, but it’s definitely far more worthwhile than I originally imagined.

Directions:

  1. On I-80, take exit #1 (in New Jersey). Depending on whether you’re going east or west, it can be easy or complicated. Going west, it’s just a straight-shoot exit. If you’re going east, you will have to exit at the visitor’s center, loop around, briefly get back on I-80 heading WEST and then take exit #1.
  2. Once you’ve exited, you’ll head north on NJ-606 (Old Mine Road). At one point, you will end up on a one-lane road, so you might have a little wait because of stop lights.
  3. After about 3.8 miles on NJ-606, you’ll reach a campground/parking area on your left. It is for the Worthington State Forest, and there will be a bathroom there, along with a park and camping. Park here, if possible. (On weekends or holidays, it may be VERY difficult to find parking.)
  4. From the parking area, cross the road, and head up the Douglas Trail. Follow the creek there and you’re sure to find the falls.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip (to see both falls)

Where in the World is Lower Laurel Falls?

Ringing Rocks Falls, Pennsylvania

If you’re a geology fan, Ringing Rocks County Park should be a doubly fun place to visit. Even if you’re oblivious to geology, this park will still likely interest you. Not only do the rocks ring, but there is also a waterfall, and both of these features are very easy to access. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area, and the whole region really is very beautiful.

From the parking area, the trail heads north, if I have my bearings correct. After a short distance, there is a fork in the trail. The left fork, which is very popular, leads directly to the ringing rocks. The right fork also leads to the ringing rocks, but then continues on to Ringing Rocks Falls. The ringing rocks seem to be the main attraction. Bring a hammer or two if it sounds interesting, and it does sound cool. At one point, I forgot where I was and thought I heard someone, like a metalsmith hammering metal. I then realized it was the hammer hitting the rocks.

At the same time, I’m not sure I would personally search out ringing rocks. It was neat to hear the rocks for a bit, but I had heard enough after just a short period of time. I was interested in the waterfall. There aren’t any signs until you get very close, and then it’s really faintly painted on a rock. You then quickly downhill over some rather large rocks and boulders. It’s not very difficult as long as you exercise caution. There has been a lot of rain in the past month in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, so I’m thinking that the falls were flowing better than they normally would in late June. The creek bed is very slanted, which might explain why the falls happen only in one “corner.” I found the orientation of the rock to be fascinating. I can imagine that the falls dry up later in the summer, so it is probably best to visit the falls in spring.

Directions:

  1. The falls are found very near the Delaware River, just west of the very small town of Upper Black Eddy. Milford, New Jersey is just across the river.
  2. From Upper Black Eddy, head north on PA-32 (aka River Road) for a short distance. Turn left on Bridgeton Hill Road. (There was  detour when I visited, so you can also drive further up River Road to Narrows Hill Road, and then turn left).
  3. Drive a short distance to Ringing Rocks Road. (If you are on Bridgeton Hill, turn right. If on Narrows Hill, turn left.)
  4. Drive to the entrance to the park. If heading north, the entrance will be on your right. It is rather shaded, and I could imagine it being easy to miss. Just drive slowly.
  5. Start along the trail to the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (to the Ringing Rocks), 8/10 (to the Falls)
Height: 18′
Length of Hike: 0.6 miles round-trip

Ringing Rocks Falls in late June 2013

Where in the World is Ringing Rocks Falls?

Tucquan Glen Falls, Pennsylvania

A small waterfall in Tucquan Glen (viewed from across the creek)

This is another one of those waterfalls that I’ve tried to decide whether to post or not. There are much bigger waterfalls in Pennsylvania, many of them more interesting. And yet water is still falling, and some of the drops aren’t insignificant. It all of the drops were combined together to make a larger drop, it would probably garner more attention.

Even if you don’t go to see the waterfalls, visiting Tucquan Glen is still worthwhile. I took my 14 and 11 year old cousins, along with my 5 year old nephew this past Saturday, and they really seemed to enjoy the trail. The creek was shallow enough that one cousin and my nephew actually waded through part of the trail. You will likely get wet no matter what, as there are one or two instances where you will likely cross the creek.

The trail ends at the Susquehanna River, and it is a really great halfway point for the hike. Getting there can seem be easy or moderately more difficult. If in doubt, stay within distance of the creek. The blue blazed trail markers are sometimes easy to lose, and it often looks like you will have to cross the creek, only to find some other way to avoid it. The last third of the trail is where most of the larger drops are, so exercise more caution along that portion.

Directions:

  1. Tucquan Glen is easily accessed from many different directions. I approached it from York/Red Lion. We were on PA-74, heading southeast.
  2. After a while, we turned left onto Holtwood Road (PA-372). This can be easy to miss
  3. Cross the Susquehanna River, and then a mile or so later, turn left onto River Road.
  4. Carefully drive a few miles along the road until you cross Tucquan Creek. Shortly after that is a parking area on your right. There is space for 7 or 8 cars, and on this weekend, it seemed to be mostly full.
  5. Cross the road, heading north to where you can see the creek and the trail just across the creek. Cross the creek and start your journey!

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Height: ~10′
Length of Hike: 2.6 miles round-trip

One of the larger drops in Tucquan Glen (June 2013)

Where in the World is Tucquan Glen Falls?

Bridesmaid Falls #2, Pennsylvania

The other Bridesmaid Falls in May 2009

Bushkill Falls Park is a really great place to spend a few hours on a beautiful, sunny spring or summer afternoon. There are seven named waterfalls in the park and at least one hidden waterfall. As I’ve said before, there seems to be a wedding theme for a few of the falls. There’s Bridalveil Falls, Bridesmaid Falls #1, and Bridesmaid Falls #2. Each of them is beautiful in its own right, though not as large as the park’s namesake, Bushkill Falls.

I believed I visited the falls earlier in the day, possibly soon after it opened. At that point in time, the park wasn’t particularly busy. After I had visited almost all of the falls, the number of visitors started increasing steadily. If you are crowd-averse, the afternoon may not be the best time to visit. It may seem pricey, but it is definitely worth it for the number of falls you will see.

Directions:

  1. You can access the Bushkill Falls park from US-209 in Pennsylvania.
  2. From US-209, turn onto Bushkill Falls Road near the town of Bushkill.
  3. From there, head down that road to the sign for the entrance to the park.
  4. Park in the parking lot. The park opens at different times depending on the season, but it is best to arrive as early as possible. It is a very popular attraction.
  5. From there, pay the entrance fee, making sure to get a brochure with map. The map will help you get to Bridesmaid Falls and its wedding partners.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 2 miles round-trip (to see all falls)

Where in the World is Bridesmaid Falls?

Oneida Falls, Pennsylvania

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about the waterfalls at Ricketts Glen, so I figure I’ll give a recap of sorts. If you’re in the northwest region of Pennsylvania (rather close to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre), you can find one of the best sets of waterfalls in the region. There are an advertised 22 waterfalls in Ricketts Glen State Park, though depending on the definition, there are more than 22 drops. It’s really a great place to spend a day exploring.

Oneida Falls is just one of the many falls you’ll be able to see. Most of the falls, including Oneida Falls, are very intimate, and you can get relatively up close and personal with the falls. A few are a little bit more difficult to photograph, but nonetheless, it is still a completely enjoyable time!

Be careful, though! It is not a simple hike to view the falls. There are some steeper portions along the trail, though I wasn’t really terrified at any point, and heights/extreme steepness can make me hesitate. The trails are very well taken care of, and this makes the journey less of a hassle. Still, there are a number of injuries and accidents that occur each year because people don’t heed the appropriate warnings. Also, bring along something to drink and eat! In order to see 22 waterfalls, you’re not taking a short hike! If you follow the guidelines, though, you will be greatly rewarded with a seemingly never-ending supply of waterfalls!

Directions:

  1. From your starting point, get to the area around Red Rock, PA.
  2. Turn onto PA-487, heading north. Go to the entrance to Ricketts Glen and turn right into the entrance.
  3. Follow the signs to the Falls Trail. You can access the Falls Trail using the Lake Rose parking area or Beach Lot #2 parking area, though you’ll be starting on different creeks. Start your hike on the loop by connecting into the Falls Trail.

Accessibility: 5/10 (moderate)
Height: 13′
Length of Hike: 4 miles round-trip

Oneida Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Oneida Falls?

Cayuga Falls, Pennsylvania

Cayuga Falls is not the most memorable waterfalls in Ricketts Glen, though it is still very scenic. It is a great waterfall to get long exposure shots. It is only about 11′ tall, and is wider than it is tall. Looking at other pictures online, the log in the photo no longer seems to be there. I know logs bother some people in waterfall photos, but I always like them because it reminds us that nature is constantly changing. A tree can be there one day, and gone the next, though who knows if humans were the cause of that change!?

Directions:

  1. From your starting point, get to the area around Red Rock, PA.
  2. Turn onto PA-487, heading north. Go to the entrance to Ricketts Glen and turn right into the entrance.
  3. Follow the signs to the Falls Trail. You can access the Falls Trail using the Lake Rose parking area or Beach Lot #2 parking area, though you’ll be starting on different creeks. Start your hike on the loop by connecting into the Falls Trail.

Check out my note from Sheldon Reynolds Falls about precautions to take in Ricketts Glen.

Accessibility: 5/10 (moderate)
Height: 11′
Length of Hike: 4 miles round-trip

Cayuga Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Cayuga Falls?

Chameleon Falls, Pennsylvania

Chameleon Falls (?) in May 2009

Well, I have to admit that I’ve been rather confused by Chameleon Falls. The picture I’ve posted here is unlikely to be Chameleon Falls, but is probably in the general vicinity….

In Glen Onoko, there are three main waterfalls: Cave Falls, Onoko Falls, and Chameleon Falls, from downstream to upstream. There are other drops that are better classified as cascades. Now, when trying to more clearly identify which pictures corresponded to which falls, I discovered that nobody seems to identify the same falls with the same name. I’ve seen what I posted for Cave Falls as being also identified as Chameleon Falls. Now, searching on google doesn’t produce many clear results, except that it might make sense that Cave Falls has a cave somewhere near it…The picture I have does not. So maybe I missed Cave Falls?

Well, after hitting what I thought was the second falls, I continued a little bit further upstream. I really didn’t want to go that far since the hike is relatively strenuous to begin with, and I had limited time. There was a path heading further upstream, though it seemed less used (though still popular on that beautiful day), but I really didn’t quickly come upon any waterfalls that had significant drops. This is the last waterfall/cascade I photographed on my hike. I called it Chameleon Falls because I wasn’t sure what waterfall is missing. Maybe some signs with names would be useful…

Note: As of 2019, the Glen Onoko trail has been closed. I’m not sure when it will (or if it will) reopen.

Directions:

  1. From I-476, take exit 74.
  2. Take US-209 South toward the village of Jim Thorpe. Go for about 6 miles.
  3. Turn right onto PA-903. You will cross the bridge over the Lehigh River and go 0.4 miles to a stop sign.
  4. When you get to the stop sign, turn left. I remember the name of the road not being what I thought it would be (it was not Main Street, as expected).
  5. After turning left, head down that road, which will veer left again. Take that left. I think you now may end up on Main Street.
  6. After about 0.3 miles, you will take another left into the entrance to Lehigh Gorge State Park.
  7. Keep driving for a little less than 2 miles to the end of the road, which will be the parking area for the Glen Onoko trail head.
  8. From the parking area, you are going to follow the signs and head under the bridge to the trail head.
  9. From there, just try and follow the trail. The trail doesn’t seem to end. Cave Falls is the first major drop.

Accessibility: 2/10 (strenuous)
Height: 30′
Length of Hike: 1 mile round-trip

Where in the World is Chameleon Falls?

Buttermilk Falls, Pennsylvania

I really stumbled upon Buttermilk Falls. I don’t remember whether it was in the book I was using, but I do think I noticed it on the GPS. Often, when you see waterfalls on the GPS, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can or should visit them, so I had to wonder…Is this waterfall on private property? Is this waterfall in the middle of nowhere?

Well, I was lucky. The falls might be on private property, but you can visit them. And they are extremely easy to visit! They are right of US-209 near East Stroudsburg. It was Memorial Day weekend in 2009, and just an hour or two earlier, an intense rain/thunder storm had passed through. That had prevented me from looking for the other waterfalls in the book, so I decided to drive north on US-209 to explore. Driving north, I found it relatively easily. It’s right near a real estate office. The falls are more extensive than appear in the picture, but it is difficult to photograph the whole falls in one shot.

Directions:
1) From I-80, take the exit for US-209 and head north.
2) Only 2 or 3 miles north on US-209 (aka 7 Bridges Road), you’ll find Buttermilk Falls Road. Turn right onto Buttermilk Falls Road, and park in the real estate office to your left.
3) Head to the falls, which are pretty obvious.

Accessibility: 10/10

Where in the World is Buttermilk Falls?: map

Buttermilk Falls in May 2009

Onondaga Falls, Pennsylvania

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about Ricketts Glen State Park, so maybe I’ll re-summarize this great park. Ricketts Glen has 20+ waterfalls on approximately 4 miles of trail. I have to admit that it seemed very manageable, at least compared to other hikes I’ve been on. I visited in late May during Memorial Day weekend (actually just before), and it was really the perfect time to visit. The temperature was very comfortable, the spring wildflowers were in full bloom, as were the trees.

Onondaga Falls is not particularly memorable. Ganoga Falls is the tallest. Some are plain more scenic. The falls might actually be taller than appears in the picture.

Directions:

  1. From your starting point, get to the area around Red Rock, PA.
  2. Turn onto PA-487, heading north. Go to the entrance to Ricketts Glen and turn right into the entrance.
  3. Follow the signs to the Falls Trail. You can access the Falls Trail using the Lake Rose parking area or Beach Lot #2 parking area, though you’ll be starting on different creeks. Start your hike on the loop by connecting into the Falls Trail.

Check out my note from Sheldon Reynolds Falls about precautions to take in Ricketts Glen.

Accessibility: 5/10 (moderate)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 4 miles round-trip

Onondaga Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Onondaga Falls?

Upper Raymondskill Falls #3, Pennsylvania

Normally, most people only end up visiting Raymondskill Falls, clearly the largest of the falls. Upstream of Raymondskill Falls are three other waterfalls that you should check out too, simply because they’re so nearby. The third waterfall is not considerably exciting, though there is a good view to be had.

It’s definitely an enjoyable hike wandering to this group of falls. The first and third falls have better views than the second fall, which is not at a good angle.

Directions:

  1. From I-84, take exit 46 to Milford.
  2. Go east on US-6 for a little more than 2 miles.
  3. Go south onto US-209 for 2.5 miles.
  4. Turn right onto Raymondskill Road. Go 0.3 miles to the parking lots. There are two different parking areas, one with a visitor’s center. Both trails lead to Raymondskill Falls.
  5. From the uppermost viewpoint of Raymondskill Falls, you’ll see a slope that will lead you upstream. The slope is the most difficult part of the journey, as it is rather slippery.
  6. As you head upstream, follow the river as closely as possible. Be careful, though, as there are some steeper drops.
  7. After a quarter mile or so, you’ll come on the the group of three falls.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 1 mile round-trip

ra up 3

Upper Raymondskill Falls #3 in May 2009

Where in the World is Upper Raymondskill Falls #3?