Erie Falls in May 2009
I haven’t posted in a while, and I also haven’t posted about one of the Ricketts Glen waterfalls in a while…So now’s the time! If you’re in north central Pennsylvania, then Ricketts Glen is the premier place to find waterfalls. There are 20+ in this park, and they are almost all easily accessed along a single loop trail. One, Adams Falls, is further down along the same river. I visited in late May 2009, and it was a truly beautiful time to visit. The spring wildflowers were still present, the temperature was just right, and the weather beautiful. (Storms would arrive the next day, though.)
Ganoga Falls is the tallest of the falls in the park. Erie Falls is pretty tall, too. The falls in the park have a tendency to look “shorter” in photographs. In the photo for Erie Falls, though, there is a hiker in the upper left corner that provides some perspective. There is a trail that leads to the base of the falls. Many of the falls are easy to view.
As with any waterfall, there are dangers, but Ricketts Glen poses more if you aren’t careful. A number of people have died while hiking. At a few select points, the trail narrows while maneuvering down stairs, and there is a 20’+ drop to the river below. This shouldn’t deter you, but be cautious. If at any point I felt like I was in a precarious position, I made sure to slow down and tried to hold onto anything that could steady me. It is by no means the hardest hike I have been on, even though it is approximately 4 miles round trip.
- From your starting point, get to the area around Red Rock, PA.
- Turn onto PA-487, heading north. Go to the entrance to Ricketts Glen and turn right into the entrance.
- 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)
Length of Hike: 4 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Erie Falls?
Adams Falls in Rocky Mountain NP (August 2009)
Adams Falls is one of the easiest waterfalls to visit in Rocky Mountain National Park. The town of Grand Lake is a nice little town, though the food was rather expensive. At the end of West Portal Rd., you’ll find the parking area for the falls. As you hike the short distance to the falls, you’ll see some spectacular views of the Rockies.
Once you get to Adams Falls, though, you may be slightly disappointed. The falls are actually more than appear in the picture, but it is almost impossible to get a picture of the lower drops that are considerably more interesting. I couldn’t even see some of the drops. What you’re left viewing is a small portion of the falls. The actual beauty isn’t really contained in the falls, but the background around the falls.
- From US-34 in Grand Lake, head east on CO-278/West Portal Rd.
- Drive to the end of West Portal Road, where you’ll find the parking area for the trail leading to Adams Falls. The trail goes beyond Adams Falls, though the hike is only 0.3 miles one-way.
Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 25′ (?)
Length of Hike: 0.6 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Adams Falls?
Most of the waterfalls in Ricketts Glen State Park are found along a four-mile loop trail. Adams Falls is not. While it is on the same creek as the other falls, it is some distance downstream. That means that you can view the falls without really even entering the park, and it makes Adams Falls the most easily accessible of the falls in Ricketts Glen. If you want, you can start at Adams Falls and connect onto the Falls Trail that leads to the other falls, with the loop trail ending back at Adams Falls. This option is longer than others, but Ricketts Glen is a beautiful park.
Adams Falls is a beautifully complicated waterfall, but to view it, you’ll have to jump around to find the best vantage point. The main drop is in the picture below, but I think there are some smaller drops below that, if I remember correctly.
- Adams Fall is found right off of PA-118 east of Red Rock. If you are coming from Red Rock, the parking area will be on your right. From the parking area, you will be able to see the falls within seconds. There is a trail and stairs that lead further downstream.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: 0.1 mi RT
Adams Falls in May 2009
Where in the World is Adams Falls?