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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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)
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip (to see both falls)
Where in the World is Lower Laurel Falls?
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.
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.
Where in the World is Buttermilk Falls?: map
Buttermilk Falls in May 2009
Before I say anything else, I want to make sure that people do not trespass on the property Twin Falls is found on. Twin Falls is a waterfall that is in the Delaware Water Gap area very close to East Stroudsburg. The waterfall is on private property, though. This picture was taken from the road, so it is not of the greatest quality. It still gives you a feeling for the falls.
The waterfall is very easy to find though, and it’s not that hard to stop on the side of the road and at least view it for a short period of time (as long as you’re not blocking other cars). It should be some comfort that there are a multitude of far more interesting falls in the area that can be legally visited. Still, I would stop by just for a second to enjoy what nature has to offer.
- From I-80, take the exit right near the Pennsylvania/New Jersey border that connects onto US-209.
- Head north on US-209 for what I remember being about 3 miles or so.
- On your left, there will be a Twin Falls Road. (A roundabout seems to be present now, and you may need to exit on Seven Bridge Road first.)
- Turn left onto Twin Falls Road. The waterfall will be to the right of you as you’re crossing the first bridge you see.
Accessibility: 10/10 (from the car)
Length of Hike: roadside
Twin Falls in May 2009
Where in the World is Twin Falls?