Erie Falls, Pennsylvania

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.

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: 47′
Length of Hike: 4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Erie Falls?

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?

Ganoga Falls, Pennsylvania

Ganoga Falls in May 2009

Ganoga Falls is the largest of the waterfalls in Ricketts Glen State Park at about 90′ tall. It’s an amazing waterfall to view. There are multiple ways to view the falls. There is a short but steep trail leading down to the base of the falls, which I would definitely recommend doing. When I went down, there was a family playing around in the pool underneath the falls.

You can also view the falls close up by taking another short trail that leads to to the middle of the falls. I got confused, as I thought that the waterfall trail was ending here, only to realize that I had missed a turn a short ways back. It was still a very nice view, though not as good as the one at the base.

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: 94′
Length of Hike: 4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Ganoga Falls?