Falls Trail from PA 118
This is a moderate lollipop loop hike in Ricketts Glen State Park featuring a large number of waterfalls.
The lower part of this hike follows the Kitchen Creek up the Falls Trail for 1.5 miles. At the "Water Meet" the Falls Trail forks going up the Glen Leigh and Ganoga Glen sides. The Highland trail connects the two sides for a 3.2 mile loop. Follow the Falls Trail back down Kitchen Creek to the PA 118 Lot to complete the 7.2 mile hike.
In the winter, the trail is closed to anyone who does not have the appropriate mountaineering gear (full crampons, ice axe, rope and climbing helmet). Trekking poles with ice tips are also recommended and for practical purposes are more useful than an ice axe. The rope is not needed unless you should need to perform a rescue. However, the rangers do enforce these requirements. Also, hikers must sign in and out at the park office or by calling the office. Phone number is posted at the trail heads.
This trail goes by Murray Reynolds Falls, Sheldon Reynolds Falls, Harrison Wright Falls, Tuscarora Falls, Conestoga Falls, Delaware Falls, Seneca Falls, Ganoga Falls, Cayuga Falls, Oneida Falls, Mohawk Falls, Mohican Falls, Erie Falls, Onondaga Falls, Shawnee Falls, F.L. Ricketts Falls, Huron Falls, Ozone Falls, R.B. Ricketts Falls, B. Reynolds Falls, and Wyandot Falls.
Note: Adams Falls is just south of the PA 118 Lot. Be sure not to miss it before starting your hike.
Parking is at the PA 118 Lot. The trail can be accessed from the other lots (Lake Rose and Beach). Either of these two lots will shorten the overall length of the hike at the cost of missing the the lower 3 falls.
GPS: 41.301171, -76.270916
When to Go:
The trail is open Spring, Summer, and Fall. Properly equipped ice climbers can access the trail in the Winter (see the official site for more details). In early to mid Spring, the waterfalls can have much larger amounts of water, though the hike is spectacular even with less water. The park can become very crowded on the weekends during the summer. Going mid week or getting an early start can help reduce crowds.
There are no railings, steep drops, and occasionally slippery rocks. Be sure to follow the guidelines listed on the official site.
The elevation gain and distance make this a difficult hike for children 8 and under. I'd recommend parking at either the Lake Rose or Beach lots for a shorter version of the hike.
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