Torrential downpours mean roaring waterfalls, so who cares if its a 200 mile roundtrip drive. Sounded like a great adventure to us.
On Sunday April 23rd we headed off for an adventure that came highly recommended by locals at our campground. We were talking about our adventures at Watkins Glen State Park in NY and they recommended Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania. It would mean a 2 hour (100 mile) each way drive from our campground in Hersey, PA but we are always up for a good road trip adventure. The deciding factor was the heavy rain we had experienced on Saturday.
According to the states web site Ricketts Glen is one of the most scenic parks in Pennsylvania. It is known for its 24 waterfalls. There are multiple hiking trails in addition to those near the waterfalls and camping is available in the area. Ricketts Glen was approved as a National Park site in the 1930’s but the WWII brought an end to this plan. The CCC even contributed to the initial build of this site by building the multiple stone steps you find along the Waterfall trail.
Our goal for the visit was to hike as far as we could to see as many waterfalls as possible. Unfortunately part of the waterfall loop trail is closed due to unstable rocks in a section of the trail but despite this we were able to see most of the waterfalls.
You have a choice of hiking from state road 118 or the Lake Rose trail head parking. We chose the Lake Rose parking area just past the visitors center. This would be a great trailhead to start the loop hike if it was open. It was just a short hike to the first waterfall, Mohawk at 37 feet. We decided early on to hike to the furthest point and take pictures on the return trip as we knew we would want “breaks” as we hiked up on the way out. The hike is mostly on shale steps with a few muddy spots mixed in. You will definitely need good foot wear. Lily and Sierra our 2 Shih Tzus did great on the hike but were in need of a bath by the end.
We were able to see 14 waterfalls before turning around at the top of Ozone, the location where the trail is currently closed off. Our Apple Watch tracked our mileage at almost 2 miles each way with a total elevation gain of 1079 feet. We did do a few extra steps and bit extra elevation for photo ops.
The photos below are just a small sampling of the many waterfalls and scenery along the way.
We loved our visit to Ricketts Glen and recommend it to dog lovers who want to take their best friends along for a great hike. The scenery rivals that of Watkins Glen but the ability to take your dog along with you raises the paw rating up to a 5/5.