Ricketts Glen State Park Things to Do
Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania has a phenomenal number of waterfalls and hiking trails to explore.
Hiking the Falls Trail
Before heading out on the trails make sure to stop at the Ricketts Glen Visitor Center located off of RT 487. You will find maps, notices of current happenings and events, real bathrooms, a little gift area and some helpful rangers here. There is another entrance to the park on route 118, but the only thing to greet you there are some pit toilets…
The Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen is the best-known trail for a reason. The reviews of this trail may seem intimidating since they often describe it as “dangerous” and “difficult” however many people are able to easily hike it. If you’re worried about it just remember to take your time hiking, bring a walking stick, and take breaks while you stop and view the waterfalls. There are some steep stairs built into the trail, but plenty of retired locals hike the trail on their own. In the fall, you’ll want to be careful of slippery leaves, however this is common on almost all trails in the northeast. The trail is a total of 7.2 miles long and should takes under 4 hours to hike when you include rests.
The trail leads you right past 21 spectacular waterfalls with the highest, called the Ganoga, being 94 feet tall. The Ganoga is a good place to cool off on a hot day as a lot of mist comes from this fall. There are 10 other waterfalls on this side of the trail, 2 of them at 47′ (the Tuscarora and the Erie), 1 at 39′ (the Mohican) and 2 at 37′ (the Delaware and the Mohawk) and the others are much smaller. The other side of the falls is known as the Glen Leigh side. This is where 8 or so of the named waterfalls are. The tallest one on this side is the Ozone Falls at 60 feet.
No matter what shape you are in, it’s not about saying you did the trail. It’s about appreciating the beauty of this area. The park will make you think about the rest of Pennsylvania. How the state makes a transition from large cities, to the small coal and steel mining towns, and then to the mountains. People tend to know about the other areas of the Pennsylvania, but not this beautiful sanctuary. This isn’t to say you won’t see people on the trail as it does get a little crowded, but nothing like its neighbor, the Delaware Water Gap, on the border of PA and NJ.
Other Park Attractions
If you don’t think you’re up to this long hike, there are many other trails to view waterfalls from that are shorter and easier hikes. A good trail for a short, easy hike would be Evergreen trail, which is only half a mile and you can see the final series of falls.
Another quick and rewarding hike is the trail to Adams Falls. It’s located across the road from the majority of the park and though it’s not really even a “hike” it’s one of the prettiest falls at Ricketts Glen. If you don’t have a lot of time, but you’re in the area it’s the perfect place to get a little taste of Ricketts Glen.
Lastly, the centerpiece of the park is known as Lake Jean. This is a large and tranquil lake that’s been untouched by gas motors. There are canoe rentals and fishing as well as campsites just of the peninsula on the lake. It’s a great place to spend a warm summer day.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Ricketts Glen State Park.