Picture yourself wandering along a dirt path through Pennsylvania’s greater-than-great outdoors when you stumble upon the most magical natural wonder — a dancing waterfall. There’s no question that Pennsylvania is brimming with outdoor beauty, and these 15 unique and picturesque waterfalls will leave you feeling reconnected, rejuvenated, and reinvigorated.
1. GANOGA FALLS
Ganoga Falls in Ricketts Glen State Park is home to more than 22 named waterfalls sprinkled around the park’s Falls Trail; however, the most impressive of these waterfalls is Ganoga Falls. An imposing 94-feet high, Ganoga is the highest waterfall in the park and is so picturesque your Instagram followers will be seriously jealous of your adventures.
2. RAYMONDSKILL FALLS
Raymondskill Falls, reaching a towering 178 feet, is the tallest waterfall in Pennsylvania. If you add the drops from each tier together, the waterfall is only a few feet shorter than Niagara Falls! You can access the falls on the Raymondskill Creek Trail in the Delaware Water Gap — a moderately easy (but steep!) 0.3-mile hike. Make use of two viewing platforms — one near the head of the falls and one at a large step dividing the upper and lower drops — to experience the enchanting cascades from different vantage points. Make sure you take a moment on your way to the falls to check out the hemlock canopy, which contains some of the park’s oldest trees.
3. CUCUMBER FALLS
Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle State Park in the Laurel Highlands, is a stunning 30-foot waterfall on Cucumber Run. For those Instagram-worthy photos, you can get behind the falls for a more unique viewpoint! A great way to access the falls is by hiking in from Ohiopyle on Great Gorge Trail. The trail follows an old tramway that was used to transport coal to the railroad that is now the Great Allegheny Passage.
4. MEADOW RUN
Located in Ohiopyle State Park, Meadow Run, once nominated as one of America’s favorite swimming holes by Travel + Leisure, is a natural waterslide. The great geological formations in the rocks combined with the powerful little creek has carved natural water slides out of the stream’s sandstone rock bed. This is a great place to cool down in the summer months, but be sure to use caution, as the rocks can be quite slippery.
At Bear Run you’ll see the waterfall that inspired Frank Lloyd Wright to design and build his world-famous masterpiece, Fallingwater. One of America’s greatest architects, Wright’s ingenious cantilevering of Fallingwater over the cascading falls of Bear Run in the Laurel Highlands has resulted in one of the most striking sights in the state and a structure that has remained an architectural wonder since its completion in the 1930s.
6. BUTTERMILK FALLS
Buttermilk Falls in Lehigh Gorge State Park, offers the 26-mile Lehigh Gorge Trail, a flat, easy hiking or biking trail along the scenic Lehigh River — with several waterfalls along the way. Buttermilk Falls is just north of the Rockport Access Area, and its cascading waters offer a cool reprieve for bikers and hikers. At 46-feet tall, the waterfall is one of the most impressive in western PA – while it is best seen in the spring, its constant waterflow makes it a great place to visit year-round.
7. SULLIVAN FALLS
If you’re the type of Happy Traveler who enjoys some challenging hiking along with your waterfall viewing, Sullivan Falls in State Game Lands 13 — about 15 minutes west of Ricketts Glen State Park — is the place for you. This area, which spans nearly 50,000 acres, features around 20 waterfalls deep in the woods away from trails and roads, so make sure you have your hiking shoes with you. We know everyone doesn’t necessarily have the time to scout all 20 falls, so if you’re in a time crunch, make sure Sullivan Falls is on your shortlist. You can find the roughly 30-foot waterfall by following the unmarked trail behind the parking area off Jamison Road for a few minutes until you reach the secluded hollow, meaning you’ll likely be able to enjoy this spectacular sight without any crowds.
8. WHEELBARROW RUN
Wheelbarrow Run in the Seven Tubs Nature Area got its name from the glacial meltwater that created potholes and filled up pools or "tubs" of water. The highlight of Seven Tubs is Wheelbarrow Run — a stream that flows through a ravine full of tubs and has several waterfalls. Next time you’re thinking about soaking in your bathtub at home, consider relaxing in nature’s tub instead!
9. DINGMANS FALLS
In the Delaware Water Gap, Dingmans Falls is the second-highest waterfall in Pennsylvania, plunging 130 feet. Follow the boardwalk of Dingmans Falls Trail and you’ll be led through the Hemlocks right to the beautiful waterfall.
An extra bonus of the trail: you’ll start off by passing Silver Thread Falls, an 80-foot thin ribbon of water cascading through a narrow geometric chute.
10. SHOHOLA FALLS
Located in the Pocono Mountains along Route 6, Happy Travelers can find the next waterfall stop taking the 0.6 mile Shohola Falls Trail. The trail is ideal for beginners, and you can bring along your four-legged friend! Once you get to the Shohola Falls, you and your furry companion can gaze at the roughly 70-foot waterfall.
11. GLEN ONOKO FALLS
For Glen Onoko Falls you should wear your proper hiking footwear and prepare for a hike to see the payoff in the Pocono Mountains. Located just outside of the town of Jim Thorpe, these three unique falls tucked away in State Game Lands 181 will offer a picturesque site to recharge from a challenging hike.
12. BUSHKILL FALLS
One of the most popular waterfall spots in Pennsylvania is Bushkill Falls. Open since 1904, Bushkill Falls encompasses about 300 acres and features eight waterfalls, as well as more than two miles of trails, bridges, and walkways. The Main Falls takes about a 15-minute walk from the entrance and features an approximate 100-foot drop.
13. DRY RUN FALLS
Don’t let the name fool you — Dry Run Falls in Loyalsock State Forest is anything but dry, especially after some rainfall! At over two stories high, this sweet waterfall might not be the tallest, but it’s surely one of the most picturesque, with water cascading down a series of gently sloping rocks and branching into two separate streams to the pool below. Take advantage of the nearby picnic area for a relaxing fall-side lunch. Before you leave, soak in 25 miles of beautiful landscape atop the High Knob Overlook.
14. FALL BROOK
Fall Brook in the 405-acre Salt Springs State Park is in northeastern Pennsylvania and offers towering old growth hemlock trees, many estimated to be more than 300 years old. The one-mile Fall Brook Trail follows alongside the water and passes by all three waterfalls, making for one relaxing hike!
15. HAWK FALLS
Located along Hawk Falls Trail at Hickory Run State Park, this natural 25-foot waterfall is one not to miss. The trail, which is mostly downhill, is 0.6 miles and a good option for families as it is fairly short and manageable for hikers of all skill-levels. Many of the rocks beside the falls serve as good observation points. Also, let’s not forget our four-legged fur babies, who are also allowed on the trail and can enjoy a cool dip!
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