10 Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks for Waterfall Lovers

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A young couple enjoying the magnificent view at the Ohiopyle Falls overlook along the Ferncliff Trail.

Pennsylvania is home to 121 State Parks, each with its own unique character, terrain, and highlights.

Here are 10 of the best Pennsylvania State Parks for exploring and enjoying waterfalls.

Simply click on the blue text / link in each park description to view maps, directions and additional photos of waterfalls in or near that particular Pennsylvania State Park.


Ricketts Glen State Park

Hikers at Ganoga Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Hikers at 94′ Ganoga Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

Let’s start with the undisputed KING of Pennsylvania State Parks when it comes to waterfall exploration – Ricketts Glen State Park.

Harrison Wright Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania.
Harrison Wright Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

This Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park in Luzerne County is home to 21 named waterfalls, and is undoubtedly the most famous waterfall hike in Pennsylvania.

Oneida Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania.
Oneida Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

THOUSANDS upon thousands of people flock to Ricketts Glen every year to hike this “bucket list” trail.

The multiple tiers of Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen.
The multiple tiers of Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen.

Numerous other waterfalls exist within the Ricketts Glen State Park boundaries, including Adams Falls (pictured above) which is nearly-roadside along Route 118.


Ohiopyle State Park

A fisherman at Ohiopyle Falls on a summer morning.
A fisherman at Ohiopyle Falls on a summer morning.

Ohiopyle State Park is Fayette County is home to no less than 10 named waterfalls, as well as numerous small, unnamed ones.

A downstream view of Cucumber Falls.
A downstream view of Cucumber Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.

Cucumber Falls at Ohiopyle State Park is one of the most photogenic (and most photographed) waterfalls in all of western Pennsylvania.

A selfie at Upper Jonathan Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.
The author at Upper Jonathan Run Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.

And the Jonathan Run Trail may be the best mile-for-mile waterfall hike on the western side of PA as well.


Salt Springs State Park

Approaching the first waterfall on Fall Brook at Salt Springs State Park.
Approaching the first waterfall on Fall Brook at Salt Springs State Park.

Salt Springs State Park in Susquehanna County is home to 3 beautiful waterfalls in the glacially-carved Fall Brook Gorge.

Second waterfall on Fall Brook at Salt Springs State Park
Second waterfall on Fall Brook at Salt Springs State Park.

Created by glaciers more than 18,000 years ago, Fall Brook Gorge is is an immensely enjoyable hike through an old-growth hemlock forest.

Third Falls on Fall Brook at Salt Springs State Park
Third Falls on Fall Brook at Salt Springs State Park in Susquehanna County.

Trough Creek State Park

Fall foliage at Rainbow Falls in Pennsylvania
Fall foliage at Rainbow Falls at Trough Creek State Park.

Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County is home to Rainbow Falls, as well as numerous smaller waterfalls on Abbot Run.

Upper Rainbow Falls on Abbot Run in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania
Upper Rainbow Falls on Abbot Run in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania

Leonard Harrison State Park

Waterfalls near the intersection of the Turkey Path and the Pine Creek Rail Trail.
Waterfalls near the intersection of the Turkey Path and the Pine Creek Rail Trail.

The Turkey Path at Leonard Harrison State Park is another famous Pennsylvania waterfall hike everyone should do at least once.

Observation area along the Turkey Path in the PA Grand Canyon.
Observation area along the Turkey Path in the PA Grand Canyon.

This mile-long trail in Tioga County uses a series of switchbacks and stairways to get you from the top of the PA Grand Canyon to the bottom, passing several waterfalls on Little Fourmile Run along the way.

Waterfalls along the Turkey Path in Tioga County.
Waterfalls along the Turkey Path at Leonard Harrison State Park.

McConnells Mill State Park

McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County is home to several waterfalls scattered within its boundaries.

The author at Hell's Hollow Falls.
The author at Hell’s Hollow Falls in Lawrence County.

Hell’s Hollow Falls is quite possibly the most photogenic.

Rusty Glessner at Alpha Falls at McConnells Mill State Park
The author at Alpha Falls at McConnells Mill State Park

Alpha Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls at McConnells Mill, and just a short hike from the parking area.

Fall foliage surrounding Grindstone Falls at McConnells Mill State Park
Fall foliage surrounding Grindstone Falls at McConnells Mill State Park

And Grindstone Falls, which doesn’t appear on the official park map, is tucked away in the southeastern corner of McConnells Mill State Park, on Grindstone Run.


Hickory Run State Park

Hawk Falls at Hickory Run State Park in Pennsylvania
Hawk Falls at Hickory Run State Park in Pennsylvania

Hickory Run State Park in Carbon County is home to the 25-foot tall Hawk Falls, as well as several smaller and/or man-made waterfalls.

Stametz Dam Spillway along the Shades of Death Trail at Hickory Run State Park
Stametz Dam Spillway along the Shades of Death Trail at Hickory Run State Park

Stametz Dam is located along the ominous-sounding but super-popular Shades of Death Trail.

The Chapel at Hickory Run State Park
Chapel Falls at Hickory Run State Park.

Chapel Falls at Hickory Run State Park is a man-made spillway on Hickory Run, across the street from the park office.


Worlds End State Park

High Rock Falls along the High Rock Trail at Worlds End State Park.
High Rock Falls along the High Rock Trail at Worlds End State Park

Worlds End State Park in Sullivan County is home to only one waterfall (High Rock Falls), but it sits dead-center in the middle of no less that 10 waterfall destinations, all within a short distance of the park boundaries.

Tamarack Falls off of Loyalsock Road in the Loyalsock State Forest.
Tamarack Falls off of Loyalsock Road in the Loyalsock State Forest, near Worlds End State Park.

Many people camp at Worlds End State Park and use it as a home base to explore all these exceptional waterfalls.

Mineral Spring Falls near Worlds End State Park
Mineral Spring Falls near Worlds End State Park

Some of the 10 waterfalls involve hiking, others like Mineral Spring Falls are roadside.


Colton Point State Park

Colton Point State Park in Tioga County is another state park that serves as a great homebase for seeing TONS of nearby waterfalls.

Rexford Branch Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.
Rexford Branch Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.

Rexford Branch Falls is located just off the Turkey Path at Colton Point State Park.

Fourmile Run Falls in the PA Grand Canyon
Fourmile Run Falls in the PA Grand Canyon, near Colton Point State Park.

Fourmile Run Falls can also be accessed via a short off-trail side excursion from the Turkey Path at Colton Point.

Bear Run Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge area of Pennsylvania
Bear Run Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge area of Pennsylvania, near Colton Point State Park.

Bear Run Falls near the northeastern entrance to Colton Point State Park, just off of Colton Road, is a series of unnamed waterfalls that culminates with the colossal Lower Bear Run Falls spilling into Pine Creek near the bottom of the PA Grand Canyon.

Lower Bear Run Falls just above Pine Creek in Tioga County Pennsylvania
Lower Bear Run Falls just above Pine Creek in Tioga County, near Colton Point State Park.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Unnamed waterfall on Raymondskill Creek in the Delaware Water Gap
Unnamed waterfall on Raymondskill Creek in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Ok I’m cheating on this last one, as it’s under the control of the National Park Service, not a PA State Park.

But how can you NOT include the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation in Pike County on any top 10 list of waterfall parks, when the 2 tallest waterfalls in Pennsylvania can be found there?!

Raymondskill Falls in Pennsylvania
Upper and middle tiers of Raymondskill Falls in Pike County PA.

Raymondskill Falls is THE tallest waterfall in Pennsylvania, billed by the National Park Service as being 178 feet tall.

Dingmans Falls in Pike County, Pennsylvania
Dingmans Falls in Pike County, Pennsylvania

Dingmans Falls, just down the road from Raymondskill Falls, is the second tallest waterfall in Pennsylvania at 130 feet tall.

Waterfall along Upper Hornsbeck Trail in Pike County Pennsylvania
Waterfall along Upper Hornbecks Trail in Pike County Pennsylvania

Hornbecks Creek is another magnificent waterfall stream within the Delaware Water Gap.

How to find Factory Falls in the Delaware Water Gap
Factory Falls in the Delaware Water Gap.

And when it reopens after storm damage repair (possibly as early as 2021), Childs Park in the Delaware Water Gap is home to three distinctly different waterfalls, including Factory Falls pictured above.


So there you have it!

Some of the finest (although by no means the only) Pennsylvania State Parks where you can explore and enjoy waterfalls to your heart’s content!

The author and daughter at the Ohiopyle Falls Overlook along Ferncliff Trail.
The author and daughter at the Ohiopyle Falls, Ohiopyle State Park.

Looking for even more waterfall action?

Then be sure to check out The Ultimate Pennsylvania Waterfalls Guide for directions to HUNDREDS of PA waterfalls!

The Ultimate Pennsylvania Waterfall Guide created by Rusty Glessner
The Ultimate Pennsylvania Waterfalls Guide by Rusty Glessner.

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