Exploring Big Run Falls in Sullivan County

An Extraordinary Roadside Waterfall Just Minutes From Ricketts Glen State Park

0
1202
An October morning at Big Run Falls.
An October morning at Big Run Falls.

Big Run Falls (not to be confused with nearby Big Falls) is one of a trio of remarkable roadside waterfalls in Sullivan County.

It joins the likes of nearby Sullivan Falls and Dry Run Falls as destinations that require little-to-no hiking to visit.

Yet despite the fact that this waterfall is truly right along a road (a forest road, but a road nonetheless), some folks have difficulty finding it.

So that is the purpose of this write-up: to show you exactly where Big Run Falls is, as well as what you can expect to see when you visit.


Visiting Big Run Falls

How to Find Big Run Falls in Sullivan County

  1. Turn off of Route 487 onto Sullivan Falls Road

    Just north of Ricketts Glen State Park you will turn onto Sullivan Falls Road (erroneously called Jamison City Road on Google Maps and possibly on your navigation system). A map showing the location of Big Run Falls in Sullivan County.

  2. Travel 1.9 miles on Sullivan Falls Road.

    Sullivan Falls Road is a “No Winter Maintenance” forest road – use extreme caution in the winter.

  3. Arrive at Big Run Falls parking area.

    Park just above the large boulders than serve as guardrails around Big Run Falls. The parking area is large enough for 2-3 vehicles.

  4. If necessary, overflow parking is available 1/4 mile down the road at the Sullivan Falls parking area.

    The parking area at Sullivan Falls along Sullivan Falls Road.


The View from the Road

The view of Big Run Falls from Sullivan Falls Road.
The view of Big Run Falls from Sullivan Falls Road.

With no hiking whatsoever, you are treated to an impressive view of Big Run Falls.

A winter view of Big Run Falls from Sullivan Falls Road.
A winter view of Big Run Falls from Sullivan Falls Road.

If you are feeling more adventurous and want to experience the falls from below, my advice is to hike down the road about 300 yards, descend the stream bank where it is far less steep, and hike back up Big Run itself until you are standing at the base of the falls.

Use caution and expect to get wet feet if you do this.


The View from Below

Big Run Falls under normal water conditions.
Big Run Falls under normal water conditions.

As you proceed up Big Run under “normal” flow you can expect to see a scene similar to the one above.

Big Run Falls under high water conditions.
Big Run Falls under high water conditions.

But after a heavy rain you can expect the falls to be fuller and possibly your boots as well!

Big Run Falls, just up the hill from Sullivan Falls.
Big Run Falls, just up the hill from Sullivan Falls.

Many of the rocks around Big Run Falls are covered in moss, yet another reason to approach from downstream rather than directly down the steep part of the bank.

Wet, mossy rocks are often slicker than icy rocks!

Big Run Falls is one of the most picturesque roadside waterfalls in Sullivan County.
Big Run Falls is one of the most picturesque roadside waterfalls in Sullivan County.

Standing at the base of Big Run Falls in October, you feel privileged to be able to view the brilliant fall foliage from such a superior vantage point.


Final Thoughts

Late October at Big Run Falls.
Late October at Big Run Falls.

At 20 feet tall, Big Run Falls is not the tallest waterfall in the neighborhood (that would be nearby Lewis Falls).

However, it’s hard to beat its combination of raw beauty and ease of access, especially if mobility issues are a concern.

Combine this visit with a stop-off at Sullivan Falls 1/4 of a mile down the road, and you’ve got an unparalleled one-two punch of roadside waterfall goodness!

A leaf swirl below Sullivan Falls on State Game Lands 13, the result of a 71 second photo exposure.
A leaf swirl below Sullivan Falls on State Game Lands 13, the result of a 71 second photo exposure.

Or if you’re really feeling gung-ho and have the time, a short hike to Pigeon Run and the many waterfalls along it is sure to satisfy your cravings for adventure!

Pigeon Run Falls in Sullivan County surrounded by fall foliage.
Pigeon Run Falls in Sullivan County, surrounded by fall foliage.

Pennsylvania’s Best Ad-Free Adventure Guide!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here