Abbott Run Falls in the McIntyre Wild Area is a seldom-seen 20 foot tall waterfall located approximately one mile north of the larger and more frequently visited Dutchmans Run Falls, also located in this Wild Area portion of the Loyalsock State Forest.
Abbott Run Falls is tantalizingly close to Route 14 just north of Ralston, but standing between the highway and the falls is a strip of privately owned land/residences.
Meaning the only viable (and legal) way to get to the falls is a 2.36 mile, off-trail hike.
So that’s the purpose of this write-up: to lay out the particulars of the hike to Abbott Run Falls, as well as to show you some other points of interest along the way.
The first half of this hike retraces steps laid out in a previous write-up I’ve published on how to find Dutchmans Run in the McIntyre Wild Area.
The second half is a one mile hike across some fairly rocky, uneven terrain, ultimately bringing you out at the impressive Abbott Run Falls and the towering rock formations that surround it.
How to Find Abbott Run Falls
- Park at the DCNR lot next to the bridge over Lycoming Creek in Ralston.
GPS coordinates for the parking area: 41.507155, -76.951134.
Note: this is the same parking lot used to hike to Dutchmans Run.
- From the back of the parking area, hike 1.1 miles along an old rail grade.
Lycoming Creek and private property will be on your left, but the entire rail grade/trail is on state forest land (at times you’ll see white blazes on trees to your left indicating the forest border).
- At 1.1 miles you’ll encounter an old stone foundation.
At this point leave the rail grade and hike uphill at a roughly 30 degree angle, past the stone foundation, for another 1/3 of mile until you see/hear Dutchmans Run Falls.
- Arrive at Dutchmans Run Falls at 1.4 miles into hike.
GPS Coordinates for Dutchmans Run Falls: 41.525167, -76.948933
This is a great spot to stop for a break, take in the scenery, and grab a few photos.
- Cross Dutchmans Run and make your way due north, keeping Route 14 and the private property/forest border to your left.
The first few hundred yards will be rather steep as you climb up out of the Dutchmans Run Gorge. The next 3/4 of a mile will remain rather flat but rocky. The final descent into Abbott Run Gorge will be steep again.
- Arrive at Abbott Run Falls at 2.36 miles into hike.
GPS Coordinates for Abbott Run Falls: 41.533439, -76.950480
Exploring Abbott Run Falls
Abbott Run Falls occupies space in a rather tight gorge.
The best views are from the front and to the right of it.
In the winter the surrounding gorge walls create an amphitheatre of ice.
While on a rainy day those same gorge walls seem to amplify the sound of rushing water tenfold.
The right side of the falls offers a bit more room to maneuver.
And the outlying right wall of the gorge offers an impressive look at how far out Abbott Run Falls once jutted eons ago.
Upstream from Abbott Run Falls are several smaller waterfalls.
However, the bushwack to them up around the right side and through some extremely dense laurel is probably more than most people would want to take on.
My advice is to enjoy Abbott Run Falls and then retrace your steps back to Dutchmans Run Falls, perhaps visiting some of the smaller and more accessible waterfalls above that (described in my write-up on Dutchmans Run) before returning to your vehicle.
For most folks that will make for an extremely satisfying day in the woods.
In my book Abbott Run Falls is absolutely worth the effort required to see it, especially in the winter.
Although it never feels like a remote hike, due to the fact that you are basically running parallel to Route 14 the entire hike, it’s rugged in nature and a good confidence builder for other hikes in the McIntyre Wild Area.
Especially if you are considering the McIntyre Wild Area Waterfall Triple Crown hikes!
Still not convinced you need to explore Abbott Run Falls?
Then check out this video!