Exploring Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park

Snow and ice covering the Kitchen Creek gorge around Adams Falls.
Snow and ice covering the Kitchen Creek gorge around Adams Falls.

Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park is the easiest waterfall to get to in a state park synonymous with waterfalls.

This roadside attraction is NOT one of the 21 named waterfalls along the famed Falls Trail, but it is one of the most attractive and most-visited sites at Ricketts Glen.

It’s also the ONLY waterfall at Ricketts Glen that can be visited in the winter without the use of special ice-climbing gear.

Follow along as I give you all the information you’ll need to find and enjoy Adams Falls at any time of the year.


Getting There

How to Find Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park

  1. Navigate to the Route 118 Parking Area at Ricketts Glen State Park

    The GPS coordinates for this parking area are 41.300244, -76.270901
    If you are visiting in the spring, summer, or fall you may be able to find a parking spot closer to the falls at the Evergreen parking area 200 yards away, on the opposite side of Route 118. If so, skip to step 6.A map to Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

  2. Proceed to the far east corner of the Route 118 parking area, past the restrooms and picnic grove, towards the twin bridges over Kitchen Creek.

    The restrooms at the Route 118 parking area at Ricketts Glen State Park.

  3. Cross the twin bridges over Kitchen Creek.

    The twin bridges over Kitchen Creek near Route 118 at Ricketts Glen State Park.

  4. Follow the trail to your left, towards Route 118.

    The trail to your right is the famed Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen. If visiting in the winter, heed the warnings and DO NOT explore that trail without following the park guidelines!Falls Trail winter closure sign at Ricketts Glen State Park.

  5. Cross Route 118 at the Kitchen Creek sign.

    The Kitchen Creek road sign along Route 118 as it passes through Ricketts Glen State Park.

  6. Follow the indicated Evergreen Trail towards Adams Falls for approximately 75 yards.

    Evergreen Trail sign at Ricketts Glen State Park.

  7. Reach the upper Adams Falls vantage point.

    A view of Adams Falls from the upper vantage point.

  8. Descend the wooden staircase behind the upper vantage point to reach the lower vantage point for Adams Falls.

    Stairway along the trail to Adams Falls.

  9. Arrive at lower vantage point for Adams Falls.

    A winter day at Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen.


Adams Falls FAQs

How tall is Adams Falls?

Park brochures list it at 36 feet tall, but this is spread out over 3 tiers which are not all visible at once.The multiple tiers of Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen.The bottom tier of Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

What body of water is Adams Falls on?

Kitchen Creek.

How old is Adams Falls?

Over 25,000 years old.
Information about the age and geology of Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

Who is Adams Falls named after?

Adam Kale.
Adams Falls informational sign at Ricketts Glen State Park.

Where is the best place to park to visit Adams Falls?

The Evergreen lot is the closest parking area, but if that lot is full, or if it is closed for the winter, then the Route 118 lot is just a few hundred yards away, on the opposite side of Route 118.
Sign at the Evergreen parking area.

Are there restrooms available at Adams Falls?

Yes – both the Evergreen lot and Route 118 lot have restrooms.Restrooms at the Evergreen Trail parking lot.

What does Adams Falls look like in the summer?

There is an abundance of moss and fern in the summer, and typically there is less water than at other times of the year.Moss and fern surrounding Adams Falls.

What does Adams Falls look like in the winter?

There is usually an abundance of snow and ice around Adams Falls in the winter, so use caution and don’t get too close to the edge of the vantage points.
Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

Is there a fee for visiting Adams Falls?

There is no fee for visiting Adams Falls.

Are there any other roadside waterfalls nearby?

Yes – both Sullivan Falls (pictured below) and Big Run Falls are located minutes from Adams Falls.
Both are conveniently located within 1/4 mile of each other along Sullivan Falls Road (a “no winter maintenance road”).Fall foliage surrounding Sullivan Falls on State Game Lands 13.


Final Thoughts

Many people consider Adams Falls to be the most photogenic waterfall at Ricketts Glen State Park.

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

When you couple that with the fact the it’s also the easiest waterfall to reach at Ricketts Glen, you’ll understand why it’s so popular.

Crowded or not, it’s a great place to start or end your trip to Ricketts Glen.

Of course at some point you WILL want to tackle the Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania’s most famous waterfall hike.

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

21 named waterfalls along a 3.9 mile loop hike that I lay out for you in detail in my write-up HERE.


Still not convinced you need to explore Adams Falls?

Then check out this video!


Nearby Attractions

Looking for even more nearby waterfalls?

Then check out my guide to the best 25 waterfalls in neighboring Sullivan County!

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

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Rusty Glessner is a professional photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.