Exploring Dutters Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest

Third Falls along Dutters Run in the fall.
Third Falls along Dutters Run in the fall.

Dutters Run Falls is the collective term given to a series of waterfalls on the prettiest stream in the Loyalsock State Forest that you’ve never heard of.

Overshadowed by its close neighbor Dry Run Falls, Dutters Run and the six main waterfalls along it are well worth the off-trail effort required to see them.

Incredible fall foliage around Dry Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
Dry Run Falls, the more-famous neighbor of Dutters Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.

Despite the fact that the waterfalls on Dutters Run are located within a mile of Dry Run Falls, they are rarely visited.

The first four waterfalls in particular, which require varying degrees of off-trail exertion to reach, seem to remain almost the stuff of legend.

So that is the purpose of this write-up: to give you the information you need to find and explore Dutters Run Falls, as well as an idea of what you can expect to see in the various seasons.


Getting There

How to Find Dutters Run Falls

  1. Turn off of Route 87 onto Dry Run Road, just south of Hillsgrove.

    Proceed 2 miles on Dry Run Road. Note: this is a “No Winter Maintenance” road!A map to the parking area for the Dutters Run waterfalls hike.

  2. Pass Dry Run Falls on your right hand side.

    You will pass Dry Run Falls, then look for the Dutters Trail lot on the right hand side of road, next to the guardrails.The parking area for Dutters Trail along Dry Run Road.

  3. Park in the pull-off just past the guardrails at the “Dutters Trail” sign.

    If the spots are full here, you can park back at the Dry Run Falls lot.
    Dutters Trail near Dry Run Road in the Loyalsock State Forest.


Dutters Run Falls FAQ’s

Where are Dutters Run Falls?

The waterfalls are scattered over a 1 1/4 mile stretch of Dutters Run.A map of the waterfalls on Dutters Run in the Loyalsock State Forest

Are the Dutters Run Falls named?

No they are not. For the purposes of this map and write-up I have named them “First Falls” through “Sixth Falls”, with First Falls being the one closest to Dry Run Road.

Are the Dutters Run Falls along a trail?

The first four waterfalls are off-trail, the last two are along the Loyalsock Trail.

Which waterfall on Dutters Run is the tallest?

Second Falls is the tallest waterfall on Dutters Run at 18 feet tall.The author at Second Falls on Dutters Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.

Can I navigate to Dutters Run Falls with GPS?

Yes – use GPS coordinates 41.430142, -76.669840 to find the Dutters Trail parking area.


Exploring the Falls

Approaching First Falls on Dutters Run in the winter.
Approaching First Falls on Dutters Run in the winter.

First Falls is located a few hundred yards upstream from Dry Run Road, and seeing it is a simple matter of hiking the stream.

First Falls along Dutters Run in the springtime.
First Falls along Dutters Run in the springtime.

First Falls is 7-8 feet tall.

Getting around it to hike upstream to the next falls seems to be easiest by going up and around on the right side.


Second Falls

Second Falls on Dutters Run in the springtime.
Second Falls on Dutters Run in the springtime.

As previously mentioned, Second Falls is the tallest waterfall on Dutters Run, at around 18 feet.

Second Falls on Dutters Run in October.
Second Falls on Dutters Run in October.

This one reminds me an awful lot of Fourth Falls on Miners Run, also located in the Loyalsock State Forest.

The tallest waterfall on Dutters Run - Second Falls.
The tallest waterfall on Dutters Run – Second Falls.

As with First Falls, I find it easiest to scramble up and around the right side of Second Falls to proceed upstream.


Third Falls

Third Falls on Dutters Run in the springtime.
Third Falls on Dutters Run in the springtime.

Third Falls is my personal favorite of the six main waterfalls on Dutters Run.

Third Falls on Dutters Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.
Third Falls on Dutters Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.

While I’m still of the opinion that Ketchum Run Falls is my favorite spot in the Loyalsock State Forest, Third Falls on Dutters Run is right up there.

Third Falls on Dutters Run in the wintertime.
Third Falls on Dutters Run in the wintertime.

In my experience, getting around Third Falls is most easily accomplished by going up and around the left side.


Fourth Falls

Fourth Falls on Dutters Run in the early fall.
Fourth Falls on Dutters Run in the early fall.

Fourth Falls is the shortest of the waterfalls on Dutters Run, at maybe 4 feet tall.

This one reminds me of nearby Rusty Run Falls, also located in the Loyalsock State Forest.

Fourth Falls on Dutters Run in October.
Fourth Falls on Dutters Run in October.

Fourth Falls is the last of the off-trail falls on Dutters Run.

Going up and around this one on the left hand side is easiest route to take.

Just beyond Fourth Falls, you’ll pick up the Loyalsock Trail as it comes in on the left side of Dutters Run.

The distinctive Loyalsock Trail markers.
The distinctive Loyalsock Trail markers.

You’ll follow the Loyalsock Trail to see the last two waterfalls on Dutters Run, making a few wet crossings along the way.


Fifth Falls

Triple Drop Falls on Dutters Run along the Loyalsock Trail.
Fifth Falls on Dutters Run along the Loyalsock Trail in the springtime.

Fifth Falls is the second tallest waterfall on Dutters Run at 10 feet tall.

Triple Dop Falls on Dutters Run along the Loyalsock Trail.
Fifth Falls on Dutters Run along the Loyalsock Trail.

I call this one “Triple Drop Falls” because of the three distinct plumes of water it almost always displays.

Of course that is not an official name.

Triple Drop Falls along Dutters Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.
Fifth Falls along Dutters Run in the Loyalsock State Forest in the winter.

About the only time you WON’T see three plumes of water here is when it’s frozen solid.

Triple Drop Falls on Dutters Run encased in ice and snow.
Fifth Falls on Dutters Run encased in ice and snow.

To get around this one follow the Loyalsock Trail up around the left side.


Sixth Falls

The Loyalsock Trail crossing Dutters Run below Sixth Falls.
The Loyalsock Trail crossing Dutters Run below Sixth Falls.

Sixth Falls is located at the spot where the Loyalsock Trail makes its last wet crossing of Dutters Run before heading uphill away from the stream.

Sixth Falls on Dutters Run.
Sixth Falls on Dutters Run.

Nestled under the outstretched arms of an evergreen, this idyllic waterfall is a worthy endpoint to your upstream adventure.

Beyond this the terrain levels off and there are no falls of any great significance.

Follow the Loyalsock Trail uphill a few hundred yards to the intersection with Dutters Trail on your right.

Follow Dutters Trail all the way back downhill, parallel to Dutters Run, until you reach your vehicle on Dry Run Road, completing this 2.5 mile loop hike.


Final Thoughts

Dutters Run Falls are every bit as diverse as the more famous waterfalls along Miners Run or Ketchum Run, and yet they see far fewer visitors.

Part of that is certainly due to the fact that some off-trail hiking of moderate difficulty is required.

Dutters Run Falls and off-trail hiking isn’t for everyone, but for those with the ambition and experience to pull it off, it’s hike you won’t soon forget!

Third Falls on Dutters Run in the summertime.
Third Falls on Dutters Run in the summertime.

Still not convinced you need to explore Dutters Run Falls?

Then check out this video!


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Your BucketList project is spectacular and your photos are superb. Thank you for sharing all this. My wife and i have been exploring Penn’s Woods together for more than 5 decades and continue to be amazed at the beauty and spiritual uplifting it provides. Your posts have allowed us to experience new adventures. Please continue to share your excellent photos and descriptions.

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