Exploring Freedom Falls in Venango County

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Freedom Falls in Venango County PA

Freedom Falls is a 20 foot tall waterfall in a remote section of Venango County, Pennsylvania.

Despite the fact that this is a well known and popular spot for locals, those traveling to Freedom Falls from outside the area might have a little more difficulty finding it.

So I’ve assembled a list of helpful Freedom Falls FAQ’s to help you out!


Freedom Falls FAQs

Is there a map to Freedom Falls?

Yes – I’ve created one just for you!
Freedom Falls is located a half-mile upstream from the Rockland Tunnel along the Allegheny River Rail Trail.
The falls are located midway between the towns of Kennerdell and Emlenton in Venango County.
A map to Freedom Falls in Venango County PA

Do you have GPS coordinates for Freedom Falls?

Yes – use GPS coordinates 41.23703, -79.74797 to navigate to the parking area along Rockland Station Road.
Follow the well-worn path downhill from the parking area to the falls 150 yards away.
The GPS coordinates for Freedom Falls area 41.23666, -79.74650.

Why is it called Freedom Falls?

Because the waterfall is situated next to the ruins of the early 1800s village of Freedom.

Rockland Furnace near Freedom Falls in Venango County PA

Is there anything left in the village of Freedom to see?

All that remains now is the ruins of the Rockland Furnace iron furnace.
Rockland Furnace near Kennerdell in Venango County PA

What body of water is Freedom Falls on?

Freedom Falls lies on Shull Run, a tributary of the Allegheny River 900 yards downstream.
Shull Run in Venango County, PA

What else is there to see at Freedom Falls?

Aside from the falls themselves and the aforementioned Rockland Furnace, the Rockland Tunnel and Allegheny River Rail Trail are located just downstream from Freedom Falls.
The Rockland Tunnel along the Allegheny River Rail Trail in Venango County PA.


Exploring Freedom Falls

Initially when you walk down the hill from the parking area to the falls, you’ll have a terrific side view of Freedom Falls.

Freedom Falls on Shull Run in Venango County.
Freedom Falls on Shull Run in Venango County.

When Shull Run is flowing high, as it was when I took these photos, then it’s best to stand a fair distance downstream to avoid the spray coming off of Freedom Falls.

Unless you’re a fan of water spots on your photos, which I am not.

Freedom Falls along Rockland Station Road in Venango County.
Freedom Falls along Rockland Station Road in Venango County.

In the photo below you can see a fellow photographer standing on the left side of Shull Run, to give you a sense of scale.

Freedom Falls near Kennerdell in Venango County Pennsylvania
Freedom Falls near Kennerdell in Venango County, Pennsylvania

It’s in the neighborhood of 20 feet tall and 50 feet wide.

The forest around Freedom Falls has swallowed up almost all evidence of the village of Freedom that once stood next to it.

Downstream view of Freedom Falls near Emlenton PA
Downstream view of Freedom Falls near Emlenton PA

All that remains now are the Rockland Furnace and towering hemlocks.


Exploring Rockland Furnace

Rockland Furnace was an iron furnace built in 1832 and in operation until 1854.

Rusty Glessner at Rockland Furnace in Venango County PA
The author at Rockland Furnace in Venango County, PA.

An informational sign along the Allegheny River Rail Trail just downstream describes the furnace in greater detail.

Rockland Furnace historical sign along the Allegheny River Rail Trail.
Rockland Furnace historical sign along the Allegheny River Rail Trail.

It’s likely that the the entire forest around what is now Freedom Falls was stripped bare during this time period.

Furnaces like this required nearly an acre of hardwood forest per day be cut down and turned into charcoal as part of the iron making process.

Rockland Furnace historical sign near Freedom Falls in Venango County PA
Rockland Furnace historical sign near Freedom Falls in Venango County, PA.

The stonework has held up remarkably well considering the furnace was last used more than 160 years ago!

Chimney at Rockland Furnace in Venango County PA
Chimney at Rockland Furnace in Venango County PA

Exploring the Rockland Tunnel

Downstream a half-mile from Freedom Falls you’ll find the Rockland Tunnel, part of the Allegheny River Rail Trail.

Entrance to the Rockland Tunnel along the Allegheny River Rail Trail.
Entrance to the Rockland Tunnel along the Allegheny River Rail Trail.

A historical sign near the tunnel entrance tells you more about the construction of the Rockland Tunnel.

Rockland Tunnel historical sign along the Allegheny River Rail Trail.
Rockland Tunnel historical sign along the Allegheny River Rail Trail.

Standing inside the Rockland Tunnel, I couldn’t help but think of the much-longer Big Savage Tunnel along the Great Allegheny Passage.

The Rockland Tunnel in Venango County, PA.
The Rockland Tunnel in Venango County, PA.

There are plans to connect the two rail trails (Great Allegheny Passage and Allegheny River Rail Trail) in Pittsburgh, at some point in the future.


Nearby Attractions

Logan Falls in neighboring Forest County is an easy hike in the Allegheny National Forest.

Logan Falls near Marienville Pennsylvania
Logan Falls near Marienville, Pennsylvania.

Rapp Run Falls in neighboring Clarion County is a 10 foot tall waterfall located on State Game Lands 72, just outside of downtown Clarion.

Rapp Run Falls in Clarion County PA
Rapp Run Falls in Clarion County, Pennsylvania

Hell’s Hollow Falls is only 45 minutes south of Freedom Falls at McConnells Mill State Park.

The author at Hell's Hollow Falls.
The author at Hell’s Hollow Falls.

Grindstone Falls is another outstanding western PA waterfall, and also located at McConnells Mill State Park.

The author visiting Grindstone Falls.
The author at Grindstone Falls.

Still not convinced you need to explore Freedom Falls in Venango County?

Then check out this video!


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