Exploring Hinckston Run Falls in Cambria County

Hinckston Run Falls in PA
Hinckston Run Falls in PA

History of Hinckston Run Falls

Hinckston Run Falls is a man-made waterfall formed by the outflow of the Hinckston Run Reservoir near Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

The Hinckston Run Reservoir was built by the Cambria Steel Company (formerly the Cambria Iron Company) in 1904 to provide a steady supply of water for their steel mills in nearby Johnstown.

The reservoir became property of the Bethlehem Steel Company in 1923, and title was transferred to the Cambria-Somerset Authority in 2000.

The waterfall is located at the end of a 600 yard-long channel that diverts the outflow from the 103-acre reservoir over a 60-foot tall cliff, forming the “waterfall” you see today.

Hinckston Run Falls near Johnstown PA
Hinckston Run Falls near Johnstown, PA.

How to Find Hinckston Run Falls near Johnstown

Hinckston Run Falls is a true roadside waterfall.

In fact, that is the ONLY place you are permitted to view it from, as all of the land around the falls themselves are posted as a “No Trespassing” zone.

The waterfall can best be viewed from the intersection of Waterfall Drive and Honan Avenue.

How to find Hinckston Run Falls near Johnstown Pennsylvania
Map to Hinckston Run Falls near Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

In fact, some locals refer to this as Honan Avenue Falls.

GPS coordinates for the intersection are 40.37117, -78.89085.


Viewing the Falls

As you are restricted to viewing this waterfall from the road (a lightly-traveled road but a road nonetheless), there aren’t too many options as far as angles to view and/or photograph Hinckston Run Falls from.

Straight on.

Hinckston Run Falls near Johnstown Pennsylvania
Hinckston Run Falls near Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

From the left.

Hinckston Run Falls in Cambria County Pennsylvania
Hinckston Run Falls in Cambria County, Pennsylvania.

From the right.

Hinckston Run Falls near Johnstown PA
Hinckston Run Falls near Johnstown PA

That just about covers it!

Aside from the fact that it requires almost no effort to see, Hinckston Run Falls is usually flowing year-round as it is fed from the reservoir.

It’s a pleasant pit stop if you’re in the area and out for a drive.


Nearby Attractions

Yoder Falls in neighboring Somerset County requires a short-but-steep hike on property owned by the City of Johnstown (but open to public hiking).

A springtime view of Yoder Falls near Davidsville, PA.
A springtime view of Yoder Falls near Davidsville, PA.

Cole Run Falls, also located in neighboring Somerset County, is nearly-roadside in the Forbes State Forest.

The author at Cole Run Falls in the Laurel Highlands.
The author at Cole Run Falls in the Laurel Highlands.

Beam Rocks is an outstanding scenic overlook located in the Forbes State Forest in Somerset County.

Beam Rocks Overlook in the Forbes State Forest.
Beam Rocks Overlook in the Forbes State Forest.

Buttermilk Falls in neighboring Indiana County offers you the chance to walk behind one of the tallest natural waterfalls in western Pennsylvania!

Buttermilk Falls on a late February morning.
Buttermilk Falls on a late February morning.

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