Exploring Jacoby Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest

A winter afternoon at Jacoby Falls.
A winter afternoon at Jacoby Falls.

Jacoby Falls is a popular and relatively easy to get to waterfall in the Loyalsock State Forest, assuming you know where to start hiking!

The purpose of this write-up is to show you how to find Jacoby Falls, as well as what you can expect to see along the trail and at the falls itself.


How to Find the Jacoby Falls Trailhead

How to Find the Jacoby Falls Trailhead in Lycoming County.

  1. From the intersection of Routes 180 and 87 near Montoursville, take Route 87 north for 4.4 miles.

    A road map to the Jacoby Falls Trailhead along Wallis Run Road in Lycoming County.

  2. Turn left on Route 973 and cross the bridge over Loyalsock Creek

  3. Immediately after crossing the bridge, make a right on Wallis Run Road and follow that for 4.3 miles.

  4. Arrive at the parking area for Jacoby Falls Trailhead pictured below.

    GPS coordinates for the parking area: 41.376821, -76.920241 Jacoby Falls Trailhead along Wallis Run Road in Lycoming County.


Hiking to Jacoby Falls

The hike to Jacoby Falls is a fairly straight forward 1.6 mile trip (one way).

A topo map of the Jacoby Falls Trail.
Trail map to the falls.

It starts out by crossing a narrow boardwalk over a swampy area, then bears right once reaching the forest on the other side of the swamp.

Jacoby Falls trail sign in the Loyalsock State Forest
Trail sign in the Loyalsock State Forest

From there you simply follow the yellow blazed (and at times rocky) trail.

The yellow-blazed Jacoby Falls Trail in the Loyalsock State Forest.
The yellow-blazed Jacoby Falls Trail in the Loyalsock State Forest.

As you make your way up the trail, keep your eyes and ears peeled to the hillside on your left for intermittent waterfalls that occasionally pop up after a heavy rain.

A 15 foot seasonal waterfall along the Jacoby Falls Trail in Lycoming County.
A 15 foot seasonal waterfall along the trail.

I encountered this 15-footer on a summer afternoon immediately after a day’s worth of soaking rains.

An unnamed intermittent waterfall along the Jacoby Falls Trail in the Loyalsock State Forest.
An unnamed, intermittent waterfall along the trail.

At approximately 1.5 miles into the hike you’ll reach a point where a yellow “095” pipeline marker sits next to the trail, and Jacoby Run crosses the pipeline clearing here.

Pipeline marker along the Jacoby Falls Trail.
Pipeline marker.

At this point you’re almost at Jacoby Falls, just another 1/10th of a mile further up the trail.

Note in the picture above that the yellow-blazed trail runs along the left side of the pipeline clearing – the pipeline clearing itself IS NOT the trail!

The trail continues to the left and follows Jacoby Run up the hollow on the left side of the stream.


Exploring Jacoby Falls

Jacoby Falls is a tough one to catch with great flow, owing to the small size of Jacoby Run and how close to the headwaters of that stream the falls sit.

The spring thaw is one of the better times to catch it flowing strong.

Spring thaw at Jacoby Falls in Lycoming County.
Spring thaw at Jacoby Falls in Lycoming County.

When we get the occasional mid-winter warmup you can expect to see it running high as well.

A winter afternoon at Jacoby Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
A winter afternoon at Jacoby Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.

Of course nothing beats a summer, flooding rain if you want to see it going full-force.

Jacoby Falls after torrential summer rains.
Jacoby Falls after torrential summer rains.

And if you happen to go during a dry spell in the summer?

Here’s what to expect – a big mossy cliff!

Typical summer scene at Jacoby Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
Typical summer scene at Jacoby Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.

Even then, you can create some nice images, albeit different that what you might have hoped for.

Low flow at Jacoby Falls on a summer day in the Loyalsock State Forest
Low flow at Jacoby Falls on a summer day in the Loyalsock State Forest

Working All the Angles

The downstream view captures the full expanse of the gorge and the 30-foot drop.

A downstream view of Jacoby Falls on a winter day.
A downstream view of Jacoby Falls on a winter day.

And sometimes during or immediately after a heavy rain, this is about as close as you can get without having your shot obliterated by spray coming off the falls.

Jacoby Falls swollen by heavy summer rain.
Jacoby Falls swollen by heavy summer rain.

Of course when Jacoby Falls is frozen over you have no such worries!

Massive ice formations at Jacoby Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
Massive ice formations at Jacoby Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
Rusty Glessner standing next to ice formations at Jacoby Falls.
The author standing next to ice formations at Jacoby Falls.

On a sunny day this is a difficult waterfall to shoot, as the tall pines around it cast long shadows.

An icy side view of Jacoby Falls.
An icy side view of Jacoby Falls.

A muted, overcast sky presents you with a much more even canvas to work with.

Remnants of winter at Jacoby Falls.
Remnants of winter at Jacoby Falls.

Final Thoughts

Jacoby Falls is a pleasant 45 minute hike along a well-blazed trail to a graceful 30 foot tall waterfall.

Rusty Glessner at Jacoby Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest
The author at Jacoby Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest

The key to this hike is to do it when conditions are ripe – after the spring thaw or a heavy rain.

A winter morning at Jacoby Falls in Lycoming County.
A winter morning at Jacoby Falls in Lycoming County.

If you’re a fan of waterfall hikes, you absolutely need to visit Jacoby Falls in Lycoming County at least once in your lifetime.


Still not convinced you need to explore Jacoby Falls?

Then check out this video!


Nearby Attractions

The 5 Best Waterfall Hikes in Lycoming County is your guide to 4 more exceptional waterfall hikes in Lycoming County, all of them in the Loyalsock State Forest.

A downstream view of the first waterfall on Miners Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.
A downstream view of the first waterfall on Miners Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.

The 23 Best Waterfalls in the Loyalsock State Forest is your guide to even more waterfall action in this 115,000 acre state forest.

Ketchum Run Falls in the summer.
Ketchum Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.

The Ultimate Pennsylvania Waterfalls Guide is your best source of maps/directions to hundreds of the finest waterfalls in across PA!

The Ultimate Pennsylvania Waterfall Guide created by Rusty Glessner
The Ultimate Pennsylvania Waterfalls Guide by Rusty Glessner.

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

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is amazing, yes I do need to put on my bucket list. My friend from New Jersey is overwhelmed of this beauty. Thank you.

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