Exploring Luke’s Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park

Luke's Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park.

Luke’s Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park is an easy 1/4 mile hike/bike ride south of the Rockport Access along the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail.

Fall foliage around Luke's Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park in October, 2021.
Fall foliage around Luke’s Falls in October, 2021.

Located right along the rail trail, Luke’s Falls cascades down the walls of the Lehigh Gorge, passes beneath a bridge on the rail trail, and eventually spills into the Lehigh River.

Luke's Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park, next to the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail.
Luke’s Falls next to the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail.

How to Find Luke’s Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park

Luke’s Falls is located 1/4 mile south of the Rockport Access to Lehigh Gorge State Park.

Map to Buttermilk Falls Lukes Falls and the Rockport Road tunnel at Lehigh Gorge State Park.
Map to Buttermilk Falls, Luke’s Fall,s and the Rockport Road tunnel at Lehigh Gorge State Park.

If navigating by GPS, use coordinates 40.96650, -75.75529 to find the parking area.

Rockport Access parking lot at Lehigh Gorge State Park.
Rockport Access parking lot at Lehigh Gorge State Park.

The trail is smooth and flat, as you’d expect a rail trail to be, and offers magnificent views of the Lehigh River along the way.

The Lehigh River near Luke's Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park.
The Lehigh River near Luke’s Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park.

Walking at a comfortable pace, you’ll reach Luke’s Falls in roughly 10 minutes (or faster if riding your bike) at GPS coordinates 40.96553, -75.75058.

Luke's Falls sign along the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail at Lehigh Gorge State Park.
Luke’s Falls sign along the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail.

Luke’s Falls disappears into the foliage above it, so it’s difficult to say how tall it is – some trail guides put it at around 40 feet and that seems plausible to me as well.

Luke's Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park in Carbon County.
Luke’s Falls in Carbon County, PA.

Next to Luke’s Falls you’ll notice the ruins of a tower structure.

Abandoned tower near Luke's Falls along the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail.
Abandoned tower near Luke’s Falls along the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail.

With no official interpretive signage near it, I won’t hazard a guess as to what it was or what might have been stored in it.

Inside the tower next to Luke's Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park.
Inside the tower next to Luke’s Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park.

But I will say it provides a neat view of the sky above!

Looking up through the tower next to Luke's Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park.
Looking up through the tower next to Luke’s Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park.

Nearby Points of Interest

If you looked closely at the map above, you saw that Buttermilk Falls is located just a 1/4 mile north of the Rockport Access parking lot.

Buttermilk Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park.
Buttermilk Falls along the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail.

As with Luke’s Falls, Buttermilk Falls is literally right along the rail trail.

Buttermilk Falls along the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail at Lehigh Gorge State Park.
Buttermilk Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park.

Located near the Rockport Access parking area, along Rockport Road, you’ll find an abandoned tunnel.

Entrance to the abandoned tunnel along Rockport Road at Lehigh Gorge State Park.
Entrance to the abandoned tunnel along Rockport Road at Lehigh Gorge State Park.

As with the tower near Luke’s Falls, I won’t hazard a guess as to the purpose of the tunnel, but you can make your way through it and out the other side.

Inside the abandoned tunnel near the Rockport Access to the Lehigh Gorge Trail.
Inside the abandoned tunnel near the Rockport Access to the Lehigh Gorge Trail.

When you do emerge on the far side of the tunnel, you’ll find yourself looking down on the Rockport Access parking lot, the bike trail, and the Lehigh River.

Mouth of tunnel overlooking Rockport Access parking lot.
Mouth of tunnel overlooking Rockport Access parking lot.

Nearby Attractions

Hickory Run State Park is a magnificent 15,990-acre recreational area adjoining Lehigh Gorge State Park.

Stametz Dam along the Shades of Death Trail at Hickory Run State Park.
Stametz Dam at Hickory Run State Park.

Featuring more than 40 miles of hiking trails, picturesque waterfalls, unique natural areas, and spectacular scenic overlooks, Hickory Run State Park has a LOT to offer!

The massive Boulder Field at Hickory Run State Park.
The massive Boulder Field at Hickory Run State Park.

Tank Hollow Overlook in Carbon County offers visitors a stunning view of a bend in the Lehigh River in the western Poconos.

Tank Hollow Overlook in Carbon County, PA.
Tank Hollow Overlook in Carbon County.

Riding the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway is one of the most enjoyable ways to experience the landscapes of the Lehigh Gorge.

Fall foliage around the train station in Jim Thorpe, PA.
The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway preparing to depart from Jim Thorpe, PA.

Departing from Jim Thorpe, the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway takes you north through the Lehigh Gorge, crossing the Lehigh River and into the heart of Lehigh Gorge State Park.

Passing over the Lehigh River on the fall foliage train out of Jim Thorpe.
Passing over the Lehigh River on the fall foliage train out of Jim Thorpe.

Turn Hole Tunnel is an abandoned railroad tunnel located near the Glen Onoko access to Lehigh Gorge State Park.

Looking through the Turn Hole Tunnel at Lehigh Gorge State Park towards the north portal.
Turn Hole Tunnel at Lehigh Gorge State Park.

And directly above Turn Hole Tunnel you’ll find Moyer’s Rock Overlook, offering a commanding view of the Lehigh Gorge.

Moyer's Rock Overlook on an October afternoon at Lehigh Gorge State Park.
Moyer’s Rock Overlook on an October afternoon at Lehigh Gorge State Park.

The Mount Pisgah Trail in Jim Thorpe is a steep but easy-to-follow trail leading up Mount Pisgah to a pair of fantastic Carbon County vistas.

The Lehigh Gorge Overlook at the top of the Mount Pisgah Trail in Jim Thorpe.
The Lehigh Gorge Overlook at the top of the Mount Pisgah Trail in Jim Thorpe.

27 Must-See Waterfalls in the Poconos will introduce you to many more majestic waterfalls in the area, including the two tallest waterfalls in Pennsylvania!

Dingmans Falls in the Poconos region of Pennsylvania.
Dingmans Falls in the Poconos region of Pennsylvania.

20 Must-See Pennsylvania Waterfalls will show you how to find the finest waterfalls across the Keystone State.

An autumn view of Cucumber Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.
Cucumber Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

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