Exploring Maple Spring Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park

Exploring Maple Spring Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park

If you’re looking for directions to Maple Spring Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park, you’re in the right place!

Maple Spring Falls on an unusually mild January day at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Maple Spring Falls on an unusually mild January day at Ricketts Glen State Park.

Maple Spring Falls is a 15 foot-tall, off-trail waterfall located along Maple Spring Run, a small tributary of Kitchen Creek.

Small cascades on Maple Spring Run just below the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Small cascades on Maple Spring Run, a tributary of Kitchen Creek.

And while it may not have the “wow” factor of 94 foot-tall Ganoga Falls along the nearby Falls Trail, the relative isolation of Maple Spring Falls may appeal to those of you looking for a more natural, less-touristy hike at Ricketts Glen.

Ganoga Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania.
Ganoga Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

Directions to Maple Spring Falls

The hike to Maple Spring Falls as I’m going to describe it here covers roughly 1.5 miles of terrain, one-way (so 3 miles total, out and back).

A map to Maple Spring Falls and Porcupine Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.
A map to Maple Spring Falls and Porcupine Falls.

The vast majority of the hike utilizes the relatively flat and easy-to-follow Old Beaver Dam Road Trail.

Old Beaver Dam Road Trail literally follows an old road grade through the forest at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Old Beaver Dam Road Trail is easy to follow and moss-covered in many places.

Only the last 75 yards of the hike to Maple Spring Falls is off-trail, and it’s pretty tame by off-trail standards.

A map showing the positions of Maple Spring Falls and Porcupine Falls n relation to the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park.
A map showing the positions of Maple Spring Falls and Porcupine Falls n relation to the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail.

I’ll also mention another waterfall below Maple Spring Falls at the end of this article, for those of you who may be more experienced with off-trail hiking and looking for a bigger challenge.

The middle tier of Porcupine Falls at Ricketts Glen State park.
The middle tier of Porcupine Falls on Maple Spring Run, downstream from Maple Spring Falls.

I parked along Route 487, directly across the road from the old Beaver Dam Road trailhead/gate.

The Old Beaver Dam Road trailhead along Route 487 at Ricketts Glen State Park.
The Old Beaver Dam Road trailhead along Route 487 at Ricketts Glen State Park.

The parking lot will accommodate a maybe a half-dozen vehicles, and you’ll find it at GPS coordinates 41.31759, -76.30242.

The parking area across the road from the Old Beaver Dam Road trailhead at Ricketts Glen State Park.
The parking area across the road from the Old Beaver Dam Road trailhead.

From the parking area, cross the road, go around the gate, and start down the trail, bearing to your right when you reach the sign pictured below.

The hike to Maple Spring Falls utilizes the southern portion of the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail loop.
The hike to Maple Spring Falls utilizes the southern portion of the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail loop.

Continue to follow the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail counter-clockwise for 1.4 miles, passing through numerous groves of hemlock along the way.

A fresh dusting of snow covers the hemlocks along the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park.
A fresh dusting of snow covers the hemlocks along the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail.

You’ll reach the spot where Maple Spring Run literally flows across the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail at GPS coordinates 41.31487, -76.28431.

Maple Spring Run crossing the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Maple Spring Run crossing the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail.

From this spot, Maple Spring Falls is 75 yards downstream – I went down the western side of the stream because that looked the easiest to me.

Maple Spring Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Maple Spring Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

Using myself for scale in the photo below, I’d estimate Maple Spring Falls is in the neighborhood of 15 feet tall, give or take a foot.

Rusty Glessner at Maple Spring Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.
The author at Maple Spring Falls.

If navigating by GPS, you’ll find Maple Spring Falls at GPS coordinates 41.31442, -76.28366.

Maple Spring Falls near the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Maple Spring Falls near the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail.

Exploring Porcupine Falls on Maple Spring Run

200 yards downstream from Maple Spring Falls, you’ll find Porcupine Falls, a triple-tiered beauty first named and popularized by hiking blogger Jeff Mitchell on his Endless Mountains Experience website.

Downstream view of the middle and lower tiers of Porcupine Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Downstream view of the middle and lower tiers of Porcupine Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

While Maple Spring Falls is relatively easy to get to, Porcupine Falls requires a more challenging scramble – I chose to continue down the western side of the stream to reach it (that’s the right side of the stream when facing downstream).

The upper tier of Porcupine Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park is roughly eight feet tall.
The upper tier of Porcupine Falls is roughly eight feet tall.

The view to the southeast from the top of Porcupine Falls, while partially obstructed by trees, is still magnificent.

View from the top of Porcupine Falls looking towards the southeast.
View from the top of Porcupine Falls, looking towards the southeast.

The middle tier of Porcupine Falls was the most impressive of the three tiers to me – using myself for scale, I’d estimate it to be in the neighborhood of 20 feet tall.

The middle tier of Porcupine Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park is roughly 20 feet tall.
The middle tier of Porcupine Falls is roughly 20 feet tall.

Taking all three tiers as a whole, I’d estimate Porcupine Falls to be in the 35-40 foot-tall range.

The lower tier of Porcupine Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park is roughly ten feet tall.
The lower tier of Porcupine Falls is roughly ten feet tall.

There are a few smaller waterfalls/cascades downstream from Porcupine Falls, but nothing on the scale of either Maple Spring Falls or Porcupine Falls.

Side view of Porcupine Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Side view of Porcupine Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

On this hike I simply backtracked upstream to the Old Beaver Dam Road Trail and made my way back to the parking area along Route 487.

Parking area for the hike to Maple Spring Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Parking area for the hike to Maple Spring Falls.

Nearby Attractions

Exploring the Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park is your guide to the most famous waterfall hike in Pennsylvania!

Hikers at Ganoga Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Hikers at Ganoga Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

Adams Falls is the easiest waterfall to reach at Ricketts Glen State Park, located just off of Route 118, along the Evergreen Trail.

The Upper and Middle tiers of Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.
The Upper and Middle tiers of Adams Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park.

Little Shickshinny Falls is located on State Game Lands 260, also in Luzerne County.

Little Shickshinny Falls in Luzerne County.
Little Shickshinny Falls in Luzerne County.

The 10 Best Waterfalls on State Game Lands 13 is your guide to a region in neighboring Sullivan County often referred to as the “Waterfall Wonderland” of Pennsylvania!

A photographer takes in the scene at Big Falls on State Game Lands 13 in Sullivan County, PA.
A photographer takes in the scene at Big Falls on State Game Lands 13 in Sullivan County, PA.

20 Must-See Pennsylvania Waterfalls is my handpicked list of some of the most scenic waterfalls from across the Keystone State.

Fall foliage at Cucumber Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.
Fall foliage at Cucumber Falls at Ohiopyle State Park.

Did you enjoy this article?

If so, be sure to like and follow PA Bucket List on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest to learn more about the best things to see and do in Pennsylvania!

Click on any of the icons below to get connected to PA Bucket List on social media.


PA Bucket List 2022 Sasquatch Logo

Pennsylvania’s Best Travel Blog!

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

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here