Exploring Nickle Run Falls in Tioga County

Nickle Run Falls in Tioga County PA

Nickle Run Falls is a secluded, 30 foot-tall waterfall located along a spur of the Mid State Trail in the Tioga State Forest.

How to find Nickel Run Falls in the Tioga State Forest.
A map to Nickel Run Falls and Nessmuk’s Winter Camp in the Tioga State Forest.

There are several routes you can take to reach Nickle Run Falls, and I’ll discuss a few of those here, as well as other historic points of interest nearby.


How to Find Nickle Run Falls

There are several routes you can take to hike to Nickle Run Falls, and depending on the season and water levels, some may or may not be viable options.

No matter which route you take, you’ll find Nickel Run Falls at GPS coordinates 41.63723, -77.22982.

Different routes to reach Nickle Run Falls in the Tioga State Forest.
Different routes to reach Nickle Run Falls in the Tioga State Forest.

Option #1

Option #1 is to park along Landrus Road near the monument to the ghost town of Landrus, do a wet crossing of Babb Creek, and then hike south on the Mid State Trail approximately 1.3 miles to Nickle Run Falls.

Historical plaque marking the location of the ghost town of Landrus in Tioga County Pennsylvania.
Historical plaque marking the location of the ghost town of Landrus in Tioga County.

This is not a viable option when the water levels are high, nor is it in the winter as Landrus Road is a “no winter maintenance” forest road.

The Wet Feet Trail connecting Landrus Road to the MId State Trail in Tioga County PA
The Wet Feet Trail connecting Landrus Road to the MId State Trail in Tioga County.

But assuming it is not winter and water levels are not super-high, the parking area at Landrus can be found at GPS coordinates 41.64177, -77.20731.

Landrus HIstorical Sign near Landrus Road in Tioga County.
Landrus HIstorical Sign near Landrus Road in Tioga County.

Option #2

Option #2 (the option I chose the day I took these photos) is to park at the spot described in my Sand Run Falls write-up, along Landrus Road at GPS coordinates 41.65315, -77.19309.

Rusty Glessner at Sand Run Falls along the Mid State Trail
The author at Sand Run Falls in the Tioga State Forest.

After visiting Sand Run Falls and the smaller waterfalls in its immediate vicinity, hike south along the Mid State Trail approximately 3 miles to Nickle Run Falls.

As with option #1, it is not advisable in the winter to attempt to drive on Landrus Road.


Option #3

Option #3 is simply to hike in either from the north or south along the Mid State Trail, from the trailhead of your choice.

Intersection of the Mid State Trail and the Nickle Run Spur Trail in Tioga County Pennsylvania.
Intersection of the Mid State Trail and the Nickle Run Spur Trail in Tioga County

For example, the Mid State Trail head to the north near Arnot is approximately 6 miles from Nickle Run Falls, but is accessible even in the winter, and you pass Sand Run Falls along the way.

Sand Run Falls near Arnot in Tioga County PA
Sand Run Falls near Arnot in Tioga County, PA.

So depending on the season and water levels, these are some of your best bets for hiking to Nickle Run Falls.


Exploring Nickle Run Falls

Nickel Run Falls is tucked away in a rocky glen that reminds me a lot of smaller version of Amphitheatre Falls, another secluded gem in Tioga County.

Rusty Glessner at Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County Pennsylvania
The author at Amphitheater Falls in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.

Nickle Run Falls is approximately 30 feet tall, including the lower tier.

Nickle Run Falls in the Tioga State Forest.
Nickle Run Falls in the Tioga State Forest.

From a perch on the hillside to the right of it (when facing upstream), you can take in the falls in their entirety.

Nickle Run Falls near the Mid State Trail in Tioga County.
Nickle Run Falls near the Mid State Trail in Tioga County.

Dropping down to stream level, it’s relatively easy to pick your way upstream to the base of Nickle Run Falls.

Nickle Run Falls in Tioga County Pennsylvania.
Nickle Run Falls in Tioga County

This waterfall is believed to be the inspiration for the poem entitled “Mickle Run Falls” by Nessmuk, pen name for author George Washington Sears who lived nearby in Wellsboro in the 1800s.

A copy of the poem is (or was when I visited last) attached to the Nickle Run Falls spur trail marker along the Mid State Trail.

Micke Run Falls poem by Nessmuk attached to trail sign.
Micke Run Falls poem by Nessmuk attached to trail sign

I saw no “trout carousing” on this day, but the scene certainly is inspiring nonetheless.

Downstream view of Nickle Run Falls in the Tioga State Forest.
Downstream view of Nickle Run Falls in the Tioga State Forest.

Nearby Historical Attractions

If you continue downhill past Nickel Run Falls (the falls indicated on the sign below) towards Babb Creek, you’ll run into an old railroad grade.

Sign marking the location of the Arnot and Pine Creek Railroad in the Tioga State Forest.
Sign marking the location of the Arnot and Pine Creek Railroad in the Tioga State Forest.

Follow this grade/trail in the direction of the “Creek View” and you’ll arrive at a winter campsite used by Nessmuk/George Washington Sears in the 1850s.

Nothing of the campsite exists, but some old railroad bridge abutments from the Arnot and Pine Creek Railroad are still visible.

Nessmuk's Winter Camp sign along Babb Creek in Tioga County.
Nessmuk’s Winter Camp sign along Babb Creek in Tioga County.

From here you can either retrace your steps and follow the Mid State Trail back to your vehicle, or do like I did and simply make a wet crossing of Babb Creek here and follow Landrus Road back to your vehicle, assuming that’s where you parked in the first place.

If you do follow Landrus Road, take some time to check out the remnants of the ghost town of Landrus along the way.

Historical plaque at the site of the ghost town of Landrus in Tioga County.
Historical plaque at the site of the ghost town of Landrus in Tioga County

Nearby Attractions

Lick Creek Falls is a small but picturesque roadside waterfall alongside Landrus Road near Arnot.

Lick Creek Falls in Tioga County near Landrus Road
Lick Creek Falls in Tioga County alongside Landrus Road.

Just south of Nickel Run Falls, you’ll find a slew of great waterfalls along the Pine Creek Rail Trail, close to the Blackwell trailhead.

The Blackwell trailhead of the Pine Creek Rail Trail in Tioga County.
The Blackwell trailhead of the Pine Creek Rail Trail in Tioga County.

Stone Quarry Run Falls is located a mile north of Blackwell.

Stone Quarry Run Falls in mid-March 2019.
Stone Quarry Run Falls along the Pine Creek Rail Trail.

Water Tank Hollow Falls is located 2 miles north of Blackwell.

Water Tank Hollow Falls along the Pine Creek Rail Trail in Tioga County Pennsylvania.
Water Tank Hollow Falls along the Pine Creek Rail Trail in Tioga County

Benjamin Hollow Falls is located 3 miles north of Blackwell.

Benjamin Hollow Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge.
Benjamin Hollow Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge.

And Pine Island Run Falls is located 4 miles north of Blackwell.

Pine Island Run Falls near the Pine Creek Rail Trail.
Pine Island Run Falls near the Pine Creek Rail Trail.

Did you enjoy this article?

If so, be sure to like and follow PA Bucket List on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest to stay up-to-date on my latest write-ups.

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


Pennsylvania’s Best Travel Blog!

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

2 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here