Exploring Rusty Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest

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The author at Rusty Run Falls.
The author at Rusty Run Falls.

Where is Rusty Run Falls?

Rusty Run Falls is located in the Loyalsock State Forest. Near (but not in) Worlds End State Park, Sullivan County.

Despite its close proximity to such a popular state park, Rusty Run Falls is not a frequently visited waterfall.

But if you enjoy a pleasant and fairly easy hike along a well-maintained trail/bridle path (open to horse riding), I would highly recommend putting Rusty Run Falls on your itinerary when hiking/camping in the vicinity.

The view of Rusty Run Falls from the middle of the stream.
The view of Rusty Run Falls from the middle of the stream.

Getting There

How to Find Rusty Run Falls

  1. From Route 154 near Worlds End State Park, turn onto Shanerburg Road and travel 1.9 miles.

    A map showing the locations of Rusty Run Falls and the trail head parking area.

  2. Park on either side of this gate along Shanerburg Road, located at GPS coordinates 41.433749, -76.546954.

    Be sure not to block the gate! The parking area at trail head for Rusty Run Falls hike.

  3. Hike the gated forest road for 0.46 miles to a Y intersection.

    This is a well-maintained forest road / bridle path.
    Don’t be surprised if you see some horses or at least horseshoe tracks along the road.The trail to Rusty Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.

  4. At the Y intersection, stay to the lower / left road and proceed another 0.55 miles.

    An intersection on the trail to Rusty Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.

  5. At approximately 1 mile into the hike you’ll reach Rusty Run. Depart the road and hike upstream 0.2 miles.

    Hiking upstream I find it easiest to stay on the right side of the stream until I reach the falls.

  6. Arrive at Rusty Run Falls at 1.2 miles into the hike.

    A close-up look at Rusty Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.


Photographing Rusty Run Falls

Rusty Run Falls is an intricate, 7-8 foot beauty.

A downstream view of Rusty Run Falls.
A downstream view of Rusty Run Falls.

The stream immediately below it is shallow enough to easily cross back and forth to get a variety of angles.

Fall foliage around Rusty Run Falls.
Fall foliage around Rusty Run Falls.

It’s a great spot for fall foliage shots, and as you can see in the photo above there is a second, smaller waterfall just upstream.

The leaves starting to change along Rusty Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.
The leaves starting to change along Rusty Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.

The upper, unnamed waterfall stands maybe 4 feet tall and twice as wide.

A summertime view of the unnamed waterfall immediately above Rusty Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
A summertime view of the unnamed waterfall immediately above Rusty Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.

This one, like Rusty Run Falls, photographs well even when the stream is relatively low.

Still it’s the main falls where you’ll want to spend the majority of your time.

If you’re lucky, you might even be treated to a light show like I was on this day.

Sunlight piercing the canopy of leaves at Rusty Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
Sunlight piercing the canopy of leaves at Rusty Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.

When you’ve had your fill of Rusty Run Falls, simply retrace your steps 1.2 miles back to your vehicle.


Final Thoughts

Rusty Run Falls isn’t the tallest waterfall in the Loyalsock State Forest, but it may be one of the best if you’re looking for a relatively easy hike to an off the beaten path gem.

They say good things come in small packages, and for that reason I’m suggesting you add Rusty Run Falls to your PA Bucket List!

Looking for another great waterfall hike nearby?

Then be sure to check out the waterfalls on Ketchum Run, Dutters Run, or Dry Run, all located in the Loyalsock State Forest.


Still not convinced you need to see Rusty Run Falls?

Then check out this video!


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