Exploring the Waterfalls of Ketchum Run in the Loyalsock State Forest

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The author at Ketchum Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
The author at Ketchum Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.

Ketchum Run in the Loyalsock State Forest is home to 4 spectacular waterfalls within a 2.3 mile span.

Rode Falls, Lee’s Falls, Ketchum Run Falls, and Right Angle Falls are the highlights of an exceptional 4.6 mile out-and-back hike that is sure to thrill lovers of nature in all seasons.

Follow along as I show you how to navigate along Ketchum Run, using the Ketchum Run Trail and a portion of the famous Loyalsock Trail.

Where to Park

How to Find the Ketchum Run Trail

  1. Turn off of Worlds End Road (near Worlds End State Park) onto High Knob Road and drive 1.1 miles.

    Map showing the location of the major waterfalls on Ketchum Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.

  2. Navigate to the Ketchum Run Trail parking area at GPS Coordinates 41.439538, -76.625294.

    The parking area is large enough for 2-3 vehicles. A large overflow lot located just 1/10th of a mile further west (on the opposite side of the bridge over Ketchum Run) easily holds another dozen vehicles.
    Ketchum Run Trail parking lot along High Knob Road.

  3. Begin hike at the gated road.

    As the sign at the trailhead indicates, the Ketchum Run Trail will eventually connect you to the Loyalsock Trail, and you’ll be utilizing both trails on this hike. Ketchum Run Trailhead along High Knob Road.


Hiking to the Waterfalls on Ketchum Run

The blue and yellow blazes along Ketchum Run Trail.
The blue and yellow blazes along Ketchum Run Trail.

The hike begins on the remnants of a old log road, following the yellow and blue blazes shown above.

The Ketchum Run Trail in autumn.
The Ketchum Run Trail in autumn.

In the fall this section of the trail becomes a “yellow brick road” of sorts. Minus the bricks, of course.

Campsite 18 along the Ketchum Run Trail.
Campsite 18 along the Ketchum Run Trail.

At .55 miles into the hike you’ll encounter camp site 18.

You want to bear left at the sign, and then follow an unblazed but obvious trail to the right, immediately BEFORE Ketchum Run.

REPEAT: DO NOT CROSS OVER KETCHUM RUN!

This entire hike takes place on the right hand side (when hiking downstream) of Ketchum Run.

You will follow this unblazed path down the right side of Ketchum Run another .15 miles to Right Angle Falls.


Right Angle Falls on Ketchum Run

Autumn comes to Right Angle Falls along Ketchum Run.
Autumn comes to Right Angle Falls along Ketchum Run.

At .70 miles into the hike you’ll encounter the first of the 4 waterfalls described here – Right Angle Falls.

The GPS coordinates for Right Angle Falls: 41.447966, -76.620428

Right Angle Falls is not an official name, but I call it that here because it’s easier than saying “that unnamed waterfall on Ketchum Run that forms a near-perfect right angle to the stream”.

A springtime view of Right Angle Falls on Ketchum Run.
A springtime view of Right Angle Falls on Ketchum Run.

On closer inspection you’ll see the upper tier of this waterfall is comprised of 2 enormous slabs of stone that jut out at a right angle to the general direction of the Ketchum Run.

Early winter at Right Angle Falls along Ketchum Run.
Early winter at Right Angle Falls along Ketchum Run.

Whereas the lower tier is a single slab steering the stream in the direction you’d expect.

Right Angle Falls on Ketchum Run, surrounded by fall foliage.
Right Angle Falls on Ketchum Run, surrounded by fall foliage.

This is a spot of brilliant color in the fall.

Spring thaw at Right Angle Falls on Ketchum Run.
Spring thaw at Right Angle Falls on Ketchum Run.

But equally stunning in late winter/early spring.

Once you’ve taken in the sights at Right Angle Falls, continue down the right side of Ketchum Run a hundred yards or so to Ketchum Run Falls.


Ketchum Run Falls

Ketchum Run Falls in the summer.
Ketchum Run Falls in the summer.

Ketchum Run Falls is, in my opinion, the most picturesque of the 4 waterfalls on Ketchum Run.

Fall foliage at Ketchum Run Falls.
Fall foliage at Ketchum Run Falls.

In the autumn, the area around Ketchum Run Falls explodes with color.

Ketchum Run Falls in the winter.
Ketchum Run Falls in the winter.

But the monotones and ice formations of winter shouldn’t be overlooked either.

The GPS coordinates for Ketchum Run Falls: 41.439538, -76.625294

From the base of Ketchum Run Falls, continue downstream 2/10ths of a mile to the intersection of this unblazed portion of trail with the prodigiously-blazed Loyalsock Trail.

The intersection of the Ketchum Run Trail and the Loyalsock Trail.
The intersection of the Ketchum Run Trail and the Loyalsock Trail.

Pick up the Loyalsock Trail at .95 miles into your hike, and continue to follow it to the last 2 waterfalls on this hike.

The distinctive Loyalsock Trail markers.
The distinctive Loyalsock Trail markers.

The Loyalsock Trail may be THE best blazed trail in Pennsylvania.

The iconic markers make it nearly impossible to get lost on the remainder of your downstream excursion.

At 1.46 miles into your hike, you’ll come to a point where the Loyalsock Trail makes a hard, right-hand turn uphill, away from Ketchum Run.

Where the trail starts uphill, away from Ketchum Run, you’ll find Lee’s Falls waiting for you on the stream right below.


Lee’s Falls on Ketchum Run

Lee's Falls along Ketchum Run and the Loyalsock Trail.
Lee’s Falls along Ketchum Run and the Loyalsock Trail.

Lee’s Falls are most easily viewed from the side, just off the Loyalsock Trail.

A summer view of Lee's Falls on Ketchum Run.
A summer view of Lee’s Falls on Ketchum Run.

As with most waterfalls though, I find the best views to be from below.

An autumn view of Lee's Falls on Ketchum Run.
An autumn view of Lee’s Falls on Ketchum Run.

No matter when you visit, Lee’s Falls is a terrific waterfall.

The GPS coordinates for Lee’s Falls: 41.451951, -76.628110


Hiking to Rode Falls

Jack's Window sign along the Loyalsock Trail.
Jack’s Window sign along the Loyalsock Trail.

Continue down the Loyalsock Trail another 2/10ths of a mile (most of it being uphill on this portion of the hike) to Jack’s Window.

Here you have a view (somewhat obstructed) of where you just were at Lee’s Falls.

The view from Jack's Window along the Loyalsock Trail.
The view from Jack’s Window along the Loyalsock Trail.

Continue past Jack’s Window as the trail begins to level out and then descend back towards Ketchum Run.

At 1.95 miles into the hike you’ll encounter this “Ladder Ahead” sign on the Loyalsock Trail.

Ladder ahead sign along the Loyalsock Trail, upstream from Rode Falls.
Ladder ahead sign along the Loyalsock Trail, upstream from Rode Falls.

Your options here are to continue following the Loyalsock Trail to the left, or to take a bypass trail on the right, in which case you’ll have to double back (but not very far) to see Rode Falls.

If you have small kids or large dogs with you, or just a fear of ladders, you may want to consider the bypass.

Otherwise, just stay on the Loyalsock Trail (by keeping to the left) another 1/3 of a mile as it descends to Ketchum Run and puts you at the top of the ladder, right next to Rode Falls.

Rode Falls sign along the Loyalsock Trail.
Rode Falls sign along the Loyalsock Trail.

Descend the 7 rungs and you’re at the base of Rode Falls.

GPS coordinates of Rode Falls: 41.455688, -76.634185

A competitor in the Worlds End Ultramarathon scales the ladder at Rode Falls on the Loyalsock Trail.
A competitor in the Worlds End Ultramarathon scales the ladder at Rode Falls on the Loyalsock Trail.

Rode Falls is a classic-looking 12 footer, with a thunder much louder than you’d anticipate as it plunges to the pool below, amplified by the amphitheatre of rocks in the gorge.

A summer view of Rode Falls on Ketchum Run, along the Loyalsock Trail.
A summer view of Rode Falls on Ketchum Run, along the Loyalsock Trail.

This mossy portion of the Ketchum Run Gorge is a welcome sight any time of the year.

An autumn view of Rode Falls along the Loyalsock Trail.
An autumn view of Rode Falls along the Loyalsock Trail.

Once you’ve finished up at Rode Falls, simply backtrack to your vehicle on High Knob Road, completing this roughly 4.6 mile out and back hike.


Nearby Attractions

Looking for more waterfalls in the area?

High Rock Falls at Worlds End State Park
High Rock Falls at Worlds End State Park

Then check out 10 Must-See Waterfalls Near Worlds End State Park.

A map of 10 waterfalls near Worlds End State Park in Sullivan County Pennsylvania
10 waterfalls near Worlds End State Park in Sullivan County

In this guide you’ll find maps and detailed directions to 10 great waterfalls in and around Worlds End State Park and the Loyalsock State Forest.


If scenic vistas are your thing, be sure to check out roadside High Knob Overlook, one of the most popular roadside attractions in all of Sullivan County!

October in Sullivan County as viewed from High Knob Overlook.
October in Sullivan County as viewed from High Knob Overlook.

And if seeing ALL the finest waterfalls in the Loyalsock State Forest is on your “bucket list”, then be sure to check out “The 20 Best Waterfalls in the Loyalsock State Forest”.

Summer at Angel Falls in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania.
Summer at Angel Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.

Still not convinced you need to visit Ketchum Run?

Then check out this video!


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