Exploring the Waterfalls on Fourmile Run near Colton Point State Park

Hiking upstream on Fourmile Run near Colton Point State Park.

Fourmile Run is a waterfall-rich tributary of Pine Creek in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.

It lies close to the Turkey Path on the Colton Point State Park side of the gorge, opposite Little Fourmile Run and the Turkey Path at Leonard Harrison State Park.

The waterfalls closest to the bottom of the Turkey Path.
Waterfalls along the Turkey Path at Leonard Harrison State Park

But that is where the similarities between the two Turkey Paths end.

On the Leonard Harrison State Park side, you have a wide, refined Turkey Path that takes you close to most of the waterfalls on Little Fourmile Run.

Observation area along the Turkey Path in the PA Grand Canyon.
Observation area along the Turkey Path at Leonard Harrison State Park.

On the Colton Point State Park side of the canyon, the Turkey Path is narrow, rugged, and runs high above Fourmile Run.

Meaning it serves as a mere jumping off point for off-trail exploration of the waterfalls below – exploration that should only be undertaken by experienced hikers with proper footwear!

With that warning in mind, let’s take a look at the waterfalls on Fourmile Run near (but not in) Colton Point State Park.


Getting There

A map to the waterfalls on Fourmile Run near Colton Point State Park
A map to the waterfalls on Fourmile Run near Colton Point State Park

The Turkey Path trailhead at Colton Point State Park serves as a starting point for exploring the waterfalls on Fourmile Run.

For realtime information on current trail conditions and any potential closures or construction, please visit the park’s official website.

Proceeding down the Turkey Path approximately 0.3 miles will bring you close to Rexford Branch and Rexford Branch Falls.

Rexford Branch Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.
Rexford Branch Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.

A narrow side trail branches off the Turkey Path to the right and brings you out near the bottom of the falls.

A summer view of Rexford Branch Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge.
A summertime view of Rexford Branch Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge.

Returning to the Turkey Path, this is where being an experienced hiker with proper footwear comes into play.

Because it is now up to you to decide where and how to get down to Fourmile Run, below the Turkey Path.

There is NO TRAIL, and you do so AT YOUR OWN RISK, as with any off-trail hiking anywhere in Pennsylvania.

Once down at stream-level, there are waterfalls and cascades to be seen up and down Fourmile Run.


Logjam Falls

Logjam Falls on Fourmile Run in Tioga County.
Logjam Falls on Fourmile Run in Tioga County.

Logjam Falls (not an official name) is a 12-15 foot tall waterfall not far from where Rexford Branch spills into Fourmile Run.

Logjam Falls on Fourmile Run in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.
Logjam Falls on Fourmile Run in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.

Upstream from Logjam Falls you’ll encounter plenty of picturesque cascades on Fourmile Run.

Fourmile Run in the PA Grand Canyon
Fourmile Run in the PA Grand Canyon

These idyllic cascades can be nearly impassable during high water conditions, so again, use caution if attempting this hike (or any waterfall hike) during such conditions.

Fourmile Run near Colton Point State Park on an autumn afternoon
Fourmile Run near Colton Point State Park on an autumn afternoon

Fourmile Run Falls

Approximately 0.3 miles upstream from where Rexford Branch enters Fourmile Run, you’ll encounter what I feel is the prettiest waterfall on this stream – Fourmile Run Falls.

Approaching Fourmile Run Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area
Approaching Fourmile Run Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area

Fourmile Run Falls (not an official name) is a gorgeous 20-footer that sheets off the rocks into a large plunge pool below.

Fourmile Run Falls in late October.
Fourmile Run Falls in late October.

There are taller waterfalls in the Pine Creek Gorge, but few can match the splendor of this spot.

Fourmile Run Falls on a summer afternoon.
Fourmile Run Falls on a summer afternoon.

Every inch of rock around Fourmile Run Falls seems to be covered in greenery of some sort in the summer.

A photographer at Fourmile Run Falls in the PIne Creek Gorge
A photographer at Fourmile Run Falls in the Pine Creek Gorge

While in autumn, those same rocks are adorned with a blanket of colorful leaves.

Fourmile Run Falls on an autumn afternoon.
Fourmile Run Falls on an autumn afternoon.

Downstream Exploration

Downstream from Logjam Falls, you can expect to see more dazzling cascades, but no significant waterfalls.

Fourmile Run in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.
Fourmile Run in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.

Normally after I’ve photographed this particular cascade, I make my way uphill to the Turkey Path, and then back to the parking area at the trailhead.

Cascades on Fourmile Run in the Pine Creek Gorge Natural Area.

Colton Point Overlooks

Of course no trip to Colton Point State Park would be complete without spending some time at one of the various roadside canyon overlooks.

Looking out over Pine Creek from Colton Point State Park
Looking out over Pine Creek from Colton Point State Park

This is as fine a spot as any for “leaf peeping” in the Pine Creek Gorge.

The view of the PA Grand Canyon from Colton Point State Park
The view of the PA Grand Canyon from Colton Point State Park

Final Thoughts

While not nearly as accessible as the waterfalls along the Turkey Path at neighboring Leonard Harrison State Park, the waterfalls on Fourmile Run near Colton Point State Park are absolutely worth the effort required to see them, provided you have the experience and expertise to navigate this off-trail hike safely.

Fourmile Run Falls in the PA Grand Canyon
Fourmile Run Falls in the PA Grand Canyon.

Nearby Attractions

Barbour Rock Overlook is located just a half-mile north of the entrance to Colton Point State Park, with the trailhead located right along Colton Road.

Hiking to Barbour Rock Overlook in the PA Grand Canyon.
The author at Barbour Rock Overlook in the PA Grand Canyon.

For an extensive directory of nearby waterfalls, be sure to check out “33 Must-See Waterfalls in Tioga County”.

Sand Run Falls near Arnot Pennsylvania
Sand Run Falls near Arnot, Pennsylvania.

Exploring the area during October?

Be sure to check out “Where to Find Incredible Fall Foliage Views in the PA Grand Canyon”.

Fall foliage around the tallest waterfalls along the Turkey Path.
Fall foliage around the tallest waterfalls along the Turkey Path.

Looking for another off-trail adventure on this side of the PA Grand Canyon?

Then check out Chimney Hollow Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the Pine Creek Gorge!

Steve standing on Chimney Hollow Falls, for a sense of scale.
Steve standing on Chimney Hollow Falls, for a sense of scale.

Or check out Bear Run on the northeastern edge of Colton Point State Park, home to at least a half-dozen waterfalls.

Waterfalls along Bear Run in the PA Grand Canyon
Waterfalls along Bear Run in the PA Grand Canyon

Looking for a much less-strenuous hike?

Then check out the hike to Stone Quarry Run Falls and Water Tank Hollow Falls along the Pine Creek Rail Trail, near Blackwell.

Stone Quarry Run Falls in mid-March 2019.
Stone Quarry Run Falls in mid-March 2019.

Campbells Run Falls is an exceptional 25-foot waterfall, less than a half mile off the Pine Creek Rail Trail near Tiadaghton.

Campbells Run Falls near Tiadaghton PA
Campbells Run Falls near Tiadaghton PA

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Exterior of mountain top chalet in PA Grand Canyon area.
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Disclaimer: If you book a vacation rental through this Vrbo link, I get a small commission (at NO additional cost to you!), which helps offset the expense of hosting the PA Bucket List website.

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

2 COMMENTS

  1. I probably read this article 20 times to make sure that I understood everything correctly! Me and my boyfriend started on the turkey path, saw Redford falls, then went back on the turkey path but weren’t sure where to go down to get off the path. We ended up going down a little further down stream from Log Jam falls. The way up was really treacherous and we had to go slow. There were scratchy plants and spider webs and branches all around, plus the creek itself which we tried to avoid so we wouldn’t get our feet wet. We had water proof boots so we were able to step in up to a certain depth luckily. We almost thought of turning back, but the article’s pictures let me know we were on the right track until finally we were there!
    It definitely took a long time but the view was worth it, Four Mile Run falls is gorgeous. I wanted to swim a bit but the water was quite cold so I simply dipped my feet and enjoyed. The way back was a little faster than the way there since we knew what invisible path to follow. We ended up climbing the short but very steep hill at Log Jam falls to get back onto the path.
    Over all, we had a really fun experience. We love going off the beaten path and thank God we did not get hurt because there was literally nobody else on the trail and we had no cell service. I have gone on adventures like that many times and even I was struggling, my boyfriend has done less than me but was about on the same level thanks to his long limbs which helped with reaching! So please do be very careful.

    • That’s a pretty good description of this hike! Yes it is a challenging off trail hike and like most of the Pine Creek Gorge when you get down in it, cell phones are useless. To me the difficulty is worth the final payoff, but you’re right it’s definitely not a hike for everyone.

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