Hounds Run Falls: Your Ultimate Hiking Guide

How to Find Hounds Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest

Rusty Glessner at Hounds Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
The author at Hounds Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.

Hounds Run is one leg of what I like to call the “McIntyre Wild Area Waterfall Triple Crown“.

Three exceptional streams, each containing waterfalls, all located entirely within the McIntyre Wild area, a 7,279 acre portion of the greater Loyalsock State Forest.

Miners Run Falls and Dutchmans Run Falls making up the other two legs of the triple crown.

Unlike Miners Run and Dutchmans Run, Hounds Run has only one waterfall on it (and 1 splash dam that could pass for a smallish waterfall), but it’s a three-layer beauty.

So let’s explore Hounds Run Falls!

Where is Hounds Run Falls?

A map showing the location of the Hounds Run Falls parking lot in relation to Ralston
A map showing the location of the Hounds Run Falls parking lot in relation to Ralston

Hounds Run Falls are located approximately 4 miles northeast of Ralston in Lycoming County, PA.

Where to Park

A map showing the GPS coordinates for the Hounds Run Falls parking area.
A map showing the GPS coordinates for the Hounds Run Falls parking area.

The parking area for the Hounds Run Falls hike is located along Rock Run Road at the GPS coordinates indicated on the map above.

Or you can simply count bridges.

The first bridge you come to on Rock Run Road when driving NE from Ralston is over Miners Run.

The second bridge you come to is over Hounds Run.

The parking area for Hounds Run Falls along Rock Run Road.
The parking area for Hounds Run Falls along Rock Run Road.

Park in the large lot just before the bridge.

The lot is large enough to hold 8-10 vehicles comfortably.

Hiking to Hounds Run Falls

A map showing the hiking trail to Hounds Run Falls.
A map showing the hiking trail to Hounds Run Falls.

Of the three hikes I mentioned as part of the “McIntyre Wild Area Waterfall Triple Crown”, Hounds Run has the distinction of being the shortest and easiest hike of the three.

Basically a 0.33 mile hike right up the side of the stream, with one or two easy wet crossings.

As with the other waterfall hikes in the McIntyre Wild Area, there are no “official” trails, but a pretty obvious old log road grade runs up the left side of the stream for much of the way to the falls.

Use you best judgement, depending on water levels, as to whether you want to hike to road grade or the stream itself.

The Splash Dam

The splash dam on Hounds Run, just below Hounds Run Falls.
The splash dam on Hounds Run, just below Hounds Run Falls.

Approximately 0.25 miles upstream from the parking area you will encounter the splash dam, a relic from the logging days long ago.

A temporary wooden dam would have been built just below this, allowing a pool of water to build up and be released whenever the timbermen had a load of logs ready to be floated downstream to Rock Run and then Lycoming Creek.

Continue upstream just past the splash dam and Hounds Run Falls will come into view, just over the next rise.

Photographing Hounds Run Falls

Fall foliage at Hounds Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
Fall foliage at Hounds Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.

As you approach Hounds Run Falls from downstream, you’ll immediately notice three distinct tiers to it.

Two photographers enjoying the scenery at Hounds Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
Two photographers enjoying the scenery at Hounds Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.

The water at the base of the bottom tier is shallow enough to allow you to stand in it (assuming you are wearing waterproof boots or don’t mind getting wet).

I usually start here and work my way up to the middle tier, and finally the top.

A summertime view of Hounds Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
A summertime view of Hounds Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.

I’ve taken some of my favorite photos of Hounds Run Falls from the middle tier.

Brilliant fall foliage at Hounds Run Falls in the McIntyre Wild Area.
Brilliant fall foliage at Hounds Run Falls in the McIntyre Wild Area.

When the fall foliage is prime it’s a great vantage point.

Ice formations at Hounds Run Falls in Lycoming County.
Ice formations at Hounds Run Falls in Lycoming County.

And when ice starts to form here it’s also a superb spot (although extremely slippery, so use appropriate foot gear/spikes and an abundance of caution).

Rusty Glessner at the upper tier of Hounds Run Falls in the McIntyre Wild Area.
The author at the upper tier of Hounds Run Falls in the McIntyre Wild Area.

The upper tier of Hounds Run Falls is a good 20-25 feet tall, and fans out to perhaps 15 feet at the bottom.

The upper tier of Hounds Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.
The upper tier of Hounds Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest.

When the water levels are just right, it’s possible to pull a great deal of detail out of the water and rocks behind it, even at slow motion-blur shutter speeds.

Final Thoughts on Hounds Run Falls

A late autumn view of Hounds Run Falls in the McIntyre Wild Area.
A late autumn view of Hounds Run Falls in the McIntyre Wild Area.

As the easiest of the three “McIntyre Wild Area Waterfall Triple Crown” hikes, and yet one of the most spectacular of the waterfalls, Hounds Run Falls absolutely deserves a place on your PA Bucket List.

But if you’re still not convinced, check out this brief video I put together:

PA Bucket List - Discover Pennsylvania's Ultimate Travel Destinations

Pennsylvania’s Best Ad-Free Travel Guide!

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