How to Find Rusty Run Falls in the Loyalsock State Forest

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.

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

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.

Where Do I Park to Visit Rusty Run Falls?

The parking area at trail head for Rusty Run Falls hike.
The parking area at trail head for Rusty Run Falls hike.

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!

Hiking to Rusty Run Falls

The trail to Rusty Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.
The trail to Rusty Run in the Loyalsock State Forest.

The hike to Rusty Run Falls is approximately 1.2 miles from the parking area, and features 121 feet of elevation change (downhill on the way to falls, uphill back to your vehicle).

The majority of the hike takes place on a well-maintained forest road / bridle path, so don’t be surprised if you see some horses or at least horse shoe tracks along the road.

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

Really the only way you could get lost on this hike is at the intersection pictured above, approximately .46 miles into the hike. You want to stay to the lower/left road.

At approximately 1 mile into the hike you’ll come to a stream. That’s Rusty Run. Here you depart the road and hike upstream, to your right.

I usually hike up the right side of the stream and descend the bank at the waterfall. You will first hear and then see Rusty Run Falls .2 miles upstream from the road.

Photographing Rusty Run Falls

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

Still not convinced you need to see Rusty Run Falls?

Then check out this video!

Discover Pennsylvania’s Ultimate Travel Destinations!

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