The Pine Creek Gorge (AKA PA Grand Canyon) is home to some of the most rugged, remote waterfalls in Pennsylvania.
But what if you love waterfalls, just not the rugged, remote part?
Then visiting Stone Quarry Run Falls and Water Tank Hollow Falls should be on your PA bucket list!
These two picturesque waterfalls, separated by just one mile of the easy-to-traverse Pine Creek Rail Trail, are exactly what you are looking for.
Read on to learn all about this scenic out and back excursion.
Where is Stone Quarry Run Falls?
Your hike/bike trip begins in the village of Blackwell, along Route 414 in Tioga County.
There is a large paved parking area right next to Pine Creek, complete with restrooms.
From the parking area you’ll want to head north, away from the parking lot towards the village.
The photo above is what you’ll see as you cross 414 and pick up the rail trail.
At 0.18 miles into your trip you’ll see the blue sign above. Continue down the trail.
On the day I visited most recently, in mid-March, portions of the trail were still frozen solid. This despite the fact that areas visible from the parking lot and town were completely bare. So be aware that is a possibility in late fall or early spring.
Stone Quarry Run Falls
You’ll come to Stone Quarry Run Falls at 1.25 miles into your trip (measured from the parking lot).
This waterfall is literally right next to the trail, and impossible to miss.
If you visit in the dead of winter, it’s a totally different scene!
I’d feel comfortable saying Stone Quarry Run Falls is 12-15 feet tall, between the two tiers, using my friend Steve in the image above for scale.
If you want to get a close-up view you can carefully pick your way down the bank to the stream bed.
Also worth mentioning (and photographing) is the old stone bridge that carries the Pine Creek Rail Trail over Stone Quarry Run.
If you’re already down at stream level, just turn away from the falls towards the rail trail, and you’ll see this “1903” inscription in the bridge.
Kudos to the builders for constructing a bridge nearly 120 years ago that is still being put to good use!
Where is Water Tank Hollow Falls?
Continue north on the Pine Creek Rail Trail another 1.05 miles from Stone Quarry Run Falls, and you’ll arrive at this bridge.
As you can see from the obvious sign along the trail, you’ve arrived at Water Tank Hollow!
Even from the rail trail you’ll have a decent (although partially obstructed) view of the falls.
But if you REALLY want to experience Water Tank Hollow Falls, take the obvious user trail up the right hand side of the stream (same side the sign is on) 0.2 miles to the base of the falls.
The stream is shallow enough to make easy rock-hopping crossings if you want to see/photograph Water Tank Hollow Falls from different angles.
On this day in mid-March the ice was still hanging tough in Water Tank Hollow.
But not nearly as tough as it was on a previous January visit!
Water Tank Hollow Falls is in the neighborhood of 20 feet tall, give or take a few feet.
The Return Trip
Standing at the base of Water Tank Hollow Falls, you’ve covered 2.5 miles of trail.
But there are still other sights to see!
For starters, there are some excellent ice formations at various points along the trek between Water Tank Hollow and Blackwell.
Assuming you are hiking in the winter, of course!
And then there’s Pine Creek itself, your constant companion as you hike/bike the rail trail.
As you make your way back into Blackwell, look off to your left, before you get to the parking lot.
There you’ll see the Blackwell Methodist Episcopal Church, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.
Arriving back at your vehicle, you’ve covered 5 miles of terrain.
Visiting Stone Quarry Run Falls and Water Tank Hollow Falls makes for a pleasant introduction to the waterfalls of the Pine Creek Gorge.
A relatively flat hike with very short side excursions is all that is required to see two tranquil scenes along the Pine Creek Rail Trail.
If these waterfalls whet your appetite, there are countless others of various degrees of difficulty to visit in the immediate Tioga County area.
Stone Quarry Run Falls.
Water Tank Hollow Falls.
Put them on your PA Bucket List!
And if your STILL not convinced you need to see these falls, here are a few video clips that may change your mind!