There are some of the best waterfalls in Pennsylvania, known for its diverse landscapes and natural beauty, is home to numerous breathtaking waterfalls. From cascading falls nestled in lush forests to picturesque streams that plunge into deep ravines, the state offers a wealth of stunning water features. If you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a tranquil escape, exploring Pennsylvania’s best waterfalls is an absolute must.
Here are some of the top waterfalls in the state that are sure to leave you awe-inspired:
1. Dingmans Falls
Dingmans Falls and Silverthread Falls are two of the most accessible and popular waterfalls in the Delaware Water Gap region of Pike County.
Located just off Route 209, the main north-south highway through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, a short stroll along a well-maintained boardwalk offers you the chance to see two massive waterfalls without much effort at all.
You can’t see all 67,000 acres of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in one visit, but the Dingmans Falls Visitor Center can help you hit two of the park’s most popular waterfalls, all in one easy hike. The center serves as the trailhead for the Dingmans Creek Trail.
On your trek, you’ll marvel at Silverthread Falls, an 80-foot cascade that’s so perfect you’ll swear it’s manmade (it’s all Mother Nature’s handiwork), and Dingmans Falls, the second-highest waterfall in Pennsylvania with a height of 130 feet. Visit in July or August when the rhododendron thickets along the trail are in full bloom.
This 0.4-mile trail is made of smooth boardwalk paths. If you feel like squeezing in a workout, climb the steps to the top of Dingmans Falls. The view of the roaring waters is worth breaking a sweat!
The Dingmans Falls Visitor Center also offers educational exhibits and guided waterfall walks in season. The center is open from late May through late October, but the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is open year-round.
2. Bushkill Falls
The “Niagara of Pennsylvania,” Bushkill Falls is among the Keystone State’s most famous scenic attractions. This unique series of eight waterfalls, nestled deep in the wooded Pocono Mountains, is accessible through an excellent network of hiking trails and bridges which afford fabulous views of the falls and the surrounding forest.
Bushkill Falls, a series of eight cascading waterfalls, is one of the state’s most popular outdoor destinations. Nestled in the Pocono Mountains, the Falls – known as the Niagara of Pennsylvania –is a favorite of hikers, fishermen, birdwatchers, and all those who treasure nature’s beauty.
3. Fulmer Falls
Fulmer Falls is the second waterfall located in the George W. Childs Recreation Site in Dingmans Ferry, Pike County, Pennsylvania, United States of America. The falls are downstream from Factory Falls and upstream from Deer Leap Falls on Dingmans Creek. At 17 meters (55 ft), it is the largest of the three falls.
The falls can be reached from Childs Park Road, west of Lake Road (State Route 2004), 2.6 kilometers (1.6 mi) north of Pennsylvania Route 739.
4. Silverthread Falls
Silverthread Falls is a thin tall fall in Delaware Water Gap National Park. The trailhead for this falls starts at the Dingmans Falls Visitor Center. This is by far the easiest waterfall to visit in the area. From the parking lot, it is a walk of less than 200 feet on a level-accessible boardwalk to the base of the falls.
The waterfall is aptly named. The stream has found a natural seam in the rock resulting in a thin thread of falls. The rock has been cut nearly perfectly straight in some cases, almost as if blocks had been quarried out.
The visitor center is off of US 209, just south of the 209/739 junction.
4.1 Nearby Falls
The much larger Dingman Falls is a few hundred feet down the same boardwalk. Raymondskill Falls is 7 miles to the north, and Bushkill Falls is 15 miles to the south. New Jersey’s Buttermilk Falls is about 10 miles away by car. Near Milford is the currently inaccessible Pinchot Falls. A trio of falls is less than 5 miles in the nearby George Childs Park, but they have been off-limits since the storms of 2018.
5. Raymondskill Falls
With a height of 178 feet, Raymondskill Falls is the tallest of all waterfalls in Pennsylvania. The waterfall is in northeastern Pennsylvania, in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. There are three main drops in the falls, but together, they’re higher than Niagara Falls. On a short but steep path, there are several viewing platforms, including one at the summit of the cascade and one in the middle.
6. Ganoga Falls
A 7.2-mile hike in Ricketts Glen State Park takes you to not one, but 22 waterfalls along Kitchen Creek. The smallest stands nine feet tall and the tallest, Ganoga, is 94 feet tall. Some of the waterfalls really merge with one another. There will, however, be a lot of people around since this is a popular waterfall – so don’t expect to meditate in absolute serenity here!
7. Cucumber Falls
In many aspects, Cucumber Falls is a top waterfall in Pennsylvania. Not only does the water cascade over a 30-foot drop, but it is also very accessible for most people. Ohiopyle State Park is home to at least a half-dozen spectacular waterfalls, including Cucumber Falls. Nonetheless, if you can only see one waterfall in the park, make it this one.
8. Dry Run Falls
Located in Sullivan County’s Loyalsock State Forest, Dry Run Falls, has to be one of the pleasant waterfalls in Pennsylvania. They are one of the few waterfalls in Pennsylvania that never runs out of water so don’t be fooled by the name. Divided by a jutting piece of granite, there are two streams of falling water at Dry Run Falls. Despite the waterfall’s simplicity, it has a lot of character because the two streams flow down at a sharp angle.
9. Dutchman Falls
Dutchman Falls is an impressive two-tiered waterfall along the Loyalsock Trail. Even though you can hear the waterfall from the trail, you can’t see it, so you’ll have to go off-trail. The hike itself isn’t long; however, it is a bit steep. So be prepared for a bit of an adventure to see the beauty of this waterfall.
10. Buttermilk Falls
Located a short distance off Route 22 in Indiana County, Buttermilk Falls is one of Pennsylvania’s most legendary waterfalls. Don’t be fooled by the fact that Buttermilk Falls shares its name with at least ten other waterfalls in Pennsylvania as this is a one-of-a-kind waterfall. The land was originally owned by Mister Rogers’ grandfather, Fred McFeely. The 45-foot waterfall is open to the public now and is truly a sight to see.
11. Quakertown Falls
You’ll find Quaker Falls in Lawrence County, north of Pittsburgh, less than a mile from Ohio. The waterfall is about 40 feet tall and falls in two drops because there’s a wide shelf separating the two drops. A tiny community near Falling Spring Run used to call this Quakertown because it was settled by Quakers.
10. Angel Falls
Angel Falls is one of the biggest waterfalls, located in the Loyalsock State Forest in Sullivan County, and is a massive 70-footer located just off the Loyalsock Trail. According to local lore, it is said to have been named for the more famous (and much larger) Angel Falls in Venezuela due to a similar appearance.
11. Round Island Run Falls
Located in the Sproul State Forest in Clinton County, Round Island Run Falls may be one of the most remote waterfalls in Pennsylvania. This waterfall, also known as Triple Falls due to its three drops, stands about 20-25 feet tall, and its isolated setting and unique look make it a quite stunning waterfall.
12. Freedom Falls
Freedom Falls is located in a remote section of Venango County, Pennsylvania. Freedom Falls is only about 20 feet in height but is 50-60 feet wide, which makes it quite impressive. The waterfall actually looks almost like two different waterfalls due to the shape of the rocks, which adds some visual interest to the waterfall. It is called Freedom Falls because the waterfall is situated next to the ruins of the early 1800s village of Freedom.
Also located in Fayette County, Fallingwater may be the most famous private residence in Pennsylvania built on top of a waterfall.
Designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater is now owned by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and is open for tours.
Fallingwater, a weekend residence near Mill Run, southwestern Pennsylvania, that was designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufmann family in 1935 and completed in 1937. The house’s daring construction over a waterfall was instrumental in reviving Wright’s architecture career and became one of the most famous 20th-century buildings.
14. Hell’s Hollow Falls
By virtue of its name, you would think visiting Hell’s Hollow Falls in Lawrence County would be an arduous task. Perhaps a long, difficult hike over rough terrain, with danger at every turn.
However, it is quite the opposite. A mere half-mile hike over relatively flat terrain on a well-maintained trail brings you to the base of an elegant 18-foot-high waterfall.
It’s the perfect kind of hike both novice and experienced hikers will enjoy!
To understand how Hell’s Hollow Falls got its name, it is important to understand the history and geology of the area.
The Greater Slippery Rock Creek Gorge, of which Hell’s Hollow is a part, is an area rich in limestone. In the 1850’s a lime kiln was built next to the falls, for the purpose of extracting lime from limestone. Among other things, lime was/is used as a component in fertilizer, as well as an ingredient in mortar and plaster.
Limestone was dumped into the lime kiln (a large brick-lined pit dug into the hillside, with openings at the top and bottom) and then heated by burning wood/charcoal on top of it. As the “stone” component burned off, the lime was left behind and removed from the opening at the bottom/side of the pit.
15. Ketchum Run Falls
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.
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”.
16. Jacoby Falls
Jacoby Falls is one of those waterfalls that will either look spectacular when you visit it or like nothing. There really doesn’t seem to be any in-between.
That’s because Jacoby Falls frequently has very little water flowing over its edge. However, if you can catch this waterfall at the right time, it’s truly one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Pennsylvania. And, while it’s not as tall as nearby Angel Falls, it’s also one of the tallest waterfalls in the area.
Jacoby Falls is located in Lycoming County, north of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The trailhead for the falls is located a short distance off Route 87 on Wallis Run Road.
17. Round Island Run Falls
There are few more remote waterfalls in Pennsylvania than Round Island Run Falls. That’s not because it’s an especially difficult hike but because of the driving distance from the main roads and communities. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic spot to visit.
Round Island Run Falls, which is also known as Three Falls because of its three drops, is located within Sproul State Forest near the Quehanna Wild Area in Clinton County, PA. Reaching this beautiful spot requires a 15-mile drive along narrow forest roads and a slightly over one-mile hike to see. However, those that do make the trek are rewarded with an incredibly beautiful spot.
While driving and hiking to the falls, keep your eyes out for Pennsylvania’s famous elk herd. While I’ve never personally seen elk here, I’ve heard from other visitors to the falls that they are commonly seen in the area.
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In conclusion, Pennsylvania is home to some of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the United States. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a photographer, or simply seeking a refreshing escape, the waterfalls in this state offer a mesmerizing display of beauty and tranquility. From the roaring cascades to the serene plunges, each waterfall possesses its unique charm.