Escape the heat and the crowds by exploring a few of Pennsylvania’s under-the-radar waterfalls this summer. Pennsylvania is home to many breathtaking, well-known waterfalls that attract thousands of visitors each year, as well as smaller, hidden gems that are as equally selfie worthy. If you’ve already seen natural icons like Raymondskill and Ganoga or if you want to enjoy the quiet of a less-traveled trail, check out these waterfalls waiting to be enjoyed by savvy adventurers and ambitious travelers.
1. Waterfall at Sycamore Mills Dam
Ridley Creek State Park
Located just 16 miles from Center City Philadelphia, the 2,606-acre Ridley Creek State Park consists of an abundance of trails, small hills, twists and turns, and a beautiful waterfall for all bikers, joggers, and dog walkers to enjoy. After flashing a few photos of the waters, take a step back in time and explore the workings of a late 1700s American farm at the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, located inside the park.
2. Aycrigg's Falls
Swatara State Park
The 3,520-acre Swatara State Park is surrounded by forests and wetlands that support diverse wildlife. But its greatest treasure runs along the 4.8-mile Bear Hole Trail. There, the beautiful more than 40-foot tall Aycrigg’s Falls sits behind the rustic Bordner's Cabin, a log cabin made by the hands of a local school teacher who drew inspiration from the famous architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.
3. Wintergreen Gorge Waterfall
Part of the Greater Erie Regional Trail Network, Wintergreen Gorge Waterfall has maintained a charm like no other thanks to Penn State Behrend students who help to maintain it. This scenic cascading waterfall is found at the east end of Four Mile Creek. Walkers, hikers, and bicyclists should take the opportunity to visit this 1.2-mile trail as it is the perfect length to immerse in the gorgeous greenery of nature.
4. Henry Run Sawmill Dam Falls
Cook Forest State Park
Those who journey to visit this hidden gem will be glad they did, as it remains an oasis in the heart of the Pennsylvania wilderness. Henry Run is a tributary to the Clarion River, which flows for 13 miles through Cook Forest. To reach the falls, take Baker Trail, a popular trail featuring the scenic Seneca Point and fire tower.
5. Pigeon Run Falls
Allegheny National Forest
Accessible by the 2-mile Pigeon Run Falls Trail, this beautiful, remote waterfall located near Marienville is the perfect spot for birding, fishing, and hiking at all skill levels. While lesser known than the famous Sullivan Falls, Pigeon Run Falls shares the same parking spot for folks to come and see both.
6. Table Falls
Quehanna Wild Area
Table Falls is one of Pennsylvania's most photogenic waterfalls on Paige Run. Located just 1.5 miles off Quehanna Highway on Red Run Road, visitors will find this waterfall a charming but elusive spot that truly feels like a hidden gem. Tour the trail and then visit the surrounding area known for its wild elk sightings!
7. Wykoff Run Natural Area
Hike the 4.8-mile trail loop to find Wykoff Run the perfect place for outdoor adventure. Within its 1,215 acres of pristine wildlife are two stunning waterfalls that can be found along Wykoff Run Road, providing the ideal spot to unwind and take in natural beauty.
8. Mill Creek Falls
Enjoy a .2-mile easy, beautiful hike on the Mason Dixon Trail with your family and friends to find the 25-foot tall Mill Creek Falls.These falls gradually spill down the hillside, creating pristine pools for wading on a hot summer day. Afterward, grab a picnic lunch and sit along the many rocks and logs for a pleasant day in the great outdoors!
9. Ulmer-Root-Haines Memorial Park
The Ulmer-Root-Haines Memorial Park is a series of nature trails across from the one-of-a-kind. One of five properties owned and maintained by the Conservation Society of York County, this home is where visitors can find local Indian artifacts embedded in the interior and exterior of the building. After visiting the museum, take a rugged trail up the hill for a beautiful hike to a stunning waterfall.
10. Bent Run Waterfall
Allegheny National Forest
Along Route 59 near Kinzua Dam, a small parking lot leads you to a short, fun hike featuring interesting nooks and crannies and an easy climb to see Bent Run Waterfall, one of many secret treasures hidden within the famous Allegheny National Forest. The water flows exceptionally well during heavy rains, so it’s best to visit after a summer storm.
11. Hector Run Falls
Allegheny National Forest
Strap on your hiking boots and bring your spirit of adventure out to Hector Run Falls! The waterfall is approximately 22-feet tall and is set amid a collection of large boulders. With its strange geologic formation, the waterfall plummets from a rectangular shaped rock face, creating a marvelous scene that looks other worldly.
12. Adam Falls
Linn Run State Park
Tucked among the scenic Linn Run State Park, Adam Falls, a picturesque 15-foot-tall waterfall, flows best after recent rainfall. Hikers can stand behind the falls to get the perfect shot for Instagram. Best of all it’s easy to get to and perfect for a walk with younger Happy Travelers.
13. Jones Mill Run Dam
Laurel Hill State Park
After hiking the 14.7-mile loop trail in Jones Mill Run, sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights and sounds of water rushing over its historic dam, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. It’s nestled in the woods, but the views are worth it!
14. Jonathan Run Falls
Ohiopyle State Park
Treat your eyes to Jonathan Run Falls! Several small waterfalls can be seen from Jonathan Run Trail, a beautiful 1.6-mile trail perfect for hikers of every skill set. The trail's largest waterfall tumbles over rocks between beautiful rhododendron-lined banks.
15. Buttermilk Falls
Buttermilk Falls Natural Area
At 45-feet, Buttermilk Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in Pennsylvania and is part of Hires Run, a tributary of the Conemaugh River. Mature woodlands, beautiful wildflowers, and historical relics surround the waterfall on land that was part of the summer estate of Mister Rogers' grandfather, Fred Brooks McFeely. Visitors can stroll along the hiking trail to the observation area and then cross the Eclipse Bridge to continue down to the stairs and walkway that lead behind the falls. As you head back up the trail, look to your right from the Eclipse Bridge to see remnants of a man-made dam built during the McFeely era.
16. Sweet Arrow Lake County Park
Sweet Arrow Lake County Park is the perfect place to visit for those who love the great outdoors. Open year round, visitors will enjoy the natural beauty, hiking, fishing, boating, kayaking, picnicking, disc golfing, and other park activities. The beautiful waterfall located at the park's southwestern end is worth the visit alone.
17. Rainbow Falls
Trough Creek State Park
Cross the suspension bridge and hike the mossy riverside Rhododendron Trail to a cascading waterfall in the Raystown Lake Region. Rainbow Falls within Trough Creek State Park looks like something out of a whimsical forested fairytale, especially when flowing fully after a good rainfall.
18. Quaker Falls Recreation Area
Make sure your phone is charged to snap a picture of this gorgeous 50-foot waterfall located on Falling Spring Creek in the historic Quaker Falls Recreation Area. The trails and conservation include part of an old settlement called Quakertown, once home to the first Quakers to settle west of the Alleghenies.
19. Tumbling Waters Waterfall
Tumbling Waters Trail
Tumbling Waters is a 3-mile trail located in the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area. Enjoy the scenic overlook of the Delaware Valley and Kittatinny Mountains in New Jersey before making way to the waterfalls.
20. Shohola Falls
Along Shohola Creek, there are numerous cascades, steep ledges, and deep crevices where water rushes over a final set of falls onto the flatland. See the stunning Shohola Falls as you hike along the 0.6-mile loop trail. The trail is primarily used for hiking and fishing and is accessible year-round.
To discover more waterfalls in PA, check out the visitPA website. Itching for an outdoor road trip? Our Trails Mix road trips will take you on a scenic pathway through state pakrs, wildlife viewing areas and miles and miles of hiking trails.
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