Return to Ricketts Glen State Park

Harrison Wright Falls

Harrison Wright Falls

I began my hiking “career” at Ricketts Glen State Park.  I had long heard about it, but then the day came when I finally decided to check it out myself.  I hiked up the trail, climbing stone steps slicked with springs.  I saw Sheldon Reynolds Falls, hiked up to the top, only to be greeted by the broad curtain of Harrison Wright Falls.  I couldn’t believe a place so beautiful could be so close.

Ricketts Glen is one of the most beautiful state parks in the country, and was once even considered to become a national park.  Various hikes in this large park are described in “Hiking the Endless Mountains”.

Initially, I would hike the famous and popular Falls Trail frequently.  As the years passed, I spent less time in this iconic park.  I was too busy exploring the other beautiful places in Pennsylvania’s vast state forests and game lands.  On a misty weekend, I decided it was time to return.

Recent rains swelled Kitchen Creek into a powerful torrent.  Adams Falls pulsated with the force of the water.  Water was everywhere, dripping from rock, absorbed by moss, hanging onto leaves.  A veil of mist hung in the air, fading the forest.  I like to start from PA 118 so I can see the glorious old growth forest.  Massive hemlock and tulip poplar trees rose through the canopy.  From the trail, through the forest, I could see a particularly gigantic tulip poplar.

The creek roared down the glen.  I saw a family walk down the trail who excitedly told me a doe and fawn had just crossed the creek.  There was waterfall after waterfall.  I reached Waters Meet with waterfalls up each glen, glistening white.  I reached Ganoga Falls, the sight was stunning with the tremendous force of the water.

Ganoga Falls

Ganoga Falls

I hiked the Highland Trail to Glen Leigh and descended along the creek.  Concaved ledges rose over the water, creating amphitheaters that echoed the falls.  One of my favorite spots is looking up to Ozone Falls to see a series of cascades and slides leading up to the base of the falls.  R.B. Ricketts Falls waited just downstream, as two falls plummeted into a pool.

Ozone Falls

Ozone Falls

I returned to Waters Meet and headed back to the car.  I left this timeless gem of the Appalachians with its waterfalls, glens, and big trees.  It will always be there.

More pictures and videos.

More information on the park.

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