Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ricketts Glen State Park, PA - Falls Trail, Cherry Run Loop and Evergreen Loop

Ricketts Glen State Park - PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources
Ricketts Glen State Park - Wikipedia

Lake Rose Trailhead Parking
GPS coordinates 41.329576, -76.291308
The GPS gets a little wonky entering the park from Route 487 so follow the signs for the Lake Rose parking lot.

View Larger Map

Ricketts Glen State Park Map - Pennsylvania DCNR
For the Cherry Run Loop portion see

Falls Trail - Cherry Run/Hall of the Hemlocks - Evergreen Trail - 15.1 miles
  Individual Hikes:
Falls Trail - 3.5  miles
Cherry Run/Hall of the Hemlocks Loop - 13.3 miles
Evergreen Loop - 1 mile

From the Rose Lake parking lot, pick up the trail at the information boards to begin with the Falls Loop.  The trail will descend along Ganoga Glen, cross Waters Meet, then ascend along Glen Leigh for a total of 18 waterfalls.
Ganoga Glen Falls from top to bottom (click on picture to enlarge)
Waters Meet with Ganoga Glen to the left, Glen Leigh on the right.
Glen Leigh Falls from bottom to top (click on picture to enlarge)
Steps going up Glen Leigh.
After ascending Glen Leigh, a left on the Highlands Trail brings you back to the parking lot.  Keep going towards the Cherry Run Trail which starts beyond the dam.
Cherry Run Trail
For the Cherry Run/Hall of the Hemlocks Circuit, please refer to the instructions.  (The day after I did this hike I received the new edition of Jeff Mitchell's "Hiking the Endless Mountains" where he has a very detailed description of the Cherry Run Circuit on page 103.)

You leave the Cherry Run trail to the right at a log and cairn to access unofficial trails.  This is very difficult to find.  I passed by it and found a trail to the right with initials carved into trees on either side of the trail.  I went farther in case that was not the right trail but found nothing else so I backtracked.  Just as I was getting ready to turn on the trail with the carved initials to see where that went, a trail maintainer with a local hiking club appeared so I asked him if that was the right trail.  It was not so he helped me find it.  Turns out the cairn was knocked over so it is basically a log with a few larger rock lined up along the log and you really have to be looking for it to see it.  The trail maintainer offered to escort me through that part of the hike since he is familiar with the maze of unofficial trails and he was kind enough to lead me through that entire part over to the Mountain Spring Lake Trail.  He not only shared lots of information with me about the surrounding area but also told stores of his Appalachian Trail thru-hike and Pacific Crest Trail hike.  What luck to have run into him and how nice of him to give me a tour of the unofficial trails!
Giant Conk
Cherry Run
A Cherry Run Waterfall
Mountain Spring Lake Trail
Intersection with Old Bulldozer Trail
Rocky Section of Old Bulldozer Trail
Midway Crevasse along the Highland Trail.
Leaving the park, turn left on Route 487 then left on Route 118 and watch for parking on the right at the pedestrian crossing sign for the Evergreen Trail.  This trail is only 1 mile long and definitely worth stopping for.
Follow the trail to the 36' Adams Falls.

Continue on the loop trail passing several very interesting interpretive signs such as:


[  0.00]  Take trail at trailhead information boards
[  0.10]  Right towards Ganoga Glen at intersection (left is return route)
[  0.30]  Cross bridge, turn left on Falls Trail when Old Beaver Dam Trail goes straight
[  0.65]  Straight on Fall Trail when Old Beaver Dam and Ganoga View Trails go right
[  1.40]  At Waters Meet turn left and cross bridge
[  2.10]  Keep right when shortcut trail to Highland Trail goes left
[  2.30]  Keep right when Highland Trail goes left (or for 3.5 mile hike turn left)
[  2.70]  Right on grassy road towards orange diamond and yellow rectangle-blazed Cherry Run Trail at info boards when gravel road goes left
[  2.80]  Follow along dam and keep straight on Cherry Run when Mountain Springs goes right (coming in from right is return route)
[  5.50]  Look for trail right  - missed turn if you reach trail with initials carved in trees; follow instructions for directions through this section.

To continue after exiting unofficial trails:
[ 10.75]  After crossing Bowman Creek, right on orange diamond-blazed Mountain Spring Trail
[ 12.00]  At intersection with multiple signs, right on red diamond-blazed Old Bulldozer Trail towards Lake Leigh
[ 12.60]  Turn left at dam when Cherry Run Trail goes right
[ 12.70]  Turn left at intersection towards Glen Leigh
[ 13.00]  At intersection right on Highland Trail when Falls Trail goes straight
[ 13.20]  Keep right on Highland Trail when shortcut trail goes left
[ 13.60]  Midway Crevasse
[ 14.00]  At intersection turn right towards Lake Rose parking lot when trail to Ganoga Glen goes left
[ 14.10]  Back at parking lot


  1. You've inspired me once again, Daniela. DH and I are already making plans to include this along w/Hickory Run for a two or three day trip. So although we're researching this area in depth in preparation, we've a great jumping off point with the info packed description you've given here. Thanks again, for taking the time and whatever trouble to do this for your sister/fellow hikers.

  2. Thanks, Linda! Knowing that my information is useful makes it all the more worth doing. Like you, I do a tremendous amount of research so in addition to doing the blog as a scrapbook of my hikes, I started including the details so it's really not a whole lot of extra work. I figure the easier you make it for people to get out there to hike the trails, the more support there is to keep what is left of nature from being destroyed.


  3. how difficult is it to hike to the trails? my gf has hernias in her stomach and cant walk up real steep areas or for real long without a rest, but i want her to see the falls. is there any easy way to get to any of them? we are planning on going sunday as a surprise for her birthday so if you could answer asap i would greatly greatly appreciate it!

  4. What might work for you is to start the same way I did and see the first 4 falls in Ganoga Glen. I don't recall the trail going downhill very steeply until Ganoga Falls (the 4th waterfall). Remember, for as far as you go down you have to go back up! You could probably go as far as the top of Ganoga Falls then backtrack. You would be able to see Ganoga Falls from the top looking down. If you go any farther than Ganoga Falls you are going to be getting into much steeper areas. You can tell by the topo lines on the map - where the gray lines come closer together it is steeper, where they are farther apart it is less steep. Definitely go to the Evergreen Trail to see Adams Falls, which is very easy to get to and the 1 mile Evergreen loop is an easy, interesting and pleasant trail - other than a short flight of steps, don't recall it being hilly at all. One thing to keep in mind, though, this time of year the falls probably won't be flowing like they do in the spring.


  5. thank you very much! you really sound like you know what you are talking about. i really appreciate your feed back. we decided to go kayaking at the delaware water gap instead, that way i could do all the work and she could rest. we will def be keeping that in mind for the spring. any other cool areas around that you would recommend going to that would be easy on her belly???

  6. You and your dog are awesome!!!! You have made my night! Can't wait till i finish healing so i can get back on the trails...... Best wishes!

  7. Anonymous #1 (Pam) - You might try Big Pocono State Park. You can drive to the top, great views, trails mostly flat on top of the mountain.

    Anonymous #2 - Thanks!


  8. ok great! thank you so much, btw, anonymous #2 is cindy :-)

  9. This park has been on our bucket list for a long time. I can't think of another place that has so many major waterfalls packed into such a small space.

    1. It is a pretty amazing place! If you want solitude, get there first thing in the morning before the crowds arrive. That place gets packed even on a week day.


  10. hi What is the overall elevation gain on this hike?

    1. I did not have a GPS at the time this hike was done so wouldn't be able to tell you.