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Ricketts Glen State Park

Ricketts Glen State Park is one of the most scenic areas in Pennsylvania. This large park is comprised of 13,050 acres in Luzerne, Sullivan, and Columbia counties.

Ricketts Glen harbors the Glens Natural Area -- a National Natural Landmark. Hike the Falls Trail System to explore the glens, which boasts a series of wild, free-flowing waterfalls, each cascading through rock-strewn clefts in this ancient hillside.

The 94-foot Ganoga Falls is the highest of 22 named waterfalls. Old growth timber and diverse wildlife add to the beauty.

Seasons and Hours

The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk.

The park office is open specific hours. The beach, overnight areas, and other areas are open specific seasons and hours. Contact the park office for facility seasons and hours.

 

Directions

The park is 30 miles north of Bloomsburg on PA 487.

The section of PA 487 from the town of Red Rock to the Lake Jean area of the park is a very steep road. Heavy trailer units should avoid this hill and enter the park by taking PA 487 south from Dushore.

GPS DD: Lat. 41.33517  Long. -76.30153

 

Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park Information Window.

Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.

Top 10 Activities to do at Ricketts Glen State Park

  1. Hike the Falls Trail System. Wear proper footwear. Sandals are prohibited.
  2. Cool off on a hot summer day with a swim at the beach on Lake Jean and grab an ice cream at the concession.
  3. Spend a winter weekend in one of the modern cabins.
  4. Camp overnight in the campground. Scouts and other groups can try the rustic Organized Group Tent Campground.
  5. Explore the waters of Lake Jean via boat. Boat rentals are available during the summer.
  6. Enjoy fishing on Lake Jean through all seasons. Ice fishing is popular from November through March.
  7. Have a picnic by Lake Jean.
  8. Visit the park in winter to snowmobile, cross-country ski, and snowshoe.
  9. Enjoy 10,144 acres of hunting within the state park and additional acres in the surrounding state game lands.
  10. Enjoy the view from the Grand View Trail, especially in mid-June when the mountain laurel blooms.

How to Access the Waterfalls

Twenty-one waterfalls are along the Falls Trail within the Glens Natural Area, while one (Adams) is only a few hundred feet from the Evergreen Parking Lot off PA 118.

There are three parking lots that provide access to the Falls Trail:

  1. Lake Rose is at the end of the dirt road across from the campground and provides the closest access (5-10 minutes), but fills up quickly during peak times.
  2. Beach Parking Lot #2 is at the beach. Leave the lot and walk down the Cabin Road (first road just outside of the lot), past a park gate, and onto a section of trail to the first intersection where you go right (15-20 minute access).
  3. The parking lots on PA 118 are 1.5 miles from the first waterfall upstream on the Falls Trail, but allow a good view of old growth trees.

The full loop of the Falls Trail is 7.2 miles if hiking both the upper and lower sections. To see most of the waterfalls, a 3.2-mile loop can be taken by going on Highland Trail and the Glen Leigh and Ganoga Glen sides of the trail.

An enlargement map of the Glens Natural Area shows the waterfalls:

Glens Natural Area Enlargement Map (PDF)

Food and Refreshment Concession

The snack bar is in the park’s Beach Area. The concession can be accessed by Parking Lot #1 or Parking Lot #2 off of Main Park Road off of PA 487, 3.7 miles north of the town of Red Rock.

The concession serves a variety of hot sandwiches, cold and hot beverages, ice cream, candy, snack food, and ice.

The concession is open (weather permitting) from Memorial Day through Labor day, seven days-a-week, from 11:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

Environmental Education and Interpretation

Natural wetlands, old growth forests, and majestic geological formations (which helped produce 22 beautiful waterfalls), make Ricketts Glen an excellent choice for outdoor studies.

From March to November, the environmental education specialist conducts hands-on activities, guided walks, and presentations on the natural and historical resources for school groups, scouts, civic organizations, and the general public.

Call in advance to set up a program to enhance classroom or group studies. Campers and visitors may check the bulletin boards and at the park office for listings of weekend programs and nature hikes.

Access for People with Disabilities

This activity or structure is ADA accessible. If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.

In an Emergency

Call 911 and contact an employee.

Directions to the nearest hospital are posted on bulletin boards and at the park office.

Nearest Hospital

Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital
549 Fair Street
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
570-387-2100

​explore Ricketts glen state park

Ricketts Glen State Park