Hiking at Ricketts Glen State Park
26 miles of trails
Trails vary from fairly level to very steep hills.
The 26 miles of trails are a prime attraction of the park.
CAUTION: Hikers on the Falls Trail should be in good physical condition, wear sturdy boots, and use caution due to slippery/wet conditions and steep trail sections.
The following guidelines will help ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience while at the park.
- Always wear sturdy boots. Wearing sneakers, sandals, “water shoes” and “street shoes” can lead to serious accidents in this park.
- Be prepared. Have proper clothing and equipment (i.e. compass, map, matches, water, food, flashlight, etc.) available in case of an emergency. This is especially important when traveling remote trails or when hiking during non-summer seasons.
- Give yourself plenty of time for your hike. The weather changes quickly in the park. Plan to be off the trails well before dark.
- Let someone know where you are hiking and when you should return.
- Stay on the trails. Leaving the trail causes damage to unique natural resources, promotes erosion, and can be dangerous.
- Don’t take shortcuts from one trail section to another. Taking shortcuts down switchbacks is dangerous and causes trail damage.
- Double blazes indicate a change in the trail’s direction.
7.2 miles, most difficult hiking
The full loop of this 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. The trails follow along 21 beautiful waterfalls ranging in heights from 11 feet to 94 feet.
The scenery is well worth the effort; however, the terrain is rocky, can be slippery, and descends steeply on both the Ganoga and Glen Leigh sides. Hikers should take extra precautions with trail conditions, wear proper footwear, stay on the trail, and be in good physical condition.
The Falls Trail is closed in the winter except for properly equipped ice climbers and hikers.
0.8-mile, easiest hiking
Campers in both camping areas can access the Lake Jean day-use and swimming areas without having to travel on a road.
Cherry Run Trail
4.6 miles, more difficult hiking
Near the Lake Leigh dam is access to Cherry Run Trail, where hikers will pass through groves of cherry trees and view evidence of the old logging railroads that passed through this area more than 100 years ago. Hikers can connect to Mountain Springs Trail by walking 3.5 miles on Mountain Springs Road.
Little Cherry Run Trail
1 mile, more difficult hiking
This connector between Mountain Springs and Cherry Run trails travels along a small picturesque stream, making a great loop for day hiking.
1 mile, easiest hiking
Self-guiding tours take visitors into old growth forest, one of the few stands remaining in all of Pennsylvania. Hikers can see a hemlock that stood on this continent before Columbus. This is an easy, one-mile hike into the past.
Grand View Trail
1.9 miles, more difficult hiking
This trail takes hikers to the highest point on Red Rock Mountain (elevation 2,449 ft). During mid-June, the beautiful mountain laurel is in bloom. In mid-July, the high bush blueberries bear fruit, and during the fall, there are awe inspiring views of the fall foliage encompassing the surrounding hillsides, making this trail a pleasant hike at any time of the year.
1.2-miles, more difficult hiking
The trail cuts across the top of the Falls Trail System and crosses through Midway Crevasse, a narrow passageway between large blocks of Pocono sandstone conglomerates that were deposited throughout this area by glacial movements. At least three times in the last one million years, continental glaciers buried this land under hundreds of feet of ice. This trail makes an excellent area for geological study groups.
Mountain Springs Trail
4 miles, more difficult hiking
Heading off of the beaten path, this trail takes hikers on a four-mile hike past the old Lake Leigh Dam and down the south branch of Bowmans Creek to the former Mountain Springs Lake, which is now a dry lake bed. Hikers can connect to Cherry Run Trail by walking 3.5 miles on Mountain Springs Road.
Old Beaver Dam Road Trail
4 miles, more difficult hiking
Named for the old beaver dam, which can be seen just off the trail, this trail makes an excellent loop trail for hikers and cross-country skiers. It also brushes up next to Ganoga Falls, which can be accessed by using a short connector trail. Although the connector is easy to moderate hiking, use caution where it meets the Falls Trail System due to the switchbacks and drop-offs. Access is from a small pull-off of PA 487, or from the Lake Rose parking lot.
Old Bulldozer Road Trail
2.9 miles, most difficult hiking
With its unique name (once used by a bulldozer to get to the top of the mountain to build the park), comes quite an elevation change. Accessed from the parking lot on PA 118, this trail is used by hikers and snowmobilers to access Mountain Springs Trail. Although most of the trail is easy to moderate hiking, a short section just up from the bottom is very steep.
The Bear Walk Trail
1 mile, easiest hiking
Walk the trail of the bears -- this short trail accesses other trails for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and hiking. It runs from the entrance of the cabin area to Lake Rose.