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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.

Ricketts Glen State Park Trail Map (PDF)

Glens Natural Area Trail Map (PDF)

Falls Trail System Guide (PDF)

Hiking Guidelines

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

Trail Definitions

Difficulty Ratings

Easiest -- For beginner trail users. Grade is gentle with few obstacles.
More Difficult -- For the majority of trail users. Grade is steeper and trails narrower with embedded rocks or roots on the trail surface.
Most Difficult -- For trail users with advanced skills. Grade is steep and provides a definite physical challenge. Routes may not be well marked. Elevation gain or loss is severe.

Trail Route Type

Loop -- Start and end at the same location and follow a single trail to form a loop.
Out-and-back -- Start and end at a trailhead and follow a single trail to an endpoint or specific point of interest, then return along the same route.
Point-to-point -- Trails are generally longer in distance and parks may often contain only a portion of the trail within their boundary. Hiker starts and ends in different locations, often requiring a shuttle.
Connector -- Begin and end in connection with another trail or trails but do not terminate at a trailhead.

Beach Trail

0.8 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  Trail signs
Recreations permitted: hiking, biking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing recommended, snowshoeing recommended
Trailhead amenities: modern restrooms, potable water, picnic tables, benches

Providing campers access to the beach and day use areas, this trail runs along the southern border of Lake Jean from the eastern boat launch to the Big loop in the campground. In the winter months, it is a popular snowmobiling and cross-country skiing route.

Bear Walk Trail

1.0 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing recommended, snowshoeing recommended
Trailhead amenities: modern restrooms, potable water, picnic tables, benches

This is a meandering trail great for hiking and cross country skiing. It connects the Lake Rose trail head with Beach Lot #2. This trail allows snowmobilers access from the east to west sides of the park and additional trails.

Cherry Run Trail

4.6 miles  |  More difficult hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  Red blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, equestrian, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing recommended, snowshoeing recommended
Trailhead amenities: none

Just beyond the old Lake Leigh dam, this trail takes you through groves of cherry trees and remnants of old logging railroads. Access is from Beach Lot #2.

Evergreen Trail

1.0 mile  |  Easiest hiking  |  Loop trail  |  Trail signs
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: non-flush restrooms, benches

This trail starts at the Evergreen Parking area and descends to Adams Falls, the park's 22nd named waterfall. Continuing down the path, a self-guided nature tour with kid friendly signs can be found. 

Falls Trail

7.2 miles  |  Most difficult hiking  |  Loop or out-and-back trail  |  Trail signs
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: modern restrooms, picnic tables, benches

The Falls Trail is located in the Glens Natural Area, a national natural landmark containing a series of 22 wild free-flowing waterfalls cascading through rock strewn cliffs. Old growth timber and diverse wildlife can be viewed. Waterfalls range in height from 11 feet to the 94-foot-tall Ganoga Falls, The terrain is rocky, can be slippery, and descends steeply. Hikers should take extra precautions with trail conditions, wear proper footwear, stay on the trail, and be in good physical condition.

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 Falls Trail is closed in the winter except for properly equipped ice climbers and hikers.

Falls Trail System Guide (PDF)

Grand View Trail

1.9 miles  |  Easiest hiking  |  Loop trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing recommended, snowshoeing recommended
Trailhead amenities: none

This loop follows the Fire Tower access road from the shale pit parking area to the top of Red Rock Mountain, the highest elevation in the park. From the Fire Tower, this rocky trail continues through mountain laurel and berry bushes, gradually looping back to the starting point. 

Highland Trail

1.2 miles  |  More difficult hiking  |  Connector trail  |  Trail signs
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: benches

The highland trail crosses through the Midway Crevasse which is formed by Pocono sandstone conglomerates. that were deposited by Continental glaciers hundreds of feet thick, and is an excellent area for geological study. This trail connects the two glens forming a loop.

Little Cherry Run Trail

1.0 mile  |  More difficult hiking  |  Connector trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking
Trailhead amenities: none

This short trail passes along Cherry Run which flows through unique rock formations. It connects Mountain Springs Trail to Cherry Run Trail to form a loop.

Mountain Springs Trail

4.0 miles  |  More difficult hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  Red blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, equestrian, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing recommended, snowshoeing recommended
Trailhead amenities: none

This trail ventures past the old Lake Leigh Dam and down the south branch of Bowmans Creek to the former Mountain Springs Lake. Access to this trail is from Beach Lot #2. 

Old Beaver Dam Road Trail

4.0 miles  |  More difficult hiking  |  Loop trail  |  Yellow blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing recommended, snowshoeing recommended
Trailhead amenities: none

This rolling trail runs through forest and stream habitats, making it a great loop for hikers and cross country skiers. The trail can be accessed from a small parking area on 487 across from gate at the trail entrance.

Old Bulldozer Road Trail

2.9 miles  |  Most difficult hiking  |  Out-and-back trail  |  Red blazes
Recreations permitted: hiking, equestrian, snowmobiling
Trailhead amenities: non-flush restrooms, picnic tables

Once used by a bulldozer to get to the top of the mountain, this steep trail is accessed from the Glens Parking Lot is used by hikers and snowmobilers to access the Mountain Springs Trail. An overlook is accessible at the top of the ridge where signage marks a path maintained by scouts.