Adventure PA: Ricketts Glen State Park

BENTON, Pa. (WHTM) – Ricketts Glen is nestled between Luzerne, Sullivan and Columbia counties. The state park and Natural National Natural Landmark has nearly half a million visitors each year, and what draws them in is the gorgeous views.

“There are 22 named waterfalls,” Ranger Mick Maneval said.

You will find 21 named waterfalls on Falls Trails. It will take about three hours to hike the 7.2-mile loop.

“You can also do the shorter version which is 3.2 from the top,” Maneval said.

The park has two types of waterfalls; bridal veil and wedding cake.

“When you think of a wedding cake with all of the different tiers or stair steps, and bridal veil falls you think of a bride’s veil and it just kind of flows real smooth,” said Rhiannon Summers, an environmental education specialist at the park.

Ganoga Falls is the highest waterfall in the park at 94 feet and a favorite spot to snap a picture.

If you decide to hike Falls Trail, be sure to bring water and food so you can take some breaks. There is no cell service and parts of the trail are very steep, so it’s not a great hike for kids under 10.

“A lot of the steps are very high, so young children would have a hard time navigating,” Maneval said. “There is a 1,000- foot elevation difference from the bottom to the top, a lot of exposed roots and rocks,”

After your hike, you can stop by Lake Jean for some fishing, kayaking or swimming. There is parking available at the lake as well as bathrooms.

If you want to see the only named waterfall not on Falls Trail, head over to Evergreen Trail off Route 118. That’s where you’ll find Adams Falls. Evergreen Trail is a great hike for the whole family.

“Nice and even through the woods and our biggest trees are in that area, so it’s a really beautiful spot,” Summers said.

With 13,050 acres, Ricketts Glen is the fifth largest state park in Pennsylvania and named after the man who owned the land.

“Our park is named after Col. Ricketts who fought in the Civil War,” Summers said. “A lot of the waterfalls are named after his family and friends.”

You can camp at Ricketts Glen, but spots fill up quickly. They recommend making reservations 11 months out.

“We have 120 campsites, 10 modern cabins and we have five deluxe cottages,” Maneval said.

Adventure PA Checklist:

Location: Ricketts Glen is 30 miles north of Bloomsburg on PA 487, about a 2-hour drive from Harrisburg.

Accommodations:  Rustic camping, modern cabins, and deluxe cottages. There are spaces for RV’s, but the park does not have hookups. Modern bathhouses with flush toilets and electric are available.

Cost: All-day use areas and parking are free. Camping rates are very reasonable

Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall

For more info: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/rickettsglen/index.htm

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