Hiking Havens: Unraveling the Trails of Ricketts Glen State Park

Nestled within the embrace of Pennsylvania’s lush landscapes, Ricketts Glen State Park is a haven for hiking enthusiasts, offering an array of trails that wind through its diverse terrains. In this exploration of Hiking Havens, we’ll delve into the mesmerizing trails of Ricketts Glen, unveiling the park’s scenic wonders, diverse difficulty levels, and the breathtaking waterfalls that grace these paths. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice nature lover, Ricketts Glen has a trail for you.

The Crown Jewels: Falls Trail

No exploration of Ricketts Glen’s hiking havens is complete without embarking on the iconic Falls Trail. This 7.2-mile loop showcases the park’s 22 waterfalls, each more enchanting than the last. The trail, rated as challenging, takes hikers through a lush canopy, over wooden bridges, and along the edges of precipitous cliffs. While the terrain may be demanding, the rewards are immeasurable. Ganoga Falls, the tallest waterfall in the park, and the serene Waters Meet, where two streams converge, are just some of the highlights along this trail.

For Novices: Glen Leigh and Ganoga Glen Trails

For hikers seeking a more moderate experience, the Glen Leigh and Ganoga Glen Trails offer a balanced blend of scenic beauty and manageable difficulty. These trails provide a shorter loop, allowing hikers to experience the park’s waterfalls without the strenuous nature of the Falls Trail. Glen Leigh, a 3.2-mile loop, introduces hikers to the majestic Ganoga Falls and the picturesque Highland Trail junction. Ganoga Glen, a slightly longer 3.4-mile loop, winds through dense forests and offers views of the stunning waterscape.

Scenic Vistas: Highland Trail

For those with an appetite for panoramic views, the Highland Trail is a must-visit. This 3.4-mile trail takes hikers to the highlands, providing breathtaking vistas of Lake Jean and the surrounding mountains. The Highland Trail complements the waterfall-centric routes, offering a different perspective of the park’s grandeur. Hikers can enjoy a peaceful interlude amidst wildflowers and wildlife, making this trail a refreshing detour for those seeking both challenge and serenity.

Tips for a Gratifying Hiking Experience:

  1. Proper Footwear: Sturdy hiking boots with good traction are essential, especially for the rocky sections along the Falls Trail.
  2. Timing is Everything: To experience the waterfalls at their most majestic, plan your hike in late spring or after a period of rainfall when the water flow is abundant.
  3. Pack Essentials: Carry water, snacks, a map, and a first aid kit. The trails can be challenging, and it’s essential to be prepared.
  4. Mind the Seasons: Each season unveils a different facet of Ricketts Glen. While summer brings lush greenery, autumn paints the landscape in vibrant hues. Winter, with its icy beauty, offers a unique and tranquil experience.


Ricketts Glen State Park stands as a testament to the natural beauty awaiting those who tread its trails. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual stroller, the park’s diverse trails cater to all skill levels. From the thundering waterfalls along the Falls Trail to the serene beauty of the Highland Trail, Ricketts Glen’s hiking havens beckon, promising a journey filled with awe-inspiring vistas and unforgettable moments. So, lace up your hiking boots and immerse yourself in the unparalleled allure of Ricketts Glen’s scenic trails.

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