Scranton, PA: Falls Trail Loop to Adams Falls

Pass 21 waterfalls on this 6.2-mile, five-star loop through a wrinkled ravine and tranquil forest in Ricketts Glen State Park.
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Pass 21 waterfalls on this 6.2-mile, five-star loop through a wrinkled ravine and tranquil forest in Ricketts Glen State Park.

Start from the Falls trailhead and follow the path as it crisscrosses gurgling Kitchen Creek for 1.3 easy miles through a forest of 500-year-old hemlock, oak, birch, ash, and maple. At 1.8 miles, you’ll reach the confluence of Kitchen Creek’s two branches. The trail lollipops up one gorge to the Highland Trail, which connects to another for the return. Head up Glen Leigh Gorge to approach Adams’s favorite falls from below. Forty-one-foot Huron Falls (the fifth falls in Glen Leigh) cascades over multiple steps through the narrow gorge to a rocky amphitheater with a natural bench.

Drive time: Philadelphia: 2 1/2 hours

Contact: Ricketts Glen State Park, (570) 477-5675; www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/ricketts.htm

-Mapped by Michael Badeaux

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 10.0

Waypoints

RIC001

Location: 41.32972, -76.290604

From trailhead, begin hiking east on well-marked Falls Trail

RIC002

Location: 41.328983, -76.28801

Right onto Ganoga Glen Trail. Park is named after Col. Robert Bruce Ricketts, Battle of Gettysburg veteran

RIC003

Location: 41.326389, -76.288429

Stay left on Ganoga Glen Trail/Falls Trail, following current of west Kitchen Creek before entering Ganoga Glen

RIC004

Location: 41.323589, -76.283783

Follow switchbacks and stairs down west side of 94-foot Ganoga Falls; take rocky path toward falls for a midday rest

RIC005

Location: 41.321396, -76.275512

Stay Right to Waters Meet, where 2 forks merge, presenting 4 spectacular waterfalls and an open, shallow pool. Birders may want to hunker down here with binocs to view up to 23 species of warblers

RIC006

Location: 41.318661, -76.274246

Cool off behind Harrison Wright Falls, then continue past old-growth hemlock, pine, oak, some over 900 years old. Note: No swimming allowed

RIC007

Location: 41.316418, -76.273308

Trail splits into two parallel tracks. Flip a coin: both lead to next waypoint

RIC008

Location: 41.311138, -76.275299

Continue south where paths reconnect

RIC009

Location: 41.298839, -76.273259

Cross PA 118 before hitting Adams Falls, a wide stream dropping over mahogany-colored rock. Then backtrack to Waypoint 5, turn right, cross bridge, and head north up Glen Leigh Trail

RIC010

Location: 41.329896, -76.273699

Ascend steep steps and switchbacks, then turn left onto Highland Trail

RIC011

Location: 41.328752, -76.277572

Midway Crevasse, elephant-sized split boulder sitting stubbornly on path; continue around back to Waypoint 2; return to car

Framed by Trees

Location: 41.323627, -76.283913

Ganoga Falls plummets 94 feet.

Erie Falls

Location: 41.321743, -76.276451

The 47-foot drop of Erie Falls.

Mohawk Falls

Location: 41.328529, -76.288223

The white-washed ribbon of Mohawk Falls.

Ricketts Falls

Location: 41.328285, -76.273656

A 38-foot drop into a deep pool.

Sheldon Reynolds Falls

Location: 41.307705, -76.275612

Another beautiful cascade.

Brook

Location: 41.317131, -76.273605

Water rolls over rocky diving boards on this trailside brook.