ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania

Updated on May 23, 2014
Looking down Ganoga Glen from the top of Erie fall.
Looking down Ganoga Glen from the top of Erie fall.
View from the trail leading up to 'Waters Meet'.
View from the trail leading up to 'Waters Meet'.
Adams fall in the Boston Run Area off Route 118.
Adams fall in the Boston Run Area off Route 118.
North Mountain, Pennsylvania.
North Mountain, Pennsylvania.

Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania

The abundance of soft sandstone and shale in northern Pennsylvania makes it particularly well-endowed with beautiful waterfalls, as fast moving streams have cut beautiful gorges and waterfalls across the various plateaus. Many of the state’s waterfalls are located in the northeastern part of the state and many are a day trip from most destinations in eastern Pennsylvania. Although some require hikes into the backcountry, such as Kettle Creek Falls, most are within a few hundred yards from well-traveled roads. One of these is arguably the most spectacular – the Kitchen Creek as it tumbles through Ricketts Glen off the south side of North Mountain. Easy access to these 22 named waterfalls is from Route 118 about 25 miles west of Wilkes-Barre in Luzerne County. The 13,050 acre state park is free of charge.


Originally the land was owned by Robert Bruce Ricketts, a Civil War veteran who owned vast tracts of land in the northern part of the state but had little idea about the falls’ existence until a friend of the Ricketts went fishing and wandered down the glen in the 1890s. Eventually the Ricketts family sold the land to the Pennsylvania Game Commission in the 1920s. It was slated to become a national park in the 1930s as were other areas in the state, such as Blue Knob, now a state park, but this never materialized because of the outbreak of World War II. It’s worth mentioning that the 1930s saw one of the largest park building schemes in the history of the country, both nationally and state-wide. The CCC built countless structures which still populate many state and national parks and it was for this reason that Ricketts Glen was going to be developed. In 1942 the state park was formed from the Falls and Glens areas and by 1949 more land, totaling 10,000 acres, was added. Other distinctions were added such as the designation of Registered National Natural Landmark in 1969 and State Park Natural Area in 1993. The Glens Natural Area, the crown jewel of the park, is indeed worthy of these distinctions, and it also protects beautiful stands of old growth forests of Hemlock and White Pine, many over 100 feet tall and 500 years old, as well as the falls area of the Kitchen Creek.

Hiking the falls

The most accessible falls of the Kitchen Creek are just south of Route 118. If you lack time at least see Adams fall, which tumbles 36’ into a deep and clear basin. This is called the Boston Run Area and is accessed by the Evergreen Loop Trail which is about 200 yards long and very close to the car park and picnic area on Route 118. Return to the car park and proceed up the Kitchen Creek for more than a mile into the Glens Natural Area. The first three falls are Murray Reynolds (16’), Sheldon Reynolds (36’), and Harrison Wright (27’). Soon after, the trail comes to ‘Waters Meet’, where the two branches of the stream connect. Going to the left is Ganoga Glen; to the right is Glen Leigh. If you plan to see all of the falls the Highland Trail connects both glens at the top to form a hiking loop. The falls along Ganoga Glen are higher starting in order, going uphill, with Erie (47’), Tuscarora (47’), Conestoga (17’), Mohican (39’), Delaware (37’), Seneca (12’), and the highest in the park, Ganoga (94’). Continuing uphill you will hike past Cayuga (11’), Oneida (13’), and finally Mohawk (37’). Follow the Highland Trail to the east past Midway Crevasse for a total of just over a mile until you come to Glen Leigh. Going downhill the first fall is Onondaga (15’), followed by F.L. Ricketts (38’), Shawnee (30’), Huron (41’), the highest in Glen Leigh, then Ozone (20’), R.B. Ricketts (36’), B. Reynolds (40’), and finally Wyandot (15’) until you come to ‘Waters Meet’ again. Continue back to the car park along Route 118. This hike will total just over one-thousand vertical feet with some sections quite steep and slippery because of the water. From Route 118 the entire loop trail as described above is 5.2 miles. Maps of the park are available at the car park along Route 118.

If you enjoyed this Hub Page, you may also like Waterfalls, USA.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)