Eastern Waterfall Guide

Southford Falls Recommended Waterfall Trips

When visiting waterfalls, there are falls at which it is possible to lose oneself easily in the beauty of the cascading waters. Likewise, there are places where it may be possible to spend a week in the area and still not have seen all the waterfalls that are nearby. Below is a list of these special places that go above and beyond the typical expectations. Also included is a general description of where to find waterfalls in different states in the East.

Rickett's Glen State Park
Red Rock, Pennsylvania, 23 waterfalls (possibly more)

This Pennsylvania state park holds perhaps the ultimate waterfall experience in the eastern United States : a trail on which a hiker can reach 22 waterfalls easily in an day. Even better, there is no charge to hike the trail! Registered as a National Natural Landmark, Rickett's Glen State Park's Falls Trail follows the two branchs of Kitchen Creek through the gorges of Ganoga Glen and Glen Leigh until they meet to flow through Rickett's Glen. The waterfalls range in height from Ganoga Falls at 94 feet to Cayuga Falls at 11 feet. The falls are beautiful throughout the year, although they are best in medium waters. The beauty of this set of falls comes from the horizontal rocks strata in the area which creates many ledges off which the waterfalls tumble and cascade.

Directions : Take I-80 to the PA-487 exit (exit 35). Go north about 25 miles on PA-487 until you reach Red Rock. At this point, PA-487 turns left and goes uphill steeply. Continue to follow PA-487 to the top of the hill. The entrance to the park is about 4.5 miles after you start climbing the hill. Turn right into the park, going by the lake. Stop at the ranger station to get a map. From here you can either turn right and park near the Ganoga Glen side or continue on the road until it ends in a parking lot to park near the Glen Leigh side.

Blackwater Falls State Park
Davis, West Virginia, 15 waterfalls

This state park is a treasure trove for waterfall hunters. With 15 waterfalls on seven streams, one could spend a week exploring them all. In addition, the park's main attraction, Blackwater Falls, is probably the most famous waterfall in West Virginia. A paragon of waterfall perfection, its sixty foot plunge attracts thousands of visitors each year. Other waterfall series include Elakala Falls (four waterfalls), Pendleton Falls (five waterfalls), and Falls Run Falls (two waterfalls). Many of the waterfalls are not easily accessible and require some hiking off of the posted trails. However, steep unmarked trails lead to many of the unmarked waterfalls and should be visited if at all possible. My personal favorite is Elakala Falls #1, a beautiful 35 foot drop easily reached from the park's lodge.

Directions : Call 1-800-CALL WVA for the best directions from your location.

Shenandoah National Park
Virginia, 75+ waterfalls

The waterfalls in Shenandoah are so numerous and so popular that the Park Service has published a booklet of the more accessible waterfalls in the park. Besides the more popular falls, there are many others which can be reached by backcountry overnight hikes. The park is large but 105 mile long Skyline Drive runs the entire length of the park and many of the most popular falls are well-marked. Of particular interest and beauty are Whiteoak Canyon, Lewis Falls, and Doyles River Falls.

Directions : The park has many entrances, but can be easily reached from I-81, I-66, and VA-29 in northwestern Virginia.

Bushkill Falls
Bushkill, Pennsylvania, seven falls on the property, six falls within 20 minutes

Bushkill Falls is private property so be prepared to pay a fee to enter. However, it is worth the $7 for admission. The main attraction Bushkill Falls is impressive as are the most of the other falls on the property. Nearby Raymondskill Falls, Silver Thread Falls, and Dingmans Falls are all unique and beautiful waterfalls each worth a trip by themselves.

Directions : From I-84, take exit 11 on the Pennsylvania border to PA-209 south. Follow PA-209 south through Milford and entering the National Rec. Area. After 26.3 miles, make a right at Bushkill Falls Road. The entrance is 1.8 miles later on the left. There are multiple billboards around so it should be pretty easy to find. You can also reach this area from I-80 (take exit 52, PA-209 north).

Race Brook Falls
Mount Everett State Reservation, Sheffield, Massachusetts, five waterfalls

Nestled in the Berkshire Mountains is Race Brook which sports five of the most beautiful waterfalls in Massachusetts. The falls are all reached along one trail which, while steep, is well-marked. The low water volume of these waterfalls creates a delicate lacy appearance which is worth seeing. However, this low water volume also means that the falls are relatively dry in summer and fall.

Directions : From Great Barrington : Take MA-23 west out of town to MA-41 south. After about 2.2 mile, begin looking for a semi-circular parking area to the right of the road with a sign explaining the natural resources of Massachusetts. The parking area can become full on nice days since the trail provides access to the Appalachian Trail. From Connecticut - Take CT-44 to CT-41 north. The parking area is on the left 1.8 miles after crossing the CT-MA border.

Crabtree Falls
George Washington National Forest, Pedlar District, five waterfalls

Depending on how a waterfall is defined, Crabtree Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi at 1200 feet. Falling through a hemlock forest, it is also one of the more famous waterfalls on the East Coast because of its frequent mention on the television show The Waltons. Beautiful and scenic, it's worth a trip.

Directions : Take I-64 to the Blue Ridge Parkway west of Charlottesville. Take the Blue Ridge Parkway south (the only way you can go!) to mile 27.2 at the intersection of VA-56. Go east on VA-56 a little more than 6 miles. The parking lot is well-labeled on your right. Along VA-56, there are several signs so donít worry about not finding it.

Kent Falls
Kent, Connecticut, one waterfall

Although Kent Falls is a single waterfall, it combines over 250 feet of cascades which range anywhere from 20 to 60 feet high. An easy path follows the falls up and provides many close-up views of the entrancing cascades. It is by far the premier waterfall in Connecticut

Directions : From Hartford - take CT-44 past Canton until it splits into CT-202 and CT-44. Take 202 to Torrington and then make a right on CT-4. Take CT-4 16 miles until Cornwall Bridge at which point you turn left on US-7. Travel 4.0 miles on US-7 and the park entrance will be on your right in a clearing. From Waterbury - take CT-8 to Torrington and then follow CT-4 as detailed above. From Danbury - Take I-84 to Exit 7 (US-7). Take US-7 north through Kent. The park is on the right about 4.0 miles after the center of Kent.

Falls By State

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