Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hikin’ (Ricketts Glen, PA)

The backstory: during the Winter of 2012, I followed a series of posts called “Offline”, in which a writer named Paul Miller from left the Internet for a year and documented his life and times in the real world without having access to any resources or amenities provided by the cyberworld.  Late in 2012, Paul wrote a story about going hiking, and it struck a chord with me.  Paul and his buddy had to take a train, rent a car, and do all this crap just to get to the wilderness.  I can see mountains outside my window at home… I can be on that mountain in 15 minutes flat!  Paul’s article inspired me, and I decided that this Spring\Summer\Fall, I would start to enjoy the outdoors more.  This post is one such chronicle of this proposed adventure.

This past Monday was Memorial Day.  It was a beautiful mid-70’s day with a light, cool breeze.. a perfect day to have off of work.  What better way to honor those who served our country than to enjoy the land they worked so hard to protect.  As such, my cousin (Nick, an experienced hiker and all around learned man) and I made plans to visit a state park, Ricketts Glen.  I had heard how nice the park is, but had never visited it before.  The ride, in total, was about 50-60 minutes, including a visit to the local park office to acquire a trail map.

The trail map indicates that there are several trails available, but the most popular, as well as the most difficult, is the “Falls Trail”.  The trail is names such due to it’s number of waterfalls that you meander around.. 14 in total I believe.  Armed with this knowledge, our backpack full of hikin’ stuff, and ample quantities of water, we set foot.

(Photo courtesy of WikiPedia)

As you can see in the image, the trail is one large loop.  The southern-most point (indicated by the Shingle Cabin) contains the primary parking section to access the Falls trail, and you can visit either side of the trail first – at the Waters Meet mark to be particular about it.  Along the starting trail you are greeted with 3 separate waterfalls (Murray Reynolds, Sheldon Reynolds and Harrison Wright), just to “wet” your appetite (pun intended ;)

Arriving from this point, either side of the trail begins with an ascension up the various hills and rugged terrain, which at some points is rather steep.  Many stones are inlaid to provide as “steps” to go around the waterfalls, which is helpful, but there are many sections that are only 3 ft. wide or so, and stepping over that boundary will most certainly lead to injury due to the fall.  I mention this because I was shocked at how many children I saw attending the park later in the day.  It’s not that kid’s can’t walk this trail, but in all honesty, any parent looking to take their children should be aware.

For me, the highlight of the trip was the Ganoga waterfall.  While other waterfalls on the trail tend to average around 35 feet or so, this waterfall stands tall at 94 feet!  The hike to this waterfall makes the trip worthwhile, but the beauty of each waterfall is incredible.

In any case, Nick and myself actually entered from a different trail-point, and made the trek in roughly 2 hours.  As you can see below, the scenery is WELL worth it.  After our trip, I researched our park more and consistently saw it ranked as one of the top parks to visit in all of the Northeast!  I am not surprised however, having just visited the park, the views are breathtaking, and the trails are groomed considerably well.  In any case, if you haven’t yet visited the park and have the means to do so, I highly recommend you do.  And if you have visited the park before… well.. then I’m sure you understand :)

Finally, for more details on this park, check out

Enjoy the view!

PS - Incase you were curious on how to embed images like this in a blog post, I use SkyDrive, a FREE Microsoft Cloud product, and am also a member of the SkyDrive Insider's program. Should you be interested in becoming an insider, learn more about it here:

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