Ricketts Glen State Park
All Photographs © Brian & Nancy Morganti
Ricketts Glen State Park Waterfalls
Nearby Bear Run & Sullivan Run Waterfalls
October 13th & 22nd - 2015
Nancy and I had just returned from our Colorado/Utah trip when we decided to photograph the waterfalls in Ricketts Glen amid the fall foliage in northern Pennsylvania. We waited for an overcast/rainy day which would not only enhance the colors of the fall foliage, but also allow for long exposure photography needed to create a pleasing blurred motion effect to the waterfalls. October 13th provided a day with both light rain and no wind which would be perfect for imaging these beautiful falls. A period of dry weather resulted in less water flowing over the falls, but at the same time revealed views not often seen adjacent to the face of the falls! We made a second trip to this area about a week later to capture a couple falls missed on the first trip, as well as photograph a few other nearby waterfalls.
The waterfall images below more or less follow our route as depicted on the following map of Ricketts Glen. We started down Ganoga Glen and the first image will be that of the 37' high Mohawk Falls, then Oneida, Cayuga, etc., all the way down to "Waters Meet". From there we continued south to Harrison Wright and Sheldon Falls, and later photographed Murray Reynolds and Adams falls. Adams Falls is about 1.3 miles below Murray Reynolds and is not shown on this map. However, all the falls will be shown in hiking order if one were to take the entire 7.2 mile round trip hike. We then returned to "Waters Meet" and continued the uphill hike along "Glen Leigh" starting with Wyandot Falls and ending with Onondaga Falls.
Mohawk Falls - 37' - Ganoga Glen: A "falls over slide" and the first waterfall one encounters on a hike down Ganoga Glen. The actual "falls" itself as shown here is only 9' high and is rather difficult to photograph from a steeply descending, boulder strewn area. The falls continue from this point over a steep slide which is even more difficult to photograph.
Oneida Falls - 13' - Ganoga Glen: A true waterfall that features a deep rocky undercut that contrasts nicely with the ribbons of water flowing from the crest of the falls.
Cayuga Falls - 11' - Ganoga Glen: At full water flow Cayuga Falls is considered not very photogenic, but on this day of low water flow a beautiful staircase of moss covered stone ledges was revealed!
Ganoga Falls - 94' - Upper Slide View - Ganoga Glen: Considered the "crown jewel" of Ricketts Glen, Ganoga Falls provides plenty of different views to enjoy. This image was taken near the head of the falls from a narrow ledge overlooking a "bridal veil" of water that gradually widens as it slides over the rocks below.
Ganoga Falls - 94' - Face On View - Ganoga Glen: This misty view taken from the base of the falls is a continuation of the previous image as the water continues its cascade down a series of terraced rock slides.
Seneca Falls - 12' - Ganoga Glen: Seneca Falls is the fifth named falls heading down Ganoga Glen, and is a little more than 0.5 miles (0.80 km) upstream of Waters Meet. The Ganoga Glen trail can be seen on the left side of the image.
Delaware Falls - 37' - Ganoga Glen: A wonderful slide-type waterfall along Kitchen Creek and adjacent to one of the many rocky staircases found descending the Ganoga Glen trail.
Mohican Falls - 39' - Ganoga Glen: A "slide over slide" waterfall that I rate among the best along the Ganoga Glen. The low water flow allowed me to get into the middle of creek in order to photograph both drops of the falls, something that is not possible during periods of high water flow.
Tuscarora Falls - 47' - Ganoga Glen: I skipped over Conestoga falls as it was both difficult to photograph and simply not photogenic. However, Tuscarora Falls more than made up for it with a commanding view of its 47' plunge as viewed from near the base of the falls along Kitchen Creek.
Erie Falls - 47' - Ganoga Glen: A pretty cascade-type waterfall and the last one to be viewed in Ganoga Glen before reaching the Glen Leigh trail where "Waters Meet".
Waters Meet - Ganoga Glen & Glen Leigh: A long exposure reveals a beautiful leaf swirl pattern where the two branches of Kitchen Creek merge. The waterfall visible in the distance is Wyandot Falls and the first one encountered when ascending the Glen Leigh Trail.
Harrison Wright Falls - 27' - Ricketts Glen: Harrison Wright Falls is "perhaps the most photogenic falls in the park" with its large green plunge pool, but is often missed by day hikers who choose to continue the hiking loop at "Waters Meet". Harrison Wright Falls is located 1.6 miles (2.6 km) north of PA 118 and 0.2 miles (0.32 km) south and downstream of Waters Meet.
Harrison Wright Falls - 27' - Face View - Ricketts Glen: With minimal water flow or waterfall spray it was a great day to get down in front of the plunge pool to photograph these beautiful falls head-on from a sandbar in the middle of Kitchen Creek.
Sheldon Reynolds Falls - 36' - Ricketts Glen: This is the next falls downstream from the Harrison Wright Falls and again one that is often missed by day-hikers. The low water flow reveals much of the sandstone ledges that are normally not visible.
Murray Reynolds Falls - 16' - Ricketts Glen: Murray Reynolds Falls was once known as "Pulpit Falls" for the pulpit-shaped rock in the midst of the chute. It is 1.3 miles (2.1 km) north of PA 118, 0.5 miles (0.80 km) south of Waters Meet. I'd like to photograph this same scene during a period of high water when the rock chute is filled with rushing water.
Adams Falls - 36' - Ricketts Glen: Located below highway 118 and easily accessible it is the only falls not visible from the falls trail. Adams Falls has carved a narrow chute in the rock, and its lower plunge pool, Leavenworth Pool, has a diameter of 30 feet (9.1 m) and a depth of 8 to 10 feet.
Adams Falls - Vertical View - 36' - Ricketts Glen: This was one of the few waterfalls that would have benefited from a higher water flow cascading over the large foreground rock.
Wyandot Falls - 15' - Glen Leigh: Wyandot Falls is the first falls one encounters when ascending Glen Leigh from where "Waters Meet". This wide angle view shows off the peak fall foliage colors surrounding the waterfalls.
Wyandot Falls - Closer View - 15' - Glen Leigh: This closer view of Wyandot Falls shows delicate streamers of water falling from the rock ledges as well as two "vortices" of leaves swirling about on either side of the waterfall.
B. Reynolds Falls - 40' - Glen Leigh: Looking uphill on the approach to B. Reynolds Falls from along the Glen Leigh Trail.
B. Reynolds Falls - View from Above - 40' - Glen Leigh: B. Reynolds Falls is a classic "horsetail" waterfalls at times of low water flow such as on the day this image was taken. A 13 second exposure was required to fill the arc of the "horsetail".
R. B. Ricketts Falls - 36' - Glen Leigh: A pleasant cascade down a rocky staircase followed by the plunge into the pool at the base of the falls made getting off the trail a worthwhile effort.
Ozone Falls - Overview - 60' - Glen Leigh: Ozone leaps from atop a series of steep ledges as a narrow plume that gradually widens near the base. Several ledges below the plunge pool extend far downstream as shown in this view. Part of the ascending staircase along Glen Leigh trail is visible as well as a foot bridge that crosses over top of the falls.
Ozone Falls - Upper View - Glen Leigh: The upper "horsetail" portion of the Ozone Falls is framed nicely by colorful foliage as one ascends the Glen Leigh trail.
Huron Falls - 41' - Glen Leigh: Looking up at the turn in Huron Falls as it slides over several layers of thin of sandstone before the cascading waters settle in a shallow plunge pool.
Huron Falls - Upper View - Glen Leigh: A spectacular view of the Huron Falls cascading onto layers of red and gray Huntley Mountain Formation Sandstone stained by colorful leaf debris.
Shawnee Falls - 30' - Glen Leigh: A "falls over falls" configuration that plunges over sandstone ledges down the east branch of the Kitchen Creek.
F. L. Ricketts Falls - 38' - Glen Leigh: A 38 foot long waterfall slide that rushes over a series of evenly spaced "steps". A colorful log jamb has been pushed aside by waters that must have been much more forceful as those shown in this image!
Onondaga Falls - 15' - Glen Leigh: A colorful leaf swirl enhances this view of the Onondaga Falls as it plunges over thin red rock laminates. This is the last falls seen when ascending the Glen Leigh trail and is among my favorites.
Sullivan Falls - 34' - Sullivan Run: Although Sullivan Run Falls is only located a few miles from Ricketts Glen State Park it is rarely visited due to its somewhat remote and unmarked location. The falls slides over gray sandstone ledges into a large blue-green plunge pool.
Sullivan Falls - Panoramic View - Sullivan Run: This multi-shot panoramic view gives a better "feel" for the beauty and solitude of the large amphitheatre that surrounds Sullivan Falls.
Bear Run Falls - 11' - Bear Run: A rather small, but pretty waterfall located adjacent to Bear Run Road, but not easily visible from the roadway.