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Chasing Waterfalls In The Poconos

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

Having lived in drought ridden California for decades, seeing waterfalls, especially during the summer months, has become a rarity for me. So everytime I step out of my home state, I try to fill my weekends with hikes to any nearby falls. My visit to New York in the summer gave me many opportunities to explore waterfalls in nearby Pennsylvania, New Jersey and in the state of New York itself. Having heard about the lushness of Pocono Mountains in Eastern Pennsylvania, I charted out a route to cover as many falls as I could in a day trip from New York. Below is a list of falls which make the 2+ hour drive from New York worth your while.



 

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Raymondskill Falls : (0.4 miles, 178 ft elevation)

Nestled in the Pocono Mountains, the trailhead to this falls is easy to find on Google Maps. There are two parking lots which lead to the top and the bottom of the falls. The trail to the upper falls is less that 0.2 miles, and is almost flat all the way up to the viewing platform. An offshoot trail leads to the bottom of the falls. This trail is steep and consists of a number of uneven steps which takes to the bottom and provides a spectacular full frontal view of the falls as it empties into Raymondskill Creek.

Top of Raymondskills Falls

View of Raymondskills from the bottom platform


Dingmans Falls : (1.4 miles rt, 249 ft)

Dingmans Falls is located within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The trailhead to the falls starts right next to the Visitors Center, where the parking lot is also located. We were extremely impressed with the trail, which was more of a boardwalk and stroller and wheelchair accessible. The boardwalk trail, under a canopy of hardwood trees, leads you first to Silverthread Falls, which had just a sliver of water falling, in late July. Towards the end of the trail lies Dingmans Falls which gushes into Dingmans Creek. 250 steps lead to the top of the falls, but we found that the view from the top was not worth the effort.


Dingmans Falls - Upper Cascade

Dingmans Falls - Lower Cascade


Bushkill Falls : (2 miles, 354ft)

Unlike the other falls in the Poconos area, Bushkill Falls is privately owned. Since it is privately owned, it costs $18 per person to gain entry. Nicknamed "The Niagara of Pennsylvania", it is supposed to consist of 8 different falls. But as we traversed the Red Trail, which is supposed to be the most challenging of the 4 trails (red, blue, green and yellow), we found that different portions of the same falls were named differently, hence constituting 8 falls. The Main Falls is the main attraction in the park, and the other "falls" are small or almost dry. We felt this park was a tourist trap and didnt warrant for the entry fee to see a natural sight. If you must visit the park, then stick to the yellow trail.


The various falls in Bushkill Falls Park


The Main Falls of Bushkill Falls


Shohola Falls : We saved the best falls for last. Shohola Falls is a deviation from Hwy 209, on your way back to New York. Follow the Google Maps direction to Shohola Falls, and not the signs on the highway, which will take you to the city of Shohola. The falls is almost hidden behind a gravel parking lot, and is created by water cascading from the Shohola Lake dam. The falls can be viewed from the top, but the money shot is from the front of the falls, on an unpaved, unmarked trail. We found this the most interesting of all the waterfalls we visited and were happy to head back home with views and memories of the beautiful sights and sounds of the Poconos.


A small offshoot of the Shohola Falls.


The Beautiful and Majestic Shohola Falls


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