LENGTH: 3.34 MILES
TIME: 2H30M (W/ICY TRAILS)
Another winter hike complete. This makes hike 3/52 for my #52HikeChallenge. This one had two waterfalls and a viewpoint. And it was only 2 hours away from home! If you’d like to see the video of this hike on my YouTube channel click HERE.
The link for the GPS coordinates takes you to the first of two adjacent parking lots. They are so close that it doesn’t matter which one you choose to park at during the summer months, space permitting. However, when we arrived only the first one was open. Please remember to drive carefully. The entire lot was one slab of very slippery ice as seen below.
After carefully reviewing the map we decided to see Raymondskill Falls first. Truth be told, I could tell by the map that it was a short hike and easily accessible (low effort = crowds). Therefore, we could have it all to ourselves if we headed there first since no one else had arrived yet.
We turned left from the parking lot and walked up the road towards the Raymondskill Falls sign pictured below. The second picture shows the closed gate and the restrooms (they were closed when we were there).
When standing in front of the restrooms walk towards the right to find the trail for the falls. At the very beginning there are two cute wooden benches.
Even though the trail is short, the ground was very icy so we took our time heading down. Even with the slow pace we made it to the upper viewpoint in a few minutes. At the upper viewpoint you can see the pool at the top of the waterfall.
After the first platform you can continue heading down on the trail. Make sure to lookout for this tiny charming little cave. We didn’t find any trolls. Maybe they were out?
At the bottom of the steeper portion there are some stone/wooden steps. As I said before, and will continue saying: It was icy. Hence the graceful moves lol.
I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t also remind you to occasionally look up. They aren’t the tallest I’ve seen but impressive nonetheless.
The wooden platforms were even icier at the bottom! Okay, I’m done mentioning the ice. Next time we’ll just wear spikes and it won’t be such a big deal lol. But seriously, be careful!
More importantly, this is the view from the middle falls! It’s so pretty! And considering it rained last night, it was probably a bigger amount of water than usual. The upper falls platform is also visible on the upper right.
We decided to only view upper/middle falls and make our way back to the parking lot to do another portion of the park. Continuing the trail, you’ll head up a gradual but totally doable incline.
At this intersection keep left.
Then you’ll reach the first of the two parking lots. Carefully cross the street to begin the hike to Hackers Falls. We did see a pickup truck whizz by so look both ways before crossing. I’m sure it gets busier in the summer.
Follow this dirt road to the gate (also visible in the distance).
Right after the gate you’ll see this post. Here we followed the yellow trail named Hackers Trail. This is the trail that will lead us to Hackers Falls.
And kudos to this park in Pennsylvania. Their trails are VERY well marked. I knew where I was headed the whole time without a doubt. So in case the metal post isn’t enough. The trees also have markers and arrows.
The further up we got on the yellow trail, the more snow was present. It was such a delight being able to walk on the snow without having to deal with shoveling a drive way.
I mean… ASMR much?
You’ll come across an intersection. Stay on the yellow trail.
The trail was completely empty. This is one of the first trails where we didn’t see a single soul coming or going. It made for an awesome trail experience. Such as hearing the waterfalls prior to even seeing them. Or hearing the birds chirp about their day.
There will be another post where the yellow trail turns right.
The trail was bright for the most part. After making this turn however, it got colder and darker due to the canopy of the trees.
The trail is steep heading down. You’ll be returning this way after the waterfall. So keep that in mind as you hike deeper into the trees. You won’t need a trail marker to show you when you’ve reached the falls. They are very loud! Not to mention it sits right on the edge of the trail.
After you’ve enjoyed this area, eat your protein bar. Oh wait, that’s just me. Always hungry lol. Re-trace your steps on the yellow trail all the way to the intersection. Here you’ll make a left onto the yellow/white trail. This short trail is called Logger Path.
Follow the yellow/white trail blazes.
At the end of the yellow/white trail, you’ll make a right onto the white trail.
At the intersection below make a left to sit a few minutes at the “tri-State” viewpoint.
Viewpoint…. To be totally honest with you it’s a bit underwhelming. I’m going to insist it’s because it’s winter and blah. Maybe I’ll try again in the summer… maybe not.
And then it’s back on the white trail.
And a slightly warped bridge.
After the bridge, continue following the white trail all the way back to your car.
If I had to rank this hike in terms of difficulty, I would say it was rather easy. Your heart rate picks up a tiny bit in two spots. But don’t kid yourself, it isn’t a rock scramble at Breakneck Ridge. However this is the easiest way to see two awesome waterfalls. I haven’t seen too many places yet where that’s an easy feat. And therefore I would recommend it, especially to waterfall loving friends.
[UPDATE] JUNE 2020
I went to Raymondskill Falls and Hackers Falls this past weekend. We arrived at 9:10am and the parking lots were already half way full. I suggest arriving as early as possible because when we left the lots were completely full. There was a line of cars waiting for spots.
The views are also nicer in the summer time. Everything is so green and healthy looking. However, that also meant the bugs were out so pack bug spray. And don’t forget to bring some sun protection.
We also took my mom’s dog this time around. Dogs are not permitted on the Raymondskill Falls trail. That being said, there are signs that say dogs are allowed on 6ft. leash on the other trails. I did see plenty of dogs enjoying the morning off leash on the way to Hackers Falls.
Hackers Falls had some swimmers diving off the top. I don’t know if the swimming and diving is allowed, but it looked like fun. I would definitely consider it the next time I’m there.
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”John Muir