We got to hike Ricketts Glen this past weekend and I can definitely understand why it is one of the east coast's top-rated waterfall hikes. With an incredible 21 waterfalls ranging from 11 feet to 94 feet, there are plenty of opportunities to get up close and interact with the falls!
It was impressive how well the trail was blazed with detailed maps at the beginning of the trail and at the splits in the path along the way. There were also plenty of places to stop, relax, and enjoy the view. The elevation and overall terrain are something to very much consider. With a majority of this trail system marked as "Difficult" there are a number of sections where you are hiking rock stairs for quite a few "flights". This could be considered a challenge even with dry conditions, exceedingly difficult when wet, but definitely worth every moment.
On All Trails, it is about an 8.0-mile hike with an elevation gain of about 1,100 feet and an average completion time of 3:26. I would consider this a bit of a low ball estimate unless you plan to jog the entire length without stopping to enjoy the falls. The five of us set out on the trailhead around 11:45 AM. We did the entire Falls Loop and were back to the car by about 5:30 pm, ending up with us hiking a little over nine miles in about 5.5 hours.
Another nice feature of this trail system is there are multiple entry points and paths that can be taken to meet a shorter time frame. We started in at the PA 118 Glens Trailhead lot. One could start at the Lake Rose Trailhead Lot, Combine Highland Trail, Glen Leigh side of Falls Trail, and Ganoga Glen side of Falls Trail in a clockwise direction for a loop that showcases 18 of the 23 waterfalls in a streamlined 3.2-mile hike.
It was an absolutely amazing hike and we are glad we got the chance to check out Ricketts Glen. Looking forward to returning when the Fall colors set in!