Running Wild With Jen Mathiesen: Bushkill Falls


One of the eight waterfalls, the Bridesmaid Falls, flows a lot of water.

Jen Mathiesen , Web Editor

My original plan for this issue was to head out to Ricketts Glen State Park, a natural area only 30 minutes from campus. It consists of  13,050 acres of beautiful scenic views and boasts 22 spectacular waterfalls. However, once again Mother Nature had different plans. Instead of April showers, we were graced with cold weather and even some snow. A little late April Fool’s joke, maybe.

Seeing that I thought we were done with the cold weather and it was spring, I had already put away my winter boots and my warmest clothes. I was hoping if I pretended it was warm outside, that maybe it would be. So I decided against going to Ricketts for this issue, because I heard there was still ice and snow on the trails. I knew if I saw more snow, I would scream. So I chose to go to another breathtaking waterfall location, Bushkill Falls.

Bushkill Falls is located on Bushkill Falls Road in Bushkill, Pa. The area is open March through November, usually opening at 9 a.m. and closing at 6 p.m. However, it depends on the day and month –  the full schedule of hours is on the Bushkill Falls website

Bushkill Falls is often referred to as the “Niagara of Pennsylvania,” and it is among Pennsylvania’s most well-known scenic attractions. Charles E. Peters opened this recreation area to the public in 1904.  It offers a unique series of eight waterfalls, which are nestled very deep into the wooded Pocono Mountains.

Bushkill Falls offers a grand opportunity for you to revel in nature’s natural beauty. The area is so peaceful and clean that you forget about life’s troubles and can truly relax. Bushkill Falls boasts several different trails of varying lengths and difficulty. Make sure to wear comfortable and appropriate footwear to walk the natural pathways. There are four well marked trails, and there are also signs that advise hikers of each trail’s difficulty. Also take note of the beautifully crafted wooden walkways and bridges along the way.

We took the Red Trail, which is for avid hikers. It spans almost two-and-a-half miles and includes views of all eight waterfalls. This trail took us a little over two hours to hike, and it is not too difficult if you take your time. The views that you see along this trail are like no other. The area is very peaceful, with only the voices of a passersby on the trail or waterfalls in the background. We stopped at several of the benches along the way to simply to take in the area’s scenic natural beauty.

Once you get your fill of the falls, you are able to exit the trail area into the parking area. There are several little spaces here to explore as well. There is a snack shop and a gift shop that offer several neat items that bear the Bushkill Falls name. There is also a miniature golf course, paddle boats, a wildlife exhibit, a Bushkill Falls Mining Company Maze, and you can even pretend to be a gold miner for the day. Bushkill Falls has a lot to offer, whether you go to just see one of the state’s most well known scenic attractions or go to experience all the activities, you will surely have a fantastic time.

If you choose to go explore Bushkill Falls, make sure to look at the multiple surrounding locations, too. One is The Roost, a general store that offers deli and other items. This store was opened in the former Bushkill General Store and has a lot to offer. We stopped there and grabbed a delicious sandwich after our hike. Twenty minutes down the road from Bushkill Falls is Dingmans Falls recreation area, which is another stunning waterfall attraction in the Delaware Water Gap National Park. Another area is George W. Childs Park, which offers three waterfalls and gorgeous walking trails. Yet another waterfall on this route is Raymondskill Falls. We also found several hiking trails and picnic areas. If you’re up for a more challenging adventure, you can follow the route into Milford, Pa. This cute-as-a-button town is full of historical beauty and will astonish first time visitors. It is where the American Forest Conservation Movement began, and it is the site of Grey Towers Historic site, the awe-inspiring mansion of two-term Governor and first U.S. Forestry Service Chief Gifford Pinchot Grey.

I recommend making a day trip to all of these locations. Start early in the morning and take advantage of the natural beauty of the waterfalls and hiking trails and then end your day in the historic town of Milford. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants, explore the historical attractions and spend some time in the quaint storefronts. With summer approaching, this would be a perfect day trip.