Ricketts Glen Falls Hike

Description: This is one of those “Must do hikes” if you ever find yourself close to this park and you have your boots with you. Although the circuit is only about 3.6 miles in length it descends and then climbs approximately 600 feet using stone and wooden steps in that short distance. The rewards: there are up to 20 of them … beautiful waterfalls ranging in height from the 11 foot diminutive Cayuga to the 94 foot tall giant – Ganoga. Wear sturdy boots, bring water and your camera and please take your time. If your dog is not good on lead leave it at home. You will need your balance for this one. 

Google Custom Directions

Once in the park cross the dam and follow the signs to the right to the trailhead.





Trail Notes: From the large wooden map and kiosk head down the spur trail to the junction with the Highland Trail to the left and the Falls Trail to the right. Take the Highland Trail. In 0.81 miles pass the R.L. Ricketts Shortcut Trail on the right. Turn right onto the Falls Trail and descend through Glen Leigh. Several photos of the falls are shown below. We won’t attempt to name them. Take extra care as you use the stone and wooden steps. At 0.94 miles cross the confluence of the two streams on a bridge at Waters Meet. If you want to make sure you see all of the falls head down stream a short distance to visit Harrison Wright, Sheldon Reynolds and Murray Reynolds Falls. Return to the Waters Meet and continue up Ganoga Glen. The steepest climb occurs after visiting the namesake falls. In 1.25 miles from Waters Meet arrive back at the parking lot spur. Turn left and follow it back to your vehicle.

Critique This Outing




Outing Critiques


Name: Pete Lynch                                                                                                      Hike: Ricketts Glen Falls Hike

Date: 05/03/15                                                                                                          Rating: 5


Critique: I got there on a Sunday and took a look around the park. I hiked the Bear Walk/Highland/Cherry Run loop to get a feel for the place. Very crowded so I decided to come back early the next day and hike the entire Falls Trail, starting at the rt-118 trailhead.
Very nice cool temps and easy hiking for the first mile or so. When you reach the upper/lower trail split you must decide if you want to go with the easier "Moderate" upper trail or the "More Difficult" lower trail. I took the lower trail figuring I would take the easier way on my return. Turns out the difficulty is mainly from a few short sections where you need to grab the rock wall or a tree root to pass by. Plus you may need to do a small bit of scrambling to avoid getting your boots wet. Other than that, it was a bit shorter that way.
 After the first few waterfalls you reach Waters Meet where you make your second decision: to hike up the Glen Leigh trail or the Canoga Glen trail. The Canoga Glen side is the steeper of the two so I decided to take Glen Leigh trail going up so I would have an easier way up *and* down.
I took the short cut to the Highland trail and missed one fall. I passed through the rock formation known as Midway Crevasse and went up to the Lake Rose trailhead parking lot to rest a bit and refill my water bottle.
I took the Canoga Glen trail back down to Waters Meet, retracing my steps to the first waterfall where I took the afore mentioned "Upper Trail" back to my ride at the rt-118 trailhead.
The waterfalls are great but hiking trail and steps were what I liked the most.



Name: Ed D.                                                                                                                Hike: Ricketts Glen Falls Hike

Date: 06/09/13                                                                                                         Rating: 5


Critique: This is a great day hike. We camped a Red Mountain camp sight, and did the day hike with Ricketts Glen Falls. Oh, BBQ next to camp sight is the best. I am from Texas and know the good stuff. You will need to get out early if you do not like crowds if this is during the summer or weekends. We were on the trail at 8:30 and by 9:30 there was a lot of people. By the time we got back to our car at 11:30 the lot was full. This hike is busy with traffic. Since you are going down and hiking back up there are a lot of steps, and the stones are wet. Hiking shoes or shoes with traction is a must. We had hiking poles to help with stability. The views are amazing, and make sure to bring the camera. There are some other trails of the main loop, and nothing to see that I can remember. We did see a four foot long black snake. I was hoping to see some black bears, and we did see bear markings on the bear creek road trail.



Name: gayle                                                                                                               Hike: Ricketts Glen Falls Trail
Date: 9-29-2012                                                                                                        Rating: 5

Critique: Absolutely beautiful!!

Weather was a little misty in the morning but was able to take the rain coat off by noon.

First time and it did not disappoint!

Would highly recommend.


Name: Chris                                                                                                                Hike: Ricketts Glen Falls Hike
Date: 7/8/2011                                                                                                         Rating: 5

Critique: My wife and I hiked the 3.6 mile loop on a beautiful day in July. Little if any humidity, and high temps in the low 80s with hardly a cloud in the sky (what more could you ask for?). Twenty years ago my wife and I went out on our first date and I was looking for a place we could get way for the weekend. For a weekend getaway Ricketts Glen will not be a disappointment it was just stunning. We arrived at the trailhead at 9:00 am to find only three other cars in the parking lot. The only real drawback to this hike is it didn't stay that way, by the time we left it was full and there were lots of people on the trail. I recommend going early (by 11:00 am there were people everywhere), for the first hour and a half it was like we had the park to ourselves. No camping on this trip we stayed at www.sweetvalleycottages.com and for $210.00 for the weekend we found the cabin and grounds to be charming to say the least. No TV, no phone, no radio just a simple rustic cabin; again what more could we ask for. We ate dinner at the Trails End Restaurant Friday evening as well as breakfast Saturday morning and enjoyed both. Hopefully some day we will be able to make a trip back to the area during fall, as I'm sure it won't disappoint then either.


Name: Kevin                                                                                                               Hike: Ricketts Glen Falls Trail Loop
Date: 6/24/10                                                                                                           Rating: 5

Critique: My son and I hiked the full 7.2 mile Falls Trail Loop in June 2010. We started at the parking lot on Rt. 118 and proceeded up Red Rock Mt. A little bit of a boring walk to the first waterfall but that is what we get for not taking the easier 3.2 mile loop. We figured if we were going to do it we had to do it all.

Once we hit the first fall the walk was worth it. The water level was not as high as I had seen in some pics, due to lack of recent rain, but beautiful just the same.

We took a right at Waters Meet so we would be able to see Ganoga Falls from the front. This is the biggest falls in the park. There are some pretty steep stone steps so be prepared to climb. When we reached the top of Gonaga Glen we were ready for the easy stretch on the Highland Trail section of the hike.

Our decent down Glen Leigh was just as beautiful as our assent up Gonaga Glen. The power of water to carve never ceases to amaze me.

By the time we reached the car, a little over 4 hrs after we started, we were tired and hungry. We headed straight for the Trails End Restaurant a few miles down Rt. 118. Nothing fancy here but good food at good prices to feed the hungry hiker.

I highly recommend trekking poles for this hike and don't forget your camera.


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