On The Falls Trail

Someone in our group was behind, really way behind. We've just finished the 7.2-mile (11.5 kms) hike deep in a Pennsylvania forest and we were waiting for the stragglers at the trail head. At past 6 PM someone asked for the men in the group to help. We backtracked into the darkening trail and found this woman, about 50 years old, lying on the ground, weak but conscious. After being given a tube of glucose gel, she felt better but still unable to walk. A Forest Ranger came with a stretcher and we helped carry her back to the parking lot until Paramedics came - a real emergency situation which truly stretched our already long day a bit more longer. Instead of leaving at 5 PM back for New York (about 3 hours away), we ended up going some two hours late.

a map to guide me

B. Reynolds Falls (40')

I almost didn't join this trip, worried about the dire weather forecast of a thunderstorm. What I didn't expect was a medical emergency in the wilderness. When I called Nic of Hinestours the night before, he was quite upbeat despite the weather prediction. So I ended up joining at the last minute. I've hiked with him last year during his exploratory trip to the Shawanguks but this was the first time I joined one of his trips with a larger group of about 20 or so diverse people. Our goal was to hike the 7.2-mile Falls Trail within Glens Natural Area, to see not one . . . not two. . . not three . . . but 21 waterfalls. It's not often that I get a chance to see that many waterfalls in a relatively small area so I really looked forward to the experience.

father & son

Huron Falls (41')

In 1868, army officer Col. R. Bruce Ricketts bought this piece of land in Pennsylvania for its timber. Thankfully, he must have been awed by its sheer beauty as the trees were saved from being sawed. He named many of the waterfalls after Indian tribes and some after his family members. Eventually, the Ricketts heirs decided to sell much of the land back to the government paving the way for its protection and preservation. It became a National Natural Landmark in 1969 and the natural state of the land was kept as it is. Many decades later, we find ourselves walking in a park still so pristine that it felt like Col. Ricketts just discovered this paradise only yesterday.

view from the top

Harrison Wrights Falls (27')

As with all groups doing a hike, the pace varied from person to person. Nic was leading the group but he encouraged us to do our own thing in the next 4-5 hours. I soon found myself walking alongside Robert and Nena, avid Pinoy hikers/mountaineers. We walked ahead of everyone, including the other Pinoys who were in our group. The Forest Trail is actually the most difficult of the several trails available but we were up to the challenge. My ever-reliable Rocky Gore-Tex boots helped me navigate steep, slippery paths and kept me from falling off ledges as we ogled at cascading waterfalls. Varying in height from 11 to 94 feet, the waterfalls are spread far enough from each other to engage our legs in some really serious walk.

some of the waterfalls

It also helped that there are plenty of waterfalls as it allowed plenty of opportunities for us to catch our breath. We stood in awe just as the others before us must have been, fortunate to see this watery paradise and experience one of life's best natural soundtrack: the sound of rushing water. For once, we were happy the weather forecasters were wrong as the skies opened up and the sun shone brightly, its rays seeping through the canopies. The ponchos Nic lent everyone was never used, dry as a bone. What wasn't dry was my back getting wet from sweating out - but I didn't mind at all as I had fresh clothes in my daypack.

my hiking boots

Ganoga Waterfalls (94')

After reaching Ganoga Falls, we knew our trek was almost done. At 94 feet, this was the park's highest. We walked down to the base and walked up to the top which really has been a real treat for the most part of this hike as all the paths ran along the sides of the waterfalls. We passed by Mohawk, our last waterfall and into a trail that led us back into the parking lot. Robert, Nena & I were the first in our group to complete the hike and so we waited for the rest. And waited. And waited some more. And then we heard the cry for help. Luckily, the woman survived her ordeal with a big lesson learned. Nature can certainly be breathtaking but don't let it literally take the breath out of you.

my reward after the hike:
Philly cheese steak (from Pennsylvania, of course)

warning signs at the trail head


  1. i was surprised to see a child on the back of his father. i cant imagine myself doing that with my own (as if i already have one). but im sure, once i have one... ill make his name adventure. lol

    i too reward great trips with good food. hmmm... sarap.

  2. what camera are you using? ang ganda ng pictures! :)

  3. beautiful! i really miss hiking

  4. Hi Dong,
    I gasped when I actually saw that father & baby so close to a cascade. Pag nagkaanak ka na at ipinangalan mo "Adventure", kunin mo na rin akong ninong! Hahaha!

    Hi Poea,
    Maraming salamat. Gamit ko Nikon D80.

    Hi Janet,
    Thanks for dropping by. Hiking is so liberating!

  5. It is hard to beat a trail with 21 waterfalls within 7 miles. How was the water? Cold? OK pa rin sa akin.

    I'm glad that lady was with your tour or she'll have a problem getting back. She probably pushed herself too hard to keep up with the group.

  6. Thanks for visiting my blog,
    nice to meet you! ^^

  7. Hi Bert,
    Like anywhere in the northeast, the water was cold but hardy souls do take the plunge. As for the woman, she really joined the trip unprepared.

    Hi Rafael,
    I'll be following your site. Great photos there!

  8. ang ganda ganda ng falls! and im surprised to see the father and son picture..parang napakadelikado naman ng ginagawa niya..pano na lang pag madulas siya! anyway, nice shots ^^

  9. oh that's really hardcore hiking - 7.2 miles - i don't think i'm up to that level yet. but the views are amazing, worth all the trouble. and that cheesesteak as a reward was pretty tasty looking.

    you know i'm quite paranoid about wilderness/woody areas like this after movies like WRONG TURN came out. freaks me out.

  10. Yan ang gusto-gusto kong pasyalan. Ehersisyo na ang ganda pa ng mga tanawin!

    Mukhang ang sarap ng sandwich mo ah!

    BTW, Happy Father's Day, bro!

  11. what's in a name? hehehehehe...

    anyway great shots huh.. nature na nature parekoy.. hows life? i like your profile..

  12. 21 waterfalls? wow! it must be so tiring but the scenes were worth it!

    the pictures are stunning as usual, dennis! the waterfalls song of TLC before just popped out of nowhere as i view this post. nice! thanks for sharing.

    btw, thanks for the father's day greeting. =)

  13. wow nice pictures of the waterfalls :) i wanna get close to the nature too...but it is still cold here in germany, though supposed to be warm by june >< blame the global warming >< anyway i gotta focus on my assignments now also... haha

  14. What a breathtaking pictures!! kakainggit I wish I could visit that place too ;-) I'm always enjoying trips and of course photos.

    SO what happened to the old lady? was she ok?

  15. Hi PinayTravelJunkie,
    Thanks fellow adventurer!

    Hi Sendo,
    Oo nga eh, sobra yatang nabighani ang tatay sa tubig at nakalimutan na sigurong may anak sa likuran nya.

    Hi Photo Cache,
    Never even thought about freaky turn of events in the wilderness except that medical emergency. The hike was so worth it!

    Hi BlogusVox,
    Totoo, di lang maganda yung tanawin, we burned a lot of calories!

    Hi Tim,
    Salamat sa pagbisita. Will be dropping by your site soon.

    Hi Doc Gelo,
    Alam mo Doc, naalala ko rin yung TLC song na yun lol!

    Hi Fufu,
    I'm sure when you visit Brazil later this year, you'll be seeing Iguazu falls.

    Hi Sardonyx,
    Thankfully, she recovered enough to travel with us back to NYC.

  16. See, that's my goal, to be physically fit enough to do wilderness hikes and treks. I've done the Sagada Cave Connector a few weeks ago, and yes, I could do it, but there's room for improvement. What might seem to be an easy walk in the park can be dangerous if taken to the extreme and with a body not prepared for it.

  17. ang ganda ng falls----sabay tampisaw sana para completo ang expeience. pwera lang kung malamig ang tubig....love your shoes. nalala ko yung shoes ko dati---ganyan na ganyan din ang kulay.hehe

  18. wow so many waterfalls in one place.... i like the multi ripple ones like the Huron falls. do ppl swim in them?

  19. Hi Linguist,
    Anyone who comes unprepared to hike will certainly find misery on the trail. A diabetic like that woman in our group should really have considered a less rigorous activity.

    Hi Pusang Kalye,
    Luma na nga yung boots ko, ginamit ko nung Inca Trail in 2006 at Mt. Apo in 2008. Pero hanggang ngayon, matibay pa rin.

    Hi Lechua,
    Yes, people do actually swim in some of the deeper parts but I find the water really cold for me.

  20. sarap talaga mag mountain trekking you get to see and mother earths creation...

    for sure, paglaki ng batang yan, lakwatsero din yan...hahaha


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