I did a cool thing this past Monday, you guys. Like really super cool.
I went chasing waterfalls!
Any excuse that you get to go explore, you gotta do it.
Labor day rolled around and the stars aligned perfectly because I got to go to Ricketts Glen State Park with my family and Darrin. Having all of us off of work at once and able to go while the weather is good is such a rare thing. But things worked out and it happened!
Ricketts Glen has 22 named waterfalls and is one of the most scenic areas in good ol' Pennsylvania. There are various trails and things to do throughout the park but the most popular is the Falls Trail which is the one we did. It's about 7.2 miles and took us 5 hours to do. That included all of the stops we made to take pictures, eat lunch, and pet other hikers dogs!
The park is easy to get to and we got there in the morning which allowed us to easily park wherever we wanted. If we would have arrived much later I think it would have been a lot more challenging to find a space. By the time we got back to the car the whole parking lot was filled up! We parked in the Beach Lot #2 which is a short walk to the Falls Trail.
As we began the hike I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. Some people told us that it was challenging and others told us that it wasn't too bad. Regardless we packed up lots of food and water for the day ahead.
The trail is pretty well marked out and easy to follow. There are a few map stops along the way that will point you in the right directions of what you're after. There are some places that are right on the edge of cliff or some pretty step climbs up steps. I think that you need to somewhat be in shape to do it. I don't really recommend kids going just because of the danger factor - although, there were kids there. It's a personal choice though and that's just my opinion! But overall, I wouldn't say that it's too difficult. As long as you're wearing decent shoes and exercising common sense then you should be good to go!
Clif bars saved my day and got me through while feeling great. This flavor was so good! It was warm from being in my backpack in the sun and definitely hit the spot.
The water was pretty chilly but I wanted to swim in some of the areas. They were so nice and serene! I think that I want to go back sometime in the middle of summer when it's a bit warmer to take a dip in the waterfall. I've never swam in/under a natural waterfall before and that definitely needs to happen. Yes, writing that down as a goal right now. I hope you're doing the same!
I had such a good day exploring and spending time with my family and Darrin. Being completely submersed in nature without cell phone service or any other distractions is so good for the soul. It always makes me want to put my phone down more often and get outside to explore. I used to spend my days off going shopping or watching tv and I don't even feel like the same person. I live for experiences now. It's so beautiful and I'm so grateful for all of the experiences that come my way and the opportunities that present themselves. Get yourself outside and explore something new! It doesn't have to be a state park 3 hours away. It can be a new spot right out in your backyard or the park down the street. Practice looking up and not down at your screen. You never know what you'll see!
Did you do anything fun over the long weekend?! Any nature recommendations in the Pennsylvania area? I'd love to hear from you!