Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania, USA by Michael Blanchette

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Ricketts Glen State Park is a National Natural Landmark in the state of Pennsylvania known for its old-growth forest and 24 named waterfalls along Kitchen Creek, not to mention the countless unnamed waterfalls and beautiful cascades in the park. This is a unique place in that you can hike a loop trail to see all the waterfalls in the park in a single day (if ambitious).

The Falls Trail is 7.2 miles in length if hiking both the upper and lower sections. The park is considered a waterfall Mecca in the United States in spring but especially in autumn when the foliage is adorned in yellow, orange and red hues. The Falls Trail is rated “difficult”, involving a good amount of ascent, at times along narrow edges that contour the gorge. And it becomes a bit more hazardous on inclines covered with wet rocks and fallen leaves.

I was at Ricketts Glen with a good friend over a two-day period last October, including one cloudy day when waterfall photography was ideal. The light rain had the added advantage of reducing the volume of visitors. In fact, most of those we encountered along the way were photographers who understood the desirability of overcast skies for waterfall photography.

The 94 foot high Ganoga Falls is the highest waterfall in all of Ricketts Glen State Park. This waterfall was my favorite, not so much for its height, but more for the color surrounding the falls and the range of compositions available here. In this composition, the waterfall is bordered by yellow foliage at top, red foliage on the right, and rocks speckled with orange fallen leaves.


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