Stretching over half a million acres, the Allegheny National Forest offers some of the most hidden and lesser known waterfalls in Pennsylvania.
This area of the state is certainly not known for its waterfalls, and they are fewer and farther between than in other areas of the state.
However, these cascading wonders are still sure to take your breath away with their powerful beauty and serene surrounding atmosphere.
Come explore these breathtaking falls and discover why they are some of the best natural wonders in the state!
Waterfalls in the Allegheny National Forest
The Allegheny National Forest is home to some of the most remote but beautiful waterfalls in Pennsylvania. Nestled among lush forests and giant boulders, these stunning falls are a must-see for any nature lover. While some of the falls can be accessed via an obvious trail or forest road, many are only accessible after a remote hike.
Although the Allegheny National Forest is much more known for backpacking, fishing, and camping, you should certainly check out these lesser-known areas.
For those looking for an easy waterfall to access, you should definitely check out Bent Run. It’s basically right across the street from the Kinzua Dam.
Some of these other waterfalls require miles of driving on dirt forest roads. Sometimes, these roads are not accessible. Other times, you’ll need a high-clearance vehicle just to navigate them. Always, though, you’ll find an adventure.
Even during dry summer months, occasional heavy rains ensure that these majestic cascades will be flowing strong. Here is how you can experience some of Pennsylvania’s best natural wonders!
Hector Falls is one of the most uniquely spectacular waterfalls anywhere, not just in the Allegheny National Forest. We’ve seen a lot of waterfalls while exploring the country, and I’ve never seen one quite like this.
This stunning waterfall drops 22 feet over a massive block of sandstone. The misty spray from the falls is refreshing on hot summer days, and the surrounding moss-covered boulders make for an enchanting atmosphere.
The best way to access Hector Falls is via the Falls Trail, which begins on the dirt Forestry Road between Sheffield and Ludlow. This one-mile hike to reach the falls winds down an old logging path until the last stretch dips into the forest.
Once you reach your destination, take in the breathtaking sight of cascading water surrounded by lush foliage and towering trees.
When the water levels are higher, you’ll see water flowing over 2 faces of the large block. During drier times of the year, the flow slows down and there is only one stream over the cliff.
Remember to apply insect repellant and maybe even throw some extra in your daypack when traveling to Hector Falls. It can be quite unpleasant due to bugs at the base of the falls during warm weather without any protection.
No matter when you visit, Hector Falls will provide an unforgettable experience. Whether it’s winter or summer, rain or shine – Hector Falls never fails to impress.
Bent Run Falls
Located in the Allegheny National Forest, Bent Run Falls is a must-see destination for anyone looking to explore the area. Just off Route 59 near Kinzua Dam, this short out-and-back trail follows up a 300-foot ascent, with multiple waterfalls running over massive rock formations in every direction.
With multiple branching paths, visitors are sure to get a plethora of stunning views. Watch your step while exploring these falls, as there are plenty of tree roots and steep slopes to trip you up along the way.
The waters at Bent Run Falls are perfect for appreciating its beauty up close. During dry summers the waters tend to slow, creating a calming atmosphere that’s ideal for taking pictures or simply relaxing.
During heavy rains, the falls become much more powerful and create an impressive sight! So don’t miss out on exploring Bent Run Falls if you are near the Kinzua Dam.
Logan Falls is another stunning waterfall located in the Allegheny National Forest. It’s a must-see destination for anyone visiting this area – and it’s relatively easy to access, so you don’t have to worry about taking a long hike or getting lost in the woods.
Simply drive down Coal Bed Run Road to a small parking lot along the dirt road, only large enough for about 5 cars. From the parking lot, there is an obvious trail on the right side of the parking area that you can follow just 0.25 miles down the steep hillside until you reach the falls.
Once there, you’ll be amazed by Logan Falls’ beauty. The water cascades over giant boulders, creating a breathtaking scene of white-water rapids and foamy spray. The surrounding rock formations are incredible too – shaped by millions of years of erosion, these massive boulders provide an incredible backdrop for your visit.
No matter what time of year you choose, Logan Falls will make for an unforgettable visit. In dry summers, its waters tend to be gentler which makes it easier to appreciate its beauty up close. However, during heavy rains, the waters become more powerful and create a truly awe-inspiring sight!
Pigeon Run Falls
Pigeon Falls is a stunning waterfall tucked away in the depths of the Allegheny National Forest.
After parking on the bordering State Game Lands, you can hike one mile to this beautiful waterfall that cascades over giant boulders and smaller rocks, creating a mesmerizing sight. It’s the perfect spot for anyone looking to take in the natural beauty of northwestern Pennsylvania.
The trail to Pigeon Run Falls is an easy hike with obvious pathways leading you right up to the falls.
The real adventure is just getting to the trailhead. Begin from Marienville, heading on E Spruce Street past the gas station away from town. It’s nearly 9 miles on dirt and gravel forest roads with large potholes and often muddy terrain.
We should also note that if navigating to Pigeon Falls from the east, Google or other services may attempt to direct you through the state game lands, but some of these roads are often gated and inaccessible to the public. The only consistently open route is via Marienville from the west.
The trailhead is just across the bridge over Spring Creek. Stop here, because the road gets even worse past this little clearing if you can imagine that. We found out the hard way.
You wouldn’t want to end up stuck back on these roads (or rather, off-road trails) as there isn’t any cell phone service to call for help.
Once you’ve reached the parking area, you’ll have a leisurely one-mile hike along some bridle trails. Once at the falls, you can explore further along the run or enjoy a picnic lunch by the falls.
From its remote location deep within the forest to its powerful force during heavy rains, this stunning waterfall will make for a memorable experience.
FAQs: Allegheny National Forest Waterfalls
What park has the most waterfalls in Pennsylvania?
You’ll find the most waterfalls concentrated in a small area in Ricketts Glen State Park. There are 22 waterfalls within about 8 miles of hiking in two stunning gorges.
What is the longest trail in the Allegheny National Forest?
While there are miles and miles of hiking trails in the Allegheny National Forest, the North Country National Scenic Trail covers the most miles. There are currently just over 96 miles of this trail within the ANF.
Where is the biggest waterfall in PA?
Clear on the eastern side of the state, in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, is Raymondskill Falls, the tallest waterfall in Pennsylvania. It is estimated to be 178 feet tall.
These Allegheny National Forest waterfalls are a collection of hidden gems that should not be missed. From the stunning beauty of Hector Falls to the peaceful serenity of Pigeon Run Falls, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you spend the night at one of the National Forest camp sites, Chapman State Park’s campground, or in a cabin nearby, you won’t regret your visit.
Grab your camera, and get ready to explore the Allegheny National Forest waterfalls!