A Day at Bushkill Falls in the Pocono Mountains

Bushkill Falls is sometimes referenced as the “Niagara of Pennsylvania”. While I’m not sure I would go that far, it does have a few beautiful waterfalls on it’s grounds. The photos you’ll find in this post are from the third time visiting the falls in 2020. The first two times I visited were as a kid and then again in college.

Bushkill is located right near the New Jersey border of north eastern PA near the Delaware Water Gap. It’s about 2 hours from both Lancaster and Philadelphia. The area is owned privately and funded privately, so is not a state or federal park.

One of the larger falls. You can see it from three levels of wooden trails.
A few of the varying bridges and walkways.
Masks required on the trails since people are so close on the walkways.

Information for Visiting:

  • Admission – Children under 3 are free, but above that age are various prices depending on the day of the week
  • Masks – As of July when I visited, masks were required both in public buildings and also on the trails themselves.
  • Hours – The park is generally open from April through November with varying hours depending on the season
  • Pets – They are permitted but need to be leashed. If you take them on trails, be sure your pet is okay to be passing people as well as okay to go up and down many sets of steep stairs.
  • Time – Depending on how many people you’re going with and which trails you plan to hike, I would recommend budgeting 2 – 4 hours exploring the falls. If you do some of the activities aside aside from the hiking, you may want to alot some additional time.
One of many bridges across the streams and falls.
Heart shaped rock.

Hiking Trails:

There are four hiking trails that are marked throughout the park – green, yellow, blue and red which you can see on the map here. Green is the easiest and doesn’t include climbing, followed by yellow that has more steps, then blue which takes about an hour to hike followed by red which is about 2 hours and has the most steps.

This visit was the first time I did the majority of the red trail as well as parts of the green and yellow trails. In all, it took me about 90 minutes to hike most of the park, including stopping to take some photos along the way. It was a great workout due to so many steep stairs up and down the canyon walls.

If you want to spend more time enjoying the waterfalls, pack a picnic lunch when you go in. There are some benches as well as a flat area by the stream near the Lower Gorge where you can sit and eat. They also have picnic tables near the gift shop as well as by the parking lot.

Where the Pond Run Creek is slower moving on its way to the falls.
Be prepared for LOTS of stairs both up and down.
One of the falls.

Recommendations:

  • Bring a backpack. Throw a jacket, some snacks, and a lot of water in there.
  • If you’ve going while they’re still requiring masks and social distancing, bring a mask for every person in your group including kiddos. They’re required on all parts of the trails.
  • If you don’t want to pack a lunch, they do have some snack options inside the gift shop and outside at a snack bar including things like pretzels, cotton candy, and sodas.
  • There are some additional activities for kids to do like a mining for gemstones and fishing. Check and see what’s open prior to going.
  • If you’d like to skip a long line to get in, order your tickets online prior to arrival, and get there early. I got there about 30 minutes after opening and there were about 10 people in line. When I left around 2 hours later, there were about 70.
  • Parking fills up quickly too. Get there as early in the day as you can.
The one part of the red and blue hiking routes that aren’t along the waterfalls.
One of a few falls in the area.
Mask off solely to catch my breath from hiking and to take pic. Then back on.
Almost all of the trails were made of bridges or wooden walkways.

Make a Weekend of It

If you have time to stay in the Poconos area longer than a day, I included some other recommendations below as well as on the blog linked here.

Stay:

  • Shawnee Inn
  • Chateau Resort and Conference Center
  • Camelback Resort

Do:

  • Camelback Resort
    • Winter – Ski, Snowtube
    • Summer – Zipline, Mountain Coaster Segway Course
  • Tannersville Outlet Shopping
  • Hickory Run State Park
  • Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area

Eat:

  • Barley Creek Brewery – Relaxed atmosphere and great food
  • Kartrite’s Restaurant – On top of a mountain with incredible views
  • Jubilee Restaurant
  • Mountainhome Diner
  • Pocono Cafe Bakery & Restaurant
  • Kay’s Daily Grind
Right when you enter through the admission gate, there’s a map and information on the different trails.
Overlooking the falls.
The trails were labeled with these colored arrows so it was clear which route you were following.