It becomes noticeably cooler once past the wooded curtain that envelops hikers descending down trails to the cascading sounds of Bushkill Falls, a complex of scenic waterfalls hidden in the eastern Pocono Mountains. The falls are accessed by a series of well-maintained trails that allow visitors to wander deep into a pristine forest without leaving civilization too far behind. Generations of parents have been taking family trips to Bushkill for over a century; mine have been going there since the 1930s.
Plunging toward the Delaware River below, the rushing water drops over 100 feet at Main Falls, sending a cool spray over descending paths that follow eight falls separated by creeks and natural pools. The trails are designed for hikers of all ability levels and range from an easy 15 minute walk to a more rugged two hour immersion into nature. Here’s what you’ll find. – Jay Lloyd
Bushkill Falls Rd. off Rte. 209
Bushkill, PA 18324
First of all, the trails are all color coded and easy to follow.
RED descends deep into the gorge and follows all eight waterfalls. It will take two hours, plus any stops along the way.
BLUE is a sturdy hike of about 1-1/4 hours that offers stunning views of Pennell Falls and puts you in the heart of Pocono wildlife. Small animals range from muskrat to red fox. Song birds and owls inhabit the deep woods, too.
YELLOW is a 45 minute hike that opens views to Main and Lower Gorge Falls. Observation platforms overlooking scenic pools are surrounded by the roar of tumbling water.
GREEN is the easiest option but still provides a fascinating display of waterfalls, wildlife and dense floral growth. The green circuit doesn’t involve climbing and takes about 15 minutes.
Check out the trail map at: www.visitbushkillfalls.com/play/trails.aspx
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
Miniature Golf – Paddle Boats – Fishing – Gemstone Mining – Picnicking – Shopping
WHAT IT COSTS
Kids 3 and under: Free
4 to 10: $6 a day
Adults: $11 a day
Seniors: $10 a day
For additional activity prices, hike over to: www.visitbushkillfalls.com/discover/park-admission-fees.aspx
WHERE TO STAY
Bushkill Fall is close to two major resorts:
1 Fernwood Lane
Bushkill, PA 18324
Fernwood is an all-inclusive resort with a golf course, water sports and indoor and outdoor activity centers that’s located just a few miles from the falls and offers a bargain priced package that includes hiking the Bushkill trails, accommodations and meals.
One River Rd.
Shawnee on the Delaware, PA 18356
The venerable Shawnee Inn and Golf Course has attracted the Philadelphia and New York getaway set since the early 20th century. Its classic lines house impressive restaurants, refurbished guest rooms, a nightclub and comfortable lounges.
For hiking Bushkill, wear appropriate clothes including long pants, long sleeves and comfortable supportive shoes. It can get cool, and you might be exposed to spray from the falls. Carry a sweater or water-resistant anorak. Make sure to take a water bottle, and don’t forget bug repellant.
HOW TO GET THERE
Take Interstate 476 North to Exit 56
Travel Rte. 22 east to Rte. 33
Head north on Rte 33 to Interstate 80
Go East on I-80 to Exit 309, then take Rte. 209 North
Turn left onto Bushkill Falls Road at the blinking light in Bushkill, PA