Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ricketts Glen Falls Trail


A review of the trail from the Sierra Club -

There are 22 waterfalls on this trail.  22 NAMED waterfalls, there are even more tiny ones along the way.  The entire area is amazing, this is one hike everyone should do at some point.  My kids have grown up hiking this trail, and others like it, which is why when we got to Niagra Falls they took one look and said "Is this it?".

We've been hiking this trail for 20 years.  I've hiked to Ganoga while pregnant with the twins, and we hiked the 3 mile loop when the twins were 6 months old, and in packs on our backs.  A couple of years back we hiked the full 7 miles (starting at the bottom "stem", up around the loop, and back down the bottom stem to the parking area).  This time we just did about 5 miles - starting  at the "You Are Here" at the top left of this sign, walking down past Ganoga (the largest fall here), to waters meet.  from there we hiked down to see the three waterfalls on the "stem", then went back up to Waters meet, and continued around the other side of the loop.  We really took our time, stopping at every fall for pics, often to get close, or at least have our feet, right in the water.  We also stopped for snacks twice, and just to sit and watch the water.  It took us 4 hours.

  They have made a LOT of improvements to the trail, and last year to the parking area - there is now a fully paved lot, with bus parking!  Along with new bathrooms, and a new pavillion:






I've hiked this in flip flops pretty often..  but I'm not exactly normal, and it's not something I'd recommend to others.  I prefer to hike barefoot as much as possible.  There are some slippery parts, and some steep parts, but they have made this trail SO nice, most of it is really smooth, or has nicely defined steps. It's a big improvement over 20 years ago.

Some of the trail:

Steps..

Nice flat rocks

Don't let the map confuse you - this trail is VERY clearly marked.  Dan was using the map to identify which waterfalls were next.

That is the trail there on the right..  it's a little slick, but not too difficult at all.


Some of the steps are steep, there are a lot of steep climbs here.. 

A few of the waterfalls here:









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