photography from the ground up

A Stroll Through Ricketts Glen (Part 1)

I used to go to Ricketts Glen regularly when I lived in northeastern Pennsylvania. That was thirty-five years ago. I hadn’t been there since, until I made a recent trip back east with my oldest daughter, Lauren, to visit family. We set one day aside to hike and photograph the waterfalls in the park. Actually, there are two glens which make up the Glens Natural Area. They contain most of the twenty-two named waterfalls, numerous smaller unnamed falls and cascades for which the park is famous.

Adams Falls, the first waterfall we visited, is a big attraction even though it is quite a distance downstream from the main section of the park. When we pulled into the small parking area at 7:30 in the morning, there were already several cars parked there, all from out of state. A short walk on a well–maintained trail brought us to the falls. As soon as I saw them, I knew it was going to be a good day.

We spent about forty-five minutes at Adams scrambling around and taking photographs before we packed up and headed north into the Glens Area.

We began our seven mile “stroll” from the small parking area at the top of Ganoga Glen at about 8:30. The trail quickly descends into a world of dense green, and roaring water, but as we became accustomed to the sound, it quickly diminished to a pleasant sibilant whisper. After passing several small falls that are no more than 15–20 feet high, we sensed a sudden change in the timbre of the sound. We were approaching Ganoga Falls; at ninety-seven feet, it is the highest of the numerous waterfalls in the park.

Ganoga Falls is a classic “wedding cake ” waterfall. The stream drops and flows over the ledges and crevasses that form the increasingly wider layers of the “cake”. From the edge of the pool at the bottom of the falls, I made what I consider to be my best image of the day.

Not far downstream from Ganoga Falls, a small flow enters the main stream from the west. I followed it upstream a short distance to find this beautiful little cascade murmuring its way through a fern covered glade. The scene reminded me of an animated movie I watched with my daughters when they were young. Hence the name: “Ferngully”.

We continued down Ganoga Glen past several more waterfalls with names like Mohican and Tuscarora, and on to Sheldon Reynolds Falls, which was as far downstream as we would go. Sheldon Reynolds certainly isn’t as grand as Ganoga Falls, nor did it have the intimate, verdant feel of the small Ferngully cascade. It stands out, nonetheless, with its deep inviting pool and its singular profile.

We lingered for a while, enjoying the solitude and the scenery before heading back upstream to Waters Meet. It is here that the streams that course through Ganoga Glen and Glen Leigh come together. I set my camera on the timer function and took this photo of Lauren and me on the bridge at the confluence. We then enjoyed a picnic of fruit and trail-mix before beginning the climb up through Glen Leigh.


7 responses

  1. I’m loving the depth and colours in that first shot! Beautiful!


    April 1, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    • Jim

      Thanks Mike. I think this image is the best of the Adams Falls series I took that day. I have about thirty exposures from different points of view, but this is my pick of the lot,


      April 2, 2011 at 8:54 am

  2. They are all stunning images but the one that does it moat for me is Adams Falls (the first image). I like the composition, colour and the way the water makes my eye move through the image and explore it. Excellent work
    Much Love
    Astra Wally


    April 2, 2011 at 2:39 am

    • Jim

      Thanks. As I replied to another comment, this is my favorite of my Adams Falls photos. I was like a kid in a toy store: moving around, setting up, and then moving to another place for a different perspective. My daughter was laughing at how excited I was.


      April 2, 2011 at 8:58 am

  3. lifeofdeb

    How beautiful and peaceful it all looks. It is wonderful how powerful the pull of nature is, to draw us in, and soothe us.


    April 2, 2011 at 7:04 am

    • Jim

      It is a beautiful place. It’s like walking into another world. If you ever have the chance to go, I recommend it highly.


      April 2, 2011 at 8:59 am

  4. Pingback: A Stroll Through Ricketts Glen (Part2) « Jim Caffrey Images Photo Blog

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