I recently made a change to my job that allows for some periodic traveling. One of the huge benefits to this has been the opportunity to see waterfalls outside of my home region. My recent trip over the last week in August took me to New Jersey. The first thing that comes to most people’s mind when they hear New Jersey isn’t ….Waterfalls.
While I did the whole tourism thing, visiting New York City and the Jersey Shore, I also couldn’t help but look the other direction and just wonder what lies up in them hills….lol. After a mostly unsuccessful trip on Tuesday, due to very low water and bright sunshine, Thursday brought new opportunity. Some decent overnight rains and an overcast day, had me heading for the New Jersey – Pennsylvania line immediately when work let out at 1:30 pm. I was heading for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area, specifically the section that lies just on the other side of the beautiful Delaware River which also serves as the state line. It is here where the the hills are higher and a good concentration of streams fall steeply through this area on their way to join up with the Delaware River. I was heading here for an area called Bushkill Falls thanks to a tip from a lifelong friend back home. I tagged this into my iPhone, and it almost got me there. It actually for some reason took me to the ranger station/visitor center about 3 miles from Bushkill Falls. Always taking advantage of an opportunity to speak with a local who really knows the area, I first asked him, “Where in the world are these Bushkill Falls?
I got my answer and made a quick visit. However, the nice ranger had some better ideas for me, and provided a map with some highlighted points of interest for me. Just a few miles up US 209 were accesses to Pennsylvania’s 2 tallest waterfalls, that did not require a $14 entry fee like the privately owned tourist area Bushkill Falls. Me, doing what I do, found a way to see all three of them. The first one in this blog will focus on Dingmans Falls.
As I headed north along US 209, which pretty much runs right along the river on the PA side, I was looking for Johny Bee Rd, just before the town of Dingmans Ferry. It is truly a Dingmans world up here. I found my road, also marked with nice brown signs for the falls and turned left. It was just a short ways to the dead end at the Dingmans Falls visitor center.
The visitor center was a beautiful building from the outside, but because I was in such a hurry to see Dingmans Falls, I didn’t stop and on the way back, 5:00 came and they were closed. The trail starts off to the right of the visitor center and is totally handicap accessible. It was a beautifully constructed boardwalk all the way to the waterfall 0.3 miles away….yes just a flat stroll through the beautiful Pennsylvania forest.
The first shot shows the nice boardwalk, and the second was the initial crossing of Dingmans Creek. Before I could get to the falls though, the trail had a pleasant surprise for me…. Silver Thread Falls. This was a tall 80 ft, very narrow, chute-like waterfall that makes a very scenic plunge just before joining Dingmans Creek. Oh , what I would give to see this one in high water.
After this treat, I made my way to see Dingmans Falls and was totally wowed. This was Pennsylvania’s 2nd tallest waterfall at 130 feet tall. While water was far from high, it was good enough to provide me a memorable impression. There was a trail that climbs the falls all the way to the top here, but I still had more spots on my map that the ranger gave me, so I had to get some good shots and get on.
I really liked the change in direction the water makes while falling this one. If you look at the very top, you can make out the viewing platform at the top. Maybe my next visit I will have more time to spend here and further explore. I will leave with a short video of the beautiful Dingmans Falls….