Name of Waterfall

Delaware Falls


The main entrance to Ricketts Glen State Park at Lake Jean is located along PA Route 487 between the towns of Lopez and Red Rock, about 25 west-northwest of Wilkes-Barre, or 37 miles east of Williamsport (as the crow flies). From the park entrance, cross the Lake Jean dam and then turn right where signs point to the Lake Rose Trailhead, and follow the road to the large parking area at its end. Additional Parking is available at Beach Lot #2 Trailhead, and at the Route 118 Trailhead (starting at Lake Rose is the shortest approach to the waterfalls).
From the Lake Rose Trailhead, follow the Falls Trail to the first junction in about two-tenths of a mile. If you plan on hiking the full loop, this is your return point. We recommend hiking the loop clockwise.
To reach Delaware Falls, bear right at the junction and continue for another tenth of a mile to the next junction just after crossing Kitchen Creek on a footbridge, then turn left and begin down the Ganoga Glen Trail. Continue downstream along Ganoga Glen for about two-thirds of a mile to where the trail makes a broad arc around a wide spot in the canyon where the falls are visible.Ricketts Glen State Park is as close to a Waterfall Mecca as it gets within the United States. Within the confines of the park are 24 named waterfalls and dozens of small scenic cascades in between, all but one of which can be seen via a relatively easy hike in one day. All of the waterfalls occur within the Kitchen Creek drainage, split roughly in half between two branches of the stream which originate in different lakes and marshes on the plateau above the glens, and 5 of the falls found downstream of the confluence of the two branches.
Delaware Falls is the sixth waterfall found along the Ganoga Glen branch of Kitchen Creek. Similar to Shawnee and Huron Falls on the Glen Leigh Branch, the series of Seneca, Delaware, and Mohican Falls all occur so closely together that it’s difficult to tell where one stops and the next starts. Delaware Falls is a multi-stepped cascading type fall with three main sections of falls with some small cascades in between each. The park signs indicate the falls to be 37 feet tall, and we were able to accurately measure 31 feet worth of falls – so taking into account the cascades between each section, this seems like a fairly accurate measurement.
The main parts of the falls are broken down as follows: the upper drop tumbles down a ledge in two small steps totaling 13 feet, the middle drop splits into two channels and plunges 11 feet over a nicely uniform undercut ledge, and then finally the creek gathers and tumbles down a narrower chute for another 7 feet. We initially misidentified the upper tier of Delaware Falls as what we thought was Seneca Falls, which is located just a few dozen yards further upstream, and as a result obtained neither photographs nor measurements for Seneca Falls during our May 2018 survey of Ricketts Glen. Similarly, the base of the lower tier of Delaware Falls is located perhaps no more than 50 feet upstream from the top of Mohican Falls, which further may confuse visitors who can’t accurately identify each waterfall. Were these falls not previously designated and named as such, we would likely suggest this whole series of falls be considered one single set of falls.
The drainage area for the Ganoga Glen branch of Kitchen Creek covers about 4 square miles upstream of Mohawk Falls at the top of Ganoga Glen, and includes several lakes and areas of marsh which retain ground water well even in dry periods. Though the basin is of moderate size, the volume of water in the creek can vary substantially as the seasons progress, or as severe weather moves through. In general the streamflow will be at its lowest from late July through the end of September, but water will be present year round.Ricketts Glen was named for members of the Ricketts family who settled near Lake Ganoga in the mid-1850s and built a small hunting lodge and tavern on the shore of the lake. The family was not aware of the presence of the waterfalls on Kitchen Creek until 1865 when guests of the hotel wandered down the creek to go fishing. After serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, Robert Bruce Ricketts purchased most of the land which now makes up the park, expanded the hotel, built a lumber mill, and developed trails in the area to allow the waterfalls to be visited as attractions.

In 1913 the area was opened to the public, and operated as a private park until it reverted to state control after the Ricketts family sold the land and opened as a state park in 1943. A plan was in place in 1935 to convert Ricketts Glen to a National Park, however funding was sidetracked and thanks to financial hardships of the Great Depression and World War 2, and the National Park never came to fruition.

Twenty-two of the named waterfalls in the park were thought to be given their titles by Robert Bruce Ricketts. More than a dozen of the waterfalls were given Native American names, and several others bear the names of members or friends of the Ricketts family.

Other Names




IWC Rating (International Waterfall Classification)


Total Height (ft)


Tallest Drop


Number of Drops


Average Width


Maximum Width


Average High Volume (Cubic ft per second)

25 cfs (8 months)

Average Low Volume (Cubic ft per second)

5 cfs (4 months)


45 degrees

Run (ft)


Watershed or Feeder Stream

Susquehanna River Ganoga Glen Branch Kitchen Creek