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General Information

Ricketts Glen State Park
Copyright: - Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks
Ricketts Glen State Park
Description - Ricketts Glen honors Colonel Robert Bruce Ricketts. Ricketts enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army in 1861. He eventually led Battery F during the Battle of Gettysburg. The rank of Colonel was awarded to Ricketts upon his discharge. Colonel Ricketts at one time owned outright or controlled over 80,000 acres of land in this area.

Ricketts Glen State Park is one of the most scenic areas in Pennsylvania. This large park is comprised of 13,050 acres in Luzerne, Sullivan and Columbia counties. A varied selection of recreational opportunities includes: camping, cabin rental, swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, viewing numerous waterfalls and winter sports. In the summertime, an environmental interpreter offers campfire programs and guided walks.

The Glens Natural Area, a Registered National Natural Landmark since October 12, 1969, is the main scenic attraction in the park.

Attractions - Ricketts Glen honors Colonel Robert Bruce Ricketts. Ricketts enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army in 1861. He eventually led Battery F during the Battle of Gettysburg. The rank of Colonel was awarded to Ricketts upon his discharge. A picture of Colonel Ricketts hangs on the park office wall.

Colonel Ricketts at one time owned outright or controlled over 80,000 acres of land in this area. His heirs, through the Central Penn Lumber Company, sold 48,000 acres to the Pennsylvania Game Commission from 1920-24. This left them with over 12,000 acres surrounding the Ganoga Lake, Lake Jean and Glen area. Although the area was approved as a national park site in the 1930's, World War II brought an end to this plan for development and in 1942 the heirs sold 1,261 acres, the Falls and Glens area, to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a state park. Additional purchases from Colonel Rickett's son, William Ricketts, in 1943 and 1949 resulted in a park nucleus of approximately 10,000 acres of former Ricketts holdings. Additional purchases from other individuals have brought the park to its present size. Recreational facilities were first opened in 1944.

Recreation - Ricketts Glen State Park is one of the most scenic areas in Pennsylvania. This large park is comprised of 13,050 acres in Luzerne, Sullivan and Columbia counties. A varied selection of recreational opportunities includes: camping, cabin rental, swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, viewing numerous waterfalls and winter sports. In the summertime, an environmental interpreter offers campfire programs and guided walks.

The Glens Natural Area, a Registered National Natural Landmark since October 12, 1969, is the main scenic attraction in the park. Two branches of Kitchen Creek cut through the deep gorges of Ganoga Glen and Glen Leigh and unite at "Waters Meet'' and then flow through Ricketts Glen, among giant pines, hemlocks and oaks. Many of the magnificent trees in this area are over 500 years old and ring counts on fallen trees have revealed ages as high as 900 years. Diameters of almost five feet are common and many trees tower to 100 feet in height. The area represents the meeting ground of the southern and northern hardwood types, so that the variety of trees is extensive. The 94-foot Ganoga Falls is the highest of more than 22 named waterfalls in the park. Each waterfall is unique with no two being exactly alike. A series of trails, covering a total of seven miles, parallel the streams as they course their way down the Glens. A shorter hike of • mile, the Evergreen Trail, offers an excellent view of the final series of falls as it meanders through a majestic stand of giant hemlocks and white pine.

There are approximately 83,000 acres of State Game Lands to the west and north of the park plus approximately 9,000 acres of parkland open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established Pennsylvania Game Commission hunting seasons.

Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Ricketts Glen State Park area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 24 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 to -2 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius).

Location - The park is located 30 miles north of Bloomsburg on PA Route 487. The section of PA Route 487 from the town of Red Rock to the Lake Jean area of the park is a very steep road. Heavy trailer units should avoid this hill and enter the park by taking PA Route 487 south from Dushore.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Tom (Vernon, Pa)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: My wife and I have hiked these trails for over 20yrs and every outing is different. We have used Rickett's to introduce our children to the great outdoors. In recent years we have done some winter hiking although not making it to deep into the woods. Best experience happened some 15 yrs ago. We were coming out and spotted a small white tail in the newly fallin snow.

Filed By: Lori
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The gem of Ricketts Glen State Park is the Falls Trail. It has a well earned reputation for being a difficult trail. In recent years, trail construction has made the trip a little easier with steps and bridges being built along the trail, but do not think that this is a trail you can just get out of your car and walk along. Follow the park guidelines and wear sturdy, well fitting boots. The upper loop is very steep, but the payoff comes in seeing over 20 spectacular waterfalls. The trail is very popular and can be quite crowded on summer weekends. I prefer to hike during the week. I've never visited the park in the winter, but the trail is open. Check with the rangers whenever you go and get the most up-to-date trail information. Bring a camera and LOTS of film. Ricketts has a decent family camping area and nice group sites, but you have have to make reservations and you want to make them early. The park is very popular, and campsites are often filled. There is fishing and boating and ranger programs in the summer. If you are camping along the shore of Lake Jean, you can rent a canoe overnight for less than $10 and pull it right up to your site. Enjoy!


Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cross-country Skiing Winter sports are becoming increasingly popular and Ricketts Glen State Park offers cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowmobile trails and winter camping for the hardy outdoor enthusiasts.
Yes
ICON Snowmobiling Winter sports are becoming increasingly popular and Ricketts Glen State Park offers cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowmobile trails and winter camping for the hardy outdoor enthusiasts.
Yes


More Information

Contact Information:
Ricketts Glen State Park, R.R. 2, Box 130 , Benton, PA, 17814-8900, Phone: 570-477-5675
, rickettsglen@dcnr.state.pa.us

Additional Information:
Pocono Mountains / Endless Mountains Area - The Pocono Mountains abound in natural wonders. The Glens Natural Area has 22 named waterfalls in a scenic gorge with old growth timber. You can also try whitewater rafting on the Lehigh River.

Links:
Pennsylvania State Parks - Official agency website

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