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Getaway in PA: A Chance to 'Fall' in Love With Ricketts Glen

by on May 31, 2013 12:41 PM

TGIF! Got plans for the weekend? There are some fascinating getaway spots, just a short drive from State College. This summer, is going to be showcasing some fun places you and your family will love.

One of the best is Ricketts Glen State Park. It's a great place to soak in some of the Keystone State’s rural beauty. Only two hours away from State College the scenic 13,000-acre state park is located about 30 miles north of Bloomsburg.

Visitors can swim, fish and boat in the park’s 245-acre Lake Jean before enjoying a picnic by the beach. There’s also horseback riding, designated areas for hunting and 26 miles of hiking trails.

“It’s so unique,” Park Manager Terence Daltroff said. “People come throughout - not just the country - but the world when they are in the state to visit.”

The park’s true “claim to fame,” as Daltroff put it, is the Glens Natural Area, which features a well-maintained trail with more than 20 picturesque waterfalls – the highest measuring 94 feet.

“Hands down, that’s it,” he said about the falls. “You can go to a lot of pretty state parks in Pennsylvania. We do have 120 and they’re beautiful … but when it comes to Ricketts Glen, it’s the natural area.”

The trail of waterfalls is so visually striking, Daltroff said, that a photographer who has taken photographs throughout the world mentioned that his favorite place to snap a photo is Ricketts Glen.

A 7.2 mile hiking trail will take you past the waterfalls. There's also a much shorter 3.2-mile loop that includes many of the best falls. Just be aware that the terrain is rocky, can be slippery, and there are a few steep sections. Be sure to wear proper footwear. The trails are not a good idea for people who are not in good physical condition.

A relaxing, family-friendly atmosphere is enforced throughout the camp grounds and natural area as well.

“We’ve tried to keep this park a family park,” he said.

“Even though it’s busy, and we only have 120 family campsites and not 500 like other parks do, it’s still a very quiet park. We have a very decent, friendly staff and rangers who are out there to help everybody, but we do not tolerate certain things.”

Any illicit activity, unruly partying and unnecessarily loud noise will be dealt with by patrolling park rangers.

Due to the park’s popularity, the campsites and cabins can be difficult to get during the summer months. But even if you can't get overnight accommodations, it's still a great day trip. It's a good idea to make reservations. Click HERE for more information or call 1-888-PA-PARKS (727-2757).

Do you know a about a great getaway destination in central PA? We want to hear about it. Send an email to [email protected]

Shawn Christ is a recent Penn State graduate who is working as an intern for
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