Finding breath-taking natural treasures in PA
For those who enjoy attractions such as Jakes Rocks and Rimrock, there are some local gems worth exploring.
These areas include beautiful waterfall attractions that are not easy to find, like Hector Falls. To find the Hector Falls trailhead with website maps like Google, pay attention to the road mileage the maps indicate with your vehicle’s odometer because the trailhead lacks a marker. And some trailheads become overgrown certain times of the year or are not maintained at all.
Some access Hector Falls via Ludlow, Pa., but some websites and videos claim Hector Falls is in Sheffield, and even Kane. Google maps put Hector Falls between Tionesta Scenic Area and Ludlow, with a “Hector Falls parking area” along Firetower Road off Route 6 near Sheffield.
Google maps do not show the walking trail from the parking area to the falls. And, according to Endless Mountains Experience website, the trails are not yet posted even though Hector Falls is within the confines of the Allegany National Forest.
In 2018, the ANF replied they would be posting the area, soon. So, it sounds like part of the fun of hiking to Hector Falls is finding it for a Eureka(!), we’ve found it-like moment.
The other reason to find Hector Falls, if not for the fresh air, is for the beauty of it all and especially after a good soaking rain to feed the falls. Photos indicate a near perfect megalith cube, perhaps prehistoric rock, tall and flat on top where the nearly still water begins its descent over the slightly tilted top, crashing into to the shallow streambed below. The megalith is surrounded by other boulders, some covered in thick moss, with smaller cataracts. The lower-level streambed is rich with stunning plant growth and the water disappears in what Endless Mountains Experience describes as a “subterranean route in the sand and under the boulders.”
Photos indicate the stream disappearing under some boulders and reappearing beside others. Even the streambed is elusive.
Another elusive waterfall is Pigeon Falls located in Forest County on the edge of the ANF on PA State Game Land 028. Pigeon Falls trailhead is accessed near Marienville and best accessed on foot, because the trails are old equestrian trails, not maintained, and deeply rutted, according to Jim Cheney’s Uncovering PA website.
The road trip from Warren takes longer than walking the path from the trailhead to Pigeon Falls does. This trail is posted with a distinct marker and includes a map to photograph and take with you. Pigeon Falls cataracts are not as dramatic in height as Hector Falls but are just as beautiful as they flow over extended, and interesting rock formations. My source points out how fascinating the rock formations are in age and sculpture, that conjure images of ancient dinosaurs roaming about, ploughing through the mud after a good rain in the shade and protection of the tree canopy overhead. Adding to the enchantment and charm of Pigeon Falls is the picnic table, so pack a lunch or snacks.
Next is Logan Falls, off Route 666 near Blue Jay Creek Road and Marienville, Pa. Like Hector Falls, pay attention to road mileage and directions if you use website maps, like Google Maps because this trailhead can be difficult to find. My source tells me at one time, the trailhead was marked by a tree with blue paint, but the tree is no longer there. When you do find Logan Falls, enjoy the large rock formations, thick with moss and fern that overshadow ancient dark caves you can literally walk around in, if you dare and, if there are no bears around. Be warned. Again, the rocks hug our history with ancient significance, provide inspiration for the creative mind, and showcase stunning scenery.
Closer to Warren and easily accessible is Bent Run at Kinzua Dam. Bent Run is at the hairpin turn east of Warren past the rock wall at Kinzua Dam. Bent Run is marked and includes a marker. You can almost see Bent Run’s scenic waterfall from the parking lot, but it’s slightly hidden by pine trees and ferns on a steep slope. The huge boulders, fuzzy with moss, take on an interesting arrangement created by the force of nature, with water meandering any way it wants to.