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At World's End: PA's Waterfalls and Mountain Vistas

In the northern ranges of Pennsylvania's mountains rests some of the most interesting natural landmarks of our diverse state's environment. Waterfalls cascade down ancient hillsides and seven mountain ranges converge at a single location, creating what sightseers once described as the location of the end of the earth. Located in Luzerne, Columbia, and Sullivan Counties, Ricketts Glen and Worlds End State Parks are two locations in Pennsylvania that define its natural and ancient landscape as one of the most unique environments in the world.

In an ancient forest in northern Pennsylvania, over 13,000 acres of 300-year-old trees make up the body of Ricketts Glen State Park, a National Natural Landmark. Some trees reach more than 100 feet in the air and a system of speedy streams and gorges create a network of waterfalls unlike anywhere else in the state. The spiritual connection of this wild region to Native American tribes was undeniable, and it inspired Robert Rickett to name his twenty-two waterfalls after their tribes. Ganoga Falls is a 94-foot waterfall cascading down an ancient hillside, making it the highest waterfall in Ricketts Glen and the main attraction on its many hiking trails. . The most rigorous, difficult, and worthwhile of its hiking trails is the Falls Trail System, a 7.2 mile hike up and down steep hillsides, snaking between the drop-offs of the park's many waterfalls. The park is open every day, dawn to dusk, and activities include boating, fishing, hiking, and swimming. To view more information on the park, visit the website

Nearby, in Sullivan County, seven mountain ranges meet each other at a single location named Worlds End State Park. This S-shaped, 780-acre park is in the heart of the Endless Mountains and Loyalsock State Forest. From the famous Worlds End Vista, this breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime view was once described by an onlooker as the "ultimate ends of the earth." The best time of the year for Worlds End State Park is the fall foliage period in October, when the forest-covered mountains are drenched in the warm hues of Autumn. Worlds End State Park is also open dawn to dusk year-round, and more information can be found by visiting the website

Brandon Sherbo, Guest Blogger

 

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