Last Updated on November 2, 2021 by Jeremy
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With so many rivers, streams, and creeks in and round Pittsburgh, you’d imagine there should be a couple of waterfalls- and you’ll be proper.
The region is house to a major number of waterfalls worth exploring, however we do have to notice a caveat that many are missing in measurement compared to falls you may discover in close by states (the tallest near Pittsburgh is just about 30 toes whereas waterfalls in upstate New York a number of hours away can break 200 feet!).
In fact, most of what we might contemplate waterfalls right here may only be 5 or 6 toes in height in whole which are notable highlights when exploring a neighborhood park, but maybe not the only real reason you’d go to a selected park on its own. To make issues worse, many of those are also heavily dependent on the rains such that they may simply be a trickle during dry spells.
While the latter nonetheless impacts even our greatest waterfalls, on this guide we wished to solely feature some of the greatest and most inspiring waterfalls near Pittsburgh. But to hit these, you will need to go on a little bit of a drive!
Fall Run Park
To begin this information, we hit the closest waterfall to Pittsburgh- Fall Run Park in Glenshaw simply off of Route 8. The roughly one-mile out-and-back trail to the falls at this park was renovated a number of years ago and is a pleasant and simple stroll to a roughly 25-foot cascade near the trail’s terminus (although it might be muddy at spots).
The base of the falls here is accessible (if you go when it is busy you’ll doubtless see children playing at the base) and there are a set of stairs that take you to the top of the falls on the left-hand facet which helps you recognize this one from several angles.
Overall, this one may be loved in a fairly quick journey because the park is small and the waterfall could be accessed in just a quick hike from the parking space.
Fall Run Park is positioned at 187 Fall Run Road in Glenshaw, PA.
Hells Hollow Falls
Most visitors head to McConnells Mill State Park (~45 minutes north of the city) to examine out the gorgeous mill, covered bridge, and loop trail near these (which has some offshoot trails to waterfalls which might be notoriously difficult and generally unsafe). But whereas visiting, you’ll do properly to drive a bit further around to the western side of the park to tackle the half-mile trail to Hells Hollow Falls.
This ~15-foot tall waterfall is an attractive cascade that’s easily reached on a somewhat flat trail. Just make sure to keep to the best on the fork in the trail near the trailhead and you will reach the falls.
It is price noting that there’s a through-trail to succeed in the mill and coated bridge on the main section of the park; nonetheless, it is roughly six-miles one-way and the park doesn’t supply any return transportation. As such, we advocate driving over to the falls from the main section of the park (a roughly 15-minute drive southwest).
Hells Hollow Falls is positioned at McConnells Mill State Park. The trailhead for the falls is situated at 1436 Shaffer Road in Portersville, PA on the western aspect of the park.
Jones Mill Run Dam Falls
Can a dam also be a waterfall? We would argue sure, however we might prefer it to look aesthetically pleasing to qualify. Jones Mill Run Dam Falls at Laurel Hill State Park (about 75 minutes southeast of the town within the Laurel Highlands) is just that.
This dam was constructed by the CCC in 1935 and is just over 10-feet tall by our estimation. While on the smaller finish, the explanation why we’re featuring it right here is that the rocks are stacked in such a way that creates a rather stunning cascade into Jones Mill Run under.
This waterfall is definitely reached in roughly one-mile on the Pumphouse Trail and indicators are clearly listed the place you may want to leap off to succeed in the falls (~50 ft away). From there you can make a longer hike persevering with down the Pumphouse Trail and connecting to the Martz and Water Line Trails, or take a shorter hike back on the Tram Road Trail and the Shay Connector to return to the Pumphouse Trail about a half-mile or so down.
It is value noting that the parking space for the Pumphouse Trail is positioned about halfway down the principle highway that cuts through Laurel Hill State Park. Signs are current on the turn-off right here however you could just as easily miss it. As such, it’s value driving slowly and paying attention (more so for other trailheads than this one, however price noting all of the same).
Laurel Hill State Park is positioned in Somerset, PA.
Frankfort Mineral Springs Waterfall
Raccoon Creek State Park is a massive, 7,500 acre park situated about 40-minutes west of Pittsburgh that’s value a visit for its many trails and wildflower reserve (which explodes in colour in each spring in fall).
Much like Hells Hollow Falls at McConnells Mill (above), the Frankfort Mineral Springs waterfall is finest reached by way of car as it is only situated about 5 minutes walking from the parking space. When you reach the falls right here you may note its unique rock formation because the water falls off an overhang, and the mineral springs are situated on-site right here as properly.
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So whereas this one is maybe on the smaller finish (just about 10 feet), it makes up for it with a rather lovely ambiance that is a great addition to any hike you could take at the park- though a brief loop trail exists near the waterfall too!
The Frankfort Mineral Springs Waterfall could be found right off Route 18 that passes via Raccoon Creek State Park and is visible on the park map here.
The waterfall at Braddock’s Trail Park in Irwin, PA, is greatest to be visited after a powerful rain as the water circulate of this 20-foot fall can gradual to a trickle otherwise.
But should you time your visit right, you’ll get to take a glance at a gorgeous waterfall as properly as have a quick hike within the 148-acre park!
Braddock’s Trail Park is situated off of Robbins Station Road in Irwin, PA.
While Buttermilk Falls is a reasonably generic name that is really used to describe a selection of waterfalls in the state, when we think of Buttermilk Falls, we consider the one situated in Beaver Falls, PA near the Route 18 onramp of the turnpike.
This ~25-foot tall waterfall is well reached in a really quick stroll from the parking space and provides a quite lovely viewing angle of the falls and the green-tinted pool under. The falls can also be viewed from above; nonetheless, you will need to drive up 1st Avenue to close the Methodist Church to entry that brief trailhead.
As this waterfall doesn’t have an associated park hooked up to it, you may do properly coupling it with a larger exploration of the area- perhaps donuts on the famous Oram’s Donuts if visiting within the morning or a beer at Beaver Brewing Company if visiting later in the day!
Buttermilk Falls is situated just next to the Route 18 and PA-76 interchange in Beaver Falls, PA.
Ohiopyle Falls is located right in the heart of Ohiopyle town (in the state park of the identical name) and there are numerous lookouts where you can take in these attractive ~15 foot tall falls- together with from a contemporary visitors center with prime views from its floor-to-ceiling windows.
This waterfall can also be the widest one featured in this guide because it runs virtually the entire width of the Youghiogheny River. The better part is that since this one may be reached in only a few ft on paved walkways from the parking lot in Ohiopyle town, it is doubtless the most accessible of all waterfalls featured on this guide!
Ohiopyle Falls is situated near the state park visitors middle on Main Street in Ohiopyle, PA.
We began this information with the closest considerable waterfall to Pittsburgh, and to finish it we wanted to feature one of many largest waterfalls in southwest PA entirely- Cucumber Falls at Ohiopyle State Park!
This 30-foot waterfall is located only a short drive away from Ohiopyle Falls and is well reached via a set of stairs that lead right down to the falls from the parking area. From there, visitors can recognize the falls from a distance, walk behind the falls due to the falls coming off an overhang, or climb down the rocks to discover this one from the water’s edge- make certain you are carrying good footwear when you do that one as it could be a bit difficult.
It is truly a must-see when visiting Ohiopyle State Park and is sort of impressive even when the water is working low. When visiting this one, make a morning or afternoon out of it and take a hike from Cucumber Falls to Cascade Falls (another, a lot smaller waterfall discovered in the park however stunning to go to in tandem). It is certainly one of our favorites!
Cucumber Falls is located just south of Ohiopyle town off of Ohiopyle Road. Head South on 381, flip proper on Ohiopyle Road, and a small parking area will be visible about 1,000 ft down the road on your proper.
Adams Falls is a roughly 12-foot waterfall at Linn Run State Park within the Laurel Highlands. While maybe not the tallest in the area, this one makes for a short walk from the parking zone and is best viewed after heavier rains as the circulate varies considerably.
So in case you are exploring the Laurel Highlands after some rain showers and wish a fast waterfall fix, it is a nice option to consider!
Adams Falls is positioned at Linn Run State Park at 770 Linn Run Road in Rector, PA. We suggest visiting this one after massive rains only.
Have a favourite waterfall within the space that we haven’t featured yet? Comment under to share it! After we go to we may add it into this guide to function even more waterfalls near Pittsburgh.
Many of the waterfalls above have been found in our good friend UncoveringPA’s guide, Waterfalls of Pennsylvania. If you want to discover more waterfalls in Pennsylvania (not just near Pittsburgh), we extremely recommend selecting up this resource. It is also a fantastic purchase in tandem with 60 Hikes in 60 Miles: Pittsburgh which we’ve referenced lots for much more trails!
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