Boasting no less than 22 waterfalls, as well as a National Natural Monument and some of the most incredible scenery you could ever hope to see, Ricketts Glen State Park should be on the bucketlist of every outdoor lover.
Opened in 1944, this PA state park is known for its magnificent glens, as well as the incredible views it showcases of its various cascades.
Spanning over 13,000 acres, one of the main highlights of the park is the sparkling 245-acre Lake Jean, which is a popular spot for fishing, swimming and boating activities. With many scenic spots and wonderful vistas to take in, hiking is also a well practiced activity too.
For those who want to stay here for a few days, the campground provides plenty of RV and tent sights for self-sufficient campers.
This is a highly recommended option, as Ricketts Glen State Park is the kind of place you will want to take your time to really appreciate.
Things To Do At Ricketts Glen State Park
Those who come to the park can enjoy a wide range of recreational outdoor activities during their visit.
Outlined below is just a small selection of some of the many things you can see and do while you are there.
As you would expect, considering the park is centered around the gorgeous Lake Jean, many people come to Ricketts Glen to partake in a wide range of boating activities.
The likes of motorboating, paddleboating, row boating, canoeing, kayaking and SUP are all popular activities here, and there are two boat launches to help get you into the water.
If you didn’t bring a watercraft with you to the park, don’t worry. You can always hire these vessels out whilst you are there.
During the hotter months of summer you can choose to escape the heat by going for a swim in the lake’s cooling waters.
There is a 600 feet section of beach designated for swimming on the southeastern side of the lake.
If you intend to swim there though, plenty be aware that it is not a lifeguarded area. So you will be swimming at your own risk.
Fishing is a very popular activity at the park, with anglers from all over the state coming here for the chance to catch some of the warm-water game fish and panfish that reside within it.
Some of the specific species you can snare include trout, crappie, smallmouth and largemouth bass, pickerel and bluegill.
As with any state park in Pennsylvania, you are required to have a valid fishing license before you can cast a line.
One of the best ways to explore Ricketts Glen State Park is through its trails.
Overall it accommodates over 26 miles of trails, many of which are multi-purpose for hiking, horseback riding and biking.
These trails perfectly showcase the park’s diverse landscape, which varies from dense woodland and bosky forest to stunning waterfalls and picturesque streams.
The trails vary in degrees of difficulty, as well as length. But as there are plenty of them, you are sure to find one that suits your level of fitness and mobility.
Picnicking is a very popular option for those who visit the park.
Throughout it, you will find several tables, located in scenic spots, many of which showcase lovely views of the beach and lake.
At most of these tables you will find charcoal grills available for use, as well as restrooms nearby too.
If you are planning an event, there is also a picnic pavilion you can reserve up to 11 months in advance.
During the summer the park is a wonderful place to visit. However, it is also a great place to head to in the winter as well.
When the snow comes, it offers up a terrific range of activities which you can’t perform in the warmer months.
This includes the likes of cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating and ice fishing. All of which provide further unique ways to enjoy the park’s stunning landscape.
The park prides itself on being a pet friendly destination. However, some restrictions still apply.
To find out what they are it is worth contacting its main office for further details.
If you are looking for a place to stay during your time at the park you will find several overnight accommodations available to you.
Overall, the main campground here has 120 sites that are suitable for both rigs and tents. Located within a ‘big loop’ that offers lakeside access, as well as ‘small loop’, that provides pet-friendly accommodation, all the RV sites here are back-in only.
None of these sites have hookups available, although you will have access to water, as well as flush toilets, hot showers and a dump station. All of these sites come with a fire ring and picnic table though.
Reservations for these sites can be made up to 11 months before you intend to stay there. The small loop is open all year round, while the big loop only operates from April to October. At any time they are open, unreserved sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
As well as these RV and tent sites you will also find three deluxe cottages and 10 cabins available to hire within the park.
Ricketts Glen State Park
Benton, PA 17814
Here is a good video showcasing several of the waterfalls at Ricketts Glen State Park:
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