Hiking Bushkill Falls: The Niagara of Pennsylvania

Hiking to the base of Bushkills Falls.

Bushkill Falls, also known as the Niagara of Pennsylvania, is a scenic destination in the Pocono Mountains. It's one of the state's most popular attractions and draws visitors from across the country to view the majestic waterfalls. Adventure enthusiasts of all ages can explore the eight waterfalls on one of the connected hiking trails. Hiking Bushkill Falls is one of the best things to do in Pennsylvania and an unmissable experience. 

The land is privately owned and has been with the same family for over a century. In 1904, Charles E. Peters opened Bushkill Falls to the public. Back then, admission cost 10 cents! Of course, the price has increased over the past nearly 120 years, but I've visited Bushkill Falls twice now and never regret paying the fee to see these awe-inspiring waterfalls. 

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means I’ll earn a small commission if you purchase through these links at no extra cost to you.

Where is Bushkill Falls? 

Bushkill Falls is located in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, at the edge of the Delaware Water Gap. It's a stunning location surrounded by nature, but still close to several major East Coast cities. A car is needed to get to Bushkill, but the drive from New York City, New Jersey, and Eastern Pennsylvania is easy. 

Welcome to Bushkill Falls.

Does Bushkill Compare to Niagara Falls?

I've been to Bushkill and Niagara, and I don't find them comparable. Both of these waterfalls are undoubtedly beautiful, but Niagara Falls is one of the most iconic waterfalls in the world, it's on another level entirely. Compared in terms of size, Niagara has a massive width of 3,950 feet with a height ranging from 70 to 188 feet. On the other hand, the Main Falls at Bushkill has a height of 100 feet. Although not comparable to Niagara in size and scale, Bushkill Falls is magnificent in its own right.

Top of the Main Falls.

The Best Time to Visit Bushkill Falls

It’s important to note that Bushkill Falls is not open year-round. They’re closed for the winter from late November through March, reopening in April each year. Peak season is during the summer from June through August. Expect larger crowds, warm weather, and buggy trails. If visiting in the summer, try to arrive earlier in the morning or come on weekdays for better conditions. Spring and fall are ideal times to visit for fewer crowds and comfortable temperatures. Plus, the fall foliage is spectacular as the forest transforms into an autumn wonderland of crimson, gold, and orange. 

Summer in Bushkill Falls.

How Long Does It Take To Walk Through Bushkill Falls?

The amount of time to spend at Bushkill Falls is a matter of preference. Trails range in length with the shortest route taking 15 minutes to view the Main Falls to 2 hours to see all eight waterfalls. I recommend planning to spend at least an hour to experience the Main Falls from different viewing platforms. With the additional activities available at Bushkill, a family could easily spend half a day here. On my last visit, I spent close to three hours in the park, admiring the falls, walking the trails, and soaking up the scenery. 

Bushkill Falls Viewing Platform.

Admission Information

Price: Weekend and holiday admission is $20 for adults and $10 for children. Weekday admission is $17 for adults and $10 for children. 
Hours: Operating hours vary depending on the day of the week, weather, and season from April through November. Generally, Bushkill opens at 9 a.m. and closes between 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Ticket sales, food services, and stores stop service an hour before closing. 
Pet Policy: Leashed pets are allowed at Bushkill but must not be left unattended. I encountered several pups while wandering the trails, so it’s a big pet friendly destination! 
Address: 138 Bushkill Falls Trail, Bushkill, PA 18324
Cell Service: Reception is limited here. Make sure to have a paper map on you for the trails. 
Parking: Ample parking is available, but during peak periods, it's a good idea to arrive early to secure your spot.

Hiking at Bushkill Falls

There are four trails at Bushkill to choose from that range in difficulty and length. They are all interconnected with one another, well-maintained, and offer unique perspectives of the waterfalls and surrounding forest. 

None of the trails are too challenging, making it a perfect family-friendly destination. If you're seeking more of an adventurous hike, this won't meet that expectation, but the abundance of natural beauty you'll see will make up for it. 

There are some strenuous points, like climbing up multiple sets of stairs. Bring plenty of water with you no matter what trail you choose. Also, wear comfortable and practical shoes. Anything from sneakers to hiking boots work. 

Staircase at Bushkill Falls Pennsylvania.
One of the many staircases in Bushkill

The Four Trails

Green Trail: This is the easiest and shortest trail at Bushkill Falls. It takes about 15 minutes to see the Main Falls on the green trail. A good option for visitors with small children or limited mobility. 

Yellow Trail: The yellow trail is the most popular trail to take. It's relatively easy and will take approximately 45 minutes to complete. You'll see the Main Falls from several viewpoints, including the base of the falls. 

Blue Trail: On the blue trail hikers will see Pennell Falls. It isn't that difficult and can be completed in about an hour and fifteen minutes. 

Red Trail: The red trail is the longest of the four trails, at approximately 2 miles in length, and is the only trail with access to all eight waterfalls. It's also considered the most challenging trail. Bushkill does not recommend it for those with no hiking experience.

Woman standing at Bridesmaid's Falls Pennsylvania.
Bridesmaid's Falls on the red trail

My Experience Hiking Bushkill Falls

I've hiked both the yellow and red trails at Bushkill and didn't find either of them the least bit difficult. Nevertheless, both routes include a lot of stairs. When I completed the red trail on my last visit, it felt like I had finished an intense workout the way my calves were burning. Apart from continuously climbing up and down sets of stairs, these are relatively easy hikes. Bushkill advises against beginner hikers trying the red trail. Although, I don't believe they'll encounter any difficulties. 

The red trail starts similar to the yellow trail where you’ll view the Main Falls from above and at the base before climbing back up on the west side of Bushkill. This part of the path is gentle and flat leading to a series of 3 stunning waterfalls. It was less crowded here, and at times I had it all to myself, soaking up the falls in solitude. 

Bridal Veil Falls.
Bridal Veil Falls

After passing Bridal Veil Falls and both Bridesmaid’s Falls, the trail becomes uneven and a bit rocky. Again nothing too challenging but still more strenuous than the rest of the trail. Eventually, you’ll climb back up the stairs to the east side of Bushkill where you entered, looping around to finish the red trail. This also connects to the blue trail where you’ll view Pennell Falls. Overall, I loved seeing all eight waterfalls in 2 miles and thought it was fantastic without being too hard. 

If you’re worried the red trail will be too intense, the yellow trail is also amazing. You’ll view the Main Falls from multiple viewpoints above and then climb down the steps to the bottom of the falls on the bridge. Besides the Main Falls, you’ll also see the Lower Gorge Falls too. Then it’s simply the climb back up to the top. 

Lower Gorge Falls
Lower Gorge Falls

Overall Is Bushkill Falls Worth Going To?

In my opinion, the answer is a resounding yes! I didn’t enjoy paying an entrance fee to go on a waterfall hike, but the falls are worth the money. The trails are well-maintained, and the eight waterfalls are stunning. I estimate that if my husband and I wanted to see a movie, we’d spend approximately $50 for two adults. Comparatively speaking, I preferred to spend $40 to explore fantastic trails with breathtaking waterfalls. This was my second trip to Bushkill, and even though the cost prevents me from going often, everyone should try it at least once if they can. 

Bridge at the bottom of Bushkill Falls.

Activities at Bushkill Falls besides Hiking

Even though viewing the waterfalls and hiking one of the four trails is the main attraction during a visit, there are other activities to enjoy here as well. Some activities are aimed at kids, but it’s great if a family wants to extend their time at Bushkill. Plus, the exhibits are packed with information that history buffs will love. 

  • Maze: Maze runners compete to see who can locate the four checkpoints the fastest. Requires an additional fee. 
  • Gemstone mining: Pan through a bag of mining rough to find gems. Requires an additional fee. 
  • Fishing: Enjoy a leisurely moment fishing on the Twin Lakes in Bushkill Falls. A permit is required, which can be purchased onsite. 
  • Exhibits: There are several free exhibits to check out while in Bushkill: The Pennsylvania Wildlife Exhibit, the Story of Bushkill Falls Exhibit, and the Native American Exhibit. They are quick and informative experiences.

Things to Do Near Bushkill Falls

There is so much to see and do in the Delaware Water Gap and Pocono Mountains that one could easily spend several days exploring the region. Beyond Bushkill Falls, there are endless hikes to venture out on and countless waterfalls to chase. Plus, there are rafting adventures, fishing opportunities, camping sites, bird viewing spots, and one of the most popular activities is kayaking and canoeing.

You can find a list of companies that offer rafting, canoeing, and kayaking equipment here.

Nearby Waterfalls:
- Dingmans Falls
- Raymondskill Falls
- Tumbling Waters Falls
- Hackers Falls

Nearby Hikes:
- Mount Tammany
- Mount Minsi
- Council Rock and Lookout Rock
- Racoon Ridge via Appalachian Trail

Hotels Near Bushkill Falls

  1. The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort: A historic inn with comfortable rooms in a convenient location with a golf course.
  2. Hotel Fauchère: This upscale 4-star hotel with beautiful rooms is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  3. Hampton Inn & Suites Stroudsburg: A clean and friendly hotel that's affordable in a great location. 
  4. The Penn Stroud, Stroudsburg: Poconos, Ascend Hotel Collection. Here you'll find cozy rooms at a reasonable price close to nearby attractions. 

Final Thoughts

Bushkill Falls is a beautiful destination to hike, see multiple waterfalls, and be in nature. The Main Falls, though not quite at the Niagara level, are very impressive and not to be missed when visiting Pennsylvania. When exploring one of the well-kept trails and viewing the mighty falls, it's money well spent to enter Bushkill Falls. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Kelly says:

    I've never heard of Bushkill Falls before reading this post! It looks so picturesque and I'd love to visit one day. Thanks for sharing your experience and tips!

    • Jillian says:

      Outside of the northeast it's definitely more of a hidden gem! It's very picturesque no matter when you visit, and I hope you do!

  • Jade says:

    I have never heard of this place. Sounds amazing. Definitely putting it on our Van destination list. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jillian says:

      I'm glad to share! I hope you get to visit! That entire area of Pennsylvania is beautiful and worth a trip.