The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon is an outdoor lovers dream and filled with many fantastic hiking trails, waterfalls, and vistas.
Many who visit this part of the Pennsylvania Wilds stay to the northern reaches of the area officially known as Pine Creek Gorge and visit Leonard Harrison State Park and Colton Point State Park. However, further to the south, there is another great area worth exploring.
Jerry Falls and Bohen Falls are two incredible waterfalls located on the western rim of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon near Blackwell. While Jerry Falls is directly along the trail, Bohen Falls requires a bit of off-trail hiking along the banks of Bohen Run to see.
To see these waterfalls, a total hike of 3.8 miles is necessary. This hike combines trail hiking with a bit of off-trail hiking to create one of my favorite hikes in the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.
The trail starts from Blackwell, a tiny community that features a general store, a few small places to stay, and a parking area. The fabulous Pine Creek Rail Trail runs through this area, and the bridge over the creek here is the first bridge over the waterway south of Route 6 (17 miles to the north).
The Bohen Falls Trailhead is located adjacent to the bridge on the opposite bank of Pine Creek from the parking area (more info on where to park below).
The trail quickly enters the woods and starts a steep climb up the hillside. In total, the trail climbs about 300 feet in the first third of a mile.
The trail here is quite narrow with a rather steep slope towards Pine Creek to your right. Use caution when hiking here, especially if you have children with you.
It’s also worth noting that this portion of the trail is somewhat prone to landslides and is closed for repairs from time to time. This happens infrequently, but when it does, the trail tends to be closed for a few months at a time.
About two-thirds of a mile into the hike, the trail crosses a normally dry stream bed and then passes a nice rock outcropping at about 0.9 miles.
Jerry Falls is located approximately 1.1 miles from the parking area. This is a 20-25 foot waterfall with a crest of approximately 5 feet.
The best viewing area is located about 20 feet off of the trail along the rocks overlooking the falls. Use extreme care here if you approach the edge of the rocks as there is a 30-foot sheer drop from these rocks.
To continue hiking the trail, cross Jerry Run just above the falls (using caution if water levels are high).
The trail briefly climbs before starting to head downhill. About 0.3 miles after Jerry Falls, you’ll see double yellow blazes on a tree, immediately followed by the trail making a 90-degree turn to the left and heading uphill.
Instead, head straight and go downhill towards Pine Creek at an angle. There is a light trail that features intermittent blue blazes that can be hard to find. However, if you keep heading down towards the creek at a diagonal, you should be able to pick it up rather quickly.
Once the trail gets down to creek level, it follows upstream near the waterway and past two beautiful campsites. After the second campsite, again ignore the turn in the main trail and follow a trail straight along the creek. In about 100 yards, you’ll come to a third campsite at the confluence of Pine Creek and Bohen Run.
From here, simply head upstream along the left bank of Bohen Run for about 0.15 miles to the base of Bohen Falls. Use caution while walking along the creek as the rocks and banks can be slippery. Sometimes, walking directly in the creek might be the best way to reach the falls, so wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet.
Bohen Falls is a 30-foot waterfall that has created a beautiful hollow. This is a fantastically beautiful spot, and it’s easy to waste the day away just enjoying time here.
To return to your vehicle, simply retrace your steps back. The trail split where you rejoin the Bohen Trail can be easy to miss, so make sure to use care that you return to that trail’s yellow blazes. Having a GPS tracking your route can be very helpful in this spot to make sure you don’t get off-course.
In my opinion, the Bohen Falls Trail is one of the best hikes in the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. It’s not an overly difficult trail but offers two incredible waterfalls, beautiful scenery along Pine Creek, and a bit of fun off-trail hiking.
If you are looking for a unique adventure in the Pennsylvania Wilds, don’t miss this fantastic trail.
How to Get to the Bohen Falls Trail
The Bohen Falls Trail starts in Blackwell in the heart of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon in Tioga County, PA. When hiking the trail, park in the Blackwell Access Area on the eastern banks of Pine Creek.
The parking area can be found at the following coordinates: 41.556291, -77.381817.
Note that this is a popular parking area and is used not only by hikers, but also by bikers on the Pine Creek Rail Trail, boaters, and fishermen. If you are planning to visit on a busy weekend, you might want to arrive early to make sure the lot isn’t full.
From the parking area, cross the bridge over Pine Creek. While this is a lightly trafficked road, use caution as there is no sidewalk on the bridge. Once across the bridge, look to your right. You should see a sign for the Bohen Trail on the opposite side of the guardrail. Cross the guardrail and head up the trail.
Note that there is no sidewalk on the bridge, so be extra careful when crossing the to the trailhead.
For those that use GPS coordinates, Jerry Run Falls can be found at the following coordinates: 41.566611, -77.387306.
Bohen Run Falls can be found at these coordinates: 41.573833, -77.388167.
[Click here for information on how to use the coordinates in this article to find your destination.]