Pennsylvania Waterfalls: The Falls of George W. Childs Park
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area of the Poconos Mountains is known for its beautiful natural scenery and impressive waterfalls. Visitors come from all over the region to see well-known waterfalls like Raymondskill Falls, Dingmans Falls, and Bushkill Falls. However, there are many more waterfalls in the Poconos that are worth taking the time to visit.
One such area is George W. Childs Park along the western edges of the park. This small area is home to three beautiful waterfalls along Dingmans Creek, just a few miles upstream of Dingmans Falls, the second largest waterfall in Pennsylvania. The three waterfalls here are each different and very unique. I can’t recall seeing any other waterfalls in Pennsylvania that resemble any of the falls in Childs Park.
Note: As for March 2018, George W. Childs Park is closed indefinitely due to storm damage. Please do not visit until it is reopened by the park service.
Access to the falls is by a single path that winds its way along both sides of the creek, in many places clinging to the stone edges above the rushing water, for a total of roughly 1.5 miles. However, thanks to the National Park Service, the paths are wide and very well maintained. There are even wooden steps in many of the steeper sections of the trail and several bridges that cross Dingmans Creek.
The first waterfall is about a third of a mile down a wide and handicap-accessible trail. This waterfall is known as Factory Falls because it is located next to a 19th century woolen mill.The stone foundations of this mill remain and add a nice touch of history to this beautiful hike.
Factory Falls drops twice, with the creek making a 90-degree turn between the two falls. While there is a viewing platform on the side of the creek nearest to the parking area, the best views and the old mill are from the far side of the creek.
In fact, at all three George W. Childs Park waterfalls, the northern banks of the creek offer the best views. What many do is hike down the side of Dingmans Creek closest to the parking, and back up on the far side, making a loop along the portion of the trail that follows the creek. However, you can also cross Dingmans Creek on a bridge a few meters upstream of Factory Falls in PA should you wish to hike down the other bank.
A short distance after Factory Falls, you’ll come to Fulmer Falls, without need for directions. Fulmer Falls is listed at 56 feet tall and is the largest of the Childs Park waterfalls. What’s unique about this waterfall is that the creek falls into a semi-circular basin of rock before continuing downstream. I can’t recall ever seeing a waterfall quite like this one anywhere.
Access to the base of this waterfall isn’t possible without jumping the fence, which isn’t allowed, unfortunately. Because of this, getting a good look at Fulmer Falls is a bit challenging. However, there is a nice vantage point at the top of the waterfall along the far bank of Dingmans Creek, which gives a cool view into the center of Fulmer Falls.
Continuing downstream, the last waterfall at Childs Park is Deer Leap Falls. I’m assuming the name comes from the very narrow gorge at the top of the waterfall, which looks like a deer could jump across. Today, a bridge spans the top of this waterfall which gives a very scenic look to Deer Leap Falls and offers a chance to look down at the top of the waterfall. There is also a bridge just downstream of the falls, which is officially the bottom of the loop at the park. The pool at the bottom of Deer Leap Falls is very large and shallow. Unfortunately, during your visit to Childs Park, cliff jumping, swimming, and wading are not allowed here.
To continue the 3/4 of a mile hike back to the parking area, you can continue up either side of the stream, but I’d recommend going back along the opposite bank of the stream so you can see all the available vantage points of the waterfalls at Childs Park.
Overall, I would include George Childs Park among the can’t-miss waterfall hikes in the Delaware Water Gap. The well-built paths make this a trail that is relatively easy for anyone and the beauty and size of the waterfalls is quite amazing. Make sure you don’t miss these great falls on your next trip to the Pennsylvania Poconos.
How to Get to George W. Childs Park
George W. Childs Park is located in the northern half of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, just a few miles south of Milford, in Pike County, Pennsylvania. The parking area for Childs Recreation Area can be found at the following coordinates: 41.237129, -74.919371.
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See map below for other area attractions.[webdirectory-map height=350 ajax_loading=1 start_latitude=41.237129 start_longitude=-74.919371 start_zoom=11 show_readmore_button=0]
Jim Cheney is the creator of UncoveringPA.com. Based in the state capital of Harrisburg, Jim frequently travels around Pennsylvania and has visited, written about, and photographed all 67 counties in the state. He has also traveled to more than 30 different countries around the world.