Looking out over Pennsylvania in the 21st century, it isn’t hard to understand why the area was named after its great expanses of forests. However, the history of the state is also dominated by industries that came and went, often leaving little or no reminders of the communities that once thrived in the area. One of these was the town of Fall Brook.
Located in eastern Tioga County, Pennsylvania, Fall Brook was a coal town that reached a population 1,400 in the early 1860s. Located along the banks of Fall Brook, the stream would give rise to the company’s name, the Fall Brook Coal Company, and their railroad, which stretched from Fall Brook to Corning, New York, and Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The name was so well known that it gave its name to a community in California that is now home to more than 30,000 people.
By 1900, with the coal gone, the community ceased to exist. Today, little remains of this once bustling community. However, the creek along which the community was built still retains its name, as does the beautiful set of waterfalls that are located along the creek.
Fall Brook Falls (not to be confused with a waterfall of the same name in Lackawanna County or the waterfalls in Salt Springs State Park) is comprised of an upper and lower falls, which are separated by about 50 feet. While they are located in one of the most remote parts of this already remote county, they aren’t especially difficult to reach if you know where to look. In fact, there is a small picnic area near the falls and require only a few minutes of hiking to reach.
The area along the creek has a metal fence along the creek banks as the drop off to the waterway below is quite steep and long. This provides a nice viewing area for the top waterfall, though it can be hard to see much of the lower falls. Unfortunately, the steep walls make it nearly impossible to get a good view of the lower half of Fall Brook Falls.
Upper Fall Brook Falls is fairly easy to access and can be seen well from the fence along the stream’s banks. Should you wish to get a closer look, there is a very small and slick path down to the bottom of this portion of the falls. Honestly, this probably shouldn’t be attempted as it is very steep and one slip could send you tumbling over the falls just downstream. Besides, unless you plan to get your feet wet, the view from the top is just as good as the view from the bottom banks of the creek.
Upper Fall Brook Falls is roughly 8-10 feet in height and at least twice as wide. This creates a beautiful fan-shaped falls that were a pleasure to photograph.
The lower falls on Fall Brook is harder to reach, but can be reached by those comfortable with a bit of off-trail hiking and creek walking.
To get to the bottom of the lower falls, follow the unmarked trail downstream into the woods beyond the fencing. After about 100 yards, the trail will turn slightly and head downstream towards the creek. There are no trail markings here, so make your way down at a spot that feels comfortable to you.
At the bottom, simply work your way the 100 or so yards back upstream to the base of the falls. The area around Fall Brook can be quite slippery, and there are many rocks and fallen trees that you have to traverse to get to the base of the falls. This should only be attempted by those that are experienced and comfortable with this type of hiking. It should also not be attempted in high water.
Lower Fall Brook Falls is roughly 10-12 feet in height and looks quite different than the upper falls. Given how hard it is to see from above, the view from below is quite nice, and it’s worth taking the time to see if if you can do so safely.
The two waterfalls in Fall Brook Falls is far from the most spectacular waterfall in Pennsylvania, or even Tioga County. However, if you are looking for a secluded, but fairly easy to reach waterfall, Fall Brook Falls definitely fits the bill.
How to Get to Fall Brook Falls
Fall Brook Falls in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, is located just a short distance off of River Road in Ward Township. The closest community is Morris Run, while Blossburg is the closest community of any size and is located along Route 15. If you find yourself traveling Route 15 through northern Pennsylvania, Fall Brook Falls is located about six miles east of the highway.
There is a small gravel parking area located at the following coordinates: 41.678897, -76.989352. When parking, make sure not to block the gate or any oil equipment that may be there.
To reach Fall Brook Falls, follow the trail beyond the gate. After a short distance, a wide path will branch into the woods to the left and cross over a small bridge. Continue following this path for a couple of minutes until you see the wooden fencing to your left that denotes the banks of Fall Brook. The waterfalls are just below this fence.
All told, it should take you less than five minutes of fairly easy walking to reach the top of the waterfalls.
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See map below for other area attractions.
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