I’ve visited a lot of waterfalls in Pennsylvania (easily over 200), but that doesn’t mean I’ve seen them all. And, until recently, one such spot I hadn’t visited was the waterfall in Little Rocky Glen Preserve.
Little Rocky Glen Preserve is located just off Route 6, a few miles to the west of Factoryville (the birthplace of baseball great Christy Mathewson) in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. This preserve is highlighted by a small waterfall, but the entire length of the creek here is absolutely stunning, making this a great spot for a short hike.
This preserve is owned by the Countryside Conservancy, which manages 14 different preserves in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Of these, the 26-acre Little Rocky Glen Preserve is definitely one of the best spots to check out.
Parking for Little Rocky Glen Preserve
There small gravel parking lot for the Little Rocky Glen Preserve can be found along State Route 2012 and only a third of a mile off of Route 6.
There is no address here, but if you put the following coordinates into your phone or GPS, it’ll take you right there: 41.554345, -75.833622.
The parking area is located right before the bridge over the South Branch of the Tunkhannock Creek (if you’re traveling from Route 6). If you reach the bridge, you’ve gone too far.
The main issue at Little Rocky Glen Preserve is that the parking area can only handle 4-6 cars (depending on how exactly they park). There is also no guardrail on the one side of the parking area, so you need to be careful when backing out here so that you don’t go over the edge.
Since this is a stocked trout stream, it is likely popular for fishing, so it might be best to avoid this area early in the trout season, and, if you must come on a weekend, do so early in the day. The road in both directions has “No Parking” signs near the preserve, so don’t park along it.
Note that a sign at the parking area says that it closes at 8 pm, though, according to the website, the land is open from dawn until dusk. The preserve is also closed December-March.
[Click here for information on how to use coordinates to find your destination.]
Hiking in the Little Rocky Glen Preserve
Since the Little Rocky Glen Preserve is only 26 acres in size, don’t come here expecting a long hike. However, the beauty at Little Rocky Glen is quite spectacular, which makes this a great spot to visit.
From the parking area, the trail immediately splits in two. The route to the right follows a bit higher up the ridgeline and is wide and easy, but misses the waterfall and most of the beautiful stream.
The trail to the left also follows high above the stream but is closer to the edge of the gorge, so it provides quite nice views of the creek far below. This trail is more narrow and could potentially be a bit sketchy if it was muddy, so if you hike this trail, especially beyond the waterfall, use caution.
The waterfall in Little Rocky Glen Preserve is located quite close to the parking lot and is accessed via the left trail.
Just after passing the wooden signboard, you’ll see a trail heading steeply down to your left. This is the access trail to the waterfall.
This trail heads down to a large rock overlooking the creek and provides nice views of the approximately five-foot-tall Little Rocky Glen Falls. While this waterfall isn’t large, it’s quite beautiful and can be very powerful.
Surrounding the waterfall, shale and sandstone cliffs have been carved into quite unique shapes, including some large potholes. This is quite a beautiful spot.
If you’re feeling adventurous, there is an obvious path that heads down to near creek level. However, to access the rocks below, you’ll need to use your hands to grip onto the trees and roots around the rocks. There is also a 3-4 foot drop that is a bit difficult to navigate both coming up and down.
If you opt to head to the bottom, make sure that you are capable of making it back up safely as well.
Once at the bottom, you can really get great views of the waterfall and the unique rock formations, though most of the potholes are on the opposite side of the stream, so you can’t get a super close look at them.
The rocks here can be slippery when wet and the current would make any fall into the stream dangerous, so continue to use good judgment if you opt to explore this area.
Once you’ve enjoyed the waterfall, you could simply return to your car. However, Little Rocky Glen Preserve is worth exploring further.
If you follow the lower trail, you can get great looks into the rushing waters of the South Branch of the Tunkhannock Creek as it tumbles through the gorge. The trail follows the creek for about 0.15 miles before reaching a large clearing with a pavilion and an easy-to-reach portion of the creek.
This is a great spot to relax for a bit and enjoy this beautiful corner of Wyoming County.
Once you’ve had your fill of this spot, head back towards the trails for the walk back to your car. I opted to take the upper trail (which is on your left on the return), but you could also return via the lower trail if you prefer.
Overall, I found the Little Rocky Glen Preserve to be a beautiful hidden gem and a great spot to visit. While the roundtrip hike here is only about three-tenths of a mile long, it’s quite beautiful, and the waterfall and the area around it are especially stunning.
So, if you find yourself traveling Route 6, or at nearby spots like the Tunkhannock Viaduct, Little Rocky Glen Preserve is definitely a fantastic spot to add to your itinerary.
And, if you’re visiting during the holiday season, check out the nearby Festival of Lights at the Stone Hedge Golf Course.