Shady hike through a hemlock forest with several nice waterfalls.
7.5 miles, Moderate overall. Some easy sections but also some decent hilly sections, especially on the Tumbling Waters trail. There is a steep section on Ridgeline that has a rope to assist. It could be scrambled down without the rope, however.
- Shorter: Several loops leave from the centrally located parking lot: Fossil Trail (1.25 miles), Two Ponds Trail (1.5 miles), Scenic Gorge (2 miles), Tumbling Waters (3 miles), Ridgeline (4.5)
- Longer: Not really. We used several trails to form the biggest loop we could at 7.5 miles
Our two cents: While the entire park is nice, the standout sections are the pretty hemlock forest on the RED trail and the waterfalls on Tumbling Waters. Either of those trails alone make for very nice short loops.
Since this is an Educational Center there are lots of programs and hikes offered… check the PEEC site for info.
Map: Print out the trail map from the park site, and the trails also appear in the Kittatinny Trails. There were trail map and guides at the center.
Note if you use the GPX track above: Our old Garmin was hating the tree cover and lost satellites a few times (the 60cs had a tendency to do that) which leads to some straight sections between points. The waypoints are fine. We’ve since upgraded to a swanky new GPS which doesn’t drop satellites in heavy tree cover.
Books: Trail descriptions and map diagrams for the Ridgeline and Tumbling Waters trails can be found in Hiking the Poconos.
Parking: N41 10.271 W74 54.876
from the park’s site: Interstate 80 W, take Pennsylvania Exit 309 N for Marshalls Creek/Route 209. Follow Route 209 for approximately 3 miles and make a right turn at the light in Marshalls Creek. Continue North on Route 209 for 14 miles.
You will see two signs for PEEC between mile marker 8 & 9 on Route 209. The first sign is 1/2-mile before the left turn and the second is directly across from the turn. Turn left onto Brisco Mountain Road. When the road forks, bear right at the stop sign and PEEC will be on your right. More directions on the park site.
Rest rooms: Inside the PEEC center building in the parking lot. Check for opening times if you tend to arrive early, as we didn’t spot a porta-john.
Overview: RED (Scenic Gorge) – YELLOW (Ridgeline) – RED/YELLOW – BLUE (Fossil) – ORANGE (Tumbling Waters) – ORANGE/WHITE (Two Ponds)
0.0 – The trail head is at the end of the parking lot, to the left if you are facing the building. There are wooden signs for the RED (Scenic Gorge) and YELLOW (Ridgeline) trails. Start following YELLOW/RED.
0.5 – Turn LEFT onto YELLOW (Ridgeline), now following just YELLOW.
[variation: RED (Scenic Gorge) continues straight and meets up with YELLOW (Ridgeline) at .9 below. Taking RED is more direct RED and would be slightly shorter.]
0.9 – RED (Scenic Gorge) meets up with YELLOW (Ridgeline) again. Cross a small stream on a wooden bridge.
1.0 – Continue on YELLOW (Ridgeline), as RED (Scenic Gorge) turns RIGHT.
Along YELLOW is a steep section with a rope to assist going down. (Totally forgot to throw a waypoint for this, oops! Too busy scrambling down it…)
2.6 – Meet up with the RED (Scenic Gorge) trail again, at a waterfall. Start following YELLOW/RED to the YELLOW (Ridgeline). [RED goes to the RIGHT]
3.3 – The YELLOW/RED trail ends. [To shorter the hike, turn right on the park road back to the parking lot]
To continue, turn LEFT onto the park road, walk down it some, then turn LEFT again between the cabins and walk across the field to a circle of wooden benches around a fire pit. This was not marked.
3.4 – At the fire pit there is a sign for BLUE (Fossil). Start following BLUE (Fossil).
4.3 – BLUE (Fossil) comes to a T with ORANGE (Tumbling Waters). Turn LEFT, now following ORANGE (Tumbling Waters). [To shorten the hike, turn right and follow orange/blue back to the park road]
4.5 – Cross Brisco Mountain Road. Continue on ORANGE (Tumbling Waters). The trail is a easy woods road for a bit. After the remnants of a chimney, it becomes a trail along a ridge.
5.4 – Nice view over the Delaware River Valley. Continue on ORANGE (Tumbling Waters). Head up and then down a hill.
5.5 – Arrive at the wooden steps that lead down to the falls. (Sign with “Falls” and “9”). At the bottom of the stairs, the upper falls are visible, with the lower falls off to the right. Those can be viewed only from above.
When done, climb the stairs back up. At the top, turn LEFT and continue on ORANGE (Tumbling Waters). Head steeply uphill, then back down.
6.5 – WHITE (Two Ponds) joins in from the right. Continue straight, following ORANGE/WHITE on a flat woods road through a pine plantation.
6.7 – The trail turns to run along Pickerel Pond. Continue following ORANGE/WHITE.
6.9 – Cross Brisco Mountain Road. Continue following ORANGE/WHITE. The trail passes through a wildlife blind just before crossing the road and arriving back to the parking lot.
Hiked: 7/18/11. Trail Blog: “PEEC in July“