Bushkill Falls is known as the “Niagara of Pennsylvania.”
Although not as big as those more famous falls at the New York-Ontario border, Bushkill Falls is among the commonwealth’s most famous natural wonders, attracting about 250,000 tourists annually, said falls spokeswoman Diane Hannan — and you don’t need a passport.
Charles Peters first opened Bushkill Falls to the public in 1904 and it’s when he also gave the falls its nickname comparing it to Niagara Falls, Hannan said.
The park started with one path and a swinging bridge over the main falls and now has several trails and activities.
Bushkill Falls is still owned by the Peters family, Hannan said.
“It’s a great (place) for unwinding, and it’s the kind of place you can go to and let nature do the talking,” Hannan said.
The eight waterfalls are within the Pocono Mountains in the Pike County community of Bushkill, on Bushkill Falls Road.
The tallest waterfall is 300 feet, Hannan said.
The park is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until dusk from April 1 to the end of October, and sometimes into November — weather permitting, Hannan said.
The busiest season is from mid-June to mid-August, and the site offers numerous family-friendly activities, Hannan said.
Attractions include trail tours, mini golf, paddle boating, fishing and more.
Some of the more popular activities are an American Indian exhibit and a mining maze that was started in 2013, Hannan said.
The Bushkill Falls Mining Co. Maze is a competitive navigation activity in which participants must locate four checkpoints and finish the maze in the fastest time.
When entering the maze, participants receive passports with their start times. Maze runners must locate four checkpoints, each with a letter they punch on a passport. The object is to spell the word “gold,” then exit as quickly as possible.
Guests with the fastest times win prizes, Hannan said.
The park also includes the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center, where injured and orphaned wild animals are cared for until they can fend for themselves and are released back to the wild.
“There is so much to do,” Hannan said. “The beauty of it is that when you come, you can look at it and think, ‘wow, Mother Nature put this here.’ ”
For more information, visit www.visitbushkillfalls.com.
Things to do ...
• Thunder Swamp Trail System: Route 402, Bushkill. A 26-mile southern Pike County trail through mountain streams, swamps, forests in the Pocono Plateau.
• Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area: 1 River Road, Bushkill. For swimming, fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, rafting and tubing. www.nps.gov/dewa
While you’re there ...
• June 27-29: Milford Music Fest: Broad Street, Milford. www.milfordmusicfest.org
• July 19-20: Audubon Arts & Crafts Festival: Wallenpaupack School Complex, Hawley. www.audubonfestival.com
• July 4: Independence Day Parade and annual Fireworks Display over Lake Wallenpaupack: Lake Wallenpaupack at Wallenpaupack Area High School, Hawley. www.lakeregioncc.com
— Britney Milazzo