Dingmans Creek Trail

A map of the Dingmans Creek Trail
The Dingmans Creek Trail is both stroller and wheelchair friendly with plenty of benches to rest. Have a great visit.

NPS Rainey McKenna

The Dingmans Creek Trail is one of our visitors favorites, and we hope you enjoy it too.
 
The Dingmans Creek Trail has benches, hand holds, and a level walking surface for anyone with mobility concerns
The Dingmans Creek Trail showing railings and a creek to the left, a wooden staircase to the right with dense foliage on both sides of the boardwalk trail.

NPS Photo Michael Cuff

Introduction

The Dingmans Creek Trail is an adventure. From the walking bridge over Dingmans Creek to the wooden and Trex™ walkways and rustic benches along the way. The Dingmans Creek Trail is a great place to get away, under a canopy of hemlock and hardwood trees. This trail has benches at multiple locations along the trail where you can sit and enjoy nature. There are plenty of hand holds along most of the walkway, particularly at places where the walkway is slightly elevated. Use caution on any wet walkway surfaces.

The Dingmans Creek Trail is one of the most popular sites within the park. That popularity means more people and fewer places to park, usually. We always advise visitors to arrive early to get parking and to avoid any crowds

Some of the best times to visit this site are either in the spring after a strong rain storm, the first or second week of July when the rhododendrons bloom all along the trail, or for the hardy visitor, the winter when the falls are covered in ice and snow shoes or cross-country skis are the recommended way to travel the trail.

Trail Description:

This boardwalk trail begins by leaving the parking lot and entering the trail head located between the visitor center and the restrooms. As you pass thru a break in the trees, you emerge under the trees and the world under the canopy opens up to you. After a short path, visitors cross the Dingmans Creek on a strong bridge. Almost immediately after crossing the walking bridge, Silverthread Falls will be on your right side. This narrow, but tall waterfall gracefully drops 80 feet in a thin ribbon of water through a narrow channel of what was once a layer of Earth. At some point in its journey, this layer of Earth was thrust up and turned 90 degrees allowing for water to carve a channel down through this layer in time, eroding it away and leaving behind the waterfall we get to experience today.

The boardwalk then continues, as it winds to the right, past a bench and then straight through a open area past tall hemlocks with their dense canopy, sheltering visitors from the sun. You might begin to hear the increasing sound of a stream in the distance, or feel its cool breeze on your skin. The boardwalk makes its way to the left over a second walking bridge before curving to the right. The trail then proceeds slightly uphill and to the left as you make your way through more rhododendron plants that have grown large in their maturity. You'll then move past a sitting area on the right where bird watchers and others can rest, listen, and search for their favorite birds, squirrels, or other critters.

From this point on, the sounds of a waterfall roaring ahead are unmistakable to those with hearing and you might even feel the breeze or temperature change in the air created by gravity and all that water, before you get there.

Further ahead, a set of steep wooden stairs appear on the left, allowing the adventurous to climb to the extra 0.1 miles to the fenced viewing area at the top of Dingmans Falls. This is where the Dingmans Creek Trail ends.

This final tenth of a mile (0.1 mi.) is not accessible to wheelchairs and is not recommended for visitors with mobility concerns. The lower trail ends just ahead at the base of Dingmans Falls, the second highest waterfall in Pennsylvania on public lands. There, you'll find sets of benches on your left. The feeling of the wind generated by the waterfall, or the sound of a roaring waterfall found in this one location is special and not to be missed. It's one of the most popular parts of the park for a good reason. Don't miss it on your next visit.

This trail is one-way, so to exit, visitors must simply go back in the direction they came to return to the parking area.

Other Information:

The trail is stroller and wheelchair accessible to the base of Dingmans Falls (0.3 mile, one-way); accessible restroom located at trailhead. Limited water available at this location.

Basic Details

Trail Length:

0.4 mile, one-way

Difficulty:

Easy; 0.3 mile is stroller and wheelchair accessible; last 0.1 mile is mostly stairs and would be considered moderate difficulty

Elevation Change:

First 0.3 mile 55 feet elevation change; last 0.1 mile 107 feet elevation change

Trailhead Location:

Directions to Dingmans Creek trailhead

Important Restrictions:

Important notes about this location:

  • Other than registered service dogs, pets are not allowed at this location to include the parking areas. For more information about Service Animals in National Parks, check out their website
  • The road to Dingmans Falls is closed to vehicle traffic during winter months
  • Currently, the road to the visitor center parking area is closed to vehicle traffic on weekends (Friday at Dusk to Monday at Noon). Parking is located at the south corner of Johnny Bee Road and PA SR209
  • Please stay on all marked trails
  • No fishing is permitted in Dingmans Creek, from 100 feet upstream of the top observation platform to the eastern end of the Dingmans Falls Visitor Center parking lot
  • Silver Thread Falls along the Dingmans Falls Trail is closed to all climbing, rappelling, diving, or jumping including ice climbing for resource protection
  • Except for fishing, the following areas are closed to swimming/wading: Dingmans Creek from 100 feet upstream of the top of Dingmans Falls to the end of the Dingmans Falls Visitor Center Parking Lot, including the pool at the base of Silverthread Falls


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Last updated: July 21, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1978 River Road
Bushkill, PA 18324

Phone:

(570) 426-2452

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