This is our third morning to hike to a waterfall in the Delaware Water Gap. This time we come to an area known as George W. Childs park. It’s named after philanthropist Childs who purchased the land in 1892 because of its natural beauty and wildlife, He developed a public park because he believed everyone, not just wealthy landowners, should be able to experience and appreciate being outdoors. In 1912, Childs' wife, Emma, deeded the land to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It became part of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in 1983.
There are 3 water falls here located on Dingmans Creek above the larger Dingman’s Falls that we saw previously at the visitor center.
It is a lovely short flat walk from the parking lot to the bridge where everyone apparently goes across to see the first falls known as “Factory Falls” because it was used by the Brooks family who ran a woolen mill from 1823 to 1832. Apparently Dingmans Creek boasted a dozen mills at its peak but a woolen mill was quite unusual outside of cities. The mill ruins are above the waterfall.
Knowing that, we didn’t do the hike from that direction hoping to mitigate how many people we would run into how soon on this popular trail. We hike down the near side trail and peek at the falls before climbing back up to Factory on the other side. So that’s the order of the pictures.
The bridge we didn’t cross until on our way back
The rest of the 1.5 mile loop trail beyond the first of the three falls is a series of steps, some steep. We had the trail all to ourselves for a while in the morning but as time passed more and more people came especially families as this is an easy and interesting trail for the nimble.
Glimpses of the falls from the top and “the far side”
Fulmer Falls from the top.
Fulmer Falls is a short distance downstream from Factory Falls. .
The trail is a combination of roots and stairs.
The size of some of the trees must have been something when George Child’s bought the property.
Finally, the trail loops past a third waterfall, Deer Leap Fall. This view from the top shows just how short a gap a deer would have to leap to get over the water as it heads for the falls.
The above photo was taken from this bridge across.
We’ve reached the end of the trail and hang around at the bottom before crossing over to the other side and heading back up toward Factory Falls.
David of course has to check out how they built the bridges now that he can.
One last picture with Deer Leap in the background.
These are such beautiful falls. George Childs certainly was generous to share this lovely place with all of us for more than a century now.
Deer Leap from the other side of the trail. Guess you could say it’s my favorite.
Although, seeing Fulmer Falls from this side may make me change my mind. Here’s the long view.
And the short view.
The trails here have been extremely well done with boardwalks, viewing platforms and bridges.
We’re near the top again when we reach Factory Falls. With careful selection, and using my zoom, I can make it look as though there is no one else here sharing this wonderful spot with us.
But the truth is we’ve been joined by quite a few people and have to wait a while to get these shots without dozens of our new best friends in them..
It’s time for lunch and obviously this spot at factory falls would be a fabulous picnic spot, but it is now all covered with people so with one last look further up, we walk back up Dingman’s Creek – it sure doesn’t seem there is an agreed upon term for various amounts of water stream/creek/river. This is a mighty big creek in my mind.
Along the way I spy these beauties and we look at the mill ruins.
Here’s the place we pick at a spot above where Dingman’s Creek begins its cascades and falls down stream headed for the Delaware River. And we do have it all to ourselves
Since it only took all morning to hike this 1.5 mile trail, we have plenty of time to spend the afternoon at Hornbeck’s Creek Trail trying to figure out how to get from the lower Indian Ladder Falls to the Upper. There is no trail connecting them. You have to drive about 8 miles to take a separate trail in to the upper falls. Or at least that’s what the map says.
We’ll check it out and let you know but in the next post.