Ricketts Glen is bursting with opportunity

I‘m sorry. I couldn’t wait until the middle of next month (Oct 11-15 to be exact) to sample the photogenic opportunities to be found within the boundaries of Ricketts Glen State Park, near Benton, PA. Okay, I admit it, my primary purpose for this weekend’s trek to one of the best, most photogenic, most accessible collections of waterfalls anywhere was to complete a “last minute” accessment of what was was in the park and what might have changed since my last visit, in anticipation of next month’s workshop. I never like to begin a workshop not having verified that all the trails are open, there’s not a road closed somewhere, or our lodging had made a significant change that may impact our shoots.

Oneida Falls is only 13′ tall, but photogenic nonetheless.

So, I embarked on a trip that was all about driving and hiking the routes I anticipated we will want to cover during this workshop. I wanted to time the various distances between waterfalls in the park, between the park and a couple venues outside the park, from our B&B to various trailheads, see if any trails were closed or impassable or just to risky, etc. That’s just what I did. That said, I hadn’t really anticipated taking many photos, if any. But, you know how it is. I mean, you can’t expect me to drive around or hike trails without my camera in tow. So, obviously that means “risking” the urge to drift from my intended mission in order to grab a couple snaps. Good thing I planned a solid two days and part of two other days.

There’s more to Ricketts Glen than its waterfalls, A Rocky terrain is one such bonus.

Along the way a couple thoughts came to mind that I wanted to make certain I shared with those planning on joining us.

  • I don’t know whether anyone was a Scout our not, but the Scout motto, “Be Prepared!” in appropriate advise for this trip. For any workshop our tour actually.
    • It’s pretty wet on most Ricketts trails right now and they are likely to still be wet when we arrive. So, being prepared means several things. Good footwear is essential, with good tread. High water boots, waders or sandals could also come in handy, too. Of course, we all want to be prepared for rain and it’s certainly possible that temps could range from quite cool to hot.
  • The falls occur along about three miles of trails that include some trails that are a little steep. Most are also rocky. Rocks, on the trail or in the streams below the falls are slippery. So, walking sticks could prove helpful.
  • You should also know, we won’t likely be able to cover all of the 21 named falls. Partly because there are so many opportunities at each, partly because of the distance they cover. Some folks may want to see to it that they get to all of them . . . and that’s fine. Others will opt to spend more time at certain falls and really work them. That’s fine, too. Our daily schedule allows time for lunch at any

    There was very little in the way of fall color last weekend, not surprisingly. So I had to work a little bit to add color other than green. We should expect great fall colors during our visit.

    one of several local restaurants. Some folks may elect to carry some sustenance along with them . . . snack bars, candy bars, fruit, water, maybe even a sandwich. That’s everyone’s choice, but you should be prepared for what you prefer.

  • We will be using Adobe Lightroom in our image post-capture processing. If you don’t have Lightroom, it would be good to download a trial version from Adobe.com just before heading out to Ricketts Glen.
  • A polarizer filter and one or more solid neutral density filters would be good to have with you, too.

I just thought I’d mention these things while they were on my mind. Soon, I will e-mail everyone whose registered for the Ricketts Glen workshop a memo with more detailed suggestions for getting prepared.

I do have one seat remaining . . . just in case you bump into anyone who might like to join us.

It’s not to early to get excited!~