SLB Photography
Ohiopyle State Park

Upper Jonathan Run Falls – Ohiopyle State Park

Jonathan Run is my favorite trail system in Ohiopyle. The trail itself isn’t that long at 1.7 miles but it follows Jonathan Run until Jonathan Run Falls. The entire stream itself is beautiful opportunity to watch the water flow over boulders small and large and create a peacefully environment. Further up the trail is Jonathan Run Falls and a little further beyond that is Sugar Run. Which is one of the most beautiful falls in the park. Jonathan Run is usually the most secluded in the park. Most people go to Meadow Run, Cucumber Falls and the main Falls in town, so it was much to my surprise that the parking lot was almost full. Turns out that in the morning there was a ranger led hike, one of the participants had asked us if we were with the group. We said no just there for a hike. Half mile up the trail we stopped because I wanted to photograph a small cascade. I got in a few shots before a dog came running into the water to frolic around. The dog was really cute and laid down to cool off right in the middle. I wish I was making a photo because it really was adorable. Needless to say though that set off an afternoon of person after person. Jonathan Run was really busy and I have to admit I was sad about it! I can’t count how many times throughout the afternoon we saw people carrying coolers back to the falls and stopping to ask how far it was. I finally did make my way to Upper Jonathan Run Falls. It was nice to get some time by myself down by the falls. The falls were flowing really well! The cool spray felt good. I found a nice spot to sit and enjoy the falls. After a few minutes I brought out my tripod and started making photos. A few minutes two girls came down to the falls. The one girl asked how long I was going to be. I told her that I just got here but only wanted a few shots. She proceeded to wade into the water right in front of my camera saying she wanted to wash off her feet. It was clear they were there to swim, they proceeded to climb all over the falls. I was actually afraid that I’d have to call a ranger should something happen. The falls were running fast. I’m all for having fun at waterfalls but please be careful, these two didn’t exactly look like they respected nature and knew how to treat it. It was sad to watch actually. I sat there waiting on them for almost 45 minutes as they dunked their heads under the falls and swam in the pool at the bottom. Once they figured out I wasn’t leaving they retreated to the section behind where I was. I was able to grab 4-5 more shots, then I packed up to leave. I turned back to look at the falls one last time and I saw them smoking pot. So there’s that. I was extremely sad after that. I met up with Dana for a hike up Sugar Run after that. I wasn’t interested in photographing anymore that day. We went half mile up Sugar Run before turning around to go back to Jonathan Run and try to go photograph Sugar Run Falls. We didn’t end going all the way to Sugar Run. It was late, we were tired and the climb down was to treacherous for the conditions. We turned back and headed to the car. All the while still being asked if the falls were too much further. Sigh … Please respect nature. Don’t destroy it.

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