Fall Run Park – Pittsburgh’s Closest Waterfall

Fall Run Park is a twenty-foot tall waterfall only fifteen minutes from downtown Pittsburgh.Read on for more tips on how to visit Fall Run Park, home of Pittsburgh’s closest waterfall!

Love waterfalls? Check out this list of Best Waterfalls Near Pittsburgh!

Visiting Pittsburgh for a short time but still want to experience nature? Hiking to see the waterfall at Fall Run Park is a way to escape the city and get into nature in less than twenty minutes!

Fall Run Park, in Shaler, PA is home to a 20 foot waterfall. The trail to see the waterfall is short and well worth the payoff. This hike is great for families with various levels of mobility and interest in hiking.

How long is the Fall Run Park Trail?

The entire trail in AllTrails is listed as 1.4 miles, however, you don’t need to complete the entire trail to get to the waterfall. It’s less than half a mile from the parking lot to get a full view of the falls from the bottom. From the platform at the bottom of the falls, its .35 miles to the upper trailhead.

I highly recommend exploring above the waterfall. It’s cool to walk up the platform next to the falls and then look over the top to the pool at the bottom. However, be careful exploring the upper falls! There are limited barriers so keep an eye on small children, especially if it’s icy.

As always, follow the principles of leave no trace when you're out exploring! Pack out all trash, leave wildlife alone, and generally leave it better than you found it - for more information visit the Leave No Trace Center.

How difficult is the Fall Run hike?

This hike is very beginner and family friendly! Every time I go on this hike, I always see a ton of families. The trail is very easy to walk on. However, I recommend sneakers rather than sandals or flip-flops as sometimes the trail can be muddy after rain.

To get to the top of the waterfall, there are wooden stairs and a platform to navigate. However, if you have someone with mobility issues, the best views of the waterfall don’t require stairs to access.

For families with small children who may be easily distracted, there are a lot smaller falls and streams to explore on the way to the main waterfall. There are also wooden bridges that make stream crossings easy and fun for small children.

If you’re looking for a solo hike in the Pittsburgh area to build up your confidence, this is a great one. There’s always a ton of people around, most of whom are families.It’s short so if you ever felt uncomfortable, it’s very easy to get back to your car quickly.

Whether you're hiking solo or with a buddy, don't forget your ten essentials for day hiking!

When is the best time to visit Fall Run Park?

Because Fall Run has a short trail and is extremely close to Pittsburgh, it is always busy! I highly recommend getting there early if you’re looking to have the waterfall to yourself. Even getting there early can mean that there’s still a few people around.

My first visit to Fall Run was in February when it was FAR below freezing. Every other hike I’d done in the winter was deserted. Not Fall Run! We ran into tons of other park goers willing to brave freezing temperatures for a view of the beautiful frozen waterfall.

The frozen falls is incredibly beautiful

How to Get to Fall Run Park

The park is located just off Route 8, in Shaler Township. For Google Maps directions to the park, click here. Make sure to look out for the park sign, as the Google Maps may take you a little further past it.

Parking is plentiful at Fall Run Park. While the park is very popular, I’ve never had an issue grabbing a parking spot.

While the park also offers a playground, a basketball court, and a picnic shelter the waterfall is by far the most unique feature! To reserve the picnic shelter at Fall Run, please visit the Shaler Website Park Reservations Page.

Enjoy hiking close to Pittsburgh? Check out my list of Best Hikes Near Pittsburgh, broken down by 15 minute increments from downtown!

Have you ever visited Fall Run Park? Let me know in the comments below!

Leave a Comment