I learned about Freedom Falls in May last year when we visited Bob’s sister and her husband while they were vacationing in Kennerdell, PA. We didn’t have time to visit the falls during that trip. In the meantime I have read about and seen photographs of Freedom Falls and other points of interest in the area. I awaited the opportunity for a day trip to the falls. That opportunity presented itself yesterday! Bob and I went on a day trip to Freedom Falls. You wouldn’t find us anywhere near Freedom Falls on a usual early February day in Pennsylvania. The snow and ice would have kept us away from the remote area in which the falls are located. We have enjoyed a very mild Winter here in Pennsylvania. Neither snow nor ice hampered our visit to the falls. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the path through the woods to the falls was relatively dry too!
Freedom Falls is located on Schull Run about 70 miles southeast of our hometown of Warren, PA.
Freedom Falls is one of the most beautiful places that I have visited in Pennsylvania.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
Before walking down to Freedom Falls, we followed Rockland Station Road to its end. Rockland Station Road ends at the Allegheny River. To the left of the road there is a small parking lot. We parked there and walked the short distance to Rockland Tunnel.
According to a placard at Rockland Tunnel, the Allegheny Valley Railroad was extended into the Oil Region of Venango County in 1867-1868 to transport “black gold” to the world. The railroad followed the river around the Woodhill Mountain. The Woodhill loop was plagued with landslides, ice jams and sharp turns. In 1913 this 2,868 foot hole was cut through the mountain to speed up the train trips from Pittsburgh to Buffalo. The dangerous task of cutting a hole through the mountain was accomplished by men working in two shifts, six days a week, 10-12 hours a day, for 17 cents an hour.
We drove a short distance back up Rockland Station Road and parked next to a very large rock. This rock is just above Freedom Falls. There are steep slopes and gradual slopes leading you to the falls. At first I saw only the steep slopes and didn’t think I would be able to get close to the falls. I am not able to walk as well as I did prior to slipping on ice in early 2008. That accident resulted in a torn meniscus in my right knee. The first photograph of the falls that I show in this blog post was taken at the top of a steep slope. A short time later we did locate a trail that led us down to the falls in a more gradual slope. That trail took us by the well-preserved Rockland Furnace.