Bushkill Falls has been an attraction in the Pocono Mountains since 1904. Early visitors arrived by horse-drawn wagon or carriage. Those who came to the area on day trips could hire a ride from the closest railroad station. Some arrived by vehicles furnished by nearby boarding houses, hotels, and resorts. And still others came on foot strolling up from the Peters House, located about two miles below or walking down from Unity House.
Bushkill Falls’ founder, Charles E. Peters, was convinced that the scenic glens, ravines, and falls, once they were made easily accessible, were destined to be enjoyed by many people. Peters loved the area, which had been so dramatically carved by the last great glacier, and wanted to share its beauty. His dream of turning the 300 acres, almost prophetically purchased by his father, uncle, and grandmother less than a year after young Charlie’s birth, into something that could be seen by all began with a driveway cut through the woods from the nearest road to the high ground above the main falls. The trees he felled were used to build a bridge. A path was cleared to the Main Falls, and he christened his attraction “The Niagara of Pennsylvania” and posted a sign that said “Admission 10 cents.”
During the last summer before the United States entered World War I, about 30,000 visitors viewed Bushkill Falls. Today, more than 200,000 visit.
Bushkill Falls is still owned by the Estate of Charles E. Peters. Management has maintained Peters’ determination to protect and preserve the natural environment. The streams feeding the falls are rated Exceptional Value which are among the cleanest and most outstanding waters in all of Pennsylvania and support excellent diversity and populations of aquatic life.
(Excerpts from “The Story of Bushkill Falls – From the Delaware Indians to Charles Peters and His Dream.” Available at Bushkill Falls.)