Visit Shohola Falls, located in Pike County, Pennsylvania. It is located off Route 6, approximately 10 miles northwest of Milford, PA. It may not be well known, but it is one of the easiest-to-reach waterfalls in the Pocono Mountains.
The Shohola Marsh Reservoir empties into Shohola Creek, where a series of cascades, steep ledges and deep holes forms into Shohola Falls.
The falls were visited at the end of September and middle of October 2020. There had not been a lot of rain at the end of summer and early fall, but that did not affect how the water flow cascaded over the rocks. Some beautiful fall foliage surrounded the falls.
There are photos and a short video to show what you can expect on your visit to Shohola Falls. Get tips about camera settings, filters and light conditions so that you will be prepared to take great photos of Shohola Falls!
Shohola Falls wooden sign near Route 6
View from parking lot at Shohola Falls
Shohola Falls is located off scenic Route 6, approximately 10 miles northwest of Milford, PA. There are two parking lots.
Heading north on Route 6, you will see a wooden sign, “Shohola Falls” on your left. Further north, a larger lot has a sign, “State Gamelands 180, Hunt Safetly” which brings you to the east side of the falls. Here’s an official map of the State Game Land 180.
On my first visit, I turned back and chose the modest lot with the Shohola Falls sign. You can park at the lot near the road or drive in about 1/2 mile to another parking lot. When you drive in, the falls are a very short walk from the parking lot. Wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots because the trail is slippery in parts.
Entrance to the falls
Photographers on the trail
The falls were approached from the West side. You will see the dam spillway from the parking lot. Follow that down along the river and you can see the top of the falls before it cascades down.
There are a few steps and a muddy, rocky path. Take that down to get a better view of the falls. If you decide to continue down further, be extra careful because the mist from the falls make the rocks slippery and there are some steep steps.
Near the top of the falls
View from the trail
There are varying reports about the size of the falls. Some say it is only 50′ tall by 50′ wide, other reports claim the waterfall is 70′ tall and about 75′ wide. Perhaps it depends on the volume of water flowing at the time.
It is hard to imagine, but people have actually kayaked down the falls! That’s a little too crazy for me.
Photographing the Falls
The lighting conditions during my September visit were much different than the mid-October trip. I also changed up the filters and settings.
My first visit was on a variable cloudy day in early afternoon. Clouds and sun appeared randomly. The clouds cast even light throughout the falls, although they were a bit darker.
Shohola Falls first visit. Canon 18-135mm f/11, ISO 100 with CPL filter
My second visit in mid-October was a glorious morning with peak foliage. However, there were hardly any clouds. By mid-morning, the trees surrounding the falls were brightly lit. The falls were still shaded. This posed a challenge to capture the entire falls in even light.
What to do?
Pick your spots and edit in post. The easier task was to simply move to a spot where there was even light. Looking at the photos, my favorite section was the last one I photographed, near the top of the falls. All the photographers were gone – I had the place to myself for a little while!
There were beautiful reflections in the water from the sunlight that I did not notice the first time. There was a pool of water under a tree that draped over the falls. Leaves fell gently with the breeze. It was spectacular!
Camera Settings – White Balance
Most of the time, I shoot in AWB (Auto White Balance), RAW and edit in post. However, I wanted my video to look better out of the camera. The AWB was casting a very blue hue on the scene. Since the falls were mostly shaded, I switched to “Cloudy”, which is quite warmer (between 6000-7000) and that made a huge difference.
AWB: Auto White Balance cast a cool blue hue
White balance on “Cloudy” warmed up the tones
On my first visit, I used a CPL filter – a circular polarized filter. See the image above, under Light.
Second time around, I tacked on a ND4 (neutral density filter). Looking at the raw video, the ND4 gave a warmer, more pleasing effect.
Here’s a filter pack that contains a CPL, ND4 and a UV filter, available on Amazon.
Be mindful of the light. It is always better and easier to photograph waterfalls on a cloudy or partly sunny day. The light will be more even and you can slow your shutter down without issue. On a sunny day, the light really created a large contrast against the falls. However, it did create some gorgeous reflections on the water that was shaded by draping trees.
Think about your white balance, especially if you do not intend to do any post-processing. Experiment with filters.
Expect there to be other people and be especially happy when you have a few moments to capture the beauty all by yourself!
Check out my article about Photographing Waterfalls for more tips.
Here’s a quick YouTube video I put together highlighting Shohola Falls:
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