There is no getting around the sheer natural beauty enveloping the Johnstown region. Situated along the Laurel Ridge of the Allegheny Mountains, residents and visitors have ready access to forest areas and parks.
One of the more striking natural areas dotting our landscape is Buttermilk Falls, a 45-foot naturally occurring waterfall, barely a 30 minute ride from downtown Johnstown.
The magic of Buttermilk Falls lies in its rarity—waterfalls of this scale in our area require such a precise set of circumstances to form that the mere existence of such a natural wonder demands you stop and take notice.
Long-time area residents familiar with this waterfall are in for a treat. No longer is this some hidden treasure found by turning left at the Clyde Fire Hall and trying to remember the last leg of the journey before asking directions from a neighbor. In 2008 the area was given the royal treatment by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Access trails have been widened and surfaced, picnic areas established and on-site restrooms erected, making Buttermilk Falls as accessible as it is beautiful.
Directions to the falls from Johnstown, courtesy of the Indiana County Parks Web site, are:
- Follow Route 56 West to Route 22 in Armagh.
- Take ramp onto Route 22 West and proceed 1.75 miles to the village of Clyde.
- In Clyde, turn left onto Clay Pike Road.
- Follow Clay Pike Road 1.6 miles to Valley Brook Road.
- Veer left onto Valley Brook Road.
- Follow to falls parking area.
It is important to note that due to construction on Route 22 you will likely need to adjust to detours in that area. Upon our recent visit we needed to travel another 1/4 mile West on Route 22 and follow Bethel Cemetery Road to its intersection with Clay Pike Road, turning right and traveling approximately 1/4 mile before veering left onto Valley Brook Road.
Additional photos of Buttermilk Falls can be found in the “Nature and Outdoors” set on our Flickr site.
For more information, visit the Buttermilk Falls page on the Indiana County Parks Web site.