Last year for Christmas, in place of a more traditional present, my cousins and aunt and uncle traveled to rest stops and visitor centers all over the Pittsburgh area to collect brochures for us. Oh yes, they knew that we had 101 more things to come up with before the start of 2011, so their contribution to this massive effort was to bring us all sorts of fabulous ideas in the form of tour books, brochures, and flyers.
One of the things that caught my eye in this fantastic collection present was a visit to Buttermilk Falls.
Now, I’d never heard of Buttermilk Falls before, but I knew two things: one, I love waterfalls. And two, I love rural shit way out in Beaver County.
What YOU should know if you want to be adventurous like us and visit Buttermilk Falls is that there are multiple Buttermilk Falls near Pittsburgh. One of them is well-labeled with an address and a website. The other one is not.
Surely by now you know which one we visited.
Buttermilk Falls is off of the Beaver Falls exit on the 76 Turnpike road, tucked away in between two strip clubs. I swear I’m not making that up. We made a wrong turn and went right when we should have gone left, and there was an adult mart, complete with ‘live girls daily’ (I shudder to think about the quality of these ladies), and after we turned around, we went just slightly too far and passed a ‘gentlemen’s club’.
I assure you, there were no ‘gentlemen’ to be found.
But Buttermilk Falls is there, although it will sneak up on you, and you’ll surely miss it if you’re not paying attention.
Once you make it to the tiny space and park (only three parking spaces!), you have to maneuver up a few sets of stairs and around all these lovely teases of the upcoming waterfall. It’s been pretty dry lately in the ‘Burgh and surrounding areas, so I figure this could possibly be rushing with water during the rainy season. Still pretty regardless!
I’m curious as to how you get to the area above the falls. There’s a bridge up there, and some guy was walking around while we were exploring the waterfall, but I couldn’t figure out how the roads connected.
So while it may not have the street cred to rank as a state park, it’s still a natural area, and Buttermilk Falls is just lovely. I would *not* recommend bringing your pup there, as there are a LOT of broken glass chunks along the trail (two theories on this one: 1) natural areas don’t get the same maintenance as state parks, and 2) waterfalls are probably high on the post-peep-show-nature-hike list). And, for the same reason, don’t take off your shoes and dance in this waterfall.
But if you’ve got a dream to visit waterfalls in the tri-state area, put Buttermilk Falls on your list. We are glad we did!