Sullivan Run

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State Game Lands 13
Davidson Twp., Sullivan County
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Difficulty: ✮✮✮✮✩    4/5 (Difficult)

Sullivan Run is one of those creeks that should only be hiked with the understanding that it can be difficult and dangerous, since most of the hike involves walking in the creek and up the waterfalls. Yes, climbing the waterfalls, it's the only way to see all of the falls on Sullivan Run.

Start by parking in the small lot for Sullivan Falls on Jamison City Road. There are times that this road has been washed out from floods, so use caution. Also, there is no winter maintenance on this road, travel at your own risk in the winter time. From the parking area, follow a small path at the rear of the lot down to see Sullivan Falls, appx. 100 yards away. To get to the base of Sullivan Falls, you will need to use the small path and switchbacks downstream of the falls.

If you are unsure of your upper body strength or have a fear of heights, this is where you should stop. The next part of the hike will be difficult and can challenge even experienced hikers.

To proceed up Sullivan Run, you can approach it two ways. One is through the creek. You'll walk upstream on Sullivan Run mostly on the right side until the ledges start to rise up, forcing you to cross over or walk in the creek until you get to Pigeon Run. The other option is to walk up Jamison City Road from the parking lot and pick up a small path about .1 mile that will cross Big Run and eventually lead you to Pigeon Run. I prefer this route since you will not miss any of the falls on Sullivan Run and you will see 3 of the falls on Pigeon Run.

If you choose to follow the path to Pigeon Run, the hike from the parking area is roughly .5 miles. Once you cross Pigeon Run, there is a waterfall directly downstream and one about 30 yards upstream. Cross Pigeon Run and walk downstream, there is a small, faint path, but bushwhacking will be needed closer to Sullivan Run. Once you are back on Sullivan Run, make sure to look back at Pigeon Run to see the last fall, a straight drop fall that is a trickle most of the year.

Now the hard part. When you walk upstream of Pigeon, stay on the right side of the creek until you reach the first waterfall, a small, 8-10 foot slide. The rocks surrounding here are very slick, if you choose to stay in the water and climb up, there is little to grab on to. On the left side of the fall, there is a way to climb up and over, however, stinging nettles in the summer make this a painful route. Continue above this fall, crossing just above this fall and once more before the next waterfall.
This next fall is only to be crossed on the left side. The pool below the falls is extremely deep, however, if you stay on the left, you'll need to walk in the water a bit before finally walking up the left side of the fall. After this fall is a 2 step waterfall called Atticus Falls. To climb up this one, you'll need to climb up on the right side of both steps.
The next waterfall is a small, 6-8 foot fall with a small fall directly above it. Cross this one on the left, but beware of stinging nettles again while walking above this fall. Walk the creek for a bit above this fall before Hunts Run comes in from the left. If the water level is good, Hunts Run has an immediate drop in to Sullivan Run and you should be able to look up and see a larger waterfall upstream. After Hunts Run is probably one of the coolest waterfalls in the area, Suckhole Falls. When the water level is low enough, the water actually drops through the rock instead of over it.
To get above Suckhole Falls, stay on the right side and climb up. You should be able to see the water coming through the rock as well as over it. After you get above Suckhole Falls, Triple Falls is in the distance. Triple Falls is the last large waterfall on Sullivan Run until you get almost to the headwaters of Sullivan Run where there is a larger waterfall that I've only seen once from above.
Triple Falls should be climbed on the right. The lower and middle sections are very photogenic, while the uppermost part is full of debris. Generally, after Triple Falls, I catch the next tributary on the right and hike up to the grade and follow it back to the parking area. There are more falls on Sullivan Run, but I have only seen them once. When I get back here again, the guide will be updated.
To see a 14 minute video I made of one of my hikes along Sullivan Run, click Here

  • A lot of waterfalls, not a lot of tourists
  • Footing can be difficult
  • Literally hiking up the waterfalls or very close to them
  • Not Handicapped Accessible
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Posted: 2014

Photographer: Raymond Chippa