This site features an impressive 45 foot waterfall and
scenic woodland. The 48-acre natural area was donated to
Indiana County Parks in 1995 by the Keystone-Conemaugh Group,
owners of the nearby Conemaugh Generating Station. As a
natural area the site has been set aside to protect both
typical and unique plant and animal communities and to protect
outstanding examples of natural beauty.
Between 1931 and 1956 the property was owned by Fred McFeely,
grandfather of Fred Rogers
of children's television fame. McFeely, a wealthy industrialist
from Latrobe, PA, utilized the property as a retreat. His
estate featured a cottage, horse stables, a three car garage,
outbuildings and a swimming area in the creek above the
falls. Mr. Rogers often visited the site as a child. Stone
foundations and retaining walls from the estate are visible
at the site. Several photos
of the McFeely estate from the 1940's were provided
to Indiana County Parks courtesy of Rita Nist. Visit our "Fred Rogers page" to learn more about one of western Pennsylvania's most cherished sons.
Waterfalls the scale of Buttermilk Falls are uncommon in
western Pennsylvania. Falls occur when a stream wears away
an easily erodible layer of rock, but then encounters a
resistent layer. The resistant layer erodes at a slower
rate than the surrounding rock, forming a waterfall. At
Buttermilk Falls, a resistant layer of sandstone underlays
easily erodible shale. Buttermilk Falls is in the Hires
Run valley, a tributary to the Conemaugh River.
In keeping with the mission of a natural area, development
at Buttermilk Falls is limited. A restroom, small picnic pavilion, parking area,
falls overlook viewing area, and a hiking trail are available at the falls. The picnic pavilion is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Buttermilk Falls is located two miles south of Route 22
at Clyde (one mile west of Armagh). Follow Clay Pike Road South
(TR 716) to Valley Brook road. Veer left onto Valley Brook
Road and proceed 1/2 mile to falls parking area. A directional
map with written directions is available.
Map and Brochure
A detailed map
of Buttermilk Falls in PDF format is available. This is
a large file that may take several moments to appear on
your screen. The image may be difficult to read on the screen
but will clearly show all text and graphics when printed
or enlarged. A brochure is also available that contains information about the geology of the area and some of the interesting local history association with the falls.