I have lived in Beaver County for just about all of my life and had never been to Buttermilk Falls. I had heard of it plenty of times and assumed it was some type of waterfall park, but I never bothered to investigate any further than that. Big mistake.
As I began doing research for interesting places to visit in Beaver County, I kept coming across this place called Buttermilk Falls that sounded familiar but I didn’t know much more about it than that. When I searched for it on Google Maps, nothing came up.
After a bit more investigation, I found that it was also called Homewood Falls and that it was located just off of Route 18 right by I-76 (the turnpike). Really? This place that looks so amazing in pictures is located like 15 minutes from my house? Let’s go!
About Buttermilk Falls
Buttermilk Falls is a 35-foot tall waterfall located right off of the Beaver Falls exit on I-76. The entire area is a former sandstone quarry that produced much of the sandstone that was used in Western Penitentiary in Pittsburgh, as well as many other local bridges, tunnels, and roads.
My Trip to Buttermilk Falls
Buttermilk Falls is not the type of attraction that you need to block off an entire day to go visit. Including driving time, my wife and I were able to complete the visit in about an hour. But just because it isn’t a long adventure, doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth doing. In fact, the exact opposite is true. This was awesome!
If you are heading towards Beaver Falls on Route 18, you will see a large sign that says “Buttermilk Falls Natural Area” just after you pass under the turnpike. But if you are coming from Beaver Falls you won’t see the sign, so just be prepared to turn off to the left literally right before you pass under the highway.
As soon as you pull off of Route 18, you will see a small parking area and a sign for the Buttermilk Falls Park. There isn’t a whole lot to this place, but trust me, it’s worth way more than the price of admission (which is FREE)!
From the parking lot, the obvious path in front of you is the way to go. It took us probably about 5-10 minutes to follow the path all the way to the falls. Aside from a few sets of steps and one or two railings that have been constructed along the short path to the falls, the entire area seems relatively untouched.
When you reach the falls, the path leads all the way around behind the waterfall. There are also multiple places that you can walk out on the large rocks surrounding the area for a better view. Once again, there isn’t necessarily a lot to do here aside from take a few pictures, but there is a certain peaceful feeling about this little cove in the middle of nowhere that was very refreshing.
The next time I visit, I am planning to bring a lawn chair and a book. This is the perfect place to sit and relax on a warm summer day.