It started with a trip to Raymondskill Falls, just a few miles from home. Then, the Carlozzi family visited another local waterfall. And another.
“We’re on 86 right now,” said Ryan Carlozzi.
After being cooped up at home when schools shut down in mid-March, Ryan Carlozzi and her husband, Matt, saw the need to get outside and stay active. The whole family was at home day-in and day-out juggling remote learning: Ryan and Matt are both music teachers in Orange County, N.Y., and their three boys attend Delaware Valley Schools.
“We needed something to do,” Ryan said. “We needed to get outside.”
The family started visiting local falls at the end of March.
“We went to Raymondskill, we went to Dingmans ... and it just became this thing that we were doing. There was no other reason for it: it was really just to get outside.”
They use all sorts of references to find the waterfalls, including an old, outdated book covering waterfalls in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Some of the falls in the book are now privately owned, so the Carlozzis reach out to owners to get permission before visiting them.
“There is a local one on private property that was absolutely magnificent that we were able to see,” said Ryan. “It was pretty breathtaking.”
The furthest they’ve traveled thus far is up to the waterfalls in Watkins Glen, N.Y., near the Finger Lakes.
But for the most part, the family has been keeping things fairly local, visiting waterfalls at home in Pennsylvania and in neighboring New York and New Jersey.
To find the falls, they look up the coordinates, plug them into their phones and just start trekking through the woods. Sometimes their lab, Eddie, and German Shepherd, Thatcher, tag along for the hike.
“We never -- knock on wood -- have seen any snakes or anything. I think having three boys with you -- we are kind of loud,” Carlozzi said with a laugh. “My middle son likes to get into the middle of the woods and start singing.”
On top of chasing waterfalls, the family of five has now become Stewards of the Delaware Water Gap, volunteering to pick up trash from the recreation area once a week.