The Pine Creek Gorge, located in Tioga and Lycoming Counties, is also known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. The Pine Creek Gorge National Natural Landmark includes Colton Point and Leonard Harrison State Parks and parts of the Tioga State Forest in North Central PA.
Situated on approximately 160,000 acres of the Tioga State Forest, the Canyon begins south of Ansonia, near Wellsboro, along U.S. Route 6 and continues south for approximately 47 miles. (Wikipedia)
The area was once a center for the lumber industry in Pennsylvania, but the forests have grown back and include trees as old as 100 years. Perfect for nature walks and hikes, they provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including deer, turkeys, beaver, river otters, black bears and bald eagles, as well as many other species.
The maximum depth of the canyon is 1,450 feet at Waterville, near the southern end. At Leonard Harrison and Colton Point State Parks, the depth is more than 800 feet and from rim to rim is approximately 4,000 feet.
A major feature of the Gorge is the Pine Creek Rail Trail. According to vacationpa.com it was voted by USA Today as one of the ’10 great places to take a bike tour.’ This 60 mile plus long trail has a very gentle grade over its entire length which makes for enjoyable travels for the whole family. A hard-packed gravel surface available to hikers and bicyclers, the rail trail winds its way through the Gorge starting in Ansonia and ending in Jersey Shore.
Grand Canyon attractions draw thousands of visitors every year according to pacanyon.com. Besides hiking and biking on the Pine Creek Rail Trail, there are train rides on the Tioga Central Railroad, a wagon ride tour through the canyon, white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking, winery tours, as well as theatre, music, and museums in nearby towns like Wellsboro, PA.
If you’re planning a vacation trip or weekend along the Pine Creek Gorge, be sure to check out Bucktail Camping Resort in Mansfield, PA. You can see all our Free Camping Campgrounds HERE.
RV camping is also available on a limited basis at Colton Point and Leonard Harrison State Parks. For more information please visit the Pennsylvania State Parks website
Colton Point State Park
Leonard Harrison State Park
Pennsylvania State Parks
For more info on the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania please see http://pabook.libraries.psu.edu
Photo credit Tiadaghton Audubon Society and pabook.libraries.psu.edu