The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon – Camping, Hiking, Fishing… Something for Everyone!

December 12, 2008

Pine Creek Gorge - Photo by S. Webster

Pine Creek Gorge - Photo by S. Webster

Deep in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania, near the small town of Wellsboro, you will find some of the most beautiful camping and hiking spots anywhere. This is the location of the Pennsylvania “Grand Canyon,” also known of as Pine Creek Gorge. If you are looking for peace and quiet, or you prefer hiking, rafting, fishing or photography you will find it all and more.

State Parks Near the Canyon

Leonard Harrison State Park is located on the east rim of the canyon. This is where you will find the most famous scenic views of the Pine Creek Gorge. Leonard Harrison also is the more modern of the two state parks surrounding the canyon and includes flush toilet, hot showers, a playground for the kids and a sanitary dump station. Some sites have electricity.

Leonard Harrison is also home to the famous “Turkey Path Trail.” Along the two miles trail down, you will find beautiful waterfalls and scenic views. Wildlife and wild flowers are abundant, and the fall foliage is breathtaking.

Colton Point State Park is located on the west rim of the canyon. It is a much more rustic facility if you really want to experience the outdoors. Hiking trails are abundant and fishing is great if you don’t mind carrying the equipment down the trail and the catch back up! There are no facilities for kids on this side, so unless your kids really like camping and hiking, it probably isn’t the best option.

Hills Creek State Park is located about 20 miles from the actual canyon. It does, however, have boating and swimming facilities, a snack bar, and modern facilities.

Army Corp of Engineer Parks

Ives Run Camp Ground, also known as Tioga Hammond Lake, is another great place to camp that is near the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. It is a great facility for kids. There are RV sites with full hook-ups down to tent sites in a primitive area. There are playgrounds, a beach for swimming along with swimming from campsites in certain areas, boating, water-skiing and other water sports, hiking trails and gardens, and just a whole lot to do.

Ives run is also located close to the New York State Border and the Corning Glass Museum as well as other attractions for rainy days.

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod Statue - Photo by S. Webster

Wynken, Blynken, & Nod Statue - Photo by S. Webster

What Else is There to Do?

If you are tired of camping, fishing and hiking, or it’s raining, there are several other options.

Animaland Zoological Park is right near Leonard Harrison State Park. It has over 200 exotic, wild, and domestic animals housed in a 12 acre landscaped exhibit. There is a snack bar and gift shop.

Wellsboro is located about 12 miles from the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. This picturesque town has gift shops, antique stores, and great restaurants. Don’t forget to visit “The Green,” located across from the Tioga County Court House, and view the famous Wynken, Blynken and Nod sculpture and fountain inspired by the poem of the same name by Eugene Field.

Wellsboro, PA - Photo by S. Webster

Wellsboro, PA - Photo by S. Webster

If you still need more to do, stop at the visitors center and learn about Pennsylvania’s scenic Route 6 and all it has to offer.