Pine Creek Valley: Home of the PA Grand Canyon & Pine Creek Rail Trail
Many have recognized the specialness of the Pine Creek Valley, home of the PA Grand Canyon and the Pine Creek Rail Trail.
In fact, many families have been traveling to and from the valley for decades – enjoying the fishing streams, recreational trails, dark skies and outdoor adventures that await them for generations. One reason for this is that there is always something new to do or experience while in the Pine Creek Valley. Another is the laid-back way of life that allows visitors and residents alike to enjoy the peaceful tranquility of nature through a variety of recreational opportunities – from kayaking, biking and hiking to fishing, horseback riding and more.
The Pine Creek Valley & PA Grand Canyon Landscape is viewed as the North-Eastern Gateway to the Pennsylvania Wilds. If it’s your first visit to the region, make sure the PA Grand Canyon is on your must-see list.
You can view the Pine Creek Gorge from Leonard Harrison State Park – which includes a visitor’s center, restroom facilities, a gift shop and features the most famous view of the gorge – or check out the scenery from the other side by visiting the more primitive Colton Point State Park overlook. (On your way out to Leonard Harrison State Park, be sure to stop off at Visit Potter-Tioga at 2053 Route 660 in Wellsboro to help orient yourself and learn about more area attractions.)
Once you’ve delighted in the views from above, you’ll soon discover that this scenic and unique landscape is best appreciated from many vantage points.
Between mid-April and Thanksgiving, hike the popular Turkey Path Trail from the Leonard Harrison overlook down to the canyon floor – where the Pine Creek Rail Trail can be found. Along the hike, you’ll pass by scenic waterfalls and may even see a horse-drawn covered wagon when you reach the bottom.
You can hike, bike, ski or snowshoe the Rail Trail, which was named by USA Today as one of the “10 great places to take a bike tour” and extends roughly 62 miles from Ansonia in Tioga County to Jersey Shore in Lycoming County. There are many places to view wildlife, picnic, swim, boat and camp around the region as well – from the Tioga-Hammond Lakes Recreation Area to the Lambs Creek Recreation Area and the Hills Creek State Park complex.
Orient yourself while traversing through Tioga State Forest and Tiadaghton State Forest by stopping in to the Tiadaghton Resource Management Center in Waterville where you can find maps and exhibits on Pennsylvania’s early logging era and learn about the management of state forest lands.
The Pine Creek Valley landscape is easy to explore on a road trip.
Running East-West in the northern portion of the landscape is Scenic Route 6, and in the south travelers can easily access Route 220 or Interstate 80. If traveling from the southern part of Pennsylvania, drivers can take U.S. 15, or more scenic routes like Route 287, Route 664, Route 44 or Route 120 to explore the Pine Creek Valley in full.
Wellsboro, Mansfield, Jersey Shore, Williamsport and Lock Haven are just a few of the larger towns and cities dotting the Pine Creek Valley landscape and providing a host of dining and entertainment options not far from the Rail Trail.