Gorge On The Gorge
Sometimes called the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, the Pine Creek Gorge is one of the most beautiful spots inthe state. And with miles of river, hiking trails and biking paths, it’s one of the best places to get out of your car and stretch your legs for a few hours. Or a few days.
The new crown jewel of the gorge is the Pine Creek Rail Trail, an old railroad bed that travels along Pine Creek Gorge at the floor of the canyon. The railroad was removed and on the old path, the state installed biking and hiking trails, allowing for the first time easy public access to the length of the canyon.
The rail trail is ideal for hikers and bikers. Since it started life as a train track, the path has a gentle grade and a wide berth, giving all types of traffic room to navigate. The gentle grade also makes it the perfect hike for kids and families. The canyon sits in the middle of the Tioga State Forest in northern Pennsylvania and can be accessed at several points along State Route 287 to the north and 414 to the south. The town of Wellsboro, at the north end of the canyon, has traditionally served as the gate to Pine Creek Gorge. Wellsboro is a classic Victorian hamlet and has great resources for navigating the trail. The Pine Creek Rail Trail’s website has a detailed map showing where best to access the trail. It also has a hand breakdown of the mileage for each section of the trail.
As you navigate the trail, watch for Colton Point on the west rim of the canyon and Harrison Lookout on the east rim. The two spots offer probably the best views of the gorge. Take your time and enjoy and the views. The Pine Creek Rail Trail is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in pure Pennsylvania wilderness.