Pine Creek Gorge is nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the East. Pine Creek is a 47-mile gorge carved into the Allegheny Plateau by the Pine Creek River. Tioga State Forest is a 160,000 acre area in north-central Pennsylvania. The canyon begins south of Ansonia/Wellsboro paralleling U.S. Route 6 and continues south to the Susquehanna River near Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania.
We took a one day trip to gorge, which was not our intention. We were planning a 2 night weekend with a stop at Knoebles but were rained out for the second half of our journey. We started the trip on the floor of the gorge driving along the river towards Wellsboro. We found a park with a sandy beach and a picnic area. There were families there and a little bit down the road there was an eagle viewing area. It was a small and secluded location with a thicket of tree to obscure the viewer. We then drove through Wellsboro which was a charming little town founded in 1830 with a population of 3256.
We went to the upper gorge for a viewing. It was beautiful. There are walking trails which we didn’t partake because we had the pups with us and I have torn my meniscus. The views are panoramic and well worth the visit. There is a viewing tower before the main entrance and a camping/loding location before the park entrance. Dogs are welcome and there is a small nature center with examples of the wildlife that abound there.
The area lacks some amenities which requires some preplanning. Gas stations, restaurants and overnight accommodations are sparse. Make sure that you have enough gas to be able to travel 20-30 miles to the next gas station. There are some restaurants and a grocery store in Wellsboro. Don’t count on fast food. There are not a lot of hotels/motels in the area and if you plan to stay make sure you book before you go since they fill up quickly. The Visit Potter Tioga website lists 17 hotels/motels and when considered that’s not many for an area of that size. There are camping sites, airbnb’s and other accommodations. Plan ahead. The trip is worth it.