Really, Pennsylania? The Grand Canyon? Hardly.
Some of our most favorite spots are places that have been recommended to us by fellow campers. That’s how we found ourselves headed to Wellsboro, home of The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. Leonard Harrison State Park is located there, so we take a chance that there will be an open campsite, being that it’s midweek. Although this is a tiny little campground, there was no trouble getting a spot – altough once again, there was no electric power, no water, and no phone signal. Three nights seemed to be the magic number – a day to get set up, a day to hike, and a day to bike.
A word to those traveling with pets who camp. We’ve found out that State Parks in CT don’t allow dogs in the campground. State Parks in PA do allow dogs, but only in restricted areas. We had a choice of just two sites. So, check in advance, and reserve a site when you have to.
Fall colors seem to have already come and gone here. There are a few golden maples hanging around, but everything is kind of a grey, cloudy Here Comes Winter kind of color. We decide to hike with Jezzy to the bottom of the Canyon, down a fairly steep trail. The only difficulty was that it had rained in the night and early morning, causing the wooden steps along part of the trail to be very hazardous. We crept along like geezers, clutching the railing, and trying to keep our boots on the ground. At the bottom, we encountered a blizzard of falling leaves – the photo really doesn’t quite capture how many of them were whirling around our heads.The bottom of the Canyon, along the Pine Creek, is about 600 feet from the top – a pretty view, but not really worth of the moniker Grand Canyon. Two years ago, we visited the Grand Canyon of the East in New York, and found that to be a more appropriate name. But, John googled Michigan Grand Canyon, and came up with this, so I guess Pennsylvania looks pretty good after all.
The Pine Creek Trail runs for 60 miles long the bottom of the canyon. Perfect for a bike ride. We drive to one of the many access points, and roll on to the gravel trail, just in time to see two huge wagonloads of Amish tourists enjoying the views.We pedaled about 17 miles down the Trail, enjoyed a spot of lunch sitting on the steps of an 1860s church, then turned around and headed back. Along the way, we encountered a few other cyclists, but mostly we had the Trail to ourselves. Fine with us! My big discovery for the day? These enormous maple leaves (Acer Giganticum?). They were twice as large as my outspread hand.It’s been ten days since we wandered out of civilization. Time for a bit of urban camping – we’re anxious to read a newspaper, catch up with friends and family, and visit a brewery. Heading to Harrisburg.