Today I made my third trip to Tioga County this year to visit the Colton Point State Park and Leonard Harrison State Park. I like to visit the Pine Creek Gorge (aka the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon) because it is only an hour’s drive away and a major attraction. I didn’t even need my directions cheat sheet. First I went to Colton Point State Park and hiked the Rim Trail to reach several vistas where I could take photos of the gorge. It was very cold today. I needed to wear my regular jacket over my Woolrich jacket. I also needed to wear a hat and thin gloves. There were a few bare patches on the mountains so the fall foliage is definitely pass its peak. One mountain visible from Colton Point State Park still had a decent amount of fall foliage. This time I didn’t retrace my steps on the Rim Trail. I found a parking lot for the Turkey Path and followed the Turkey Path down to the Rim Trail to avoid half the trail. I will want to remember that short cut. The trail was covered with fallen leaves so I stayed away from the edges of the rim. There were a lot of people in the parks in spite of the cold weather but I found a place to park at the trail head.
I also visited the Leonard Harrison State Park which was also a bit crowded. I tried to get by with just my Woolrich jacket but it was so windy and cold that I went back to my car to put on another jacket. Then I hiked the Overlook Trail. I had to be very careful on the steep part of trail to the Otter View because the trail was covered in dead leaves. But I was rewarded with an excellent view down the gorge. The sun had come out by then and glittered off the Pine Creek below.
On the way back to Wellsboro, I stopped in at the Tioga County Visitor’s Bureau and picked up some free brochures. I was especially interested in the Potter County brochure since I may visit Potter County next year. The only direction I still have to explore is to the west. Once I reached the town of Wellsboro I parked my car and spent a half hour there. I walked through Dunham’s Department Store and saw where their cafe is located but I didn’t see anything I wanted to buy. I didn’t want to spend much money on this trip. I visited the From My Shelf Books bookstore, of course, and bought the book “A Crack In The Edge Of The World” by Simon Winchester. I only recently added this book to my Amazon wish list. That book is about the California earthquake of 1906 which destroyed San Francisco. San Francisco will be my next major domestic destination but I don’t know when I’ll be able to afford that.
I was going to eat at the Wellsboro Diner but they were crowded so I went to Dunkin’ Donuts instead and ordered two doughnuts and a coffee. Except for gas I only spent $20.00 during this trip. I’m not sure if I will travel next week because it is getting too cold already. This year was a very productive year for local travel. I really expanded my knowledge of the state and established many new places to visit. If I can’t afford a major vacation next year I will continue to explore Pennsylvania.