Duration: Two days and two nights
The Pennsylvania Wilds is a paradise for nature lovers, and it’s also prime roadtripping territory for those who like a view from the lens. This is shutterbug country. Explore the majesty of the Keystone State with your trusty camera, and get ready for a full-on photo expedition.
Start your trip off at the Tioga County Visitor’s Bureau. You’ll get tips on seeing the Pennsylvania Wilds in all its rugged glory, from the Rails to Trails to rafting. Tell them you’re a shutterbug, and they’ll “point and shoot” you in the right direction.
First stop…Pine Creek Gorge to see why they don’t call it “The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania” for nothing. Keep an eye out for black bear, and eagles – it’s the Pennsylvania Wilds, after all. But back to the Grand Canyon part – on the east rim of the canyon, Leonard Harrison State Park, are the most famous scenic views of the canyon. The view of the Pine Creek Gorge is dizzying - it’s that pretty. Try to get a panoramic view if you want to capture the sheer magnitude of the place. Experienced hikers should check out the Turkey Path Trail. It is a down-and-back trail with a beautiful vista about a ½ mile down. Note to photographers: Strap your camera in tightly for this one.
But if you really want an adventure, book a trip with the outdoor experts at Nature Quest. The company specializes in creating guided tours for the PA Wilds, with journeys that range from Birding for Beginners to “Xtreme Xperience,” a three day extravaganza of backcountry horseback riding, camping, and a 22-mile bike ride. Call ahead and plan something that fits with your trip – they have more options than the Pennsylvania Wilds has wild.
Finally, don’t let all this outdoorsy-ness get to your head. Visit downtown Wellsboro and get some main street shopping done. Maybe pick up some more camera supplies for the rest of the trip, or a souvenir or two.Read More >
Welcome to what National Geographic has dubbed “One of America’s most scenic drives.” Or what the resident poets like to call “The road less traveled.” Route 6, all 400+ miles of it, meanders through the hills and forests northern PA where the land is so wild and beautiful that it’s hard to describe with mere words. Good thing you’ll have your trusty camera to do the talking for you when you get home. But Route 6 is good for more than photo ops. It’s a road of history and heritage, linking antique stores to apple pies to the storybook small towns you always knew existed somewhere.
Timber is one of Pennsylvania's greatest natural resources. The story of Pennsylvania's lumber history and its impact on the everyday lives of people is uniquely presented by the museum through the Visitor Center galleries, re-created logging camp and sawmill exhibits. Unique photographic opportunities abound all around the museum and along the roads leading to-and-from, but while you are snapping away, don’t forget to take a moment to breathe in some fresh air and absorb a bit of history.Read More >
By this time it should be getting toward nightfall. Perfect. Cherry Springs State Park is the first International Dark Sky Park in the Eastern US. You see, the park is known among astronomers and stargazers for having some of the darkest night skies on the East Coast, so dark that the Milky Way can actually cast a shadow over the scenic wilderness. Head to the Crystal Sphere and the owner, Stash Nawrocki, will give you the lay of the land, or sky. Oh, and don’t forget your tripod – with skies this dark you’ll be in for some long exposure times.Read More >
You’ll find this neighborly steak and seafood staple right in the heart of the PA Wilds. Give the family truckster a break and try the Surf & Turf.Read More >
It’s just a short drive away, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a place prettier or friendlier than historic Potter County. Which makes this charmer the perfect place to spend the night. And when daylight comes, you’ll get an introduction to some insanely beautiful scenery. Worthwhile photo subjects galore.Read More >
Recharge your batteries (plus a couple of spares), and head out for a scenic morning drive. Route 44 to 144 will lead you to Ole Bull State Park. Ole Bull consists of 132 acres along the Kettle Creek Valley, so-called the black forest because of its dense tree cover, mountainous terrain and wilderness habitat. If you’re into high-contrast, ominous, or black & white images – this might be the perfect place to set out on a trail and snap away. Old logging and railroad grades form the Daugherty Loop Trail through the Black Forest; or, check out the Ole Bull Trail which will lead you to a panoramic view of the park area.Read More >
Route 144 to the Bucktail Trail
From Ole Bull you want to follow route 144 towards Renovo and Route 120, also known as the Bucktail Trail Scenic Byway. A few words of advice: Along these routes, you’ll likely encounter more photographic opportunities than you bargained for. Don’t forget to look in the rearview mirror before slamming on the breaks - those streams and the fisherman wading in them aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Be sure to check out the hang gliders at Hyner View State Park, just 6 miles east of Renovo and 3 miles north of Hyner on Route 120. There’s a lot to view – hence the name. And there’s nothing like the panoramic view from the CCC Wall at Hyner View over the Susquehanna River.Read More >
Route 120 to Lock Haven
Now it’s time to head east on Route 120 to Lock Haven, where you’ll encounter a pictorial riverside community with downtown streetscapes full of quaint shops and restaurants. You might want to make sure you have a spare memory card handy for all of the Victorian architecture you will encounter. Plus, the city lies between the banks of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and the Bald Eagle Creek, where picturesque bridges criss-cross the waterways and rolling mountains serve as the backdrop. Not too shabby.
A worthy detour just seven miles east of Lock Haven is the original Woolrich Company that has been open since 1830. Within its walls, a shopper can find outdoor gear and clothes to fit every taste, from the serious hunter or outdoors person to casual wear. The store includes a museum about the history of the company and offers a café and outdoor picnic area.
Located in McElhattan with easy access from Route 220, Restless Oaks is a log cabin-style restaurant that serves up tasty fare to satisfy any generation. With antiques, life sized carved wooden animals, a wood burning fireplace, and a model train circling the ceiling, you’ll discover that the delicious food is only one of the many perks.Read More >
Stay at this Lock Haven hotel for first-class service and comfortable accommodations at a great value. The Best Western Lock Haven is conveniently located with easy access to key area attractions, nearby dining and shopping, as well as numerous outdoor activities. While in town, enjoy a walk along the Susquehanna River or an evening out at the Millbrook Playhouse.Read More >
With 50-miles of length and a 1,000 foot drop, this is Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon. You couldn’t ask for a more spectacular view of the countryside with its lush foliage and pretty wildlife.
No matter what the season is, you’ll find something to do here. Ice fishing, hiking, boating, and snowmobiling are just a few things you’ll accomplish on these lakes and trails. Also, this park is home to elk and the occasional bald eagle.
Thousands of trout are splashing around in these nine acres of fishing water daring you to catch them. Kick back in a boat and enjoy a relaxing day on the lake while visions of seafood dance in your head.