Friday, June 8, 2012

Wellsboro, PA

Wellsboro, PA is in Tioga county, which is known for the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.  There seem to be a lot of “Grand Canyons”!  I was looking forward to the canyon, but particularly the Pine Creek Rail Trail that goes through the Canyon.  I had read about the trail, which is a 62 mile trail through the Pine Creek Gorge and beyond. 

View of the gorge from an overlook at Leonard Harrison State Park.  You can just make out the trail beside the river in the picture below--

Since the trail was at one time a railroad track, it only has about a 2% grade so the biking was fairly easy.  I ended up riding 3 different days.  The first day was more a test of the trail and my knee.  I rode about 6 miles that day (3 miles down and 3 miles back).  My second day I rode about 23 miles all one direction.  Pine Creek Outfitters shuttled my car to one of the parking spots 21 miles down the gorge.  That meant no backtracking!  My third ride, I rode 11.99 miles (I know I should have ridden my bike around my car to get that extra 0.01 miles).  The pictures below are a mix of all 3 rides.

I started at the Ansonia Trailhead the day I went 23 miles and at Darling Run Trailhead the other 2 times (about 5 miles from my campground). At the first part of the trail from these 2 trailheads they allow horses on the trail.  That is only allowed for a small section of this trail.  The bike riding side of the trail (left side) was a very hard packed dirt trail.  The horse side was looser dirt and gravel.

It is very hard to tell, but there are 2 fishermen in the creek.  I wanted to post this so you could tell the size of the creek.  It was one of the widest creeks I have ever seen!

On one of my trips, I saw some kayakers (in picture below).

View from trail where Marsh Creek and Pine Creek merge.

As I said they allow horses.  This was taken at the Ansonia Trailhead.  I also saw some horses pulling a covered wagon (for those who don’t want to bike or walk the trail), but that picture didn’t turn out.

This duck seemed to be swimming away from me, even though I was quite a distance from her, so the picture is not great.  Some of the baby ducks were on her back, while others appeared to be swimming.

This waterfall was just beside the trail.  It is just beside the Turkey Path which is a popular (but steep) trail in the Leonard Harrison State Park. 

This bridge was just before Rattlesnake Rock, it is just beyond the gorge.  It still had mountains around it, but was much more open than through the gorge.  By the way, they are warning signs about the rattlesnakes in the area, but I did not see any.  I did see a water snake.  I also saw several deer and a bald eagle.  

This bike ride is one of my favorite rides ever.  The scenery was great and having my car at the end of the ride worked out well.

I also did a short hike in Leonard Harrison State Park (which was only about a mile from my campground) and saw a deer who seemed to be as curious about me as I was about him.  He was only 20 – 25 feet away from me.

One morning I went to the Marsh Creek Wetlands, also called “the Muck”.  I don’t know who owns the area, but the trail and observation blind are a project of the Audubon Society of Tioga and Potter counties.  I had hoped to see a Least Bittern, but the day I went I saw few birds.  I think I got there a bit late as the person who was leaving just as I got there recorded in the log that he say 15 to 20 different type of birds.  He was there very early – 5:30 am to 8:00 am.  I was there 8:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.    I ‘m really not patient enough to be a good bird watcher.   I have a few pictures of a green heron that I saw while there.  But below are my favorite pictures I took there.  The first is the other visitor who was on the trail while I headed towards the blind.

The turtle was at least a foot long and quickly retracted his head into his shell when he heard me. 

Since I didn’t get many pictures of birds, I took the picture above from inside the blind.

It rained a bit while I was in Wellsboro, but as you can tell I managed several great trips!  This is my last stop in Pennsylvania, I head to New York next.

1 comment:

  1. These are just the kinds of places and things I love to see and do. Wish I were with you. You have a knack for finding great spots. Are the campgrounds you stay in public or private??